The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) placed Canada’s business agenda at the heart of IMEX this past May at Messe Frankfurt. Germany is the engine that powers the euro-zone economy, so this global meetings, conventions and events trade show was the ideal place to unveil CTC’s new Business Events Canada (BEC) brand in the European market.
A special press conference lifted the lid on what Business Events Canada will mean to the industry in Europe. First feather in the BEC cap came in February, with the announcement of the TED Conference moving to Vancouver, BC, in 2014. CTC’s partners also gave two-minute updates on their latest products to the eager European meetings-industry media reps.
IMEX itself was packed to the rafters, with more than 3,100 exhibitors from 150-plus countries at the event. The Canada stand gleamed with new BEC-branded images; CTC was joined by 16 partners from across the country, flying the flag for convention centres, destinations, hotels and visitor bureaus.
One of the highlights was CTC’s third annual Vision Awards dinner at Frankfurter Botschaft May 21 that honoured international partners, clients and media. Sustainable Events Summit was rewarded as the industry organization that has collaborated with CTC to expand Canada’s presence on the global stage. M&IT Magazine walked away with the award for the media publication that has profiled Canada to the max in 2013. And Elsevier was honoured as the international client that has executed the best large program to Canada in 2013. Ann Vriend, the Vancouver-born singer, added her soulful voice to the dinner with a special performance that included “Celebrate,” the song Vriend wrote just for CTC.
“Although the launch of Business Events Canada means we have refined our strategic focus in choosing certain industries, we remain in the market to help any clients bring an event to Canada,” says Greg Klassen, CTC senior vice-president Marketing Strategy and Communications. “The meetings industry is increasingly important to Canada’s economy, bringing in new business as well as boosting local tourism operators through trips taken after the events have concluded.”
CTC’s Business Events Canada team will also be out in force for IMEX America, Oct. 15-17 in Las Vegas, NV. Last year’s event drew more than 2,400 hosted buyers from 44 countries.