While the Canadian borders remain closed for non-essential travel, once they open up, international organizations and delegates will want to experience safe, meaningful meetings, and Destination Canada can help.
Prevue had the opportunity to connect with Chantal Sturk-Nadeau, Executive Director, Business Events, at Destination Canada for her insight into what the organization offers and what the future holds. Destination Canada’s Business Events team is the first point of contact for planners seeking inspiration, impartial insights, introductions and RFP assistance for global events – when the time comes to meet again.
Why should planners turn to your organization for help?
Many people choose to host their events in Canada because of our stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, friendly people, and excellent meeting facilities. However, many organizers are surprised to learn about our cutting-edge innovation, knowledge capital and leadership in our priority economic sectors including Technology, Life Sciences, Advanced Manufacturing, Natural Resources and Agribusiness. Add to this legendary incentive experiences, Canada really does offer something unique for all types of Business Events. By reaching out to the Destination Canada Business Events team, conference organizers have a ‘one stop shop’ to help source the location of their meeting or incentive program in Canada. More importantly, though, we can help planners connect purpose with place by helping them understand which Canadian knowledge hubs are best suited to support the purpose of their event. More and more organizations are tapping into innovation ecosystems to enhance their programming – whether that is through technical tours, lab visits, networking events or keynote speakers programs – when they connect with the local ecosystem they can develop content programming their delegates will travel to experience. For incentive planners we can help narrow down the vast number of choices they have when they consider Canada by offering insights into destinations/resorts/experiences, or simply providing inspiration to get their creative juices flowing. Of course we can also help with their planning by introducing them to our Team Canada partners who can help to fulfil their program objectives. We can help make all this happen for them, efficiently.
What services can you offer to them?
We can help organizers understand which destinations are the best fit for their event, matching organizer’s needs with the ideal location in Canada. We know that Canada is one big country, and we know best that no two destinations are alike, so we take the time to inspire event organizers with the possibilities that Canada can offer, in which destinations, and with which experiences. Whether it is connecting with Canadian thought leaders and innovation sectors in our large urban centers, helping develop legacy-leaving experiences for conferences, or helping event organizers choose the right destination and experiences that will leave a lasting impression with their top producers, we are here to help.
We can help facilitate their request for proposals and identify industry ambassadors who can champion their events at the local level. We also offer support in terms of site inspections or planning trips by providing airfare for decision-makers to the destinations under consideration. We can also connect planners with key stakeholders such as DMO partners, hoteliers, DMCs, or others. When we are able to safely meet in person, we also offer two signature customer events each year: one focused on the incentive industry (Incentive Canada) and one focused on association and corporate meetings (Innovate Canada). Each event rotates around Canada year over year, focusing on a new incentive destination or a specific industry sector. Hosted buyers enjoy marketplace appointments with Team Canada partners and various experiences, technical tours, and events for four days/three nights.
Can you help them plan a cost-effective gathering?
Of course! We don’t do this alone though – this is where our network of Canadian partners come into play. When organizers connect with us first we can facilitate introductions to those partners who can best assist with planning and budgeting requests.
What protocols does Canada have in place to protect the health and safety of visitors?
Safety is always top of mind when planning to meet in Canada. At present, the Canadian border currently remains closed to all non-essential travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Destination Canada is committed to providing the latest information for travelers in Canada, taking direction from the Government of Canada and specifically the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). For the latest official Government of Canada updates, please visit www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html.
Each jurisdiction within Canada has their own unique guidelines when it comes to health and safety and you can view current guidelines at www.businesseventscanada.ca/domestic-meetings.
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