10 Reasons to Hold Your Event in Calgary

Business Meeting in Calgary
Business meeting in Calgary

10 Reasons to Hold Your Event in Calgary

Even though we could list a billion reasons you should host your next meeting or conference in our fair city, we decided to go directly to the source - we asked event planners who have hosted here for their top reasons for choosing Calgary and why they feel you should too!

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Event Planner, Patricia Pearson

Meet Patricia Pearson, Managing Partner with CanPlan Event & Conference Services. Based in Ottawa, Patricia is a seasoned professional, with a deep background in event logistics and facilities management, not to mention a decade of management experience in the hospitality industry. When asked why she recommends Calgary, she has a number of reasons.

1. Service Excellence
Rising above all reasons is the exemplary quality of the service Patricia has encountered. “Calgary plays in the same league as Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal,” says Patricia, “with plenty of sponsor-organized offsite options and easy to access resources. But the incredible service we received from all levels of hospitality staffing is what sets you [Calgary] apart.”

2. Natural Beauty
Other perks are the beauty of the natural surroundings, with the Canadian Rockies and the mountain parks easily accessible for offsite experiences.

3. Location, Location, Location!
Patricia urges potential clients to see the city as centrally located, meaning easy access for delegates from the west coast and to the east. Given the number of industries with corporate headquarters here, the city can also be a natural choice for many of her clients.

4. Safety
She went on to say as a community, we’re “not too big for our britches” and should pride ourselves on the fact we have a safe city; “delegates felt safe everywhere.” We would add we’re proud of the measures we’ve taken throughout the ongoing health challenges to ensure the safety of all residents and visitors. “There was a lot of risk management involved in planning a conference in 2020,” Patricia says. “We used a very conservative approach, choosing a venue closer to the international airport that was small enough to mitigate the risk of low attendance. So it was a most welcome surprise when it led to a full slate of delegates, who were treated so well, the group wants to return to Calgary in 2025. And we’re already aware we’ll need a larger venue.”

5. Western Hospitality
And as always, the city’s western roots and renowned hospitality are a big draw. She’s bringing in a group for the 2023 Calgary Stampede and is pleased to see that accommodation during our peak season is reasonably priced.

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Lake Louise

Lake Louise is easily accessible from Calgary (Photo Credit: Taylor Burk)

Western Hospitality

Calgary is known for its renowned Western Hospitality

Conference Manager, Jennifier Stewart

Meet Jennifier Stewart, Conference Manager for the Western Arts Alliance (WAA), headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Its annual conferences are well attended, and regional host cities vie for the opportunity to host. For the past eight years, Jennifier has been at the helm of managing the logistics of site selection and event management. Here are some reasons why she chose Calgary.

1. Financial Assistance
After a site visit, a strong case was made to the WAA Board for selecting Calgary to host their 2022 conference. “There were many reasons why I believed Calgary was the right decision, even though it was the underdog to Seattle, a city well-known to our membership,” says Jennifier, “but what swayed our board was the monetary incentive offered by the City’s destination marketing fund, which handsomely offset our conference costs.”

2. Compact Footprint
Another deal maker was a viable conference footprint. The proximity of the conference centre to hotel accommodation, amenities, services, and offsite opportunities meant everything was within walking distance, no other means of transportation required. “Being right downtown on the lovely [Stephen Ave] was so convenient for delegates,” says Jennifier.

3. Unique Activities and Experiences
“We’re a membership that does lots of business after conference sessions and it was the perfect scenario, says Jennifier. “Working with local partners, we put together small group activities that got attendees out and about in a casual, non-traditional manner – field trips like walking tours of the area to see all the public art, and nature walks that helped us get out of the B2B mindset.”

4. Local Support
One partner in particular stood out: Arts Commons. “They really got the ball rolling, helping us put together an ice cream social in Olympic Plaza, which was timed to coincide with live, outdoor entertainment offered to Calgarians that our delegates could enjoy. We had a connection with the US Consul General in Calgary who came out to participate,” she added. “It was a perfect sunny summer day and wonderful to have everyone outdoors enjoying themselves.”

5. A Winning Combination
If you are thinking of Calgary as a host city, Jennifier offers the following advice: “Use local connections to provide resources. Everyone involved was proud to show off their city. Once you do a site visit, you’ll be sold – the infrastructure is all in place for a successful event. Oh, and I have to add that we loved that Chinatown was so close. The food was excellent! All in all, the membership was surprised and delighted with what the city had to offer. Post-conference, 75 per cent rated their experience as excellent or very good. Top marks!

Learn more about the billion reasons to choose Calgary by contacting us today.

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Stephen Avenue

Stephen Avenue (Photo Credit: Travel Alberta / Chris Amat)

Calgary City Hall Plaza

Calgary Walking Tours (Photo Credit: Neil Zeller)

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