Business Events Fuel Innovation, Collaboration and Economies
That’s the message singing out across Canada today during Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), an international day of advocacy recognizing the importance of business events to the world economy. All across Canada, professionals in the meetings, events, conventions, hotels and conference communities are coming together to celebrate, advocate and raise awareness of the impact business events have – as economic drivers, and as catalysts for innovation and collaboration.
The recently launched Global Economic Impact Study, conducted by Oxford Economics on behalf of Events Industry Council, ranked countries based on direct economic impact by the business events sector, with Canada ranking 6th amongst the top 50 countries.
“Business events are a thriving and vital part of Canada’s tourism industry that contributes $33 billion in direct spending, $19 billion in GDP and directly employs 229,000 people,” said Heidi Welker, Chair of Meetings Means Business Canada. “Our industry within Canada are thrilled to celebrate GMID alongside the global meetings industry.”
The Global Economic Impact Study cites that business events in 2017 generated more than $1 trillion of direct spending globally, over 10 million direct jobs and $621 billion of direct GDP. The strength and opportunities found within the Canadian tourism industry were recently highlighted in the Federal Budget, which recognized tourism as an economic engine for the country. The 2019 Federal Budget added tourism as the seventh “Economic Strategy Table” – a model for industry-government collaboration, focused on turning Canadian economic strengths into global advantages.
Canada’s Intellectual & Industry Capital Helps Attract Conferences
The most progressive destinations worldwide are positioning themselves as thought leaders in specific advanced industries to engage meeting and event organizers active in those industries. Over the last two years, Business Events Canada has intentionally and strategically collaborated with Canada’s conference destinations to leverage the country’s intellectual capital in seven priority sectors to increase Canada’s share of international business events.
“Conferences are catalysts for thriving economies,” says Business Events Canada’s global executive director, Chantal Sturk-Nadeau. “It’s no longer enough to talk exclusively about Canada’s impressive landscapes and dynamic conference infrastructure. We must change the conversation to set Canada apart on the world stage. By demonstrating Canada’s competitive edge, we are better able to grow Canada’s share of international business events.”
Business Travellers Spend More, Stay Longer
The services provided by Canada’s meetings industry often go un-noticed, but the impact of hosting global events in Canada lasts for years after the events conclude. When you consider that an international business events traveller spends up to four times that of a leisure traveller, and stays on average 3.8 days beyond their conference to explore before and after their event, the impact across communities — whether its spending on accommodations, transportation, meals or recreation — can be quite substantial. Beyond the economic importance of business events to our communities, there are legacy impacts to be considered:
- Business events act as a catalyst for collaboration and investment,
- Help grow high-value jobs
- Motivate convention delegates to return to the area as leisure visitors, or part, or full-time residents.
Today, all across Canada, meeting professionals are exploring the power of sustainable leadership in Montréal, taking a deep dive into how social media changes everything in Halifax, exploring events on a global stage in Ottawa, or live-streaming a joint event between Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna to discuss the economic impact of face-to-face meetings. Canada's largest and most sought-after conference destination, Toronto, will illuminate the city's most iconic landmarks – the CN Tower and the 3D TORONTO Sign – in 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 will light blue tonight. Follow along on social media using the hashtag #GMID19 to learn more about the importance of Canada’s meetings industry.