CTC capitalizes on long-running strategic partnership to inspire Europeans to host future association meetings in Canada.
Billed as a “Meeting of the Minds,” ASAE (The Center for Association Leadership) undertook an international study mission to Belgium and Germany May 12-20. The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) sponsored the program as part of its biggest and longest-running strategic partnership in the meetings, conventions and incentive travel (MC&IT) sector.
For the first time, 20 senior-level US association reps crossed the Atlantic to meet counterparts in Brussels and Berlin. It was a heavyweight trip, with government figures and policy-makers on the agenda as well as corporate execs and educators. The reps’ mission (gladly accepted) was to learn what makes these major areas of Europe tick culturally, economically and socially.
The Canadian theme for the mission was “More than you’re looking for.” CTC’s delegation was led by Michele Saran, executive director MC&IT, Susan Frei, director, International Meetings & Incentives and Heather Phelps, director, International MC&IT Partnerships as well as Sarah Kemsat from Axis Travel Marketing, UK.
CTC’s role as sponsor was to share best practices and inspire Europeans to leave their comfort zone and have their association meetings in Canada. But it wasn’t just all flexing the brain muscles: a big event at the Canadian Embassy in Berlin on May 17 showed off Canada’s culinary excellence, too, one of CTC’s Unique Selling Propositions for this country. Held in the magnificent Timber Hall, the buffet had treats including wild salmon from Alberta, maple syrup mousse from Toronto, ON, and wines from British Columbia. Tom Marr, Senior Trade Commissioner at the Embassy, gave the official welcome.
“We all learnt a lot from this trip to Europe by networking with so many trade and professional association thought leaders,” says Michele Saran. “But we were equally able to influence Europeans towards holding association events in our country, too.”