The search for an “all-in-one” event destination can leave planners scratching their heads. But as guests of London, Ontario can attest, the most engaging (and budget-friendly) meeting location is closer than expected.
Over the years, the southwestern Ontario city has attracted groups of all types and sizes with a mix of business and entertainment offerings. From its vibrant city centre to lush outdoor spaces, and state-of-the-art venues to its unique attractions, London has proven itself more than able to hold its own against local and international hotspots.
“One of the reasons groups come back is that we’re a place that can offer big-city amenities mixed with hometown appeal,” says Karen Dowhan, Director of Conventions with Tourism London. “We really do have something for everyone – whether it’s visitors who want to explore the outdoors, foodies looking for unique tastes, parents seeking places to have fun with their families, and guests who want something fun to do in between their sessions.”
Certainly, there are reasons London is a popular pick for meeting and event planners. Ahead are some of the highlights.
London is where industries make connections. The City is home to leaders across numerous sectors including, agri-food, advanced manufacturing, digital media, tech, professional services, and health development. It is also host to academic experts within Western University and a growing population of world-renowned researchers, scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs whose cutting-edge innovations have made London a hub for attracting talent across various sectors. Collectively, London’s innovation scene makes it easy for meeting and event planners to connect their groups with local industry leaders, innovators, and subject matter experts, and engage them as speakers and panellists.
London is headquarters to a number of leading organizations, including Canada Life, 3M, Labatt’s, General Dynamics, and Maple Leaf’s most technologically-advanced poultry processing plants in the world. In addition to hosting two post-secondary institutions, the City is also known as a talent hub for numerous fast-growing industries, including digital media, life sciences, agribusiness, advanced manufacturing, professional services, and more.
Need a place to set up camp? RBC Place London is an eye-catching, 70,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art convention facility that has hosted thousands of important conferences and events. Open since 1993, the AIPC Gold Standard venue offers spacious and flexible event spaces and is steps from major cultural attractions, shopping, dining, and nightlife. What’s more, the venue is directly connected to the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel and a quick walk to the scenic Thames River. It is also one of many venues on offer throughout the city that put groups in close connection with the amenities, spaces, and entertainment needed to pull off a memorable event. For your virtual or hybrid meeting, Encore’s Presentation Stage at RBC Place London comes with a complete technical set-up so you can deliver your message via any online solution.
From bustling downtown entertainment venues to globally-renowned restaurants, live shows to outdoor activities, London offers ample ways for guests to enjoy their stay. Popular picks include 100 Kellogg Lane, former home of the Kellogg’s Cereal Factory and now a recently-renovated entertainment complex, distillery, and brewery; as well as the London Music Hall, Budweiser Gardens, and a host of nightlife, theatre, and live music venues. Moreover, the City is slated to host a new, 163-room Hard Rock Hotel in 2022
“We are lucky to have a rich entertainment scene to share with our guests,” says Dowhan. “And not only have we been host to events like the Juno Awards and Canadian Country Music Awards, but we’ve also been the destination for sports events like World Figure Skating Championships, Memorial Cup, The Briar, and Ontario Summer Games.”
“There’s always something going on in London, which ensures groups with various interests will be entertained,” she adds.
Room to spare
London’s hotel community is a mix of international brands and locally-owned boutique hotels, which collectively offer over 3,500 rooms.
Easy to get Here
London is just a two-hour drive from Toronto and Detroit. The nearby London International Airport also offers direct flights to and from major Canadian cities, and visitors can also access the City by its downtown VIA Rail station. London is also easy to traverse thanks to its highly-walkable downtown and convenient public transportation options.
Results for Success
Meeting and event planners are far from alone when they visit London. Tourism London’s Convention team is committed to working with planners to define their vision and match them with the services, spaces, and people who will make it a reality.
“In London, your event is important and will not get lost in the crowd among other events like it would in a larger city,” says Dowhan. “We pay close attention to the meeting and event planners’ needs to ensure we know what is important to them. We also help at every step of the way with many complimentary services and attention to detail, including RFP distribution, site selection, assistance with choosing off-site venues, and whatever comes next.”
Moreover, she adds, “Our partners all support each other and work together to ensure your event is a success.”
Discover what makes London an ideal choice for your next event. Visit www.londontourism.ca.