More Expo Memories

More Expo Memories From The Voice Of Expo 74 - Tom Read

At another Expo meeting, probably another lunch off site, John Musgrave brought up the subject of press passes for the "working press" for the opening day.  We were producing the Opening Day Radio and Television coverage but we were inviting the press to come to Opening Day and beyond.  John's idea was that we should issue a one day press pass to the working press for any day they wanted to come on site.  I told John that I thought we should offer press passes good for the entire Fair to any member of the media, especially the local media, including their family.  John asked me why we would do that.  I responded that it did not cost us anything to let the media on the site and we wanted the media to spend their time off at the Fair.  We would get better coverage of our news releases and press conference and free promotion for our entertainment if we had these people spending time on the site.

As I recall, Jim Key chimed in and agreed.  So John went along with my idea and I rather generously handed out season passes to anyone that worked at a station or for a newspaper.  I included wives and kids and don't remember turning anyone down even if they were not on air people.  I certainly wanted to encourage media management people to spend as much time as possible at the Fair.

At the same or maybe another meeting I brought up the question of parking for the media.  John indicated that we could give the media parking passes for the general parking areas.  My immediate reaction was that would not do.  I had noticed that the area just to the left of the entrance of the Y Building that we were using as the Expo Office Building, were cars parked vertically.  I mentioned that would be the best parking area for the press as it was the closest lot to the entrance to the Fair.

Oh, that is the parking area for the Expo Directors, I was told.  Well, the Directors don't have to carry heavy equipment onto the Fair grounds.   They can park anywhere.  Can you imagine the attitude of the electronic press if they have to lug heavy remote equipment a long distance in order to get on the Fair grounds in order to film or record a story?

I wanted the press to be in a happy mood when they entered the Fair grounds.   Otherwise, it could color their coverage of what we were doing that day at Expo.  Finally, John realized that I had a good point and I don't know where they told the Directors to park but the working media got the close in parking area.