With its breathtaking natural landscapes, stellar conference infrastructure and diverse cultural offerings in dynamic cities, Canada has become a top choice to host many impactful global events. What really separates Canada from other event destinations, however, is access to rich intellectual capital resources that can elevate event agendas.
Destination Canada's Business Events team focuses its efforts on attracting events in Canada's six priority economic sectors, where the country's innovation excels. These sectors are agribusiness, finance and insurance, life sciences, natural resources, technology and advanced manufacturing. Event owners are invited to leverage Canada's significant strength in these arenas by engaging local experts as keynote speakers, arranging tours of exclusive state-of-the-art facilities or conducting B2B exchanges with Canada's industry-leading organizations.
They've been encouraged to consider Canada's vast offerings through the lens of these sectors of strength, which has proven effective at attracting numerous major events to Canada. The following case studies and details about the country's local expertise demonstrate why.
Ontario's exceptional agribusiness knowledge capital brings 2030 World Congress of Soil Science to Toronto
Held every four years, the World Congress of Soil Science, organized by the International Union of Soil Sciences, aims to provide international academics and experts whose works focuses on soil with the latest news and insights on the field, but also practical applications of this information.
"It's not just a pure scientific conference where we are sitting in rooms listening to technical papers; we also have a pre-congress week and a post-congress week with regional tours of soils and landscapes," says Dr. Richard Heck, a professor of Soils and Landscape Processes at the University of Guelph's School of Environmental Sciences, about 60 miles west of Toronto.
The desire to observe soil science in the action likely played a large role in attracting the conference to Canada, given the vast and varied nature of the country's environment and landscapes.
Aside from its natural assets, Canada's agribusiness industry is thriving. Generating more than CAD $112 billion in GDP per year, Canada's agribusiness sector tops global exports in canola, pulses, oats and durum wheat. With its network of 20 research and development centers managed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada spread across the country, Canada is shaping the future of food production and is a world leader in growth, food security and sustainability.
By putting these offerings in front of the decision makers for the World Congress of Soil Science, the Canadian Society of Soil Science and its partners Destination Toronto and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre provided the event team with actionable ideas and educational opportunities for the event that proved compelling. Though the event has not been hosted in Canada since 1978, the World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS) will be bringing its 3,000 delegates to Toronto in 2030. With its theme, Soils in a Warmer World, the WCSS will welcome soil specialists while raising awareness about this essential natural resource.
Heck adds that Toronto's convention, accommodation and entertainment facilities are conveniently located in the downtown core, with easy transportation from the airport. The pre-congress events will use facilities and labs at the University of Guelph for the International Soil Judging Contest. Aside from this, there's also time for delegates to take day trips to the Niagara Region to learn firsthand about soil and wine production.
The wealth of knowledge on this subject available in Ontario, and in Canada as a whole, makes the country an attractive prospect for those looking to develop their understanding of the sector. Undergraduate and graduate soil science students from around the world train here, notes Heck, and Canadian soil scientists have made substantial technical contributions to the agribusiness sector.
"We want to demonstrate globally how we work with a broad spectrum of stakeholders to understand the scientific challenges, generate information and the innovations that will go along with it," he adds.
Within a couple hours’ drive from Toronto, we can provide opportunities for people to understand the issues of landscape and soil and how changing climatic conditions are impacting that.
Dr. Richard Heck, a professor of Soils and Landscape Processes at the University of Guelph's School of Environmental Sciences and President of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Institute of Agrologists
Some of the important achievements and breakthroughs in Canadian soil science involve information technology like using remote sensing, satellite sensing, or proximal sensing devices — which help develop decision support tools for land managers, notes Heck.
"In Canada, we have early adopters and innovative producers who are really pushing the envelope in terms of adoption, refinement and adaptation of technology," he explains, citing the University of Guelph as a major agrifood research innovation hub. Other world-class sector leaders — such the Innovative Farmers of Ontario and the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association will have a big presence at the conference.
The World Congress of Soil Science is far from the only agribusiness event that has been drawn to the country to leverage Canadian know-how. Recent and upcoming events include 2022's International Cool Climate Wine Symposium in the Niagara Region, 2023's International Rendezvous on Health Food and Ingredients in Québec City, and the International Association of Food Protections 2023 Annual Meeting in Toronto.
Canada's abundant natural resources and expertise draws two major gas conferences
Just as spotlighting Canada's agribusiness offerings helped attract the World Congress of Soil Science, the country's leadership in the natural resources sector has proven a compelling offering for organizations focused on this industry.
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Canada boasts abundant oil, natural gas, coal and uranium deposits, and it's also one of the five top global producers of 15 metals and minerals. At the same time that it leverages its wealth of natural resources, Canada is one of the top producers of clean energy, employing more than 118,000 people in the field, accounting for 1.7 percent of the country's GDP.
As global leaders focus on strengthening energy security and delivering affordable, reliable, clean energy, Canada will provide the ideal gathering space for both the 20th International Conference and Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG2023) in Vancouver, British Columbia and the 2024 International Gas Research Conference (IGRC2024) in Banff, Alberta.
An emerging leader in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) marketplace, Canada produces, transports and exports much of the world's natural gas, with the bulk of it in Western Canada. These events will bring hundreds of pioneering experts together to discuss research, development and innovation. Canada will provide the space for international experts to collaborate and showcase what its sector can offer to support global energy needs, says Timothy Egan, president and CEO of the Canadian Gas Association, which is part of the International Gas Union.
"We're very excited to [host] both of these major global activities; it's unprecedented for one country to get two events one after the other, and part of the reason was because of how creative and innovative Canada's industry is," says Egan. "It's an opportunity for Canada to meet global players and for the world to see what's going on here… An international conference allows delegates to start thinking about what Canada can do for the world."
Canada has enormous potential to export LNG, and that will be a key theme along with energy security and affordability, plus technological innovation.
Timothy Egan, president and CEO of the Canadian Gas Association
Egan adds that these two events will also help attendees learn about Canada's innovative use of technology when it comes to natural gas, and the high-quality infrastructure and expertise the country brings to the table.
"These events will create opportunities for Canadian companies to tell the world about our product and how we manage it," adds Egan.
Some prominent developments underway in the region are attracting worldwide attention, like the LNG Canada Project, currently under construction and slated to be exporting natural gas within the next few years. Other initiatives include the Woodfibre Project and the Cedar LNG Project, which offer additional opportunities for Canadians to get its product to global markets.
There are also cutting-edge technological innovations such as the use of hydrogen in gas delivery systems, and pilot projects by ATCO and Fortis BC that are driving innovation forward and improving environmental performance to keep energy reliable and affordable, adds Egan.
These innovative practices will be on full display during both LNG2023 and IGRC2024. Attendees will have the opportunity to see their operations in person, speak to the researchers and developers guiding these efforts and apply learnings to their own work.
We want people to take away a sense of the incredible dynamism of the energy industry in Canada, what energy has done for Canada and what we think it can do for the world.
Timothy Egan, president and CEO of the Canadian Gas Association
"We're thrilled to have this opportunity to profile Canada, to bring the world to Canada and have Canada host these kinds of events. We think that the Canadian gas industry is second to none," says Egan.
Adding to the appeal, Banff and Vancouver are automatic draws for delegates, thanks to their spectacular natural landscapes and the opportunities that they present to engage with local Indigenous cultures.
When it comes to the natural resources sector, Canada's leadership is not limited to natural gas and international organizations recognize this. Other upcoming events in this industry hosting in Canada include the fifth International Marine Protected Area Congress in Vancouver, World Petroleum Congress in Calgary and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers' OCEANS 2024 conference in Halifax.
Canada's knowledge capital elevates events
Thanks to its rich network of academic, industry and government resources, groups attending events in Canada reap the reward of connecting with best-in-class innovation ecosystems. Not only does this greatly benefits the impact of the event, this also has cost saving benefits for these organizations. Potential sponsorship and interest from local sector organizations and workforces, along with promotion within the destination, makes conference planning that much easier.
It's easy for planners to access Canada's intellectual resources and its immense pool of renowned scientists, academics and meetings experts. Ambassador networks in major Canadian destinations — such as the Leaders Circle in Toronto or the Ambassador's Club in Québec City — enhance and promote collaboration by facilitating connections to local industry experts who can help shape a conference agenda from a uniquely Canadian perspective. In addition, Destination Canada's Business Events team offers a wealth of sector-specific experts that can provide industry-relevant insights, information and introductions to key players.
Aside from providing the potential for elevated and impactful events, Canada has a great deal of appeal. From the European flavors of Québec City to the unspoiled beauty of Prince Edward Island, Canada's stunning scenery, diverse cities and cultures, and dynamic culinary and nightlife experiences prove attractive for organizations and delegates alike.
The combination of Canada's brains and beauty, and everything else that makes up this unique country, make it a truly unparalleled event destination.
For impartial insights, inspiration and introductions, planners can contact Destination Canada Business Events team member Virginie De Visscher, Senior Director of Business Development, Economic Sectors, Destination Canada Business Events at: Devisscher.firstname.lastname@example.org
Content sponsored by Destination Canada Business Events