CTC News

BEC update: Canada meetings opportunities shine in US and Europe.

Business Events Canada goes from strength to strength at AIBTM, welcomes new Director of Sales to the team.

03 July 2013

The event season is in full swing for the meetings, conventions and incentive travel industry. The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s Business Events Canada (BEC) team is spreading its wings across North America and Europe to showcase the many assets Canada has to offer for meeting planners and incentive travel buyers.

  • Flying the flag: Canada turned up the maple-leaf wattage at AIBTM June 12-13 in Chicago, IL. BEC and 20 meetings-industry partners introduced the new BEC-themed Canada pavilion, as well as tastes of Canadian food and wine, to international hosted buyers at McCormick Place. The many visitors to the pavilion kept the Canada team busy, fulfilling four group appointments with 12 people each time and 264 one-to-one hosted buyer appointments. Debbie Feniak, Canada Border Services Agency national coordinator, International Events & Conventions Services program, attended for the first time as part of the Canada team to give four group presentations to explain how simple it is to host a meeting in Canada. AIBTM is a global show for the US meetings, business travel and events industryand is the sister event to EIBTM, held each year in Barcelona, Spain. The Canada team was led by BEC’s Heather Phelps, director, International MC&IT Partnerships, Melanie Kuranda, director, Conventions Sales Development and Steve Felahis, director, Southeast MC&IT Sales Development.
  • Welcome to the team: Business Events Canada has a new Director of Sales: Cassandra Zerebeski. Cassandra spent her formative career years building business for Whistler Blackcomb before moving to take charge of the sales team for Tourism Whistler and the Whistler Conference Centre. Cassandra will be overseeing CTC’s US BEC team as it seeks to boost American interest in Canada as the place to go for business events.
  • Movers and shakers: BEC was at the forefront of the ASAE Executive Leadership Forum in Québec City, QC, June 13-14. The annual forum is de rigeur for top association CEOs and senior execs as a great way to swap ideas and tips on leadership with authors, business leaders and thinkers. The forum is held in a different Canadian city each year and over 130 attendees made a bee-line for the Loews Hôtel Le Concorde for two days of brainstorming. Michele Saran, executive director, Business Events Canada, and Danielle Foisy, director, Northeast BEC Sales Development, were CTC’s big brains in Quebec.
  • Speakers’ corner: Sandi Galloway, CTC director, Southwest BEC Sales Development, was one of the podium orators at the MPI Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter Education Day April 25. Galloway’s topic was “Travel Security: 30,000 feet and beyond,” which examined how to keep safe even before you pack your bags, things your flight attendant knows that you don’t and how to stay at your destination. More than 150 attendees took part in a full day of education and networking.
  • Brit of all right: Business Events Canada and CTC-UK teamed up for the first time alongside Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide and Tourism Toronto to bring Canada to the fore April 17 at the annual Starwood Showcase in London. More than 300 local and global buyers from across the meetings, conventions and incentive travel industry flocked to the W Hotel for serious networking and deal-making. One lucky attendee walked away with a seven-night trip to Toronto, ON, as part of the Canada promotion.



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