TEAM Canada delegation to SportAccord in Thailand an outstanding success

 

This past April, the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA), in partnership with Destination Canada and CBC Sports, led the TEAM Canada delegation to SportAccord Convention 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand.

The premier international event dedicated to engaging and connecting rights holders, organizing committees, cities, press and media, businesses and other organizations involved in the development of sport, SportAccord attracted over 1,800 delegates. The world’s sport and business communities assembled at this five-day gathering, which included the Congress and General Assemblies of over 100 international sports federations.

Although 2018 marked the first year of CSTA's three-year agreement with Destination Canada to participate as the lead partner in Canada's delegation, twelve other partners participated as well. Eight destinations from across the country partnered with CSTA to position Canada as a preferred destination to host international sport events: Vancouver, Surrey, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Durham Region, Montréal and Québec City. Also included in the delegation were the T1 Agency, GESTEV and PAVCO.

The Convention includes a variety of networking, hospitality and business-to-business opportunities. In a post-event survey, Team Canada partners who attended deemed their participation as a success:

  • Partners conducted a total of 147 business-to-business (B2B) appointments.
  • Partners identified a total of 91 potential bid/hosting opportunities arising from B2B meetings.
  • 83% of respondents stated a high satisfaction with their participation based on their investment (Selecting a rating of 4 or 5)

”SportAccord offers a unique platform to connect with the leaders of Olympic and non-Olympic sport movement, organizing committees and host cities all in one location,” said Rick Traer, CEO, CSTA. “TEAM Canada’s booth provides a highly visible location for much of this networking to occur.”  Partners indicated in their survey responses that, “The booth definitely anchors us to the event, and creates a point of contact for event organizers and suppliers to find 'Canadian' contacts. Without the booth, I think we would be lost and in the larger mix with no true identity.” and “It was a great spot to connect with others and to allow discussion.”

A highlight of the Conference is the TEAM Canada reception, which has become a highly anticipated and highly attended event on the SportAccord schedule.  This year’s reception attracted over 150 representatives of the international sport community and served as the re-launch of the Power of Sport promotional video, a collaborative initiative between Destination Canada and CBC Sports.  On the post-event survey, participants agreed that the Team Canada reception was a highlight. “Good to build awareness of Canada and an opportunity to talk directly with delegates in more informal setting.” “It gets better every year and has become an important fixture at SportAccord.” “This event has definitely set us apart, and has become a highlight for many attendees. The 'social' aspect and the openness of it not being an exclusive event by strict invite has made Canada accessible and  approachable. Many IFs (International Federations) say now that if we can't meet during the day when they are on a strict agenda, we can always meet up at the Canadian reception.”

Overall, attending SportAccord remains a positive promotional opportunity for everyone who attended. All of the respondents indicated a strong likelihood of participating in SportAccord 2019. “It was a great experience and hope to continue to advance sport hosting opportunities in Western Canada.” “Canada night is exceptional and really sets us apart from the other destinations.”

Canada continues to rank as one of the top five countries in the world for bidding and hosting international events.  “CSTA is committed to continuing to identify opportunities to profile Canada on the global stage by bringing its partners together under the TEAM Canada banner, adds Traer. “SportAccord remains a significant part of our strategy to solidify Canada’s reputation as a leader in the sport tourism industry and as a preferred host for international sport events.“

The dates and location for the SportAccord Convention 2019 are expected to be made shortly.

About the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA)

The Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance is a non-governmental, member-based, capacity building organization that promotes sport tourism as a grassroots economic development initiative at the community level. The CSTA services over 500 members across Canada, including 130 municipalities, 300 national and provincial sport, multi-sport and major games organizations and a variety of other sport and tourism industry partners. Sport tourism is the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry in Canada with over $6.5 billion in annual spending by domestic and international visitors.