London is ready to breathe new life into the meeting and events community. As Ontario re-opens and groups re-connect, Tourism London and its partners are making plans to welcome clients and business events back into its borders.
“We’re eager to get back to what we do best,” says Karen Dowhan, Director of Conventions with Tourism London. “All of our hospitality partners are excited to help planners bring their people back together and build back those relationships with genuine human connections.
No doubt, the last 18-plus months have put a damper on in-person meetings and conferences, but there are clearer skies ahead.
“Face-to-face meetings may have been put on hold, but our venues and event partners have spent that time either enabling hybrid solutions or preparing to re-open safely and effectively as possible,” adds Dowhan.
Big plans for 2021
2021 looks to be a landmark year for the City. This November, it is set to host the Canadian Country Music Association’s (CCMA) Country Music Week 2021, which will include the CCMA Fan Village, CCMA Songwriters’ Series, CCMA Legends Show, CCMA Gala Dinner & Awards as well as CCMA Seminar Series. What’s more, the week will culminate at Budweiser Gardens with Canada’s biggest night of country music – the CCMA Awards, presented by TD.
Local meeting and events partners are making plans. RBC Place London, for example, recently partnered with its in-house audiovisual company Encore Canada (formerly Freeman Audio Visual) to offer an all-in-one A/V service.
“The idea is to make in-person meetings and events pop,” says Dowhan. “We did some really innovative things to support hybrid events, but we’re always looking for ways to make in-person events that much more engaging and cutting-edge.”
Tourism London is also taking steps to loop its residents & local businesses in on the fun. Recently, it launched its Stay a Little Longer Program, which encourages locals to explore London for a staycation by booking a minimum 2-night consecutive stay at one of 21 participating hotels and receive a $100 Tourism London VISA gift card. The gift card is geo-targeted to use at any local business that accepts VISA within London. including restaurants, shopping, attractions and services. The program will help local recovery efforts for not only hotels but for all sorts of local businesses.
As for re-vitalizing interest in London among Canada’s meeting planners, Tourism London is standing at the ready to link event planners to an array of local attractions, outdoor adventures, live entertainment, cultural celebrations, and a host of fun activities that will add something special to any plans.
Ready to serve
Unique tastes and world-class cuisine await London’s guests. In preparation for incoming groups, London’s network of world-renowned restauranteurs are exploring fresh ideas and new promotions, as well as doing their part to adapt to current challenges.
For example, says Dowhan, “The RBC Place’s food and beverage (F&B) team is prepared and practiced in the kitchen, and are second to none in foodservice, food quality, and in its ability to accommodate.
London’s food and beverage partners have been busy over the past months. In addition to readying their kitchens and venues for in-person dining, chefs and staff across the community have gone to great lengths to support our communities during this difficult period.
“They’ve done us proud,” says Dowhan, adding, “And now they’re excited to show the world what they can do.”
A safe return
In the post-pandemic, health and hygiene reign supreme. This is why London’s hotels and convention centre have continued to adapt their service offerings and meeting spaces to accommodate enhanced visitor expectations and ever-shifting health and safety demands.
For its part, RBC Place and hotels across the jurisdiction have implemented health and safety protocols, resources, and best practices to keep guests safe. This includes adopting touchless technologies, implementing next-level cleaning and hygiene programs, and rethinking how spaces can promote human connection and safe social distancing.
“We know there are anxieties around returning to in-person business events, and that’s why the RBC Place and our other meeting spaces are doing all they can to facilitate memorable meetings, conferences, and tradeshows without sacrificing health and safety,” notes Dowhan.
Can’t Wait to See You
Call it reserved excitement or cautious optimism. As pandemic risks recede and economies begin to re-open, London is eager to position itself as a top pick for the get-togethers in the post-pandemic.
“We were excited to help meeting and event planners make their visions possible before the pandemic, and we’re more than ready to do the same now,” says Dowhan.
Discover what makes London an ideal choice for your next business event. Visit https://www.londontourism.ca/meeting-planners.