The Backstory of Montréal’s Ground-Breaking New Guarantees
Montréal is one of North America’s most creative cities—and they’ve innovated once again. With the recent launch of a new pledge that offers guarantees to event professionals, the charming Canadian city is planting a firm flag as one of the best destinations in the world to host events.
We chatted with Mylène Gagnon, Vice-President Sales and Convention Services at Business Events Montréal (part of Tourisme Montréal) to get the backstory of The Guaranteed Success Pledge initiative.
First off, why a pledge? Was this a request you heard being expressed from event planners?
Overall, it’s an incredibly simple idea: offer guarantees to reduce the uncertainty of event planning. This initiative didn’t come from a specific request. However, by working with multiple planners we noticed some criteria and selection factors for a destination were starting to reoccur. And the next step became obvious—find a way to help make life simpler when booking with us.
Why is attendance one of the items on the list?
Attendance is often the main concern—or one of the top concerns—of a meeting planner when selecting a destination. Our experience taught us that Montréal is a city that both delegates and planners fall in love with. We know delegates will show up. In the past three years, attendance rates were close to 10% more than projected numbers. So, guaranteeing it seemed like a natural thing to offer. It’s one less thing on the planner’s mind.
How will guarantees affect the experience of a meeting planner?
This equation applies to all of us: the less guesswork, the better its life is. At the moment, meetings planners already have a great experience when they come to Montréal. Satisfaction rate is 94%. We are hoping that these guarantees will continue to improve their overall experience with Montréal, while also optimizing their dollars. One example is that we are guaranteeing the exchange rate when booking Montréal’s convention centre. This takes some of the worry away!
Apart from the guarantees, why are meeting planners choosing Montréal?
Three of the top reasons are affordability, accessibility, and that there is always something to do. A day of meetings in Montréal can cost up to 84% less than in some major US cities. This can mean big savings for an event. As a destination, we’re less than a two-hour flight for over 170 million Americans—people don’t realize how close we actually are. Finally, Montréal offers a buffet of cultural experiences. With our hundreds of festivals, there’s always something to do, and many of these cultural events offer free programming.
What’s next for Business Events Montréal?
Great question! Currently, Montréal is the #1 destination for international association events in North America for the second year in a row according to ICCA and #1 in the Americas according to the UIA. The convention centre had a record year this year. As a destination, we can say with confidence that we have tremendous positive momentum. We’re excited to keep saying “bienvenue” to the world!