6 de dezembro de 2010

Canada Taking the Marketing Positives (C+MW)

Conference + Meetings World - C+MW
posted on: 6/12/2010 12:01:43

The Canadian Tourism Commission’s Greg Klassen tells CMW why the country is concentrating marketing efforts on Europe and the UK and shares experience of the Winter Olympics and the G20.

The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) launched its efforts in the MICE markets in the UK and Europe two years ago as a result of a one-time infusion of government stimulus funds. Canada’s marketing certainly made quite an entrance at EIBTM in Barcelona last year.
The short-term return on investment (ROI) and positive client feedback has been significant enough for the bureau to make these European markets a permanent part of its sales focus going forward. Greg Klassen found time at a recent Marketing Canada event in London, to talk to CMW.

What is the idea behind your marketing event in London?

We are actively seeking strategic partnerships with industry associations.

This will enable us to reach beyond specific geo-markets and position our partners and the Canadian MICE product as a viable alternative to other first tier international options.

We have proven ability to host the world’s largest and most complex events such as the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and the G8/20 Summit, along with Sport Accord and IAPCO (International Professional Conference Organisers) in 2011, which should stand us in good stead.

Our goal is to present Canada as a value for money, four-season destination that offers something for every meeting type.

Where else have you positioned your marketing and sales efforts?

We have invested heavily in our presence at large MICE industry events, such as EIBTM in Barcelona and IMEX in Frankfurt, which have both provided large ROI for us, in both monetary terms and in terms of exposure for us as a destination.

The Winter Olympics in Vancouver helped us change our brand and perception and Canada has come into its own as a result. Two examples of this are that journalists are now asking to speak to Canadian destinations, as opposed to North American, and tour operators now refer to us as Canada as opposed to North America.

The recent G20 summit in Toronto, received a lot of bad press – was this damaging to the city and the country?

G20 summits traditionally tend to attract negative press, wherever they are held, but Canada held its own and showed the world we are a progressive country. We also showed that we are one of the safest countries in the world, where freedom of demonstration is accepted as being a part of the Canadian culture. The impact this event had on the country more than outweighed the negative press.

What do you think of the Delhi, Commonwealth Games saga? 

Hamilton, Ontario, lost in the bidding for the event with 22 votes to 46.

I think Delhi was very brave to bid and it was a brave choice to choose the city for this event. It provided it with a real opportunity, though, to tell its story to the world. The downside is all the attention the project got in the media created real risk.

With Ottawa about to gain a new, large convention space, why is there so much investment being made into the city?

Ottawa is home to the Federal Government, many scientists and the International Research Council, but it never had the infrastructure to host large events, which just didn’t make business sense. The investments made into Ottawa’s convention and exhibition spaces will help to put the city on the map as a serious events destination.

Who does Canada consider its main competitor in the events market? 

Of course the United States, especially cities such as Las Vegas and Orlando, but also Europe and the UK, which are looking a lot closer to home for the hosting of conventions and meetings.

In the last 18 months, we have been working hard to attract UK interest in our offering. This has included investing more into our presence at industry shows, IMEX and EIBTM.

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