First-rate facilities, festivals and a fresh approach to meetings make Edmonton a premier meeting destination. April 26, 2011
Edmonton Economic Development
Meetings & Incentive Travel Advertising Feature
Edmonton has much to offer meeting planners. From modern and flexible meeting spaces to unique cultural offerings, Alberta’s capital city has never been more attractive.
The growing, mid-sized city features 13,000 hotel rooms, 3,500 restaurants and North America’s largest shopping centre, West Edmonton Mall.
But the city’s strength in the meetings market is founded on memorable settings and world-class facilities and amenities. Among them, the Shaw Conference Centre’s superior service and award-winning space stands out. Accommodating up to 7,500 people, the Shaw Conference Centre is the province’s largest conference facility and features stunning panoramic views of Edmonton’s river valley parkland.
Northlands Park is the region’s major venue for tradeshows and events, hosting 2,500 events annually. It features over 400,000 sq. ft. of adaptable indoor tradeshow and meeting space. Northlands Park is the newest trade-show and exhibition venue of its kind in Western Canada and the largest west of Toronto. For a tranquil atmosphere, the University of Alberta’s historical campus buildings, equipped with the latest technology, offers planners a unique setting across the North Saskatchewan River.
New and newly renovated spaces keep the city fresh. The brand new Matrix Hotel, in the heart of downtown, is conveniently located within walking distance of the Legislature buildings, financial and corporate towers and Edmonton’s extensive river valley park system. More than 8,500 sq. ft. of function space features natural lighting and includes the nearly 4,000-sq.-ft. Quartz Ballroom, and if additional space is needed, the Matrix Hotel is a five-minute drive to the Shaw Conference Centre.
Edmonton is home to the Art Gallery of Alberta, an ideal off-site venue for meetings and special events. The new facility, which opened Jan. 31, 2010, was designed by Los Angeles-based architect Randall Stout and features a variety of spaces, from an atrium and three terraces to a boardroom and theatre. Zinc restaurant seats 60 and is flanked by three 35-ft. windows for optimal views of the downtown arts district.
Edmonton’s first-rate facilities, combined with the cultural opportunities on offer, make the city an appealing option to meeting planners and conference-goers alike, says Ken Fyske, vice-president, economic and tourism development, Edmonton Economic Development Corporation.
Playing host to more than 30 festivals annually, Edmonton has earned the title of Canada’s Festival City, and it’s a name the city wears proudly. From the entertaining Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival and the Works Art & Design Festival, to the Edmonton Dragonboat Festival and the rough-and-tumble Canadian Finals Rodeo, there are festivals every month of the year.
To ensure planners and conference delegates have opportunities to experience Edmonton’s entertainment and cultural offerings during their conference, Edmonton Tourism has created the Festival City in a Box programme. Professional staff can help planners incorporate a festival theme into keynotes, breakouts, team-building, companion outings, catering and receptions, in an effort to make planners’ events interactive, engaging and memorable.
Edmonton’s entertainment and cultural offerings, enhanced by the city’s high-quality venues, provide value to meeting planners and elevates Alberta’s capital city to a prime meeting destination.
A Fresh Approach to Meetings
Edmonton Tourism recognizes the importance of corporate social responsibility and the impact the meetings industry can have on the environment, through excessive waste. That’s why they’ve developed a fresh approach to meetings. In partnership with the city’s hospitality industry, Edmonton Tourism’s FRESH programme supports meeting planners in creating experiences that are environmentally, socially and economically responsible. The FRESH programme offers tools such as a green meetings guide (a step-by-step tool to help plan and execute planners’ events); the ECO Report Card, allowing planners to acquire quantitative measurements of an event’s environmental impact; and eco-friendly itineraries that combine elements of Edmonton with those of sustainability.