Photo Credit: CMW

Continuing its mission to advocate for the power of face-to-face meetings, the Meetings Mean Business Canada (MMB Canada) campaign visited Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa to connect with Business Events industry executive leaders, 21-23 March 2018.

MMB Canada chair, and the SVP business development & industry partnerships at Freeman Audio Visual Canada, Heidi Welker; vice-chair Clark Grue, president and CEO of the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre and Meetings and Conventions Calgary; treasurer Reggie Lang, manager business development – groups and incentive travel with WestJet, and fellow board members spent several days in Eastern Canada meeting with existing and potential MMB Canada supporters.

The meetings were hosted by the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Montreal Convention Centre and the Shaw Convention Centre in Ottawa.

Over the three days, Welker and her colleagues reported on the past 14 months since the coalition relaunched its rebrand from BEICC (Business Events Industry Coalition of Canada) to MMB in January 2017. MMB Canada has since raised over C$100,000 (US$114,177) of initial funding and counts 112 industry leaders as supporters.

The Business Events industry at large generates C$27-$30bn annually in direct spending and employs 341,000 people in full-time jobs, yet the industry remains largely invisible to elected officials and policy-makers.

MMB Canada works in tandem with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC).

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Additional coalition meetings to continue MMB Canada’s outreach cross-Canada are scheduled in Halifax and Fredericton in late April 2018.

Welker and her fellow board members have also formed three committees for 2018 to research and recommend the following:

  • A sustainable financial membership model
  • Curation of unified data for the Business Events industry
  • Executing a plan to tell the Meetings Mean Business Canada story

Speaking about the coalition meetings, current chair Heidi Welker said: “Our goal for the latter part of 2017 and moving into 2018 was to meet with industry leaders across Canada to rally support for the coalition and continue the conversation regarding the strategic vision for the coalition. We want to become the single advocacy voice of the meetings industry in Canada, to communicate the economic and social value of face-to-face meetings to elected officials at all levels of government as well as stakeholders across the country and to thereby shape policy, legislation and investment to ensure our industry prospers.”