Formula for Conference Success
The Formula for Conference Success: Destination + Content = Canada
Savvy meeting planners know that the mark of a great event isn’t just about the quality of lectures, workshops or professional mixers. The best conferences let attendees take advantage of all the resources and connections available to them beyond the convention center. Creating these opportunities for your attendees isn’t as hard as it may seem. The solution? It’s all about choosing a host destination that reflects your meeting’s content.
Around the world, meeting planners are selecting locations that reflect the missions of their organizations. That’s why you’ll see political associations flock to Washington, D.C. for their meetings while travel agents soak up the sun in tropical locales. For professionals in the life sciences sector, that knowledge hub is Canada.
The country boasts an immense life sciences industry, with nearly 20 medical universities, more than 100 teaching hospitals and research institutes and thousands of investigators ready to lend their expertise to fellow industry professionals from across the globe. Canada has one of the highest concentrations of biotechnology companies in the world and is home to numerous life sciences companies’ headquarters, securing the country’s foothold as a global industry leader. In other words, it’s the ideal setting for a life sciences conference.
There’s no shortage of resources to leverage in Canada. From Vancouver to Halifax, Canadian cities have specialized in various areas of the life sciences. Edmonton is driving health care innovation with its Health City Initiative, securing funding for health technologies and products. The National Research Council — birthplace of the cardiac pacemaker — continues to support developments in e-health and medical devices in the capital city of Ottawa. To the south, visitors can network with startups, investors and partners in the life sciences at the annual Toronto Health Innovation Week, or connect with researchers at the esteemed Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
Aligning your conference with the expertise of a host destination is a win-win: Your attendees have access to a one-stop shop for all things related to their industry, which makes for more successful events for your organization. It also takes little extra effort on your part to make it happen. When the conference destination has all the resources that your attendees need to bolster their professional development, it takes some of the pressure off your team to find ways to keep people engaged. There will always be something for attendees to do.
Activities like meeting with the biological sciences faculty at the world-class University of Alberta or exploring the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa offer attendees the kind of unique conference experience that can’t be found just anywhere. People tend to learn best by doing, and the experiential learning that complements your meeting will benefit attendees long after the conference has wrapped.
There’s no substitute for being where the action is. It’s so much more exciting to visit the research center or library mentioned in a panel than to just hear about it. And it’s particularly inspiring to meet the real people who are disrupting industries and changing lives. These are the activities that lead to lifelong connections, both professional and personal.
Matching meeting content and destination not only gives your attendees a firsthand look at all the innovations taking place, but it also allows them the chance to be active participants in shaping the future of the sector. It’s an unparalleled experience for anyone who wants to take their professional growth to the next level. No matter the content focus, planning your meeting with destination in mind is sure to be unforgettable.
Editor’s note: this article first appeared on the Associations Now website.