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Vancouver convention organizers see surge in interest

More than 200 events are so far planned for 2022
People walk in the rain outside the Vancouver Convention Centre | Rob Kruyt

Vancouver Convention Centre (VCC) representatives say the venue has seen a surge in interest from event planners, with more than 200 bookings already set for 2022. 

The events include the GLOBE Forum, TED, and Jurassic Quest, as well as the Vancouver International Wine Festival. 

“With the easing of restrictions on gathering and events, we’ve seen a renewed confidence in the industry,” said Claire Smith, vice-president of sales and marketing at the VCC. 

“When we have major events at the VCC, we help drive visits to local shops and bookings for restaurants and hotels.”

Indeed, Tom Murphy, a principal at Mounted Police Post – a souvenir store near Canada Place that specializes in RCMP memorabilia – told BIV this morning that convention and conference traffic is a large source of his customer base. 

In the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the VCC hosted approximately 500 events, welcomed more than one million guests and generated more than $360 million in economic impacts for B.C. acording to VCC statistics. 

It then pivoted during the pandemic. It transformed 25,000 square feet of its event space to host the Imagine Van Gogh, and Michelangelo Sistine Chapel, exhibitions while maintaining sufficent space for social distancing. 

The site also provided space for an examination centre for professional accreditation tests. The B.C. government needed facility space for its COVID-19 immunization program, and the VCC collaborated with Vancouver Coastal Health to host a large immunization clinic.

Some upcoming events that the VCC is hosting include the Wellness Show, which is returning after a two-year hiatus, on March 26 and 27, and the GLOBE Forum 2022, on March 29 and 31.

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