100 representatives from the two cities and meetings industry

Senior representatives from Ottawa Tourism and The Hague Convention Bureau gathered yesterday to witness the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that will bring the two cities’ convention offering closer together over the coming years.

The signing on Monday, which was part of an Ottawa mayoral mission to The Netherlands was celebrated at an event attended by His Worship Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa. Yesterday’s event followed a successful and productive meeting between the Mayor of the City of Ottawa and his counterpart Pauline Krikke, Mayor of The Hague on Sunday.

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The convention focused MOU, which was signed by Nienke van der Malen, director of The Hague and Partners; His Worship Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa and Michael Crockatt, President & CEO, Ottawa Tourism, was initially discussed five years ago at the ICCA Congress in Antalya. The two organisations have since sought a variety of ways to cooperate, resulting in the MOU signed yesterday.

Michael Crockatt

Michael Crockatt, President & CEO, Ottawa Tourism commented: “This MOU represents a key part of our Mayoral mission to The Netherlands. Whilst this specific partnership is just five years in the making our two nations have been friends for nearly 75 years. Working together to identify and deliver events that are strategically aligned to both destinations is not just a creative way of working, it is also an intelligent and efficient collaboration that we expect to deliver significant value. We have been welcomed here in The Hague with open arms and look forward to that open and honest style of business delivering not just now but for years to come.”

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Nienke van der Malen, director of The Hague and Partners said: “This partnership will benefit a host of different stakeholders, whether it is clients, hotel and venue partners or us as destinations. In particular, the mayoral support means we are approaching this project in a cohesive and focused way, confident that we can deliver solutions across both cities for the association and corporate events from many different sectors. One of the greatest strengths of our work together will be our ability to collaborate with clients and understand their strategic needs as we deliver bids and ultimately the final events both here in The Netherlands and in Canada.”

Key objectives from the first year of the convention focused partnership include:

· Creation of joint sales activity – the first part of which took place in IMEX America last week when a group of association buyers joined Ottawa Tourism and The Hague Convention Bureau for an evening of education and relationship development.
· Creation of research and intelligence documents focused on the security, governance and defence sectors. This will include identifying opportunities for both cities based on current leads and existing partnerships.
· Identification of clients where both cities would be of interest followed by the creation of a joint proposal/bid highlighting synergies between the two destinations as well as legacy benefits of working together.
· Identification of historic Hague clients that would be interested in Ottawa and vice-versa.