Group photo of media members in attendence at 2017 New York Media Reception.
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Top Pacific Northwest media attend 2017 Seattle Media Boot Camp

By Kristen Bonilla 12/18/2017

Nearly three dozen of Seattle's top media and digital influencers turned out to attend the Experience California: Seattle Media Boot Camp at the Loews hotel in Seattle Nov. 30 - Dec. 1.

This was Visit California’s third media boot camp, an event generally held in smaller media markets throughout the country where there isn’t a large enough media presence for a full reception, but that is still home to a strong media base. The 24-hour immersive event allows industry partners to have more one-on-one interactions with media and provides ample time to build strong relationships. In addition to local Seattle media, regional media from nearby markets like Portland, Oregon, were brought in for the event.

Visit California hosted a total of 20 traditional media attendees at the boot camp, along with 10 digital influencers who joined for the second day of programming. Media attendees included contributors to Seattle Refined, Alaska Beyond Magazine, 10 Best – USA Today, Virtuoso Traveler, The Oregonian, Northwest Travel & Life, Backpacker Magazine, Condé Nast Media, and more.

Industry expressed strong interest in holding the event in the Pacific Northwest, and with good reason: Sea-Tac flies nonstop into 15 California airports, accounting for nearly 53,000 flights and more than 7.2 million seats in the last year. 

The event kicked off with a welcome lunch, followed by media "speed-dating" sessions, during which each delegate had a seating vignette representative of their destination and conducted back-to-back, quick-hit meetings. After the speed-dating, the group went to the hotel’s resort level where they broke into groups to enjoy a California wine tasting in the cellar, virtual golf at one of two iconic California courses, and luxurious spa experiences. The evening closed out with a California-inspired dinner by California-born chef Scott Mickelson.

The next morning began with a yoga session before a half-day of digital influencer networking and professional development sessions. Photographer, influencer and all-around friend to Visit California Colby Brown led a workshop discussing social trends and what makes appealing photography for social media. Tatyana Dorfman, global partner lead at Google, presented on what makes compelling video content for YouTube. Following these sessions, Visit California hosted a roundtable discussion on best practices for working with influencers that sparked great conversation between the influencers, industry delegates and traditional media in attendance. 

Feedback on this event from media and partners to date has been amazing.

“Thank you so much for hosting me at the California Boot Camp event," said one journalist. "I had 15 excellent appointments and I will be visiting numerous California destinations over 2018. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed the event hotel, cuisine and immersion activities; the event was seamless, well-done!”

The Experience California: Media Boot Camp event has now been to Austin, Chicago and Seattle.

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