Launching into the Canadian Meetings & Conventions Market
Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo Economic Development and Tourism (FMWBEDT) officially launched into the Canadian Meetings and Conventions Market at the Canadian Meetings and Events Expo this week, October 19-20, 2021. The Expo brings together professionals ready to book destinations for their meetings and conventions, with communities across Canada vying to attract the new investment into their market.
“Meetings and conventions play a vital part of Canada’s tourism industry,” says Kevin Weidlich, President & CEO, FMWBEDT. “We have determined how we will be the most competitive in this space through our Meetings and Conventions Plan and with the support from our local Meetings & Conventions Advisory Committee. Pursuing targeted opportunities, like this Expo, allows us to showcase that we are an attractive event destination and strongly positions us to secure some of the most highly sought-after events.”
The region’s international award-winning Place Brand will be centre stage, shining a spotlight on our strengths, and opening the doors to engage with decision-makers of events in relevant industry sectors that would not have previously thought of Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo. Oil and gas, Indigenous busi-ness, and emergency preparedness, are only a few areas where the region stands out against competing cities across Canada.
“The economic impact of large-scale business events in Canada is in the billions,” says Michael Sieger, Vice President of Tourism, FMWBEDT. “Even as the world works through COVID-19 and changing restrictions, to be successful we need to keep activating our long-game plans. Bookings are often secured many years out from the actual event, so we need to be at the table today to secure new business for the future.”
Prior to the pandemic, it would be common to see conference delegates extending their stay an extra couple of days to explore their host city and take part in leisure and tourism activities. Bringing confer-ences to Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo, brings people to our region which helps re-shape perceptions and boosts local spending in restaurants, retail businesses, activities, and hotels.
“We are excited to be working with FMWBEDT to help draw-in more people to experience the region and stay in our properties,” says Mike Harlick, President of the Fort McMurray Hotel and Lodging Association. “Attracting conferences and other types of business events is great for our businesses, their suppliers, and those they employ.”