In-person business events are starting to ramp up, but many delegates have become increasingly selective about which ones they choose to attend. More than ever, they want events to add immense value and deliver a high return on investment. Fortunately, there is a powerful way that organisers can make their event stand out from the pack: by leveraging a destination’s local knowledge capital.
As Virginie De Visscher, senior director of business development, economic sectors for Destination Canada Business Events, explains, organisations that do this well will be in the best position to succeed in attracting delegates.
“After well over a year of stay-at-home orders and restrictions, we’re seeing a significant demand for innovation and discovery,” she says. “Today’s conference-goers are no longer satisfied with travelling to just any convention centre or hotel. They want their minds to be engaged with local intellectual capital and site visits.”
There are several steps that organisers can take to create meaningful business events. To start with, when brainstorming potential host destinations, be sure to look beyond features like infrastructure or access. These can certainly add to the appeal of an event — but to be truly unforgettable, events should be strategically held in a location that excels in its area of focus. Organisers can then tap into this vast depth of knowledge to create immersive learning and networking opportunities for delegates, through experiences like off-site visits or by enhancing speaker schedules with local experts.
For instance, a biotech or pharmaceutical event would be well-suited to a city like Montréal, which provides plenty of opportunities to explore its innovative ecosystem through visits to research institutes and labs. When it comes to technology conferences, Vancouver is a natural draw, thanks to its expertise in digital media and interactive entertainment. Toronto, which is the second largest financial centre in North America, easily attracts FinTech events. As a leader in global energy transition, Calgary makes the perfect host destination for companies in the natural resources sector.
Once a location is selected, planners can work together with representatives at the host destination, such as the convention and visitors bureau, to find creative ways to integrate this knowledge capital into event programming. Be sure that these unique benefits are communicated to potential attendees, as this is what will draw them in and deliver the value they are currently searching for.
As delegates are selective about the events they attend, harnessing local expertise and creating enriching experiences will enable organisers to boost attendance, increase revenues and drive progress. Thankfully, Canada has a wealth of expertise in leveraging its local innovation clusters to create remarkable business events that will leave a lasting impression with attendees.
“The beauty of Canada is that we are not only home to visionary leaders across a spectrum of economic sectors who are pushing the limits of what’s possible,” explains De Visscher. “There is an abundance of extraordinary venues to safely host events in, thanks to the country’s wide-open spaces and vibrant urban centres — not to mention legendary experiences that you won’t find anywhere else. The possibilities are endless when you choose to meet in Canada.”
Canada offers a national network of thought leaders, influencers and industry champions that span industries and ecosystems. Connecting with key influencers to enhance conference programming, augment your speaker schedule, develop customised technical tours and lab visits is as easy as connecting directly with the Destination Canada Business Events team.
Featured Image: Destination Canada