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The Victoria Conference Centre features 73,000 square feet of meeting space, including 19 separate meeting rooms


conference centres and hotels can work in concert, performing collaboratively to co-host large scale events that require more space than any single facility can provide. In the Interior of the province the Penticton Trade & Convention Centre is among the very best in BC. The largest convention centre in the Interior of British Columbia and the only purpose-built convention centre in the Okanagan, the Penticton Trade & Convention Centre features over 60,000 square feet of flexible meeting and exhibit space. Located in the heart of wine country and only about

five minutes from the Penticton Regional Airport, this is the ideal location to combine business and leisure. The complex offers 13,700 square feet of exhibition space, features a 3,300 seat theatre, has 1,200 parking stalls in an attached space and is conveniently located in proximity to hotel rooms. Major organizers of events, such as the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council (VIATEC) is the source of many of the large scale events held in the Capital Region – taking place at different venues around the city. From training sessions to major awards nights, VIATEC is the force behind many

The Vancouver Island Convention Centre is the largest purpose built conference facility located north of Victoria of the top public happenings that occur in Victoria each year. Another major event held in the Greater Victoria area each year is the Rifflandia Music Festival, noted for bringing top entertainers and hordes of enthusiastic music lovers to the region. Again, thanks to the established infrastructure available in Victoria the organizers of this four day spectacular have a variety of options and venues to choose from. “Being able to host major events,

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especially ones that draw a national or even international audience, are an excellent way for a community to get the word out about what it has to offer. That alone can help to encourage development and investment,” Russell explained. “Another interrelated element of the industry is the individual convention bureaus and the local destination marketing groups – organizations created to help promote their communities. For these groups having facilities in place are real assets when attempting to draw visitors to their region.” British Columbia is especially blessed, both by Nature and in having a solid conference space inventory in place to help attract events and revenues. The following are just some of the key conference / trade show destinations in the province. The premier meeting place in the provincial capital is the Victoria Conference Centre (VCC) a sprawling complex, linked to the world famous Fairmont Empress Hotel, it features 73,000 square feet of magnificent meeting space, spread across no less than 19 separate multi-purpose meeting rooms. The VCC also includes a large exhibit hall if a companion trade show is part of an event and a 400 seat lecture theatre for formal training opportunities. Ample parking space is also available for all of attendees, thanks to a large two-tiered underground parking lot located directly beneath the centre. Across the street from the Conference Centre is Victoria’s historic Crystal Garden, which serves as a companion meeting venue for the VCC. Considered one of the most beautiful meeting places in Western Canada, the Crystal Garden boast more than 25,000 square feet of meeting space, enough legroom to host exhibits or functions for up to 1,100 people. Further north the Prince George Civic Centre is Northern BC’s leading meeting, convention and events facility. Serving groups in sizes ranging from 20 to 2,000 it

is utilized primarily for conventions, meetings, banquets, sporting events, trade and consumer shows, weddings, symposiums, receptions and more. The facility offers incredible versatility and flexibility, making it an ideal venue for any sized event. The complex has nearly 53,000 square feet of total functional space (48,000 square feet of which can be used as exhibition space), and is adjacent to a 650 room hotel for added convenience. Located in Nanaimo the Vancouver Island Convention Centre (VICC) is the largest facility of its type on Vancouver Island, north of Victoria. With a lovely ocean side location overlooking the city’s inner harbour and featuring 38,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, the centrally located VICC is a desirable location for hosting major events in the Central Island region. The Centre features full wireless access, digital way-finding, global broadcast capabilities, and will accommodate events for up to 1,300 people. The VICC has up to 35,000 square feet of total exhibition space, has a range of different sized meeting rooms available and is in close proximity to a 179 room hotel – Nanaimo’s largest. British Columbia is equipped to host trade shows, workshops and conferences of every size. For key players in the meetings industry those resources, when combined with the revenue potentials that major events create, will see these facilities become even more important in the years to come. “No virtual workshop will ever take the place of a face to face meeting, or being able to handle the goods at a trade show. That’s one of the real ongoing strengths of this industry,” Russell explained. “Not everything can be done in a webinar, there’s still very much a place for building trust and understanding – which really can only happen when meeting face to face.” www.conventioncentrescanada. com

Business Examiner Thompson/Okanagan - September 2017  

Featuring the latest business news and information from Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Summerland and Penticton.

Business Examiner Thompson/Okanagan - September 2017  

Featuring the latest business news and information from Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Summerland and Penticton.