For more than 40 years, there’s only been one place mountain travel suppliers, buyers, vendors and executives go to make the critical connections they need for success: Mountain Travel Symposium, the largest and longest running annual gathering of mountain travel professionals in the world. This year, from March 26 to April 1, more than 1,100 representatives from 35-plus countries will gather in Banff and Lake Louise to build business, establish relationships and delve into conversations about critical industry trends.
The weeklong event allows the most influential domestic and international tour operators, mountain resort representatives, destination marketing organizations, group travel decision makers, meeting planners and others to achieve a year’s worth of business in just a few days with the Exchanges: The Trade Exchange, The Group Exchange and The Meetings Exchange.
These unique events have been creatively customized to ensure the right people connect, resulting in more than 15,000 pre-scheduled one-on-one business meetings in 2016. The Exchanges allow suppliers to reach their ideal clients; build brand awareness; introduce new and improved products; and create ongoing relationships with industry leaders.
The Trade Exchange, running from April 26 to April 28, is the mountain resort industry’s largest planning and contracting event. It’s been likened to “speed-dating on steroids,” with more than 8,000 prescheduled appointments up for grabs between more than 600 buyers and sellers. Buyers — who range from tour operators to online travel agencies and tech companies — come ready to talk and deal in these efficient, practical and intense meetings.
The Group Exchange runs from March 29 to April 1, bringing decision-makers with booking authority together with suppliers. Here, more than 145 carefully screened decision-makers from top ski clubs, councils and others who plan and book ski trips meet with more than 220 suppliers running the gamut from tour wholesalers and hotels to travel insurance suppliers, ski/board rental companies, ground transportation companies and more.
The Meetings Exchange was an immediate success with its 2016 kickoff. A full 100 percent of the meeting planners surveyed said they would return in 2017 if offered an invitation! This year, suppliers with meeting space will once again meet with carefully vetted qualified meeting planners from March 30 to April 1. Supplier participation will be limited to a two-to-one ratio with the planners to ensure a high-quality experience.
Another can’t-miss event is the Mountain Marketplace, a show within a show, where supplier exhibitors display products and services during all three Exchanges and the educational Forum, ensuring high traffic and interest from the buyers who are ready to do business.
Beyond the Exchanges, buyers and suppliers have multiple opportunities to make connections in a variety of other settings, ranging from casual area explorations to official networking events to invitation-only parties. Just a sampling this year includes the Skier Networking Day, Banff and Lake Louise Welcome Party, Group Picnic, Farewell Reception, Group Exchange Après Ski Reception, the new Trade Exchange Happy Hour, the invitation-only Destinations@MTS Cocktail Reception and more. Plus, attendees will also have the chance to meet and mingle on the slopes with complimentary lift passes for the week from Ski Banff Lake Louise Sunshine, valid for Mt. Norquay, Lake Louise Ski Resort and Sunshine Village.
Both buyers and sellers also join together for a number of educational opportunities during the two-day Forum, the premier thought leadership program in the industry, taking place on Wednesday and Thursday, March 29 and March 30. Here, discussions range from such on-point topics as creating the next generation of mountain travel industry leaders and technological travel trends to breakout sessions on topics like turning first-timers into destination travelers and executive-level small meetings. For more information on the Forum, see Creating a Profitable Future with Mountain Travel Symposium, or check out Mountain Travel Symposium here.
Register now to make invaluable industry connections in fast-paced, fun-filled, productive meetings and events.
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