New program seeks to draw more international conferences to Ottawa

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Some of Ottawa’s economic development agencies are looking to boost the capital’s reputation as a premier destination for conferences and events through a new program that turns local business leaders into ambassadors for the region.

The Shaw Centre played host to partners Ottawa Tourism and Invest Ottawa Tuesday morning as the economic development agencies unveiled the ThinkOttawa program. The new initiative looks to bring more international conferences to Ottawa by supporting local associations and tech firms bidding to host the events.

Private businesses as well as organizations from across Ottawa’s government, non-profit and academic sectors will receive support in developing their bids and will have access to marketing and promotional materials, information on available venues and accommodations and even financial aid for eligible events.

A release states that Ottawa hosted 16 international events last year, generating some 6,000 hotel room nights for the local hospitality sector. Organizers hope that in addition to generating direct benefits for Ottawa’s tourism industry, the program will also lead to an influx of events that will elevate Ottawa’s profile and attract more investment and talent to the region.

The partners add that hosting an industry or association event can elevate a company’s reputation in its field.