Why These Canadian Venues Are Fitting Hosts for Life Sciences Events

Hotels provide unparalleled access to the host destination. In Canada, Accor’s Fairmont Properties are bridging the gap for life sciences attendees.

Today’s meeting planners have their pick of countless venues, from the traditional conference center to the offbeat unconventional space and everything in between. But even with all these options available, hotels are still popular conference settings — and it’s easy to see why.

Innovative hotels are changing the script to meet attendee’s expectation of non-traditional, Instagram-worthy venues. Properties across the United States and Canada are increasingly incorporating smart meeting rooms, rooftop access for flexible meeting space and networking receptions as well as inspiring outdoor venues to spark creativity among attendees.

Besides offering lodging and venue space, a hotel can also serve as a liaison to various resources and expertise as well as a partner in creative event design. In fact, research suggests that many attendees prefer to meet at hotels for their convenience, range of services, and access to local points of interest for visitors.

“Excellence in service and the overall seamless experience that can be achieved at traditional venues allows attendees to focus on what they came for — in our case, the science and the networking,” says Mathias Posch, president and partner of International Conference Services and president of the International Association of Professional Conference Organizers.

Accor is one family of hotels that regularly opens its doors to conference-goers. Each year, Accor’s Canadian properties welcome thousands of attendees, with hotels located in each of Canada’s centres of life sciences excellence including Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Québec City, and Montréal. Its many brands, including the Fairmont collection of hotels, provide world-class service to meeting planners and their delegates from all backgrounds.

“Fairmont acknowledges the importance of the conference industry — specifically in regard to life sciences,” Posch says. “Fairmont is a leader that puts attendees needs at the forefront, which can be seen by the amount of life sciences meetings held at their properties.”

Numerous life sciences events are taking advantage of traditional hotel venues in the coming year due to the strong partnership achieved and unparalleled access to the local destination. In 2020, the Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology will hold two meetings at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, with the opportunity to take advantage of the Accel-Rx health sciences accelerator which is just a stone’s throw away. The Canadian Women’s Heart Health Summit will be meeting at the Fairmont Château Laurier in Ottawa due to its recently renovated meeting rooms.

“Fairmont has always been a great partner in our collaboration,” whether offering space for meetings and networking or lodging for guests and speakers, Posch says.

In 2018, the Fairmont Royal York in downtown Toronto served as one of the headquarter hotels for the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer’s World Conference on Lung Cancer. The landmark property was an ideal setting for the biggest international meeting focused on lung cancer and thoracic malignancies.

“The excellence of service and strategic location made it a no-brainer for us to put up our most valued speakers” in the Fairmont Royal York, Posch says. “In addition, we held our faculty dinner at the hotel due to its rich history and outstanding food and beverages.”

Most importantly, Accor’s Canadian hotels are in close proximity to research centres, hospitals, universities, and other institutions valuable to anyone working in the life sciences sphere. Guests staying at the Hotel Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, for example, are near McGill University, home to the Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning. Choosing a conference hotel near a local life sciences ecosystem makes it easy to incorporate experiential learning opportunities such as site visits and laboratory demonstrations into a meeting.

With a meeting’s success depending so heavily on the venue, it makes sense to choose the reliable option that has long benefited organizers and delegates. After all, a hotel is much more than just a place to stay.

This article is brought to you by Business Events Canada. Learn more about planning your next life sciences event at an Accor property, or reach out directly to receive our knowledge maps, designed to help you determine which life science destination is the best fit for your meeting.

(Handout photo)