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For Meetings, Canada Brings Out the Big Guns

Business leaders and academics have lined up to help Destination Canada land international conferences.

Canada has upped its marketing game with the recent launch of the Canadian Visionaries Network.

The CVN is a collection of Canadian thought leaders who have signed on to support Destination Canada in its efforts to book international conferences by helping meeting professionals better understand the depth of the country’s intellectual resources.

The network launched with 28 business leaders and academics, from Mary Robinson, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, and Julie Angus, CEO of Open Oceans Robotics, to Gregory Dudek, a professor at McGill University specializing in robotics and telecommunications, and Alona Fyshe, assistant professor at University of Alberta, who focuses on machine learning and artificial intelligence. (See the full list here.)

Network members choose the level of involvement that works best for them, says Virginie De Visscher, senior director, business events at Destination Canada. That could mean sharing their perspectives in marketing videos and industry publications or partnering with a Canadian city to help bring specific international conferences to Canada.

De Visscher adds that they might join a Canadian delegation to promote Canada generally or as the future location for a specific event, help to identify international conferences that would be good bidding opportunities, or use their network to help promote Canada to a specific international conference. For groups confirmed in Canada, De Visscher says that CVN members could also be tapped in the development of a conference agenda.

While the CVN isn’t a speakers bureau, De Visscher says that its website is a great place for meeting professionals to reference if they’re looking for a speaker. “If there’s a particular member who meeting professionals are interested in connecting with for their meeting or event, we can absolutely support that. We can also work with them on suggestions to align with their event, if the right fit isn’t jumping out.”

“Canada is home to visionary minds pushing the boundaries of global innovation,” says De Visscher. Connecting experts with international conferences is key, she says, because it creates “the chance to supercharge event agendas with acclaimed keynote speakers, captivating state-of-the-art site tours, unparalleled networking opportunities, and more.”

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