Tips to Successfully Manage an Event’s Media Center

Although it’s been over a month since the country’s largest celebration of adventure sports, music, and the mountain lifestyle, I’m still reeling from the energy that radiated through Vail, Colo. during its annual GoPro Mountain Games (June 9-12). Each day I entered Vail Village a sense of  excitement coursed through me, and not just for the action-packed sports and free swag, but also because this was my first event representing MYPR and first time working an event’s media center.

Running the media center mainly involved checking in media guests, providing credentials and answering questions. Luckily I was surrounded by seasoned pros who had experience with media centers before and could offer me guidance.

axelHere are three tips I learned during the GoPro Mountain Games on manning a successful media center:

Do your homework. A media center is usually the first place journalists visit when arriving at an event. Be sure you provide a friendly, knowledgeable demeanor and are ready to answer a myriad of questions. To determine which content to study, I asked myself what the journalists’ goals are for the event. Because it’s their job to write a compelling, detailed story, I made sure I knew when all the events occurred and where, top athletes to watch, the best mountain photography spots and more. Remember that your job is to help journalists acquire top coverage of the event.

Over-prepare materials. Think you have enough resources for the media you’re expecting? Think again. Although we didn’t check in all the media on our list, we still ran out of media passes the second day. And because of its central location, non-media spectators and athletes approached our booth seeking maps and brochures, which left us dry on resources. Be sure to print out extra materials or make them easily accessible.

Technology is crucial. Most of a journalist’s job requires a smartphone, laptop and wifi connection. Make sure you know all of the wifi networks and passwords at the event. The Vail Valley Foundation took it up a notch and provided media with portable phone chargers to ensure they wouldn’t miss a social media update. They also gave out branded USB sticks with news releases, photos and other materials to help journalists write their stories. With electronic delivery, writers have easy access to all of your media materials and it’s environmentally friendly – a win-win!

I’m already getting pumped for next year’s games, which I can now attend feeling like a pro. To re-live the action of the 2015 Summer GoPro Mountain Games, head over to and be sure to mark your calendars for next year’s event!

What are your experiences with running a media center at a live event? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!