ACE Agency Tours are off to a strong start


Students are getting behind-the-scenes tours some of Edmonton’s agencies from February 25–March 9 with the 2019 Advertising Club of Edmonton (ACE) Agency Tours. The kickoff tours on February 25 started at Top Draw and Bluetrain, with more tours scheduled at agencies such as Berlin Communications and ZGM, among others.

ACE is the organizer for the tours in and around Edmonton to “make a real difference” which is listed as one of their core values. Students are encouraged to take advantage for both networking and job opportunities like U of A student, Gaurav Batra, who plans to go to every tour to get a wide range of experiences.

At 3:00PM on February 25, students—including Batra—climbed the stairs to Bluetrain’s second floor office where they were warmly greeted by Bryan Smith, the founder and president of Bluetrain. I was offered snacks in the kitchen area and took a look around the small—but mighty—office of 10 in-house employees.


Bryan Picture
Bryan Smith. Photographed by Emily Vilcsak.

Smith took the students on a tour of Bluetrain by making  as a presentation discussing the core values, operations and typical work days of the employees at Bluetrain. Smith was the 2015 Sherwood Park Young Entrepreneurial Award winner who has overseen “10 years of annual growth for Bluetrain” as stated on the website.  A focus of Smith’s presentation was the importance of entrepreneurial vision in students in the city.

His remote work policy that he implemented allows the employees to work remotely for up to three days without managerial approval. Smith said, “It doesn’t matter if you’re working from home, at your cabin, or in Colombia or Brazil.” His view of remote work promotes the company’s value of balance between work and play.

Jodie Worobec, the Director of Projects and Accounts at Bluetrain, joined Smith during the presentation to speak to the students about the importance of organization and communication skills in the industry. She described her role as being the translator between the client and the digital marketing team.


Julia Boyko, an attendee of the Bluetrain tour and NAIT marketing student, had attended the agency tour at Top Draw earlier in the day and hopes to visit more agencies during the variety of upcoming tours. She had heard about the ACE Agency Tours through one of her instructors and said, “I wanted to know what services each agency offers to it’s clients.” For Boyko, Bluetrain was up her alley with its focus on digital marketing.

Bluetrain offers clients a variety of services that are all data-driven. Its services include digital marketing strategy, online advertising, SEO, web analytics, content marketing, and social media. Smith and his team have worked with prominent local and international brands such as Epcor, Shaw, Fountain Tire, and ATB Financial, among many others. Smith said, “We don’t have trouble getting clients, but we don’t want to hurt the quality of our work by growing too fast.” Bluetrain works mostly with ongoing clients and maintains its slogan to do great things, with great people.

Batra is studying social media marketing through Continuing Education at U of A and agreed with Smith’s ideas in the presentation and Batra said, “A social media presence is a requirement these days.” Smith then discussed the work Bluetrain does with its clients in regards to social media. What sets Bluetrain apart is its strong focused on data-driven marketing to get clients the results they are looking for.

Bluetrain Tour Photo
Founder Bryan Smith and students Julia Boyko and Gaurav Batra. Photographed by Emily Vilcsak.


Students can visit several other agencies with the ACE Agency Tours until March 9 and register for the tours for only $2 at the Eventbrite page. ACE offers other incredible events throughout Edmonton year-round that are perfect for Young Entrepreneurs in Edmonton. The Agency Tours allow students to network with potential future employers and other students that are seeking work in the industry. Some of the agencies that are offering tours also have job postings online, many of which you can find on the ACE website. Bluetrain is now taking applications for a Digital Marketing Specialist.

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