Last week, I attended the CGLCC 2021 Digital LGBT+ Global Business Summit, which provided the opportunity to promote our destination to this key market in Toronto through networking opportunities and to gain exposure for Kelowna by being included as part of the attendee list.
This was my third year in attendance, with it being the second virtual presentation of the summit. With a focus on propelling the LGBT+ business sector forward, the four-day event brought together more than 1,000 attendees including entrepreneurs, association and member organizations, government officials, and corporate partners. The theme of this year's summit was New World, speaking to the "unrelenting digital disruption" and reinvention that has taken place in response to the pandemic—content presented during the event focused on navigating and succeeding in this new world.
During the summit, I had the opportunity to hear several speakers, check out the virtual exhibit hall, and attend a Zoom cocktail hour. I was able to continue building on existing relationships with businesses such as TD Canada Trust, BMO, RBC Royal Bank, Bell Canada, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and Gallagher Benefit Services. There was interest from some of these potential clients that when the time is right to travel again, they will consider Kelowna for their group business.
Kelowna local, Dustin Blondin-Lejeune, founder and head mixologist of Mixologists Bartending, presented as one of five businesses in the finale of the 2021 EY Virtual Pitch Competition, which took place as part of the LGBT+ Excellence in Business & Leadership Awards. While Dustin didn't take home the top spot this year, he did an outstanding job that we can all be proud of!
The organizers did a wonderful job, making it a worthwhile experience for those attending. We will continue to further our connection with CGLCC, with the goal of hosting a regional meeting, and perhaps the global summit, at some point in the future. I will also be prospecting from the attendee list and nurturing those connections for future business.
If you would like further details about this event or Tourism Kelowna's business development activities in the Toronto and Eastern Canada market, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (416) 265-3464.