As we look back on an invigorating week spent at Ottawa Meet Week 2024, the sense of community, connection, and opportunity that pervaded every interaction remains palpable. Tourism Kelowna’s newest team member, Vanessa Osborne—Business Development Sales Manager, Eastern Markets—and I felt the event was not just an occasion to showcase the vibrant allure of Kelowna but also a fertile ground for nurturing relationships and exploring collaborative ventures.

Our journey in Ottawa, alongside our esteemed program partners, was a testament to the power of face-to-face meetings in an increasingly digital world. We were delighted to have had the opportunity to introduce Kelowna as a destination worthy of consideration for more than 15 events ranging in size from 25 to 600 delegates and to build a pipeline of business for 2025 through 2028. 

Read on to learn more about how our Kelowna contingent made the most of Ottawa Meet Week.

Kicking Things Off with Destination Direct Canada

Destination Direct Canada 2024

Our Ottawa Meet Week experience commenced with Destination Direct Canada, an intimate event designed for destination marketing organizations like ours to engage directly with clients, including conference organizers, site selectors, and association executives.

Over two days, we presented to 10 clients, each conversation allowing us to discover opportunities, understand needs, and envision future collaborations. These interactions were not merely transactional; they were a chance to share stories of Kelowna, educate on the strengthening air access to our community, and invite our clients into the narrative of our city's rich cultural tapestry, breathtaking landscapes, and burgeoning opportunities for meetings and events.

The Power of Partnership

Team Kelowna at Reveal
Team Kelowna at REVEAL Social, pictured (left to right): Nicolle Gomez de Sousa; Lisa Mckenzie, Argus Properties; Kirsten Harrison, Delta Grand; Livi Waller, Summerhill Estate Winery; Erin Urquhart, Cantrav; Vanessa Osborne; Kim Louis, Coast Capri Hotel;

As the week progressed, our collaborative spirit was further ignited with the arrival of a handful of our Meeting & Conference Sales Program partners. Joining us were representatives from some of Kelowna's premier venues and service providers: Cantrav, Coast Capri Hotel, Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort, Hotel Eldorado (Argus Properties), and Summerhill Pyramid Winery. Their participation enriched our Kelowna brand at Ottawa Meet Week and offered a comprehensive glimpse into Kelowna's diverse offerings. Together, we stood united under the banner of Tourism Kelowna, a coalition of entities dedicated to creating unforgettable experiences for planners and event attendees alike.

REVEAL Social and CSAE Tête-à-Tête Tradeshow

Tete-a-tete 2024

Our collective journey culminated with REVEAL Social and the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) Tête-à-Tête tradeshow. These events provided a vibrant backdrop for showcasing Kelowna to a broader audience, facilitating meaningful connections, and engaging in discussions beyond the surface level.

With its relaxed and inviting atmosphere, REVEAL Social allowed for informal networking, where stories were shared and bonds were formed. Following this, Tête-à-Tête offered a more structured environment for detailed conversations and presentations about what makes Kelowna an ideal destination for business events and conferences. It also afforded Vanessa and me an opportunity to provide face-to-face introductions between our program partners and the clients we met with during Destination Direct.

Looking Ahead

As we departed from Ottawa, we carried with us not just the memories of productive meetings and warm interactions but also the promise of new ventures on the horizon. Ottawa Meet Week affirmed the irreplaceable value of coming together, of sharing spaces and ideas, and of the synergy that emerges when diverse entities align towards a common goal.

As we look forward to future collaborations and events, we are reminded of the strength of partnership and the endless possibilities that arise when we come together. Ottawa Meet Week was more than an event; it was a milestone in our ongoing journey toward cultivating a vibrant, connected, and opportunity-rich community for all who visit and invest in Kelowna.

Here's to the connections forged and opportunities discovered, with many more to come. Thank you, Ottawa, for a memorable week. Let's continue to explore, engage, and excel until we meet again.

To learn more about Tourism Kelowna's business development activities in Eastern Canada, contact Vanessa at or (416) 717-0009.