Calgary for Agriculture Conferences
Calgary is Growing with Potential
Home to more than one quarter of Canada’s total farm land, Alberta is widely considered amongst the global leaders in virtually all aspects of agriculture—from farm production, research and technology, to innovation. At the centre of this fertile landscape is Calgary, the province’s largest city. With a wide variety of multinational agribusinesses operating here, an immense platform of knowledge and industry expertise, and a well-established conference and tourism infrastructure, Calgary, has emerged as an ideal location to host conferences in the agriculture sector.
"With innovation occurring in areas such as meat processing, crop sciences and animal genetics, beverage manufacturing, agri-tech, Calgary is emerging as a diverse and forward-leading agribusiness centre,” says Dave Sclanders, executive director, Meetings + Conventions Calgary, who also notes, such local expertise greatly enhances the value proposition of hosting conferences here. “The importance of connecting conference delegates with the agricultural industry creates a valuable opportunity for likeminded professionals to grow their global networks and continue problem-solving conversations years into the future.”
From living lab tours to industry-driven networking events, to keynote speaking opportunities, there are plenty of innovative ways conference organizers can connect delegates with local industry leaders during conference events.
“Calgary is home to some of the world’s most innovative agricultural leaders,” says Sclanders, who names just a few of the big players in Agri-science including, Nutrien, the world’s largest provider of crop inputs and services, and Calgary’s largest employer. Dow AgroSciences and Bayer Crop Science, both lead in innovation and technology in seed and crop production, while organizations such as Alta Genetics help maximize livestock production across the world.
“Connecting with Canadian thought and industry leaders is an important component what we call ‘meeting with purpose’ in Canada, says Virginie De Visscher, director of business development for economic sectors, Business Events Canada, who notes that Business Events Canada is happy to facilitate introductions to sector leaders to help augment events.
Some 750 delegates experienced firsthand the value of gathering in Calgary for the Canadian Beef Industry’s annual conference last summer at Stampede Park, which recently announced a 5-year, multimillion dollar expansion which will make this conference venue the second-largest meeting facility in Canada.
“Calgary has the capability second-to-none in North America when it comes to conference venues and other services,” said Virgil Lowe, chair of the 2017 Canadian Beef Industry Conference. “A big benefit to being in Calgary is the proximity to production agriculture, it’s right on the city’s doorstep. Really, signs of the ag industry are everywhere. I don’t think there could be a much better place for organizations to meet.”
Calgary Helps Define the Future of Agriculture
As climate change impacts the future of agriculture, Calgary’s agritech businesses and researchers are leading the development of new technologies to improve yields and crop productivity thanks in part to the ongoing work at no fewer than 22 agriculture-based innovation and research facilities located within the greater Calgary area. Compound that with graduates of agriculture, animal genetics and crop sciences programs offered at the University of Calgary, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), or Olds College, and you’ve got the innovators of the future (and local champions of future conferences) homegrown in Calgary’s backyard.
Funding has been approved for a $500 million expansion that will double the size of Calgary’s BMO Centre to almost one million square feet, transforming it into Canada’s second-largest facility, creating new spaces for conferences, meetings, exhibitions and consumer shows, allowing BMO Centre to host larger conventions and events, boosting spin-off benefits for local businesses.
Meet in Calgary
Beyond industry expertise, Calgary as a host city is coming into its own with a recent boom in new hotel development, the expansion of the BMO Centre, and a reimagining of meeting space at the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre. Add the pedestrian-friendly downtown core brimming with nightlife and diverse cultural experiences, a wide variety of expansive meeting spaces, Canada’s fourth busiest airport, and its legendary western hospitality, it all adds up to a welcoming host destination. With the Rocky Mountains, the Cowboy Trail, and Dinosaur Provincial Park just a scenic drive away, you’ve not only got reasons to meet in Calgary, but you’ve got reasons to extend your stay.