Vancouver: the Hub for Destination Meetings-of-the-Mind
In 2016, Watkins Research Group ranked Vancouver the top convention city in Canada, and the second in North America. Long known as a center for prestigious medical conferences, the city is growing as a major tech hub, including major startup companies.
Vancouver is a destination with a dynamic, highly-diversified urban economy with growing knowledge-based sectors and strong global connections. Companies as varied as Hootsuite, Lululemon, Goldcorp, Lionsgate Entertainment, and EA Sports call the city home.
Vancouver cultivates brilliance and creativity, so naturally it’s a perfect place to host the world’s foremost thinkers, visionaries, and leaders, and the corporate staff who have contributed to the success of major companies.
Each year, hundreds of meetings and conferences are held in Vancouver’s many unique meeting spaces, including corporate groups, trade associations, sales kickoffs, and annual meetings.
Experient Division President, Michael Guerriero, spoke about why his company continues to book events in the city: “Vancouver is viewed as a world class city that is clean, safe, has wonderful hotels, a beautiful convention center, and is a draw for our clients with international attendees. Over the past two years, we have averaged around ten bookings a year. The meetings and convention community in Vancouver is first class, professional, and detail-oriented—the service is excellent.”
The Vancouver Convention Center is the first LEED certified convention center in the world. It offers sweeping views of the water and mountains, blending natural beauty with the convenient location at the heart of the city. Adventurous day trips, including floatplane rides to Victoria, entice creative minds in event planning.
Vancouver has also hosted globally renowned events such as the 2015 FIFA World Cup, the World Rugby Sevens tournament (2016, 2017, and returning in 2018), and the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Vancouver has been recognized as a global leader in MICE (meetings, incentive trips, conferences, exhibitions) and travel destinations, accessibility, and livability to name a few. Here are some other impressive rankings and awards the city has raked over the past two years:
- Best Airport in North America - Skytrax (2017) an unprecedented eight years and running
- Most Livable City in North America – Mercer Quality of Living Survey (2017)
- Vancouver is a Top 2017 Travel Destination – Forbes (2017)
- Most Sustainable City in North America – Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index (2016)
- Airport of the Year – CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence (2016)
- Third Most Livable City in the World - Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Livability Ranking (2016)
- Destination of the Year - Luxury Travel Guide Awards 2016 (2016)
- #1 for Superior Convention Centre Facilities and Services - Watkins Research Group (2016)
- #1 Client Advocate Score - Watkins Research Group (2016)
- Top City in North America for International Association Meetings - International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) (2016)
- Best Quality of Life and Economic Impact – SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities Awards (2016)
About 10 million visitors enjoy Vancouver each year, blending big-city activities and outdoor adventures for the perfect tourist outing. This bustling seaport city is one of Canada’s most diverse and energetic hubs.
Surrounded by water on an inlet of the Pacific Ocean, this mountainous area offers nearby skiing, hiking, kayaking, and breathtaking skylines alongside a metropolitan area of nearly 2.5 million people. The city offers incredible cuisine, shopping, cityscapes, and business centers—with urban parks and other adventures nearby.
Tourism Vancouver represents more than 1,000 tourism-related entities. Partnering nationally with Business Events Canada and offering a host of connections to local events, activities, and practical advice, Tourism Vancouver makes it easy to choose this beautiful city as a business and leisure travel destination.
“Tourism Vancouver is supportive of group business and has partnered with us for years to meet the needs of our clients,” added Guerriero. “They help our clients navigate any apprehension regarding customs and work with us to address any cost concerns clients might have regarding holding an event in Vancouver.”
For meeting professionals and business leaders, the Meetings and Conventions Department within Tourism Vancouver is a complimentary resource at their disposal. The team often encourages companies to consider hosting their next board meeting in Vancouver to experience what the city is like as a convention destination. Get in touch with the team here.
Celebrating 150 Years in 2017
The country’s 150th anniversary offers a rich diversity of opportunities for exploration and celebration, many for which Tourism Vancouver is an energetic partner. Highlights include the Vancouver International Film Festival, spectacular fireworks for the summertime Celebration of Light, a special two-day Canada Day celebration taking place at Canada Place along the stunning downtown waterfront, and a New Year’s Eve celebration that promises a year’s end to remember.