So after the first day I basically came to the realization that sleep was not going to happen for me at the Banff World Media Festival this week. In total for the 4 nights I was there I got maximum 12 hours of sleep. And I also realized that live blog posts would not happen as well. Hence I apologize.
So my first time at BANFF was basically a huge learning experience.
First thing I learned: bring snacks. Although food seems to be in abundance there, I somehow end up either missing it or being to busy to eat.
Second: I need to plan my schedule better.
It was rather overwhelming at first trying to figure out what sessions to go to and where they were. On the first day I ended up trying to cram in as many as possible and now in hindsight, I realized that was not as beneficial as it sounded. It just resulted in running around and missing events like a red carpet that I was suppose to go to- oops. I couldn’t find the room and the room I thought it was in prove to be incorrect.
I guess that’s a good thing they have the Rookies in the Rockies session, to help all us first-timers out.
Failure at planning my day also lead to another mishap, checking in my bag at a coat check that closes early. Of course I left my notes in my bag, that’s why this post is late. (Totally not because I was to lazy or anything like that :P )
I did manage to learn a lot from the first days sessions.
First session I attended was a keynote with Paul Chard, Global Head of Content, MediaCom. His topic of discussion was How Content is Changing the Business. The main focus of this keynote was how brands need to stand out. He talked about how social media is the glue that holds content together and how the world has really become a place for dialogue. As well as how technology has changed the way we consume and that now brands want engagement.
A like is nice, but a share has more value.
He mentioned a recurring topic of how content sits at the heart of all media and good story telling.
How can brands translate their voice into the content they are creating?
I learned the concept of Paid, Owned and Earned Media, although if you asked me to explain it I would look at you like a deer in headlights. There was also a fantastic case study about China’s Got Talent.
It was then onto a panel called A New Breed of Deal: Creating and Owning Intellectual Property.
Here panelists debated if for content creators it was worth giving up IP ownership to get your product a better chance of success. They talked about the process of how content creators and producers can approach brands with ideas for partnerships. When a content producer comes to a brand or company with an idea they should identify the needs of the brand and the market place and THEN create content to fit it, rather then the reverse.
Content is King; however, if having a brand can enhance the content being created, then that is GOLD.
Canadian Media Leaders
The last and arguably most exciting session (if you are not a nerd and into marketing, advertising and new media like me) was the Canadian Media Leaders Panel.
There was some pretty important people there and they all had great things to say about Canada! First being that we have never had a better year for Canadian content- woot!
Here in Canada we are very lucky to enjoy such a wide variety of content and to see that content embraced by the country so well. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, broadcasters still have a tough time making Canadian hits. We the viewers need to nurture our programs more so we are not so depended on US programs and networks.
In the evening it was off to the CBC/Radio-Canada Opening Reception for free cocktails. YES!
Jenn and I at the CBC Reception- Photo by Jason Wang
After that, it was over to the welcome party hosted by Alberta Film and the Government of Alberta, where there was even more free food and drinks! This is where I thought I would be a responsible adult and not drink at the party since I knew I had a big day tomorrow. So I passed on the free drinks and sipped on water and chatted with some new friends.
Now is where the title of this blog post comes in; since I know you were all wondering .
After leaving the bar I offered to drive my new friend Paul back to his hotel. Noting the fact that Banff is essentially only 2 streets long, we preceded to drive all around town lost for 20 minutes totally oblivious to the fact that I was being followed by a police officer. Finally, after driving the wrong way into a one-way street we pulled over and just decided to ask the police officer where this hotel (Paul had gotten the name WRONG) was. To our surprise he was the nicest cop ever, and he offered to let us follow him to the hotel.
Not quite what you thought was going to happen :P
So that was my first day at #Banff2012 . Stay tuned for more blog posts and videos in the next few days.