Destination Discovery at Ottawa Meet Week

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Event planning can be a challenging process, especially when it comes to finding the perfect destination to host your event. This is where attending industry events, such as Ottawa Meet Week, can make all the difference. Our Event Manager, Katerina Frattas, recently had the opportunity to attend this event and discover the wealth of benefits it offers for planning your next event. 

At Ottawa Meet Week, Katerina connected with various destinations, learned the ins and outs of hosting events in these cities, delved into incentive programs, and established valuable industry relationships. In this blog, we will share her insights and reflections on the event and explore the ways in which attending can impact the destination selection process for event planners. 

Reach  

The experience was enriched by the various avenues available to reach out and establish valuable connections. 

One of the highlights was participating in the Destination Direct Canada’s Hosted Buyer Program, which provided Katerina with one-on-one meetings with 20 different destinations spanning coast to coast. This program allowed her to dive deeper into each destination’s offerings, discuss potential collaborations, and gather essential information to support our clients in finding their ideal event location. 

Beyond the Hosted Buyer Program, Katerina’s reach extended even further throughout Ottawa Meet Week. Through networking receptions, dinners, and professional development sessions, she had the opportunity to connect with over 40 destinations, hotel partners, and vendors. These interactions offered a broader perspective on the diverse range of possibilities available for our clients and allowed her to establish meaningful relationships within the industry. 

The extensive reach Katerina achieved during Ottawa Meet Week has not only expanded our network but has also provided us with invaluable insights. By directly engaging with destinations, hotel partners, and vendors, we can better understand their capabilities, services, and how they align with our clients’ specific event goals. These connections and experiences greatly enhance our ability to support clients in finding the perfect destination that meets their needs and exceeds their expectations. 

Networking  

While virtual meetings and emails have their benefits, there is undeniable value in meeting face-to-face. Katerina had the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations, build rapport, and establish personal connections with representatives from different destinations. These in-person interactions allowed for a deeper level of trust and understanding that can be challenging to achieve through virtual means alone. 

In addition to the interpersonal benefits, there is also a cost-effective aspect to gathering everyone in one place. Attending Ottawa Meet Week provided Katerina with the opportunity to connect with numerous destinations and industry professionals in a concentrated period. By having all these meetings and engagements in one location, it significantly reduces the cost and time associated with traveling across the country to meet each destination individually. 

Furthermore, the value of networking extends beyond the immediate connections made during the event. Building relationships and establishing personal connections with destinations and industry professionals can lead to long-term collaborations and partnerships. These connections may result in exclusive offers and streamlined communication for future events. The ability to foster these relationships is a significant advantage of attending industry events like Ottawa Meet Week. 

Discovery  

Ottawa Meet Week served as a platform to explore and discover new destinations and opportunities that may not have been on our radar otherwise. 

When attending an event of this magnitude, there is a wealth of destinations represented, each with their unique offerings and experiences. By engaging with representatives from different destinations, Katerina was able to uncover hidden gems and previously unknown locations that could be ideal for our clients’ events. 

Through these interactions, Katerina learned about destinations that fit specific criteria, such as unique venues, cultural experiences, or outdoor activities. This exposure to new destinations broadened our knowledge base and expanded our options when suggesting venues to our clients. It also allowed us to provide more tailored recommendations based on their event objectives and preferences. 

In addition to exploring new destinations, Ottawa Meet Week also provided insights into emerging trends, incentive programs, sustainability practices, and partnership opportunities. By attending sessions and workshops, Katerina was able to stay up to date with the latest industry developments, which can help us provide innovative and cutting-edge event solutions to our clients. 

Unique Takeaways 

Katerina also discovered unique takeaways that brought attention to innovative programs and destination experiences. 

One standout takeaway was the “Outside the Box BC” project, which is a collaborative effort between Kamloops, Penticton, and Nanaimo. This program aims to streamline the process of hosting events in British Columbia, offering an incentive for event planners to choose these destinations. By showcasing this project, Katerina raised awareness about the simplified process and the benefits of hosting events in British Columbia. 

Another significant takeaway from Ottawa Meet Week was gaining insight into green initiatives, sustainability programs, and incentive opportunities across the country. Katerina discovered that various cities, like Edmonton, have implemented comprehensive sustainability programs and reconciliation initiatives (learn more here). This knowledge allows us to partner with cities that align with our clients’ values and provide them with unique opportunities to support green practices and community initiatives through their events. 

One memorable destination experience Katerina encountered was the possibility of hosting a June event in the Yukon. The Yukon offers the unique allure of the 24-hour sun, creating an extraordinary atmosphere for delegates to enjoy activities like midnight golf. This destination experience sets the Yukon apart, offering something unforgettable and out of the ordinary for event attendees. 

After a week-long jam-packed event, Katerina has been able to bring this new knowledge back to our entire team so we can provide the best recommendations possible to our clients.  

If you’re interested in learning more about these takeaways, feel free to reach out to Katerina here. We can also support you in planning your next event which you can explore here.

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