The Oslo Blog Gathering in Norway in August was presented as a Social Media adventure at the VisitOSLO Conference this year. That gave me the chance to talk about the idea of the gathering for a wide range of representatives from the tourism industry in Norway. Even more; I got the chance for a little chat with the Mayor of Oslo, Fabian Stang, who has invited all OsloBG participants for a reception in the Town Hall. The Mayor said it was kind of an unconventional reason to invite for a reception, but because of it’s uniqueness he is sure looking forward to greeting bloggers from all over the world:
OsloBG 2010 at the VisitOSLO Conference #1

The idea of the conference was for VisitOSLO (the city’s tourist marketing and service institution) to present some highlights from Oslo’s happenings this year and how they will contribute for the best of the city’s travel trade and commerce. Let me give you some ideas:

The Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo 2010:
This has become the worlds biggest live TV Show and responsible for the broadcast is NRK, Norway’s major broadcasting institution and largest media house. Their General Manager, Hans-Tore Bjerkaas, was there to present their way of making this a magic moment for the viewers under the theme; “Share the Moment”:
OsloBG 2010 at the VisitOSLO Conference #7
Bjerkaas emphasized that they want to share the Eurovision Song Contest, rather than just broadcast it. One particular thing that makes this such a unique event is the fact that it’s the only time of the year in Europe that some 125 million people are doing exactly the same thing, at exactly the same time – whether in Iceland or in Armenia, in Portugal or in Finland – or here in Oslo.

VisitOSLO’s contribution:
Their dedicated project manager, Frode Vollan, presented how they would take care of the almost 4000 accredited delegates and singers from about 30 countries and provide them with information about Oslo and Norway:
OsloBG 2010 at the VisitOSLO Conference #8

The Oslo Pass to the accredited delicates:
The delegates which would be in Oslo for about two weeks during the contest will be given the Oslo Pass as a gift from VisitOslo: The easiest and most inexpensive way to experience Oslo as it provides free travel on all public transportation as well as free admission to museums and sights. As a symbolic gesture, a super-size version was presented to the Mayor of Oslo as the host of the Eurovision Song Contest (click pics to bigify and enjoy!):
OsloBG 2010 at the VisitOSLO Conference #2 OsloBG 2010 at the VisitOSLO Conference #3
Mind you folks: The Program fee for the Oslo Blog Gathering includes this Oslo Pass!

The Oslo Blog Gathering:
In the end of the conference, I had the privilege of presenting the gathering for which I am the host:
OsloBG 2010 at the VisitOSLO Conference #4 OsloBG 2010 at the VisitOSLO Conference #5
RennyBA presenting OsloBG2010 at VisitOslo Conference.

I was invited to tell how Social Media has become a new an important marketing channel for tourism and of course it gave me a great chance to inform a wide range of representatives in the tourism industry that lots of crazy bloggers will be here this summer. It was also a great opportunity for me to show my thanks to VisitOSLO and all their staff how much I appreciate their support to make this gathering a once in a life time experience for the participants from all over the world. You should visit their website to get the best out of a stay in Oslo and I advice you to become a fan of their Facebook group. Another good idea is to follow the Manager of their Tourist Information Centres, Katrine Mosfjeld at Twitter.

OsloBG2010 at RennyBAPresenting the Oslo Blog Gathering for this group was a lot of fun, and created a lot of interest. Some of the representatives have really caught on to the idea of social media, while others are shockingly behind the times. It was exciting to show them how blogging is connecting people, and social media is a whole new way of getting information before people travel. It is important for the travel industry to understand the power of blogging and social media, and of course to give us a good experience worth writing about. Personal experience can’t be bought, but good friendly service and a positive environment will be remembered by most of us for many years to come. The slides from my presentation is to be seen here.

Time is running out to join the blog gathering, so for those who have not booked yet; go and read the Official Program site and get the program fee!

This post is part of Reiseblogg2010 – A Norwegian Travel Blog Competition.

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