To be honest, I don’t have a strategy for networking, either online or in person. I find it very uncomfortable, but also very fake. I don’t believe in kissing up to people to get something out of them because that’s just not who I am. A different way that I use that I guess could be considered networking is just building relationships with people. I had the occasion to meet people from all across the country when I was working at the Canada Games. I developed good working relationships and assisted them with their media and communications needs. However, unlike networking, I didn’t go out of my way to make connections with them but rather encountered them through the work I was already doing.
I do not have any current activities or commitments planned in the next 6-12 months to continue the development of my networks. I have already landed my next job, which is a permanent rather than contract role, so I don’t anticipate leaving that company anytime soon. However, I would like to keep in occasional contact with my former coworkers to see where they go, but also in case I would need their contact in the future.
At the beginning of the second week of my work event, my workplace was invited to an Observers Program social event in the VIP lounge at our main sporting venue. Our staff were welcome to attend and meet individuals from other host societies. For some background information, the Observers program is for future Canada Games host societies and other games such as the Arctic Winter Games and North American Indigenous Games to come and learn from the going-ons of our organization and take their learnings to impact their own games. I attended because I felt it was part of my duty as staff.
There were many staff from other organizations there, but I ended up sticking mainly with staff from my own. I generally feel uncomfortable in situations where I don’t know the other people. It would have been good for networking, however since I already have a job lined up to start next week I probably felt less of an urge to need to network to find my next job.
I think potential future ideas, if I were the facilitator, would involve more icebreakers (but non-cheesy ones) to get staff from different organizations interacting with each other. However, it was hard for me to recognize who from other organizations were talking to other organizations since I mainly know the staff from Niagara 2022 and PEI 2023 (with some of the Canada Games Council staff as well).
I don’t have a quotable quote.
I think I would attend a similar event in the future, however maybe next time I would try to be a bit more outgoing and introduce myself to more people.
I decided to highlight three TikTok accounts for this blog post. It started off with a favourite of mine, Duolingo on Tiktok, then I decided it might make sense to make it platform specific.
Two organizations that I think are doing well on TikTok are Duolingo and the Tri-City Americans (junior ice hockey team; funny kid quotes). One that I think needs to do better is Bootlegger Jeans (not limited specifically to their TikTok though).
I was drawn to Duolingo because I feel their humour is a lot similar to my own. It’s dark yet hilarious at the same time. They were acquiring a reputation online for their mascot hunting people down if they don’t do their language lessons, and they’ve leaned into it and adopted it as their social strategy which I think only helps with their popularity.
I think Bootlegger Jeans would benefit from a stronger social media strategy. It doesn’t appear as though they have a strategy for TikTok in any way, and their last post was made in March. Based on the increasing popularity of videos on social media, they would only benefit from a regular posting schedule. Also, their following count on TikTok should probably be higher than it is, based on their Instagram followers (37 vs. 18K). I think they could start to implement more first steps by making an aforementioned schedule, trying to cross promote videos on both Instagram Reels and TikTok, and looking less corporate and adlike.
It was surprisingly hard to find target audiences specific to hockey fans. I found some articles, but they were unverified or from non-reputable sources so I didn’t feel like I could trust the information included in them.
I found some broader sports fan audience information.
Fans of multiple sports
Mostly male, but percentages are starting to even out (60/40)
Most are spectators vs athletes
College sports fans are numerous (and should not be discounted)
Ways to be effective in communicating to these audiences:
Cross sport promotions could be an interesting tactic to use, may be a better tool for sports companies that own more than one team
Using social media due to its popularity, with increased attention coming from ads
Writing with sports lingo to increase engagement
Increase use of video content – engagement figures are higher, and platforms like TikTok are experiencing explosive growth
First “post”-pandemic travel: everyone has a story… or not. My work contract culminates with a large event in August, so staff were not allowed to take any vacation past June 1. This is how I ended up going to Chicago and Washington D.C. in May!
I was nervous about my trip since I hadn’t traveled for so long. That’s why Chicago was a perfect reintroduction to solo travel. There’s no language barrier and it’s close to home, so it was a short little 2 hour flight away and there I was! I spent the next few days walking around, eating lots of food (helloooooo, deep dish pizza tour!), and definitely not tracking down some filming locations for Chicago Fire and P.D. and visiting them… oops.
I walked to the iconic bean sculpture (actually the Cloud Gate), did a soap making workshop, and tried to take the L train when I could. The highlight of my trip was taking a historical and architecture kayak tour down the Chicago River. Most tourists like to take a boat tour, but I thought this could be a way to get a different view from the river while also getting in some exercise. The highlight didn’t include my sunburn after…
Post-Chicago hotdog, Portillo’s chocolate cake and Shedd Aquarium later was time for me to get to my second destination of the trip, D.C.
I didn’t know the airport I flew into went right over the National Mall, so before I even set foot in the city I got a really cool bird’s eye view of all the monuments. It was nice relaxing in my capsule bed before we ended up going for Mexican food with some other hostelmates. So goes the classic joke… when a Canadian, American, French, German and Belgian walk into a restaurant… we all get Mexican food and have a great time.
One of the reasons I love solo travel are the connections you make along the way. I was able to go to Arlington National Cemetery with the Belgian I met the day before, and we ran into the German on our way in! Then I can say I officially walked all the way from Virginia to D.C. It may have only been a 20-30 minute walk, but that can be our little secret. I visited some of the monuments before going back for a rest in the hostel, where I met a second German. We spent the next couple days together, traipsing across the city and being joined by another German-Israeli.
My trip was capped off by going to Pups in the Park. I definitely picked this date to watch baseball so I could be surrounded by dogs. My hard work paid off and I got to sit around an incredible amount of cute pups, who often ended up being decked out in Nationals gear… too cute! Then it was time to go home but I wasn’t too disappointed, because I think we all like to stop hemorrhaging money after a vacation. What do you like to prioritize when you travel?