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Thursday, 20 March 2014 06:39

Medicine Hat College Outdoor Expo should open eyes for those looking for activity ideas

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The Medicine Hat College is in the business of teaching. Usually the idea is for experts to teach students whatever discipline they have chosen.

However on March 27 from 3:30-6 p.m., it will be the students teaching the locals something, or at the very least giving them a reminder of all of the fun outdoor activities southeast Alberta has to offer.
A free-to-attend Outdoor Expo will be held in Centennial Hall near the main entrance of the college. Everything from mountain biking, canoeing, different types of skiing, yoga and hiking will be amongst the activities and the types of businesses featured.
It’s entirely a student-organized and planned event.
As part of her event management class, second-year student Fabienne Voegeli and her six-member organizational group had to create an event.
The students worked with event sponsor Michael Harrington, who is the owner of Valhalla Pure Outfitters, to decide what would best attract members of the community.
“We met with the owner on what we’d like to do and what does he want to do with planning an event,” explains Voegeli. “We decided to focus on sports.”
Voegeli says Medicine Hat and the region is underappreciated when describing enjoyable activities to do, especially for those who like to be active.
“We did an informal survey, nobody knows what to do here and even within the city everyone complains so we started to research things. It’s not a boring city and with all the research we’ve done, we want to push the awareness out there of what you can do.”
The idea behind an outdoor activity trade show was to show the public all the fun, outdoor active programs one can do, while at the same time showcasing those businesses who are involved with those sorts of products.
In a press release Miranda Davies, a business instructor at the college, notes there is a lot of interesting dynamics to the expo besides the businesses which will be represented with booths.
“Gravity Sports will be one of the mountain bike stations. They will have an expert on location providing bikes for people to test out and Chris Dodd an interpreter at Cypress Hills will be in attendance to discuss the best snowshoeing trails.”
From 5-6 p.m. a guest speaker, Tammy Ellis, will be presenting in the Courtyard. Ellis is a local physiotherapist who has trekked Nepal and also created a charity to help others. She will speak on her experiences.
It appears that everything is covered with some interesting speakers and displays, but it didn’t come easy for the students.
“It’s been a lot of research,” admits Voegeli, a native Albertan, but who does not have a lot of experience with Medicine Hat other than her time at the college.
“We have two German students in our group as well as two from Saskatchewan so we don’t have a lot of experience here (in southeast Alberta).”
Besides trying to research the different activities, related businesses and pitching them on the expo, they also had to get the technical aspects of a trade show organized such as covering liability, arranging security, and getting the venue organized.
She says there have been other challenges as well. They are all not in the same programs. This event management class incorporates students from the business administration classes, ecotourism, outdoor leadership and global tourism and marketing.
Voegeli says they don’t have classes at the same time and some have outside-of-school jobs or other tasks so to try and get all six people together at the same time is a challenge.
“Miranda has been great for this assignment as she has offered a lot of advice (on a variety of things),” adds Voegeli. “We’ve got it under control ... sure there’s stress, can’t deny that ... We’ve been really working on it hard since the February long break. About four to five hours each week we’ve been meeting on it. It’s been good. I’m happy with my group.”

Read 6013 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 March 2014 06:47
Ryan Dahlman

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