The 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI., was my first appearance as a member of the media and gave our staff, (DetroitSports360.com), the ability to go 4 days earlier than the general public. We were able to take 4 staff members and take photos and video of whatever we wanted to report…and we did just that. After the last 2 days of covering the event, I have a whole new outlook on the show, the media, and now know that we were given much more than just “the ability to see it 4 days earlier”. Speaking for myself, what started off as an exciting early trip to the show, quickly turned into one of my most eye-opening experiences to an industry I have only begun to be a part of. I would like to share what it was like from a point of view that is not revealed that much.. the media’s.
As a fairly new member of the media (2 years of a .com), I have quickly learned that reporting the news (for us, sports news) is fairly opinionated and easy to do for most sports fans. You don’t have to graduate with a broadcasting degree to like sports or even host your own show and have it stream (Sports Truth) live on the Internet, to a world-wide audience! There is money to made, fun to be had, events to cover but at no point have I ever considered myself or any sports news clog, .com or station reporting “the real news”. By that, I mean what channels 2, 4 and 7 do every night and how they deliver the bad news as well as the good news to their city. To me, they are “the real media”! What going to media day, January 14th and 15th, at Cobo Hall REALLY gave us, was the ability to see the world’s BEST Media members at work for 2 days and it was awesome!
With over 6,000 media credentials handed out this year to over 63 different countries, the media’s best was on display just as much as the cars were. When that many of the world’s best get together, I can promise you no one is sending their B Team to cover the event! I will admit at first it was a little overwhelming to be around the biggest names in the business when you are only a “.com” and you are standing next to CNN, ABC and NBC’s best but that feeling quickly passes and is replaced with excitement when you realize they aren’t acting like the giants they are. Everyone was very laid back, cool to talk to and never once did anyone act “famous” or have an ego like I thought they might. Everyone was there to do a job.Everyone was very good at what they were doing and it was inspiring to be a part of it all. When we saw teams of people working late into the night in the media room and filming, recording and taking photos just like we were… it made us forget all the bad times and instead remember the reasons we started doing this.
Just being around the best didn’t make us better or put us at their level, but (much like sports) it brought out the competitive spirit and made us want to try harder! After the first day was over, Chelsea Nevill (Day 1 correspondent),Sam Tang and myself, could have went out for dinner or drinks (like most nights after an auto show) but instead we all went back to the studio and worked until 3 a.m.! This was Chelsea’s (24 years old) first event for us and first trip to the city of Detroit..ever! Having every reason to want to go out and see the city or take a break to be ready for Day 2 on the floor of Cobo, she elected to work with us and at 2 a.m. Monday night, she was right there with us, getting up photos and preparing so she could be at her best for Tuesday, Day 2, on the floor and her on-camera appearances. She even offered to write the Day 1 article recap while Sam and I were video and photo editing all the media we had taken on Day 1. For detroitsports360.com‘s owners and staff, Day 1 ended at 4 a.m. when we couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer. Day 2 (Final Day of Media) started just 3 hours later for us and from the Sunday night start… we racked up about a grand total of 7 hours of total sleep!
Day 2 may have started off a little slow but once we entered Cobo Hall’s doors and saw everyone else already there working like they didn’t care about sleep either, it woke us right up. The Sports 360 Girl of the Year (Natalie Light) also met us there for Day 2 festivities, which now gave us a team of 4 to attack with… and attack we did! We knew we couldn’t compete with (nor wanted to) with everyone else on car coverage, especially as a sports site. However, we did go out and get the girls in everything and as much as we could! Natalie and Chelsea were doing o- air work with Sam Tang (normally the industries’ best in photography) handling all the Video work and directing for the day! If it’s possible to walk 100 miles in a day inside Cobo, it felt like we did just that by only 2 p.m.! It’s not like any of us stopped to talk about the whole “inspiration” of the media but it was more than noticeable in all of us.
Where Inspiration comes from…
At the end of Day 2 we were all exhausted and running on fumes at best. Sam asked Chelsea if she wanted to get up on the New Acura NSX Concept Cars podium if he could get her on there. Knowing the lack of sleep we all had and that it was her first ever experience with any media day of any kind (much less the grand stage of the North American International Auto Show), the question made me look up and expect her to say no mas! Chelsea wasted no time in answering “Yes!” and after a little magic talk between Sam and the floor guy, a girl from Clare, MI., (2 hours away from the city) was about to be on display at the Detroit Auto Show! There may have only been 2 people around the car at the time, since the other displays around had most of the traffic, but it was still cool to get her up there for a couple of pics on the podium that normally didn’t have anyone on it. Chelsea got up on the podium and Sam only got about 3 pictures snapped of Chelsea before she started turning the heads…of everyone… and before I could even get my camera phone out, I was being shoved aside by all the photographers who wanted to get a shot of her! It was only about 20 seconds total (and only my first media day experience) but I didn’t see anyone else scramble to take shots of the professionals or make them rush for a photo during those 2 days like Chelsea did!
When she got off the stage she said to me “Did you see that? What the heck? Why did they do that?” with a huge smile on her face! I of course did see and Sam and I may have had bigger smiles on our faces than Chelsea did.
I guess the point is, you never know where inspiration will come from or when it will come. But we do know that onTuesday, January 15th, around 4 p.m. at Cobo… it came from Clare MI.
It was only 2 weeks ago that we relaunched the site after regrouping and getting our team in place to rebuild our network. Sam is already proving his worth in taking over the Girl section and Contest! We may not be the biggest team today and have a long road back but with our Girl of the Year, Natalie Light, 360 Girls like Chelsea, and the rest of the girls that were unable to get into the show this year, we’re starting off on a great note!I will be concentrating on the sports side next!We have big plans in place for 2013 and hope to earn back our early success with a great team of people!
For all Day 2 photos and videos, click this link (when active) and check out all the media we were able to cover with Natalie and Chelsea!