4 Conventions Choose to #MeetInToronto

4 Conventions Choose to #MeetInToronto

It’s been a busy summer for the Business Events Toronto team. Four new U.S.-based city-wide conventions have been secured for Toronto.

In total, the four city-wide conferences will bring 16,100 attendees to Toronto with an estimated economic impact of $46 million.

MPI WEC19 ARRIVES IN CANADA’S DOWNTOWN

MPI WEC19 ARRIVES IN CANADA’S DOWNTOWN

What a time to be in Toronto! Following the Toronto Raptors historic run to their first ever NBA Championship, the city now turns its attention to hosting Meeting Planners International (MPI) World Education Congress (WEC), June 15 – 18, 2019. The premier event in the meetings industry brings more than 2,500 meeting professionals to the city, providing the opportunity to showcase the best the city has to offer as a live audition for future meetings and events from around the world. Hosting WEC19 in Toronto just adds to the buzz & spotlight surrounding Toronto on the world stage right now.

The MPI events team did a radical redesign of WEC experience in 2018 in collaboration with Denmark-based Event Design Collective, and tweaked sections of that design for 2019 with an overarching theme of “Stop Planning Meetings, Start Planning Shared Experiences.”

Numbers tracked higher than usual for the Toronto 2019 WEC gathering and Melinda Burdette, CMP, CMM, HMCC and director events for MPI, says the combination of the destination and the fear of missing out certainly helped with the draw for planners to attend.

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“We really threw everything against the wall last year and tore it apart and this year is another shared experience,” Burdette explains. “We’re continuing with short, focused general sessions that are very high energy, with entertainment values mixed in with education. We really feel that it’s important to bookend each day, to gather everyone together so that planners will share all that they have learned that day with each other.”

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According to Burdette the 2018 experience “was so different from any other conference they had ever been to. We’ve mixed it up so that planners can craft whatever experience they want.” Burdette understands who the audience is and the pressure to produce a meeting for meeting planners is understandably daunting. But at the end of the day, Burdette says, “planners have to make the conference work for them; you have to be there for your own professional development.”

Attendees of the Opening Night Celebration will “Celebrate Canada” on Toronto’s iconic Echo Beach at Ontario Place with big stages, big sounds and big fun all around. Featuring lakeside views and interactive experiences, including an assortment of tastes from across the country, delight in the cheerful summer vibes of the great Canadian outdoors. It’s Canada’s festival, representing the country’s robust diversity through vibrant performances, lively culinary activations and colorful activities. Don’t miss the celebration. Casual summer attire is recommended. This event is hosted by Business Events Toronto and Business Events Canada’s destination partners. 

Home to the country’s big-ticket events, globally inspired cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and colorful entertainment. Attendees will experience all of this set against the dazzling backdrop of Toronto’s skyline during the Closing Night Celebration: Let Yourself In at Rebel & Cabana Pool Bar. The evening will feature interactive dance performances, experiential installations, Toronto-centric entertainment and a flavorful journey across the city’s multicultural neighborhoods.

Cabana Pool Bar

Rebel & Cabana Pool Bar are extraordinary, multi-dimensional spaces that evolve through the day and well into the night with 45,000 square feet of striking design and unexpected wonder combined with powerful sound, immersive light, sensual forms and tactile details to delight and astound at every turn. Cabana Pool Bar transforms Toronto’s waterfront into a “Day-to-Night” party spot with private cabanas, daybeds and enough room for 2,500 people to take in the view and all the sun you can take. This multipurpose venue offers breathtaking views of the city skyline and waterfront.

Thank you to all sponsors for their support of hosting MPI WEC19 in Toronto.

Host City Partners

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Destination Sponsors - pine

 

 

 

WHY YOU’LL LOVE YOUR EVENT AT LOVE CHILD SOCIAL HOUSE

WHY YOU’LL LOVE YOUR EVENT AT LOVE CHILD SOCIAL HOUSE

Have you been to any tropical oases lately? Luckily, there’s one located smack in downtown Toronto, on King Street West. And it’s the new hotspot for talk-of-the-town corporate gatherings. A co-op working and meetings space by day, an event and party spot by night; Love Child Social House easily transforms itself into whatever you need it to be.

IT’S GOT THE LOOK
Relating Love Child Social House to a tropical oasis is no exaggeration. The first thing you’ll notice about the venue is its tastefully curated décor with a mid-modern century vibe. Vintage, lush furniture, pastel prints and accents, bright neon signs, and the best part, lots of breezy palm trees and ferns. Beachy meets trendy meets inspiring.

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The venue itself is designed with connection and collaboration in mind. It’s open and spacious, with an in-house café for your caffeine needs. Throughout the space there’s comfy sofas and the ability to section off multiple areas, adding privacy and catering to the diverse clients Love Child Social House attracts. Independent entrepreneurs can use the locale for meetings, or brainstorms and creative collaborations. Big brands for product launches and experiential activations. Corporate clients for speaker events, panel discussions, or workshops. Whatever you’re planning, it’s got something for everyone. Including an impressive bar with even more impressive cocktails. Yes, please!

SHINY HAPPY MEETINGS
Did we mention there are games? Work meets play in Love Child Social House’s Games Lounge. Here, you can escape drab corporate boardrooms, and meet in cheerful, colourful spaces that encourage creativity and lightheartedness. And their recreational arsenal is impressive, with corn hole, Connect 4, Nintendo, Xbox, foosball, chess and maybe beer pong, depending on the type of meeting you’re having.

On the technical side of things, there’s lots that Love Child Social House offers in-house:

  • Complimentary AV equipment
  • 7 flat-screen televisions with streaming capabilities
  • 16×16 ft. elevated stage
  • 2 wireless microphones
  • 2 projectors and screens
  • High quality sound system
  • iPod plug-in
  • Full DJ set-up

You’ll end up saving quite a lot of money with these in-house tools at your event’s disposal.

HOSTS WITH THE MOST
For a venue that’s relatively new (the space opened in November 2017), it has already garnered a ton of experience in executing successful and trendy events. Aside from their jam-packed Wild Child Fridays and Love Saturdays, where big crowds of local party-goers dance the night away, they’ve also hosted a variety of exclusive gatherings from product launches to experiential socials.

Some notable brands they’ve worked with are: Beatties Vodka, Microsoft Xbox, Tweed, Adidas Adicolor, and American Apparel’s re-launch. On the flipside, they’re also experienced in hosting intimate events like corporate meetings, weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, charity galas, speakers and more. So if you want a super fun space that’s also fully-equipped with technology, games, and a beachy-chic atmosphere, then this is the venue for you. With a convenient location in the heart of the city, you can’t lose. In fact, you’ll probably have to increase your RSVP capacity.

Want to know more? See for yourself in detail what you can look forward to when you plan your next meeting at Love Child Social House.

THE FUTURE IS NOW: TORONTO HOSTS COLLISION

THE FUTURE IS NOW: TORONTO HOSTS COLLISION

For three consecutive years beginning in 2019, Toronto hosts Web Summit’s Collision conference, North America’s fastest-growing and most important technology marketplace and a meeting point for tech innovators, influential investors, startups and the world’s largest buyers and sellers of technology.

WHY COLLISION MOVED TO TORONTO
After three years in New Orleans, Web Summit moved its marquee conference to Toronto. Here are two key reasons why:

VISAS: Canada’s Start-up Visa Program and the Global Talent Stream, a new fast-track immigration process designed to build a highly skilled, diverse workforce.

BRAIN GAIN: As Toronto continues to generate more tech jobs than tech graduates, the current “brain gain” environment is expected to continue.

Collision 2019 in Toronto was seven times larger than the previous year and hosted twice as many speakers, startups and investors. More than 100 trade missions took place in Toronto to connect Canadian companies with international businesses

Q & A

How does Collision differ from typical conference formats?
We’re not your normal nine-to-five conference—we’re driven by networking and bringing people and ideas together. My background is in entertainment—20 years in Hollywood—so I work very hard with [Web Summit CEO and co-founder] Paddy Cosgrave on the experience that people will have. When speakers walk onto our stages to greet the audience, the sound and the A/V make it feel like a music festival-level experience. On the show floor, we have startups, investors and a very high C-suite presence, so we provide seated areas for these people to connect organically.

How do you use data to improve the attendee experience?
We use wristbands for security and access control, and over the past year, we’ve worked with scanning solutions to track the lounges and spaces that the different ticket types migrate to. This allows us to build more of a bespoke experience for the people who attend each of these spaces.

How can attendees make the most of their Collision experience?
Time passes very fast and you can sometimes be overwhelmed. Use the calendar in the conference app to make a plan for yourself and to identify the speakers and startups you’d like to see. The app will flag you to some of the tracks and backgrounders that may interest you. When you use your smartphone to scan the QR code on your lanyard, the app tries to match you with other people at the conference based on how you’ve defined your interests and background.

Why is Toronto the ideal city to host a conference like Collision?
The fact that Toronto is the most diverse city in North America and the third-largest tech hub is a huge draw to us. I can’t express how important it is that we’re able to attract quality startups so that we can grow the event. If we can’t attract startups to the conference, then the investors, the speakers and the general attendee won’t come. It’s a very organic process and Toronto’s talent pool of engineers and entrepreneurs really stands out to us.

Go here to get tickets or see the full schedule for Collision.

(This article will appear in the 2019 Business Events Planners Guide available in early June)

TORONTO SHINES BRIGHT AND BLUE FOR GMID 2019

TORONTO SHINES BRIGHT AND BLUE FOR GMID 2019

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Business Events Toronto, and tourism partners celebrated Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) on April 4th. The celebration was on the heels of a record-breaking 2018 for business events that included 26 citywide conventions, 500,200 delegates and an economic impact of $565 million generated for the Toronto regional economy.

GMID is an international day led by the industry advocacy coalition Meetings Mean Business and Meetings Mean Business Canada. The day showcases the value that business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows and exhibitions bring to businesses and the economy.

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In celebration of GMID, two of Toronto’s most iconic landmarks – the CN Tower and the 3D TORONTO Sign – turned blue, the globally recognized colour for the day. In addition, the Princes’ Gate and the four entrance towers to Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place, along with South Building at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre were lit blue on April 4.

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Toronto has a significant opportunity to showcase itself as a destination for the growing conferences and events industry when the city hosts Meeting Professionals International’s (MPI) World Education Congress. This signature event brings together meeting professionals from around the globe at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from June 15-18, 2019.

MPI’s World Education Congress in Toronto is all about creating shared experiences for meeting and event professionals. The innovative meeting concept and design recently won Association Meeting top honours as part of the 9th Global Eventex Awards. When 2,500 meetings professionals are in Toronto for MPI’s World Education Congress, the tourism industry is set to come together to showcase the city and exemplify why more than 500,000 business delegates choose to come to Toronto for meetings and events.

BIZBASH BEST CELEBRATES CANADA’S DOWNTOWN

BIZBASH BEST CELEBRATES CANADA’S DOWNTOWN

Toronto was selected as this year’s destination feature with a stand-alone publication to accompany the annual BizBash Best Venue and Supplier Guide. BizBash Magazine selects one destination annually to feature in this supplement, having previously featured Downtown LA and New York City – making Toronto the first Canadian destination showcased in their guide.

The 64-page publication gives Canada’s Downtown prominent exposure to North American business event professionals including 25,000 US-based planners and 5,000 Canadian planners. The publication was mailed out accompanying the 2019 BizBash Best issue last week to readers across North America. Business Events Toronto is featured with a special French Door cover ad showcasing the city’s unmistakable skyline.

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The feature focuses on the best venues, ideas and spaces in the market, including profiles on new or renovated hotel spaces, restaurants, cultural spaces, festivals, nightlife venues, museums, and other event spaces. It also spotlights buzz-worthy venues under construction in the “In the Works” section.

If you haven’t received a copy, you can read the supplement here.

 

EXPERIENCE THE MASTER CHEF DIFFERENCE

EXPERIENCE THE MASTER CHEF DIFFERENCE

InterContinental Toronto Centre is a prime venue in the city with all the tools you need to create a great event. It’s got a lot of perks to make your stay enjoyable. It offers 18,000 sq. ft. of event space for a variety of functions including business meetings, conferences, wedding receptions, and social events – with 19 meeting rooms. The Ballroom accommodates a reception of up to 600 people, and 350 for a seated dinner. It also has two private dining rooms. But on top of that, the culinary experience is top-notch and overseen by a Master in his field, yes a Master!

A MASTER CHEF, BORN AND RAISED IN TORONTO
The only Master Chef in Canada to be working in a hotel, Shawn Whalen is InterContinental Toronto Centre’s Executive Chef. In this role he elevates the hotel’s food and beverage offerings to a worry free culinary experience; which is a major benefit to the business events scene given the hotel’s prime location directly attached to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

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Chef Shawn Whalen is a Toronto native with a career spanning more than 30 years, working and training in hotels and restaurants throughout the city, and eventually would become the youngest chef to ear the Certified Chef de Cuisine designation. His successful career includes ample culinary awards from gold medals to trophies. Today, he continues to successfully thrive in his career as one of only five Chefs in Canada to receive the prestigious Certified Master Chef (CMC) designation.

THE WAY TO A CLIENT’S HEART IS THROUGH THEIR STOMACH
A good meal is one of life’s biggest pleasures. This won’t be news to anyone, but an excellent dish that is expertly prepared is not only satisfying, it can be unforgettable. Providing a guest, client or meeting attendee with an experience that they are likely to gush about to their friends and colleagues is a great way to cause excitement. Word of mouth goes a long way. Word of plate can go even further! 

InterContinental Toronto Centre is well versed on the importance of great cuisine and the impact it has on event planning. And amazingly, they’re equipped with the best of the best, one of Canada’s top chefs: Executive Chef Shawn Whalen.

The CMC professional designation under the Canadian Culinary Institute (CCI) is the highest attainable culinary designation in Canada.  The CMC professional designation is the newest certification under the CCI and also the highest attainable culinary designation in Canada.

The program has been developed by industry Master Chefs and faculty from the Canadian Centre of Culinary Arts & Science at Humber College. It’s recognized by Destination Canada and Human Resource Council with a network of partnering agencies and associations throughout Canada.

All chefs must be extremely skilled and well-rounded in a multitude of areas within the culinary arts to receive the certification. Chef Whalen completed the program over a seven-year time period with intense examinations in areas including: garde-manger, baking, gastronomic with wine pairing and nutritional vegetarian lunch menu. Not only are the candidates tested on taste, composition and presentation, but also nutritional balance and overall healthiness of the dishes.

A MASTER EVENT WAITING TO HAPPEN
An award-winning Master Chef serving up delicious cuisine? Check. A prime location in Toronto’s Financial District, connected to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre? Check. Luxury amenities? Check.

Intercontinental Toronto Centre offers the tools, amenities and offerings for spectacular events at your fingertips. And most importantly, every great event starts with a great culinary experience. Bon Appétit!

In the Know with TO – January 2019

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TORONTO CELEBRATES THE NEW

Glide into 2019 with an exciting team-building activity! Toronto’s new favourite winter hangout, The Bentway, makes for great outdoor skating while also doubling as a fun venue for corporate events. With a space that spans as far as 1.75 km under the Gardiner Expressway, you can skate laps, enjoy drinks by the fire pit, or network indoors at the Fort York National Historic Site (up to 250 for a cocktail reception, 140 seated). The Fort York site and The Bentway can be customized for events, in tandem with one another.

Delicious and spacious. Meet Toronto’s latest yummy addition, Bindia, a bistro specializing in authentic Indian cuisine. It’s conveniently located in the downtown core, right across the street from St. Lawrence Market. The restaurant includes private event spaces that seat up to 150 guests, each fully-equipped with a private bar and staff.

True blu & luxury too. This year, treat yourself to Toronto’s luxurious offerings. The former Adelaide Hotel is now the new St. Regis Toronto. It’s the first St. Regis in Canada, offering guests glamourous accommodations with five-star service, in the heart of downtown Toronto. The Radisson Admiral Hotel Toronto transforms into a Radisson Blu, come June 2019. It’s going to be the Radisson Hotel Group’s first upscale hotel in Canada, with upgrades to the hotel’s public spaces, guestrooms, and culinary offerings.

All you need is love and a cool, Instagrammable venue in the heart of trendy King West. Love Child Social Housee is Toronto’s newest spot to see and be seen. It’s a co-op workspace by day and event venue by night. Featuring a game lounge, large dancefloor, and some of the city’s best DJs – the vibe is a tropical oasis with touches of Art Deco. It’s got everything you need from relaxed workspaces, delicious food, and even a café. Love Child’s full reception capacity is 500, with 130 seated, and a theatre style capacity of 120 seated.

Great gatherings happen in great spaces. The new Artscape Daniels Launchpad is just as creative as it sounds, with 4,800 sq. ft. of space on Toronto’s waterfront. It’s where creative entrepreneurs and artists come together to share ideas and work. The space is fully-integrated with state-of-the-art technology, artistic tools, production studios and open areas that overlook Lake Ontario. If lawn games are more your style, then you’ll love Lob Toronto (up to 125 guests). It features 10,000 sq. ft. of outdoor games brought indoors, including delicious eats and drinks.

3D is the new selfie. It’s a new year and a new you, so show it off with Selftraits. This Toronto-based company creates lifelike figurines through 3D scanning technology. Selftraits offers a variety of services from private bookings, to personalized gifts, to corporate events where they’ll install their 3D scanner onsite and even brand it, and also team-building activities. Photo selfies are so 2018, it’s time to get three-dimensional.

REIMAGINING THE IMAGINARIUM

REIMAGINING THE IMAGINARIUM

Disrupt and deliver, was the goal of the Business Events Toronto team and members attending PCMA’s Convening Leaders last week in Pittsburgh. This annual conference brings together Business Events professionals from around the world giving our sales team the opportunity to sell Toronto as the destination of choice for meetings and events.

The Business Events Toronto team has been putting on the Imaginarium inside the convention at PCMA Convening Leaders for more than 10 years. As leaders in this space for the last decade, many destinations have been catching up with their own programming during the conference, making this a perfect chance to reimagine the Toronto experience.

The reimagined Imaginarium debuted for more than 120 U.S. based association clients breaking out of the convention centre mould while continuing to celebrate the creativity, imagination and innovative spirit of Toronto. Moving to an outside venue allowed the team to focus their time on engaging with clients, prospecting and selling Canada’s Downtown to these important U.S. clients.

The Imaginarium: Reimagined took place at Ten Penny restaurant during PCMA Convening Leaders. Located just steps away from the Pittsburgh Convention Centre and one of the host hotels for the conference, the restaurant was the ideal location to draw attendees to the new experience.

Drawing inspiration from a pop-up experience, the Imaginarium was top of mind and got people talking when it appeared the morning of the event. Helping to build buzz for the event were large window wraps on the restaurant’s exterior floor to ceiling windows that announced that Toronto  had arrived and it was not to be missed! The visuals and messaging helped to evoke the sense of intrigue and pique interest of PCMA attendees, not to mention many locals passing by who didn’t miss that Toronto was front and centre for the day.

Continuing on the theme of mystery the entrance was transformed with an oversized keyhole that transported attendees to the Imaginarium. To attend the pre-qualified guests had to receive a digital key from the sales team in advance, which ensured access to the event. After arriving at the event they also received a physical key that would be used for accessing a VIP lock box that they needed to unlock a special gift waiting in the space.

After entering the space, guests were transported to Toronto, and immersed in a 360 degree view of the skyline of the city that filled the interior windows throughout the restaurant. After entering the space, one of the first activations guests experienced was a simulation of the CN Tower’s iconic glass floor, offering a perfect opportunity for pics and selfies to remember the night.

Thanks to everyone who joined us at this year’s Imaginarium and we look forward to continuing to change the game in the year ahead!

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A RECORD YEAR FOR TORONTO!

A RECORD YEAR FOR TORONTO!

Business Events Toronto announced that 26 citywide conventions were held in 2018 – a new record for the number of citywide conventions held in a single year. The total tops the previous record of 18 citywide conferences set in 2017.

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“The record number of citywide conferences speaks to Toronto’s place as the hub for innovation, technology, finance and business within Canada,” said Johanne Bélanger, President and CEO of Tourism Toronto. “Our team at Business Events Toronto taps into Toronto’s strength in these key economic sectors and uses the vibrancy of Canada’s Downtown to attract these major events to the region.”

Tourism Toronto defines a citywide convention or event as one that consumes 1,100 hotel rooms on peak night, a minimum of two hotels for delegates, and the use of a convention centre or event complex.

“Business events are a thriving and vital part of our tourism industry that contributes $33 billion in direct spending in Canada, directly employs 229,000 people and $19 billion of GDP,” said Heidi Welker, Chair of Meetings Means Business Canada. “Great things happen when people come together, whether in a meeting room, on a convention floor, or out experiencing a destination. Our industry within Canada and in Toronto excel at bringing people together in an exceptional way.”

Following the success of citywide conferences in 2018, the momentum continues into next year. Tourism Toronto is pleased to announce that Jehovah’s Witnesses will be hosting their 2019 international convention in Toronto, bringing an expected 45,000 delegates. That convention joins other meetings and events secured for 2019 including MPI’s World Education Congress (WEC) – the signature event for meeting professionals. WEC gives Toronto the opportunity to showcase itself to the professionals planning meetings, conferences and events across the globe.

TORONTO AS A HOST DESTINATION FOR MEETINGS, CONFERENCES, SPORTS AND EVENTS

In 2018, Toronto was named Canada’s top convention destination by Cvent, and consistently ranks among the top five in North America. Toronto was also among the top-ranked destinations selected by meeting planners in the 2018 Watkins Report, which rates the most positive overall experience for major conventions in North America.

Toronto offers planners a destination that is open, diverse and safe – a city that blends the best of Canadian inclusiveness with iconic events, attractions, restaurants, culture and festivals. The region, as Canada’s Downtown, is home to North America’s second largest financial services centre, third largest technology sector and the country’s largest combined life-sciences sector, providing access to industry thought-leaders and businesses driving innovation in their field.

2018 BUSINESS EVENTS HIGHLIGHTS:
The banner year for Business Events Toronto include direct service support for 1,025 events hosted in 2018 including citywide conferences. Those meetings represented 500,208 delegates and an economic spend of $565 million.

Some of the key conferences, meetings and events that took place in 2018 included:
• NU SKIN China – May 2018 (4,000 delegates)
• Pediatric Academic Societies – May 2018 (9,100 delegates)
• VMWare – May 2018 (4,050 delegates)
• Rotary International Convention – June 2018 (24,000 delegates)
• Enterprise World 2018 – OpenText – July 2018 (4,000 delegates)
• Primerica Canadian Convention – July 2018 (7,000 delegates)
• 19th World Conference on Lung Cancer – September 2018 (7,500 delegates)
• Cyber Security Connect East (Palo Alto Networks) – September 2018 (3,515 delegates)
• Family Medicine Forum – November 2018 (3,000 delegates)