Toronto Sets New Conference Record

Tourism Toronto and its meetings, conferences and events unit Business Events Toronto hosted 26 citywide conventions in 2018 – a new single year record for the city.

The total tops the previous record of 18 conferences set in 2017.

“The record number of citywide conferences speaks to Toronto’s place as the hub for innovation, technology, finance and business within Canada,” said Johanne Bélanger, president and CEO of Tourism Toronto. “Our team at Business Events Toronto taps into Toronto’s strength in these key economic sectors and uses the vibrancy of Canada’s Downtown to attract these major events to the region.”
Tourism Toronto defines a citywide convention or event as one that consumes 1,100 hotel rooms on peak night, a minimum of two hotels for delegates, and the use of a convention centre or event complex.

“Business events are a thriving and vital part of our tourism industry that contributes $33 billion in direct spending in Canada, directly employs 229,000 people and $19 billion of GDP,” said Heidi Welker, chair of Meetings Means Business Canada. “Great things happen when people come together, whether in a meeting room, on a convention floor, or out experiencing a destination. Our industry within Canada and in Toronto excel at bringing people together in an exceptional way.”

Following the success of 2018, the momentum continues into next year. Tourism Toronto has announced that Jehovah’s Witnesses will be hosting its 2019 international convention in Toronto, bringing an expected 45,000 delegates. That convention joins other meetings and events secured for 2019, including MPI’s World Education Congress (WEC) – the signature event for meeting professionals. WEC gives Toronto the opportunity to showcase itself to the professionals planning meetings, conferences and events across the globe.

Toronto was named Canada’s top convention destination by Cvent, and consistently ranks among the top five in North America.

According to officials, Toronto offers planners a destination that is open, diverse and safe – a city that blends the best of Canadian inclusiveness with iconic events, attractions, restaurants, culture and festivals.

Some of the key conferences, meetings and events that took place in 2018 included: NU SKIN China – May (4,000 delegates); Pediatric Academic Societies – May (9,100 delegates); VMWare – May (4,050 delegates); Rotary International Convention – June (24,000 delegates); Enterprise World 2018 – OpenText – July (4,000 delegates); Primerica Canadian Convention – July (7,000 delegates); 19th World Conference on Lung Cancer – September (7,500 delegates); Cyber Security Connect East (Palo Alto Networks) – September (3,515 delegates); Family Medicine Forum – November (3,000 delegates).

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