In an insightful interaction with Travel And Tour World, David Chisholm, Vice President of Sales reveals the features that make Metro Toronto Convention Centre etch a deep impact on Toronto economy and on the MICE industry of North America.
Travel And Tour World – Metro Toronto Convention Centre generates half a billion in economic impact for Toronto for FY 2018-19. How did you accomplish it?
David Chisholm: Economic impact is created by hosting conventions, trade shows and public shows. Our primary focus is to host as many events as we can that bring attendees who reside outside of Canada, into our city. The further an attendee comes from, the longer they will tend to stay and spend more in our community.
Travel And Tour World: Elucidate on the facilities and the special experiences offered that help MTCC stay ahead of the curve.
David Chisholm: We are located in the downtown core surrounded by financial and entertainment districts, public transportation hubs, major sports facilities and thousands of hotel rooms. One key differentiator that is unlike most North American convention centres is that we produce and serve our own food and beverage operation and we provide our own technology services. This affords us the opportunity to work closely and be flexible with our customers and their unique needs.
Travel And Tour World: In 2018, the Convention Centres of Canada recognized the MTCC as the top performing convention centre out of the 21 centres across Canada in terms of gross revenues and profitability. What are your goals for 2019-20, and how do you intend to achieve them?
David Chisholm: Our goals for 2019/20 are to exceed our revenues and profitability from the previous year. We can achieve this goal by booking the right type of business and being strategic with our inventory of space. More importantly, we will continue to provide our clients and attendees with top notch service excellence, including a clean, well maintained and modern convention centre experience.
Travel And Tour World – What are the major industries that host their events in MTCC? How do you plan to expand?
David Chisholm: We host a wide variety of association and corporate events of all sizes. Generally, in the association sector they are conventions that address topics in life sciences, education, industry and professional services. On the corporate side we host many events from the IT, financial, insurance, retail and professional services sectors. I think we are always looking for new opportunities to take place in our shoulder seasons which are outside of the busy months of April through November.
Travel And Tour World – Flexible seating configuration; apps; beacons for navigation & marketing and many more. How is MTCC tapping into technology to boost its revenues and number of attendees and meetings?
David Chisholm: We have found that our clients like to use their own service providers to track the marketing and movements of their attendees. We have invested extensively into our website to make it easy to use and navigate in. We have invested in and installed five new large digital screens around the building to create opportunities for our clients to market sponsorship and advertising opportunities to their partners and clients.
Travel And Tour World – Elucidate on the sustainability initiatives and achievements of MTCC.
David Chisholm: Our facility is an industry leader in sustainability and our efforts have been recognized through various awards and certifications. Some highlights from last fiscal year include 16,000 kg of food donated to local organizations and food banks representing 27,000 meals. 40,000 kg of materials such as lanyards, tables, lamps, carpet, and bins donated to local charities. 90% of all waste diverted from landfill. 80% of our wine list is dedicated to local Ontario wineries. 65% of all fish, meal and dairy purchased locally to help sustain farmland and local farmers.
Travel And Tour World – As per ICCA 2018 Country & City rankings, Canada ranks 10th by number of meetings (315). It ranked 5th in terms of number of participants (203,429 – 20 per cent increase). How is MTCC poised to help Canada improve its rankings?
David Chisholm: Toronto ranked #1 in North America for number of participants and #2 in number of meetings hosted for North America. We are poised to help sustain and grow this number through engaging local leaders of industry and research with our Leaders Circle program which helps support these leaders to champion our bids and host these meetings. We offer bid workshops, budget creation and support and many other services to help reduce the workload that a local leader might incur in hosting an international meeting.
Travel And Tour World – Apart from MICE facilities what other incentives are being offered such as dining, city tours etc.
David Chisholm: In many cases we work alongside our partners at Business Events Toronto to prospect and win these large events that are based around the world. These types of incentives or opportunities are organized through their offices.