secret that meetings and incentives are big business – and growing all the
time. No doubt that’s why some 1,700 attendees were front and centre at this
week’s 2 day IncentiveWorks conference, its 24
big is the business? Lynda Hoff, National Director of the Business Event
Industry Coalition of Canada (BEICC), told me that the meetings business is
worth $29 billion in Canada, more than agriculture, mining and entertainment
425 booths in the massive downtown Convention Centre for the trade show
portion, along with lots of breakout sessions and lectures.
on meeting trends, presented by Jen Trager of Maritz Travel, was a real
eye-opener. It seems we are in a perfect, challenging storm: a rebounding U.S.
economy forcing pent-up demand for more meetings, combined with fewer new hotel
builds and a sinking loonie are not just driving a trend for Canadians to stay
at home for their meetings, but luring American groups north of the border to
fill our hotels.
bullish on the incoming front; yet North American meeting planners are still
being asked to do more with less – and with tighter lead times. “We polled our
2,000 sourcing managers and they have told us this is the toughest environment
they’ve ever been in,” said Traeger.
that despite technology nothing has yet to replace “real” meetings. “Virtual
meetings were going to take over – and that talk has gone away. Face-to-face is
crucial,” she added. At least that is very good news!