A Quick Guide to Bringing a Conference to Canada

One of the biggest concerns U.S. meeting planners considering Montréal as a destination have is that crossing an international border will create additional effort. We understand your concern.

There’s no denying it–planning an event anywhere outside the U.S. will require that you think beyond borders. However, limiting meetings only within the states will limit their reach, while isolating segments of your association’s membership. And you certainly don’t want that.

Meeting north of the border is a breeze when partnering with the right team. When it comes to planning meetings, Tourisme Montréal is ranked first by clients for ease of doing business, according to the 2016 Watkins Report. We’re also ranked as the CVB that stands out the most. Success happens when you pair a team that works for you with a crowd-pleasing setting.

Montréal radiates a European sensibility, but with a non-conforming creative streak. Its innovative spirit can be found in a thriving technology sector and its irrepressible art scene. And the city is easy to reach. Less than a two-hour flight from many major American cities.

But what do you as an event planner need to know about Canada as a destination for meetings and conventions? When planning a meeting in Montréal here are three simple actions you should consider.

  • Reach out to a customs broker.
  • Appoint an official customs broker (a professional who helps the “clearing” of goods through customs) such as ConsultExpo, six months to one year prior to your event.
  • A phone call with a customs broker will answer any immediate questions and help to establish a timeline for your event.

When budgeting Montréal for your next international meeting or convention, keep in mind that most, but not all, related convention supplies incurred are eligible for a full GST/PST refund. ConsultExpo Inc. will advise you if you qualify for this rebate, and if so, walk you through the necessary steps to achieve a refund. Applications must be submitted within one year after the last day of the convention.

Communicate with the Canadian Border Services Agency. As soon as you’ve confirmed your Canadian destination, register your event with them. Your customs broker will guide you along the way. This step will simplify things for you and your exhibitors at the border. Your exhibitor, vendors and sponsors will receive important customs privileges, such as goods being allowed to enter Canada temporarily, avoiding duties and taxes, and on-site customs clearance!

Educate your attendees and exhibitors. This means reminding attendees to ensure their passports are not expired or including the necessary customs forms in your exhibitor manual.

Ready to offer your delegates a meaningful experience in the only North American city that offers a true European feel? Get the wheels in motion for an event or meeting by reaching out to Tourisme Montréal today!

Contact us and let us help you turn your event into an unforgettable one.

1-800-230-0001 x 2310



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