Earlier this year, CAEM partnered with GO WEST as an Association Partner for their two-day event that featured 530 participants including 300 planners from across Canada. The signature “Experiential Hall” sold out two months prior to the event and consisted of 80 interactive exhibit booths, workshops, food stations, a learning lounge, Association Central, and a tech bar.

GO WEST is produced by Timewise Event Management with Executive Producers Arlene Schilke and Brent Taylor leading the charge. “When you have over 500 event professionals that come to Edmonton in the middle of January, you know they are there because they are hungry for education, resources, and connection to other likeminded souls” said Arlene Schilke, GO WEST Executive Producer and CEO of Timewise Event Management. “Couple that with industry speakers and thought leaders, partners and sponsors who were ALL-IN to roll out the red carpet and create experiences. Collaborating with partners like CAEM and MPI really helped to bridge the gap and demonstrate that we are stronger together.”

“Having a CAEM presence on the Industry Association Panel was a terrific opportunity for exposure for CAEM to over 500 industry professionals; many who were not familiar with us.” said Nancy Milani, CEM, CMP, First Vice-President of CAEM and Vice President of Informa, who sat on the Industry Panel. “The Panel was extremely well received and all organizations had a voice on the value of membership and had the opportunity to speak to our uniqueness.  The collaboration of the four organizations was a positive step towards uniting our industry. Alliances and partnerships will benefit all our organizations as we move forward in these ever changing times. There were some great sessions offered with emerging trends and think-outside-the-box ideas to create better experiences for our future events.”

All in attendance agreed that the most valuable aspects of the event included the connections, the food, the speakers and the design. The program and atmosphere were strategically designed to help planners get connected to each other, to the education and to the resources. The Edmonton Convention Centre pulled out all the stops for the menu and delivered at a level that people could not stop talking about. The lineup of industry thought-leaders was not the usual line up often seen in Canada and the speakers attended the entire event and engaged with the attendees, on and off the stage. And lastly, the design of The Main Stage and The Experiential Hall were second to none.  

CAEM also exhibited in Association Central of The Experiential Hall tradeshow, along with other event Associations such as MPI, ILEA and CanSPEP. “It was a great opportunity to talk about the Exposition Industry and CAEM to the delegates that came by the booth” said Laurie Paetz, Show Manager of The Motorcycle Shows and CAEM Board Member/2019 Conference Co-chair. “Many of the tradeshow attendees were unaware of CAEM and were interested in learning more about our Association’s role and impact in the events industry.  It was a good opportunity to promote the 2019 Conference being held in Calgary, with many attendees being from Western Canada. Overall, it is important to find new collaborations like we did with GO WEST to continue to market CAEM, source new members, as well as promote the Exposition Industry.”

Missed out on all the fun this year? Not to worry — GO WEST 2020 will be held in Edmonton, Alberta from January 19-21, 2020. at the Edmonton Convention Centre. 800 event professionals across Canada and beyond will come together for 3 days of networking and education. The Experiential Hall will be back better than ever and will have 100 exhibit booths, and are expected to sell out early. Mark your calendars and see you there next year!