On Thursday, March 30, the business events sector took centre stage as we celebrated Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) 2023. The annual event, spearheaded by Meetings Mean Business Canada (MMBC), recognizes the social and economic benefits of the business events sector. This year, the day also acknowledged business travel's vital role in the tourism industry's economic recovery and long-term resilience.
Celebrating GMID in Kelowna
City of Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas recognized the day locally through an official Proclamation, which we proudly presented at the in-person GMID event hosted at the Kelowna Visitor Centre. Our team members were joined by our Meetings & Conferences Program partners to connect and celebrate the sector. In conjunction with MMBC's official celebrations, we made sure to #LightUpBlue for the event, thanks to uplighting from New Horizon Productions. Several other suppliers, including Anarchy Coffee Roaster, Bean Scene, and Rainbow Hill Creative, helped our team execute the event successfully.
Why Business Events Matter
The business events sector was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. Prior to 2020, Canadian business events contributed $41B in direct economic impact and were responsible for 229,000 jobs. 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.
Building off this, we know that meetings and conferences act as the "first date" for new business investment, leading to high-value jobs and attracting talent to our region. The collaborative OKGo campaign was launched to capitalize on these opportunities by leveraging Kelowna's key economic sectors. In 2022, our business development team secured 15 leads through the award-winning OKGo campaign, generating more than $2.5 million in potential economic impact. Pre-pandemic, meetings and conferences in our region generated an estimated economic impact value of $26 million.
To learn more about GMID, visit the Meetings Mean Business Canada website. For information about business events in Kelowna, contact Tourism Kelowna's Business Development team.