Sunday, April 26, 2009

Showcasing Thunder Bay at Midwest Mountaineering

Thunder Bay is making waves in the Twin Cities outdoor community this week. Midwest Mountaineering's Spring Expo is the largest paddle sport and camping show in Minnesota, attracting some 12-15000 visitors over three days this past weekend. It also attracts top outdoor journalists and over 77 other exhibitors from around the world.

The event has been our chance to meet with potential consumers, pitch stories to travel media and network with some of the other partners to build some unique cross marketing initiatives. I'm at the show personally this year because Tourism Thunder Bay is one of the event sponsors and I'm speaking on the City's Seven Days with the Giant promotion on the 26th on the University of Minnesota campus. Catch me at 12:30 pm on the 26th on the Mississippi stage at the Humphery Centre on the U of M campus.

We don't do many consumer sport shows because they are expensive, time consuming and hard to track results. We do, however, explore new opportunities such as Midwest Mountaineering's Expo, where we can reach educated and affluent travel segments - in this case, outdoor seekers- who are more likely to travel during tough economic times and who can influence their professional peer groups.

This year, we have s significant Canadian contingent at the show and in addition to ourselves, we are sharing floor and presentation space with Ontario Park's Northwest zone, Wabikimi Wildwaters and Beyond the Giant Nature retreat. Regionally, we're also networking with our friends in Grand Marais and Lutson/Tofte to cross promote each other. We're hearing very positive feedback from the hundreds of consumers we've spoken to in the past two days and its encouraging to note that many of them have their passports already in advance of the June 1, 2009 deadline.

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