When organizations choose to meet in Toronto, they unlock access to a network of experts dedicated to business event success.
When Dublin-based Web Summit brought the Collision conference to Toronto June 20–23, the event lived up to its moniker as the “Olympics of tech.” More than 35,500 delegates networked, initiated deals and discovered what makes Toronto an innovation trailblazer. Among them were venture capitalists, tech leaders, blue chip firms, startups, global policymakers, innovators such as GitHub’s Thomas Dohmke and Zoom’s Janine Pelosi, as well as cultural icons like author Margaret Atwood.
Content touched on everything from e-commerce, fintech and security to artificial intelligence, machine learning, gaming and smart cities. There was an emphasis on climate change and sustainable development and conference organizers made a concerted effort to increase participation by both women-led businesses and Indigenous startups, such as artificial intelligence company Kama.ai and training firm PLATO Testing.
The Power of Personal Connections
Toronto is Canada’s biggest tech sector and the third-largest in North America. It first hosted Collision in 2019, but the pandemic prompted organizers to migrate the conference online in 2020 and 2021. Bringing Collision back to Toronto’s Exhibition Place as an in-person only event made it the city’s largest international face-to-face gathering in more than two years.
Collision general manager Keith Wallace says organizers nixed the idea of a hybrid component this year because “we wanted people to network here in the city,” adding that pitching new business to potential investors is more effectively done face-to-face.
It’s certainly noteworthy when a tech-forward conference like Collision strongly endorses in-person business events, comments Andrew Weir, Destination Toronto’s executive vice-president, destination development. “It tells you that … exchanging ideas, learning and networking happens most effectively in person and I think that an event like Collision is a great illustration of that.”
The Power of Partnerships
“We’re positioning the city as a world leader and as the best place to set up a business, attract international students and to bring international conventions,” says Stephen Lund, CEO, Toronto Global, which represents the cities of Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton, as well as the nearby Regions of Durham, Halton and York.
For meeting planners bringing their events to Toronto, it means tapping into all the great things the city has to offer “without having to make 40 different phone calls,” Weir adds. “There's a real sense of collaboration and partnership. Once that door to Toronto opens, it creates opportunities for connecting with thought leaders, speakers, logistical partnerships and support. When you work with one of us, you're working with all of us.”
The Power of Global Connections
Toronto was more than ready to engage with delegations visiting from 130 countries during Collision. Through the efforts of Toronto Global, Invest in Canada, Invest Ontario, Destination Canada Business Events and many other organizations, international visitors experienced exclusive networking events and engaged with tech innovators in Toronto as well as the broader region, including the Toronto-Waterloo Region Corridor.
Destination Canada Business Events hosted an exclusive technology sector focused familiarization tour for a select group of international association and corporate clients. Guests got a look behind the scenes of leading technology firms and organizations, including LinkedIn, the MaRS Discovery District and the University of Toronto.
The Power of Discovery
With more than half of residents born outside of Canada, it’s no surprise Toronto is renowned for diverse cultural experiences. Conference attendees were encouraged to get out and explore the city via the Collision After Hours program, which took over some of Toronto’s most exciting attractions including the Grand Bizarre indoor/outdoor supper club, the eclectic Stackt Market retail and event venue, and the historic Distillery District.
Collision 2022 Recap
> 35,562 attendees, up 40% from 2019
> 130 countries
> 250 event partners, including Snap, Google Cloud, TikTok and Crypto.com
> 793 venture capitalists, angel investors and major funds
> 1,557 startups, of which 340 are women-led and 197 led by under-represented communities
> An estimated $41 million in economic impact to Toronto’s visitor economy
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The Numbers Behind Collision 2022
See you next year: Collision returns to Toronto June 26–29, 2023