In late October, the Canadian Meetings and Events Expo (CMEE) was held in person at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. As the first tradeshow back at the venue, it was a momentous occasion on the road to recovery and one which I was excited to attend on behalf of Tourism Kelowna.
CMEE, which was formerly known as Incentive Works, brings together suppliers and professionals from Canada's meetings and events industry. While the event typically takes place in August, the show was moved to October to allow for a return to in-person attendance. This year, the tradeshow—which included educational sessions and guest speakers that would normally be offered as part of a corresponding conference—was free for meeting and event planners to attend; however, registration was limited to align with provincial health restrictions, so attendance was just under half of what it normally would be.
Our destination sell included our unique value proposition for conferences in the aerospace, viticulture, agriculture, advanced manufacturing, and digital technology sectors, aligning with the award-winning OKGo campaign, which was created through a partnership between Tourism Kelowna, the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission, and Accelerate Okanagan. While the tradeshow was smaller and less busy than previous years, feedback from planners indicates higher satisfaction and value with additional time to connect with destinations and learn about their communities.
As in-person events continue to increase in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) market, our strategy over the next couple of months will be to take advantage of the pent-up demand of these events and ensure we have a strong presence to keep Kelowna top of mind.
For further details about Tourism Kelowna's business development initiatives in GTA, or to discuss CMEE, please don’t hesitate to call me directly at (416) 265-3464 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.