The historic and picturesque city of Halifax, Nova Scotia was host to Canada’s largest gathering of sport professionals from March 7-9th. The Sport Events Congress, an annual event hosted by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance, is an opportunity for sport events rights holders to meet with communities across the country to find what tournaments are available for bid. Tourism Brantford attended to promote the city, its sport facilities and find good fits for future sporting events.
The highlight of the Sport Events Congress is the Sport Events Exchange. This high paced, information packed program is speed dating like you’ve never seen before. Events rights holders and qualified communities get eight minutes to sit with each other, face to face, to see if the sport events they hold match with what the community has to offer. It’s fast, exciting and a great way to meet a lot of people in a short time. Tourism Brantford met with 10 events rights holders, including: Canadian Blind Hockey, Chess Federation of Canada, Ontario Basketball, Quidditch Canada and Special Olympics Canada. All were very positive and follow up after the congress is happening to continue the relationships that were built and work on future business together.
The Sport Events Congress also had many engaging speakers and presentations. Topics covered were: Driving Maximum Sponsorship Value, What Sponsors Want: The Changing Sponsorship Landscape, Digital Communications and Fan Engagement, Sport Tourism Assessment Template and Creating Hosting Opportunities for Your Market. The congress also featured two powerful presentations: Tell Me a Story – CBC Coverage of the 2018 Olympic/Paralympic Winter Games and Boston Strong: The Road to Recovery for the Boston Marathon. All these sessions provided so much information of best practices and new approaches to delivering sport events.
An exciting bonus to this year’s Sport Events Congress was the naming as a finalist the 2017 Ontario ParaSport Winter Games co-hosted by Brantford and the County of Brant for the PRESTIGE Awards (Program Recognizing Exceptional Sport Tourism Initiatives, Games & Events) in the CSTA Canadian Sport Event of the Year Award (budget less than $1M). Even though the Games did not win the category, being recognized for their overall success as an outstanding multi-sport event was a huge honour for the two communities who worked tirelessly to deliver a memorable and exceptional sport competition for all the participating athletes.
Tourism Brantford has attended the Sport Events Congress for over five years and has built many strong relationships within the sport tourism industry. The ability to network with sport professionals is an asset to learn best practices when hosting events and how to adapt ideas and concepts into our community’s plan. It was an informative and exciting congress. We're looking forward to exciting events to come!