Special event in London brings Canadian Signature Experiences Collection members together with UK industry experts and media.
Canada pulled out all the stops to put on a big surprise in London, UK, last month. The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) organized a “Canada Shared, Canada Squared” event at Canada House to introduce more than 30 Canadian Signature Experiences Collection (CSE) members to the UK market as well as enabling British tour operators, travel agents and media to get the skinny on these members’ latest products and news.
The event had a royal seal of approval. His Royal Highness The Duke of York attended in the evening, chatting with SEC members, introducing Canadian High Commissioner Gordon Campbell and then sharing his own Canadian experiences with the audience.
A jam-packed day kicked off with a “UK Shared” session. Here, UK market experts shared their expertise in small round-table discussions with SEC reps. Topics covered included how to do business with specialist niche tour operators, the role and importance of the retail travel agent, the role and efforts of the CTC and the use of social media in tourism promotion.
The pace continued in the afternoon. The “Canada Shared” session enabled Canadian industry attendees to have a series of eight-minute, speed-networking, one-to-one appointments with UK media, tour operators and Canada Specialist Program agents.
After a chance to recharge during private tours in the nearby National Gallery, the event reached its peak with a “Canada Squared” networking evening, themed around “If you go down in the woods today….” Guests arriving at Canada House were met by an ice carver creating the head of a grizzly bear, before going into a winter gallery of Canada, followed by the other three seasons.
Staying with the arboreal theme, the 200-plus guests left graffiti on a digital wall and had fun photos taken in booths with a woodland backdrop that they could share instantly via social networks. Attendees, who included local travel-trade media, tour operators and CSP agents as well as the strong SEC contingent, munched their way through mini Montréal smoked-meat sandwiches and other Canadian culinary treats.
Canada Squared sponsors were Tourism British Columbia, Tourism Yukon, Travel Alberta, Travel Manitoba, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation, Atlantic Canada Tourism Partnership and Tourisme Québec.
“Canada Shared, Canada Squared was a massive win-win event for all attendees,” says Rupert Peters, CTC regional managing director, Core Markets. “British travel agents, tour operators and UK media walked away with a far greater understanding and appreciation of the depth and breadth of Canadian travel experiences, while SEC members got a crash course in how the UK market operates and how best to do business there.”