There is no better way to get your town on the global map – in a positive light – than by hosting world-class events.
Yes, they are a lot of work and you need hundreds, if not thousands, of dedicated volunteers working behind the scenes to make it happen. When you succeed, however, the goodwill and interest you garner is worth more than the most expensive marketing scheme.
Chatham-Kent just hosted two world-class events practically back to back and the exposure for this part of southwestern Ontario couldn’t be better.
The International Plowing Match, despite sweltering temperatures and rain days, brought in thousands of visitors to our municipality, and both city and country folk welcomed them with open arms.
Then the Elite 10 Grand Slam of Curling came to St. Clair College Thames Campus, bringing world-class curlers and in-depth television coverage of the event and our community, highlighting all it has to offer.
Devin Heroux, CBC Sports reporter at the Elite 10 Grand Slam of Curling, was an amazing booster of all things Chatham-Kent during the event, tweeting pictures of sunsets, the Thames River, and businesses like Sam’s Percolator where he got his coffee. He was even tweeting from all the happenings in downtown Chatham on Saturday, including Firefest and the Etsy Made in Canada market.
“I should really be at the curling rink by now but everything is happening downtown Chatham right now. Fire truck and ambulance antique show. Market. Community. This is wonderful,” he tweeted.
Exposure like that can’t be bought or bartered, and what a great way to show off how vibrant and how invested our community is in offering not just local but world-class events to Ontario, Canada and the world.
No, Chatham-Kent isn’t all sweetness and light. We have our problems like any community. But we also have many things that make us special, make us unique and make us a fantastic community to settle in, whether it be to raise a family, or to retire to and enjoy the lakes, unique shops and artists, fishing, theatre and restaurants.