CTC News

BEC update: Canadian industry is major player at international meetings table.

Canada shows a strong hand at meetings, incentive travel and conventions events in Las Vegas, China and Europe.

22 October 2014

Increasing numbers of international businesses are discovering that Canada is a top-notch destination for meetings and incentive travel. That education comes from the hard work put in by the Business Events Canada (BEC) team at the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) and its industry partners at major events and marketplaces.

  • High rollers: It was time to play the odds for BEC and 16 leading Canadian partners at IMEX America Oct 14-16. More than 4,300 global events buyers attended the exhibition of incentive travel, meetings and events in Las Vegas, NV. Over 900 hosted buyers made appointments at the Canadian Pavilion over the three days, while 13 hosted group presentations helped spread the word about Canada. Several lucky attendees also claimed grand prize trips to Canada.
  • China cups: Beijing was the host and Canada a welcome participant for the second year in succession at CIBTM Sept. 17-19, attended by more than 4,000 industry buyers from across Asia. Eight industry partners joined the BEC team, meeting 150-plus hosted buyers. There was also a special presentation on Canada in the main media room highlighting why this country is a premier meeting and incentive destination.
  • Laying down the law: BEC and partners delivered two networking events with a legal twist in Europe. The theme was “courtroom drama”, with Canada “on trial” for the unfair advantages it holds in the events/meetings global marketplace. Rick Naylor acted as “judge”, with comedian Nigel Sloan acting as “prosecutor.” The Canadian Embassy in Berlin hosted the first event Sept. 23, with the second event held at the Guildhall, a historic London venue for powerhouse business deals, on Sept. 25. Meeting planners from across Europe flocked to the events, with 125 attendees in Germany and London. They were joined by clients from the life-sciences industry, one of the federal government’s seven priority trade sectors. BEC’s Canadian partners at the two events were Tourism Toronto, Tourism Vancouver, Travel Alberta, Tourisme Montréal, Canadian Tours International, the Rosewood Hotel Georgia and the Westin Bayshore Hotel Vancouver.
  • Hand in glove: BEC led a client event in Seattle at a Mariners vs Toronto Blue Jays baseball game. More than 75 leading US meetings and convention planners, including Starbucks, Amazon and Microsoft, joined 32 industry reps from across Canada on Aug. 13 for an evening of developing leads and building relationships. Edith St-Hilaire, Acting Canadian Consul-General in Seattle, also joined the event. The only sad note was that the Blue Jays lost 2-0.
  • Cheers! Canada’s Beer Garden was a major draw at the ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo Aug. 9-12. BEC and partners manned the booth (not the beer pumps) for the networking and education event in Nashville, TN, attended by 5,000-plus association industry pros. Visitors to the booth or Beer Garden got their event passports stamped for a chance to open the Molson Canadian Beer Fridge and for a chance to win a prize trip for two to Canada. Creative attendees who took selfies with the fridge and tweeted the image using one of the #asae14 or #CanadaCooler hashtags were also in line for more prizes. John Segota, TESOL International Association associate executive director, Public Policy & Professional Relations, won a grand prize trip to Vancouver, BC.

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