Canada is touting a ‘beauty and brains’ approach to winning life sciences convention business. The country is looking to capitalise on its expertise in the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and research and development sectors to attract international conferences, leading to subsequent business and knowledge-sharing opportunities.

Canada is host to operations from the 10 largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, while a knowledge force includes 17 medical schools, more than 100 teaching hospitals, and a local community of more than 30,000 researchers. Hotbeds for life sciences include the cities of Montréal, Waterloo, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver and key areas of expertise include the medical device industry. More than 1,000 companies in Canada work in this sector alone, employing a workforce of 26,000, and the country ranks fourth in medical device manufacturing costs after the UK, Netherlands and France.

Michele Saran, executive director of Business Events Canada (BEC), says: “We like to think that what sets Canada apart for hosting MICE programmes from the life sciences industry is our unique blend of beauty and brains. Whether you’re looking for speakers to engage for an event, potential sites for delegates to tour such as hospitals or cutting-edge research facilities, or ideas for unforgettable group excursions and incentives, our specialist teams here at the BEC and our partner organisations are on hand to cater to your needs and ensure your event goes off without a hitch.

“While our global standing at the vanguard of life sciences means we truly understand the needs and requirements of our clients our world-class facilities, from purpose-built convention centres in cosmopolitan urban centres to intimate wilderness lodges set against the stunning backdrop of the great outdoors, enables us to deliver on the promise of a successful programme in a way no other destination can.”

Notable recent conference wins in the life sciences arena include EMD Millipore, the Life Science business of Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, which held its Global Sales Meeting (GSM) 2015 in Toronto, while the 2018 International society of Hematology Conference will welcome 1,500 delegates to Vancouver.


Featured image: The view from the roof of Vancouver Convention Centre.