Destination Canada Update
As our day-to-day circumstances keep evolving we thought it would be timely to update you on where we are as of today, with regard to marketing Canada for business events in the era of COVID‑19.
We know these are difficult times within the business events sector. We know there is a lot of uncertainty around what our world will look like next month, next week, and even tomorrow. But what we do know is that we are in this with you. We are stronger together, and now more than ever, it’s important we work together to support each other, and leverage the power of Team Canada and the resources available to support your business.
We all look forward to the day when we can return to the business of promoting business events, and we plan to be ready when that day comes with a robust recovery plan that supports our industry partners in the short, medium, and long-term. To that end, we are currently developing a revised marketing plan with various 30 | 60 | 90 | 120-day scenarios based on when the COVID‑19 marketing pause is lifted and how that will impact our partner co-investments through the end of the year. We will share more details on this plan in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, we are revisiting our existing co-investment marketing plans from now to the end of June and will be in touch with individual partners on our sales and marketing plans as we move into new scenarios.
In the coming days we are connecting with our strategic partners (ASAE, FICP, IEEE, CESSE) to discuss the impact that COVID‑19 will have on our strategic marketing agreements and we will update participating partners as to next steps once we’ve made those connections.
While we want the Canada brand to maintain market-presence, we also want to ensure we are managing our resources and efforts efficiently. To that end, we have paused our social media channels, are evaluating our current and upcoming marketing campaigns and, where possible, and where it makes the most sense, we will work to reschedule these for later in the year.
Business Events-led sales activations
The Canadian Public Health Authority has released coronavirus guidelines on when to cancel major events. As you know many of our industry events have been postponed, or cancelled outright. We are monitoring all Business Events-led activations daily and as industry events are postponed or cancelled we will advise those affected and begin proceedings to refund partners who have co-invested the events. We thank you in advance for your patience while we work through this process.
Postponed or cancelled events (as of March 18, 2020)
March 24, 2020
MPI ACE Annual Tradeshow
March 31 – April 4, 2020
Accor’s Global Meeting Exchange
April 15 – 17, 2020
Association World Congress (postponed to Dec. 2020)
April 19 – 21, 2020
Northstar Incentive Live
May 12 – 14, 2020
May 27 – 31, 2020
Incentive Research Foundation
July 16 – 17, 2020
When it’s appropriate, we look forward to once again showcasing Canada for immersive incentive travel programs and innovation-fueled conferences, but in the meantime, if you have any questions about any of our sales and marketing activities, please don’t hesitate to connect with us.
Incentive Canada and Innovate Canada
While we continue to monitor the situation closely, as of today, we are hitting pause on our planning Incentive Canada July 23 – 27, 2020 at Fox Harb’r Resort and Halifax, Nova Scotia, and pausing client outreach for Innovate Canada, August 31 – September 3, 2020 in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. While both afford a unique opportunity for 50+ key decision-makers to experience first hand Canada’s welcoming spirit represented so well by our Canada For Glowing Hearts brand we want to ensure we are able to deliver on the promise each event holds. We will keep registrants updated with all relevant information as it becomes available.
Data and intelligence
As the COVID‑19 situation continues to evolve, we are committed to collecting and confidentially sharing aggregate data and intelligence on its impact on our business events industry to help inform your future plans. We are working with industry, Meetings Mean Business Canada (MMBC), the Convention Centres of Canada (CCOC), the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC), and the Travel Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) in this endeavour, and are assessing how we can best ensure that vital information is made broadly accessible. We will be sending further direction on how you can support the collection of data and intelligence in a separate email later this week.
Stay up to date
We will enhance the information around COVID‑19 posted on Destination Canada’s corporate website regularly including links to where industry partners can go for support or information. Please check this page for updates.
Support the sector by sharing relevant information: If you have a network that would benefit from this information, please pass it along. If you are a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), association, or otherwise have your own channels or networks, such as newsletters, please encourage your network to subscribe to Destination Canada Business Events News.
Following are some Canadian resources that can be shared amongst your networks with the latest guidance on hosting business events.
- Clark Grue, on behalf of Meetings Mean Business Canada – what event professionals need to know about COVID‑19
- Public Health Authority Canada: Risk-informed decision-making for mass gatherings during COVID‑19 global outbreak
- Centers for Disease Control: Get Your Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019
- World Health Organization: Key planning recommendations for Mass Gatherings in the context of the current COVID‑19 outbreak
We will also be publishing a weekly partner e-newsletter to share relevant information as it comes available.
COVID‑19 is unlike anything any of us has seen before. As we learn of friends, family, and colleagues personally being affected by the economic impact of layoffs and closures, it can be hard to stay focused on the long game. But there is no sector better poised for the long game than the business events sector. Canadian collaboration and Canadian innovation both fuel our industry and I know they’ll play an important part in our recovery from COVID‑19. While we may be paused on our current sales and marketing efforts, we are using this time to create new content and hone our messaging so that when our communications resume we’ll be able to hit the ground running. I’m hoping that by supporting each other, working together, we will come through this situation stronger than ever before. In the meantime, stay safe, stay in touch and we’ll look forward to connecting with you again in the days and weeks ahead.
Executive Director, Business Events