6 Ways to Stretch Your Meeting Budget in Canada

Canadian MoneyAfter hovering at about par with the US$ for number of years, once again the Canadian dollar is sitting at about 90 cents US. Craig Alexander, the chief economist at TD Economics has projected that there is likely to be a slide to 85 cents by mid year. Unfortunately, companies often miss out on opportunities like this to stretch their meeting and events budgets when currency rates are in their favor.

Here are 6 ways in which companies in the U.S. can save by acting now to arrange meetings, executive retreats and corporate events in Canada.

  1. Lock in your hotel rates.
    By booking this year and next year's meetings and retreats now, companies can save. In Canada, you can select from luxury hotels and boutique hotels in the downtown core of major cities, lakeside resorts, mountain retreats, and heritage inns.
     
  2. Save on airfare.
    Canadian airlines like Air Canada, WestJet and Porter Airlines fly from major U.S. cities. With the currency exchange in your favor, US companies can realized considerable savings, especially if they also take advantage of seat sales and other promotions.
     
  3. You can get more "bang for your buck" and access topnotch keynote speakers, team building facilitators and outdoor activity specialists who appear regularly on TV in the U.S. and Canada.
     
  4. Check off more items on your bucket list.
    Whether members of your team want to go dog sledding, ski on incredible slopes in The Rockies, build and sleep in quinzhee, take part in a sugaring off party, or go whitewater rafting, the favorable currency exchange rate will make these once in a lifetime experiences much more affordable.
     
  5. Take in a major event with your team.
    There is something for everyone including:
    • professional hockey and basketball games
    • film festivals in Toronto and Montreal
    • world class polo such as Polo for Heart at towards the end of June just North of Toronto
    • major equestrian events at Spruce Meadows in Calgary or the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto
    • gourmet festivals
    • Carifesta in Montreal or Toronto's Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival (formerly called Caribana
    • concerts with major Canadian artists like Michael Buble and Celine Dion
    • Major American artists and reggae stars also regularly tour Canadian destinations. The key is to plan ahead and time your meeting to take in a crowd pleasing event.

  6. Plan and execute promotional campaigns in Canada.
    Savvy companies realized that when the US dollar is stronger, they can take advantage of the talent, infrastructure, and technical support available in Canada to shoot TV commercials, develop virtual marketing initiatives including virtual walls, and prepare guerilla marketing initiatives.
    As we have all seen, world currency markets can undergo dramatic fluctuations. The key to stretching your budget is to seize the opportunity for savings before they disappear.

For more tips on stretching your meetings budget and what is available to you in Canada, also consult Currency Fluctuations Open Door for Corporate Event SavingsCool Canadian Events to Explore Canada's Winter Wonderland, 25 Ontario Summer Events for Corporate Teams to Enjoy and Corporate Event Venues: 5 Lakeside Resorts in Canada. 

For help in planning your trip, consult the Canada Meeting and Event Planning Guide and the Luxury Destinations in Canada Guide

Photo Credits: KittyCanuck

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