On Thursday, April 11, the business events sector took centre stage as we celebrated Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) 2024. The annual event, spearheaded by Meetings Mean Business Canada (MMBC), recognizes the social and economic benefits of the business events sector. 

Celebrating GMID in Kelowna

Mayor Dyas at GMID 2024

City of Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas recognized the day locally through an official Proclamation, presented at our local GMID event hosted by the team at the newly renovated Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort. Our team co-hosted the event, inviting our Meetings & Conferences Program partners and other valued business colleagues to connect and celebrate this vital sector.

In conjunction with MMBC's official celebrations, we lit up blue for the event. Several other suppliers, including 50th Parallel Estate WineryBoa Vida Coffee Cart, Farming KarmaMt. Boucherie WineryQuails’ Gate Winery, and Somm Zero helped the talented Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort team execute the event beautifully.

Why Business Events Matter

GMID 2024 Kelowna Sign

As highlighted by Meetings Mean Business Canada, business events matter because they are:

✅ A catalyst for collaboration, investment, and trade.
✅ A critical source of business income, high-value jobs, and tax revenue.
✅ An opportunity to leverage Canada's key economic sectors to a global audience.

In 2023, our Business Development team secured over 100 business event leads, with an estimated economic impact value of over $25M. Our team leverages Kelowna's key economic sectors to attract meetings and conferences, business investment, and talent to our region through the OKGo campaign, launched in 2021 through a partnership between the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission, Accelerate Okanagan, and Tourism Kelowna. 

From a national perspective, Canada aims to reclaim its position among the top international business events destinations, leveraging its robust economy and attractive offerings. With Canadian business events contributing significantly to the economy, including 40% of all tourism spending, a $47 billion direct economic impact, and supporting 242,000 direct jobs, there is a clear imperative to prioritize this sector.

Through initiatives like the federal International Conference Attraction Fund (ICAF), Canada seeks to ensure a tangible return on investment, driving economic growth and job creation. Destination Canada's budgets will reflect the proportional value of the business events sector within the tourism industry, aligning international marketing efforts accordingly. Additionally, Destination Canada will play a pivotal role in addressing barriers to sector growth. By emphasizing the significance of business events and strategic interventions, Canada aims to strengthen its position on the global stage while fostering sustainable economic prosperity.

To learn more about GMID, visit the Meetings Mean Business Canada website. For information about business events in Kelowna, contact me at julia@tourismkelowna.com or reach out to any member of our Business Development team

About Meetings Mean Business Canada (MMBC)

A united voice for business events, MMBC is the advocacy voice of the Canadian meetings and business events sector. Its focus and mission are to communicate the important economic, social, and legacy impacts of hosting conferences, conventions, trade shows, exhibitions, business meetings, and incentive travel programs to federal Members of Parliament and all Canadians.