Host City: How important are events for tourism and economic growth in Atlantic Canada?
Stefanie Turner: Events are fundamental drivers of tourism and economic growth in Atlantic Canada. They serve as magnets, attracting visitors from various regions, both nationally and internationally. These visitors contribute significantly to the local economy by spending on accommodations, dining, transportation, and other goods and services. Events generate revenue not only through ticket sales but also by promoting local businesses and products while enhancing the region's marketability. Furthermore, events create jobs and stimulate investments, providing a vital boost to the economy of Atlantic Canada.
Host City: How would you describe the social and cultural impacts that major events can achieve?
Stefanie Turner: Major events have the power to transform communities socially and culturally. They foster a sense of pride and unity among residents, encouraging active participation and volunteerism. These events celebrate the unique cultural heritage of Atlantic Canada, showcasing its traditions, arts, and culinary delights. They provide a platform for local artists and musicians to display their talents, preserving and promoting the region's cultural identity. Major events often incorporate educational components, raising awareness about local history, environmental conservation, and social issues, contributing to a more informed and socially conscious society.
Host City: How important is partnership work for you as an organization? What are your key relationships and how do you go about nurturing them?
Stefanie Turner: Collaborative partnerships are vital for Event Atlantic's success. We engage in close cooperation with various government entities at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels, as well as national organizations such as Sport Tourism Canada and Festivals and Major Events.
Our collaborations extend to venues, community organizations, the local supply sector, and dedicated sponsors, all of whom play a crucial role in ensuring the success of our organization and the events hosted by our members. Establishing strong relationships with these stakeholders is built upon principles of open communication, mutual respect, and shared objectives. We actively involve our partners in our organization's growth planning process through our 'Meeting of the Minds' working groups.
We publicly recognize their valuable contributions via our Excellence Awards Program and create networking opportunities and collaborative sessions at our annual Event Summit. Additionally, we host regular meetings with our federal and provincial partners, fostering connections not only between us and them but also among the partners themselves. We firmly believe in the power of mutual learning, acknowledging that everyone has something valuable to share.
Our partnerships serve as platforms for this reciprocal education, driving the entire industry forward through shared knowledge and experiences.
Host City: The theme of Host City 2023 is “Driving and Reacting to Change.” What are the major changes that are impacting event hosting in Atlantic Canada?
Stefanie Turner: Certainly, the landscape of event hosting in Atlantic Canada is undergoing significant transformations due to several key factors. There is a heightened emphasis on sustainability and environmental responsibility, with event organizers increasingly adopting eco-friendly practices and initiatives to reduce their ecological impact. Additionally, the integration of technology has become a prominent trend, enhancing the overall event experience for attendees and expanding the reach of events to a larger audience. Furthermore, there is a growing focus on inclusivity, diversity, and social responsibility, with events becoming platforms to celebrate various cultures and traditions.
However, challenges such as staffing and volunteer shortages pose hurdles in organizing these events effectively. Moreover, inflation has impacted budgeting and financial planning for events, requiring careful consideration of resources. Another noteworthy change is the extension of the event hosting season into shoulder months, allowing for more diverse and year-round event opportunities. Alongside this, there is a positive shift in perception, with increased recognition of the positive impact that event hosting can have on the local community.
Communities are understanding the economic and social benefits, fostering a more supportive environment for events. In this evolving landscape, sponsors are also changing their approach, preferring experience over exposure when approached for support. This shift indicates the importance of creating meaningful and engaging event experiences that resonate with both sponsors and attendees, emphasizing the value of the event beyond mere visibility. These collective changes are shaping the future of event hosting in Atlantic Canada, driving the industry towards a more sustainable, inclusive, and impactful direction.
Host City: What kind of changes are you looking to bring about as an organization?
Stefanie Turner: Event Atlantic is dedicated to instigating positive change within Atlantic Canada. We are actively working towards establishing stronger hosting partnerships among neighbouring municipalities and provinces, shifting from traditional competition to collaborative efforts.
This approach will pave the way for Atlantic Canada to host larger-scale events, contributing significantly to the region's growth. Our focus lies in supporting the creation of memorable and impactful experiences for event attendees.
Concurrently, we are committed to fostering a more sustainable, inclusive, and socially conscious event landscape in Atlantic Canada. To achieve this, we will continue to provide extensive professional development opportunities tailored to current industry needs, develop essential resources for the Atlantic Canadian event industry, actively promote the region, and continue to celebrate the contributions of those individuals and organizations that enhance the success of events in Atlantic Canada.
Through these initiatives, we are determined to elevate the event industry in the region and leave a lasting positive impact on Atlantic Canada. To find out more visit https://eventatlantic.ca/