Top 5 Reasons to have your Meeting in Calgary, Canada

Calgary skyline at sunset
Calgary skyline at sunset

Top 5 Reasons to have your Meeting in Calgary, Canada

Calgary makes life easy for meeting planners. Two first-class convention centers can accommodate groups of any size, and the incredible natural surroundings make attendance building simple. Not only that, Calgary is affordable, an industry hub, and the ultimate host city.

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Venue Capacity

By 2024, Calgary will offer more than 1 million sq. ft. of meeting and event space between two premier convention centers. 

BMO Centre 

When it re-opens in 2024, the BMO Centre will be the largest convention centre in Western Canada. The 1 million sq. ft. centre will include: 

  • 65 meeting rooms  
  • 500,000 sq. ft. of saleable exhibit, meeting and banquet space 
  • 500,000 sq. ft. of pre-function and heart of house space 
  • 3 ballrooms of 50,000 sq. ft., 20,000 sq. ft. and 12,000 sq. ft. 

The building has been purposefully designed to create authentic connections between guests. Case in point, its 25,000 sq. ft. of common area features Canada's largest fireplace, a perfect place for spontaneous conversation. 

Calgary TELUS Convention Centre

Location and access are major benefits of meeting at the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre (CTCC). The Centre is downtown, attached to 1,100 hotel rooms, and right next to the city’s train line. Its 122,000 sq. ft. includes:  

  • 36 meeting rooms  
  • 5 pre-function areas 
  • The largest room at 47,047 sq. ft. 
  • Theatre capacity of 4,000 

Your delegates will appreciate being connected to the world’s largest pedestrian skywalk network that can take them to countless restaurants, cafes, and cultural attractions. 

Offsite Venues

Beyond the two convention centres, Calgary also offers creative offsite venues for teambuilding activities, additional breakout rooms, or space for pre/post functions. Here is a curated list of five unique offsite venues to explore for your meeting. 

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BMO Centre (Artist Rendering)

BMO Centre (Artist Rendering)

Calgary TELUS Convention Centre

Calgary TELUS Convention Centre (Photo Credit: Colin Way)

Pre & Post Travel Opportunities

Delegates and their families will be thrilled with the opportunities to travel before or after an event in Calgary. The city sits right where the prairies meet the Rocky Mountains. The stunning scenery of Banff National Park is only an hour’s drive west of Calgary. A 90-minute drive to the east will transport you to the Alberta Badlands, which provide dinosaur enthusiasts with endless opportunities to explore. You will find plenty of pre & post travel inspiration below: 

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Lake Louise in Banff National Park

Lake Louise in Banff National Park (Photo Credit: Travel Alberta)

Drumheller in the Alberta Badlands

Drumheller in the Alberta Badlands (Photo Credit: Travel Alberta) 

Superior Event Servicing

Planning an exceptional meeting is hard work, so the Tourism Calgary team is here to help make the process as smooth as possible with a complete suite of destination services

Event Planning Support 

Tourism Calgary provides personalized expertise for meeting planners throughout the event planning process. This includes: 

  • Specific supplier recommendations, including support with sending out RFPs 
  • Local gifting options 
  • Prize packaging 
  • Organized site visit itineraries 

Attendance Building 

To help ensure your meeting is well attended, Tourism Calgary can provide an attendance building package including postcards, swag, and table-top displays. Leading up to the event, Tourism Calgary can also provide you with a custom microsite to give delegates all the information they need about visiting the destination. 

Sense of Arrival 

Calgary prides itself on being the ultimate host city. This is symbolized by the white cowboy hat that has become synonymous with hospitality in the city. Tourism Calgary can organize a white hat welcome at the Calgary International Airport for VIPs and a white hat ceremony for delegates during the event. 

Attendees will feel welcomed as soon as they arrive in Calgary with signage opportunities available at the airport, the host venue, the host hotel, and with street banners. 

See what other planners have said about hosting their meetings in Calgary

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Every dollar you spend on a meeting goes further in Calgary. Alberta is the only province or territory in Canada without a sales tax. That means your meeting expenses in Calgary will be: 

  • 7% less than in Vancouver 
  • 8% less than in Toronto 
  • Nearly 10% less than in Montreal 

Canadian destinations are far more affordable than those in the US given the currency exchange. This typically amounts to about a 30% cost savings. In addition, Tourism Calgary also offers a comprehensive financial assistance program for qualifying events. 

Discover more ways you can plan an affordable meeting in Calgary

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River Café on Prince’s Island Park

River Café on Prince’s Island Park (Photo Credit: Travel Alberta) 

Sky 360 restaurant in The Calgary Tower

Sky 360 restaurant in The Calgary Tower (Photo Credit: Travel Alberta)

Industry Hub 

Tourism Calgary can connect meeting planners with leaders across six key industries, acting as a catalyst for enhancing face-to-face events. These sectors are: 

  • Advanced Manufacturing & Aerospace 
  • Agribusiness 
  • Life Sciences 
  • Natural Resources & Clean Tech 
  • Technology 
  • Transportation & Logistics 

Many leading businesses in these sectors have decided to build headquarters in Calgary. The city is home to more than 100 head offices, which is the highest concentration in Canada when factoring in population. Learn how Calgary’s role in these industries can help enhance your meeting. 

In recent years, Calgary has also become a major destination for film and television productions, including HBO’s massive hit The Last of Us. See what other films have been shot in and around the city

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