Road-mapping the next normal for conference success

In the age of reinvention, associations can leverage knowledge hubs to enrich their conference agenda, grow audiences, and improve delegate engagement. 
business meeting in Canada overlooking mountains

After a year full of webinars, conference calls, and online meetings, we recognize now — perhaps more than ever before — the important role business events play in facilitating and supporting the exchange of ideas, building networks, and fuelling innovation. Thanks to an endless stream of events experienced from home we know that while it is possible to share knowledge across platforms and screens when it comes to authentically engage with audiences, there is no substitute for the creativity and energy that ignites when groups of like-minded people come together in the same place. 

We know international business events are magnets for content-hungry individuals and for those with investment resources. Our role within Destination Canada Business Events is to spotlight our country's innovation sectors to connect event organizers with Canadian innovators to create the sort of events global audiences will travel to experience.

  • So how do you tap into those sectors?
  • How do you connect delegates with local thought leaders?
  • How do you engage your audience with the latest research, new products, or ideas?

Here are some ideas.

Toronto - a hub of life science innovation

Destination TorontoToronto may be Canada's largest city, but with 53 of the world's top 100 life sciences companies, some 37 research institutes, and 16 of the top 25 global medical device companies, it is also where groundbreaking advancement in Medtech, imaging, and robotics is fueling the future of health care. 

“When organizations in the Medtech space choose to meet in Canada, there is a whole innovation network they can tap into,” says Virginie De Visscher, senior director of business development, economic sectors for Destination Canada Business Events (DCBE). 

On living lab tours in Toronto, delegates can tap into the University Health Network to explore advanced imaging instruments and experimental capabilities at state-of-the-art imaging research institutes. They can also connect with engineers who are solving surgical, imaging, and data challenges to improve the quality of human lives. Toronto's MaRS Discovery District houses the largest concentration of research institutes and business incubators in Canada. Here, visiting delegations can connect with startups and businesses ready to scale up and expand.

“Canada has an entire network of sector ambassadors who we are happy to connect with conference organizers to customize technical tours specific to their conference or event, or to present their ideas and innovations at knowledge exchanges, speakers sessions, and more,” says De Visscher.


Ottawa - the future of connected tech

We know the value of tactile learning: touching, hearing, and otherwise interacting with innovation ecosystems and technologies to create engaging learning environments. When tech-focused events take place in Ottawa they can tap into local expertise, including Area X.O. — a futureplex of innovation and collaboration. 

The host city for the annual CAV Canada conference, Ottawa is a centre of excellence for connected autonomous vehicle technology and offers a powerful cluster of advanced networking, software, and Internet of Things expertise.  The CAV Canada event showcases the safe development, commercialization, and deployment of CAVs, and attracts innovators, companies, post-secondary institutions, and other organizations with emerging connected car and A/V tech knowhow. Delegates who have attended past events have had the opportunity to experience innovative CAV technology at the L5 Test Track, now the home of Area X.O.

“Area X.O. builds on Ottawa's L5 Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Test Facility to fuel breakthrough innovations in mobility, autonomy and connectivity,” says De Visscher, noting that engineers in Canada's capital city are innovating applications that span telecom, smart agriculture, defense, security and public safety, unmanned aerial vehicles, and smart cities at Area X.O.


Montréal where culture and innovation collide

Business events, whether they are trade shows, conventions, or symposia, provide a unique opportunity for delegates and exhibitors to launch new technologies, connect with their target audience for real-time feedback on new products and services, and for delegates to safely sample a new culture through the organized social event program. Organizers of C2, an annual event bringing together commerce and creativity in Montréal, capitalize on the city's innovation ecosystem to spotlight creative thinkers and those who are steering advancements in artificial intelligence, AR/VR, VFX, data mining, and more. 

conference reception event“Montréal is always a top draw for international events,” says De Visscher who notes this cultural capital has not only earned its reputation as a cosmopolitan and chic host city but as a hub for creatives seeking to innovate a variety of tech industries. 

“We are happy to help planners explore the city's tech ecosystem - whether that's connecting with Montreal's digital animation, VFX, or AV/VR communities on technical tours, or networking with some of the brightest minds in machine learning, quantum computing, and big data analytics.” 

Having the opportunity to experience these new technologies first hand, meet the researchers, connect with the industry leaders one-on-one is challenging to replicate in a virtual setting, although, this year, we are all trying our very best to do so. Canada's proven track record of delivering innovative, informative events, and experiences that not only connect audiences also helps stimulate economic activity for your organization through sponsorship opportunities, registration fees, and more. As we eventually emerge from the global pandemic and return to in-person events, we sincerely hope you will consider engaging your audiences in a Canadian innovation hub and that you'll take advantage of our intellectual capital to create immersive, engaging events your audiences will travel to experience. 


Allow us to introduce you

Destination Canada Business Events TeamCanada 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 customized technical tours, and living lab visits is as easy as connecting directly with Destination Canada Business Events

To learn more about Canada's innovation ecosystems, visit: 



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The keyword that comes up again and again at CESSE is trust. Our community members meet through our hallmark events and continue the conversations well beyond. Whether you are looking for a sounding board to help you work through a challenge, tips and advice on industry practices, or referrals to other people who have a solution you can use, CESSE is here to be, or become, your professional network of choice.

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