December in the Toronto marketplace provides numerous opportunities to connect through holiday industry events. Of course this year, things looked different and for the first time, all the events took place virtually through different online platforms. Meetings Planners International (MPI), Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE), and Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) pulled out all the stops to make sure industry members could stay connected in a creative and innovative way.

The MPI Holiday Gala was held at the beginning of December through a platform called Hubilo, which had the main events on a large stage at designated times and then three different floors in which you could move around to enter breakout rooms that offered performances from Black Lives Matter Canada and Indigenous Inspire. Opportunities to connect with planners were offered through one-on-one chats or by joining a virtual table and having a conversation with a larger group.  

MPI Holiday Event Screenshot

 

The CSAE holiday event hosted by VANITY in early December helped shine a spotlight on the LGBT2Q+ community. The virtual event platform, Remo, allowed attendees to enjoy VANITY's performances and then disperse into smaller break out sessions, join virtual tables, and connect with attendees. 

CSAE Virtual Holiday Event

 

Lastly, in mid-December, SITE hosted their event thru a platform called Spatial.  With this technology you could move through the virtual venue to watch a chef in the kitchen, a mixologist making a beverage or an entertainer playing their guitar.  You could "see" who was else there once you approached them and it had offered the similar feeling of a live networking event, which allowed me to connect with the 70 attendees.  

SITE Holiday Event

 

The events offered an innovative way to stay connected, safely, during the holidays and provided attendees with wonderful and uplifting feel to end the year. While we all can't wait to be able to meet face-to-face again, we know that hybrid meetings are sure to become more prevalent in the future and so these platforms are ones to consider.

For further information regarding any of the virtual events, please don’t hesitate to me at (416) 265-3464 or pat@tourismkelowna.com.