Kicking off business events in 2023, the PCMA Convening Leaders conference from Jan 8 to 11, brought together business events professionals and community leaders from around the world to discuss the leading trends, opportunities, and innovations in meetings and events.
What did meeting planners and business events professionals talk about while at the conference? Here are four themes that emerged that are influencing meetings and events in 2023, and some examples from Toronto to help inspire the strategy and narrative for your own organization or business.
Sustainability goes beyond tourism and is not a trend, but rather an ongoing commitment and responsibility. Prioritizing sustainability will help ensure the longevity of tourism and hospitality. Because of this, Destination Toronto has joined Destination Canada and other Canadian DMOs in a project to help measure our destinations' sustainability. There are many ways to incorporate sustainability into your business events strategy, including working with local suppliers, using reusable decor or containers, installing energy-efficient fixtures in your business, and more.
Here are two Toronto event facilities that are leading the way in their innovative approach to help you think about your sustainability story and how you’d like to frame it:
- 5 Ways the Metro Toronto Convention Centre is Leading the Sustainable F&B Movement
- The Road to Net-Zero: 4 Green Initiatives Making an Impact at Exhibition Place
2. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Destinations that feel welcoming, and where delegates can see themselves reflected in its residents, is becoming an important consideration for meeting planners and group business. With over 53% of Torontonians born outside of Canada, the coming together of different cultures and people is what makes the city so special. Toronto is a place where distinct perspectives are not only celebrated but remixed. Because of the city’s diversity and the rising awareness of prioritizing DEI in business events, Team Toronto works with planners to ensure events hosted here are intentional, focus on advocacy in action, and align with each meeting’s DEI objectives.
What examples can you share about your business that show your commitment to DEI? Here's how we’re highlighting Toronto’s commitment to DEI to help attract meetings in future years:
- Toronto DEI Advocates to Add to Your Keynote Speaker Wish List
- How to Make Your Event More Inclusive (and Make Everyone Feel Welcome)
3. Creating Spark
Planners often choose destinations that help spark creativity and want to visit businesses and arrange activities that promote original thinking or provide new perspectives with attendees. A meeting environment that fosters new ideas can help ensure an event’s success, resulting in leads for future business. All are welcome in Toronto — creators, dreamers, innovators, leaders, problem solvers, and everyone in between. And the fusion of cultures and ideas help to open minds, give new insights, and inspire creativity.
Use these Toronto experiences as inspiration to deliver the spark and share your creativity, attracting groups to your business:
- 12 Group Activities that Will Give Your Team New Perspectives
- Team-Building Workshops from Toronto’s Creative Community
Despite the challenges of the last three years, leaders in the business events industry have embodied a resilience mindset. They endorsed entrepreneurship, embraced virtual and later, hybrid-event models, built critical contingency plans, and showed immense creativity and resilience. They understood that being nimble and flexible is equally as important as being intentional and strategic. This resilience is an important part of the Toronto narrative, and it demonstrates our passion and commitment to ensuring the success of meetings and events hosted in our city.
Tell your own story of resilience and creativity when pitching your organization or business to planners like the examples in the article below: