A bustling global city, Toronto is the capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in the southeastern part of the country, on the shores of Lake Ontario. The city has over 2.8 million people, making it North America's fifth most populous city. It is a culturally diverse city, with over half of the population belonging to a visible minority group.
Toronto is undoubtedly an attractive place for locals and tourists. Home to a vibrant and sprawling downtown, prestigious schools, and a rich art scene, it's no wonder Toronto frequently makes many "best of" lists. The city also houses numerous production companies within its limits and notable global companies in Canada, including Brookfield Asset Management and the Royal Bank of Canada.
But what makes Toronto stand out is its role in hosting conferences; it's a great way to get those creative juices flowing and find the inspiration for innovative projects. An eclectic array of all-encompassing marketplaces with presentations runs throughout the year at many of the city's best hotels. Plus, the hotel conference facilities in Toronto are among the best in the world, so it’s no surprise that the city hosts many major international events each year.
Hotel Conference Options in Toronto
- Event Planner
Toronto is a great city to host a conference, and plenty of event planners can help you with every detail, from choosing a venue to ordering catering and booking entertainment. They can also provide everything, such as administrative support, security staff, and more.
- Equipment Rental
There are several rental firms in Toronto if you need equipment for your conference venue, like audio/visual gear, tables, and chairs. Just reserve ahead of time, especially if you need specialized technology.
- Business Catering
Toronto has no shortage of great caterers who can prepare delicious food for your conference. They can cater to your every need, from light snacks to full meals. Ensure you get a company that can handle all your guests’ dietary issues before you book.
Hotel Conference Vendors in Toronto
- Dion Events
Dion Events can be the solution to ensure your event goes off without a hitch. It specializes in working with clients to streamline the event-planning process and relieve as much stress as possible. Whether you are planning a wedding, retirement party, milestone birthday, hotel conference, or corporate function, Dion Event has extensive experience orchestrating events of all sizes. They understand that each client and event is unique, so they believe the solution should also be tailor-made.
- PG Harvey Events
Harvey Events Inc. is a Toronto catering firm that offers high-end event catering services. Everything from décor and rentals to menus, bar service, and wait staff will be considered so your hotel conference or private event runs smoothly from start to finish. They also have experienced event coordinators who will partner with you from your first communication to create a customized event, ensuring that every detail meets your needs.
- Production Canada
Production Canada provides comprehensive event production and fabrication services. They have everything from logistics, bespoke construction, and immersive experiences to event management and meeting planning for hotel conferences under one roof. They are dedicated, knowledgeable, creative, and enthusiastic about bringing clients' ideas to life.
Pros and Cons of Hotel Conferences in Toronto
One of the most popular choices when organizing a conference in Toronto is to use a hotel. Hotels offer a variety of amenities and can be great for hosting larger events. However, there are also drawbacks when selecting a hotel as your venue. Here are some pros and cons of organizing conferences in hotels in Toronto.
- Hotel conferences give you the convenience and efficiency of having all amenities under one roof, such as meeting spaces, catering services, audio-visual equipment rental, and more.
- They often have experienced staff knowledgeable about event planning and can help ensure everything goes according to plan.
- Most Toronto hotels are typically located in prime locations, like downtown areas or near airports, making them easy to access for locals and those traveling from out of town.
- Depending on your group size and available space at the hotel, you may need to look for additional venues nearby for some activities or events if the hotel cannot accommodate them.
- Hotels may not always have the most up-to-date technology available during conferences, meaning you may need to bring your audio-visual equipment rentals instead.
- Cancellation policies tend to be more strict with hotels than other venues, so if plans change at the last minute, you may still pay fees.
Tips on How to Organize Hotel Conferences in Toronto
Planning and organizing a conference in a hotel in Toronto can be an exciting undertaking. However, the process requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure the event is successful and within budget. Here are some tips when organizing a hotel conference venue in Toronto.
- Secure accommodations for attendees: If you expect large numbers of out-of-town delegates at your conference, it is important to arrange accommodation options that match their budgets and needs. Negotiate group rates with local hotels if you can provide them with guaranteed occupancy levels throughout your event.
- Plan catering menus: The food and beverages should reflect the overall theme of your conference and match any dietary restrictions of attendees. Many hotels offer conference menus with many options, such as buffet dining or plated service meals. Sample menu selections before committing so that you can be sure guests will enjoy their meals during the event.
- Develop a timeline: Before committing to any arrangements with vendors, always plan exactly what needs to occur before, during, and after your event so that nothing gets overlooked at the last minute. Account for travel time when creating timelines so delegates arrive on time from airports or other locations and leave on schedule once they complete their engagements at the conference.
- Manage registration: Create manageable processes, allowing attendees to register quickly and easily while capturing all necessary data required before arrival, such as dietary restrictions or accommodation preferences. This ensures everything runs smoothly upon check-in at your hotel venue and when they leave the location.
- Ensure adequate technological support: Conferences often require technological solutions like webcasting capabilities or multimedia resources. Ensure all necessary technical facilities, including computers, audiovisual equipment, Wi-Fi access, projection screens, etc., are available and working correctly. Therefore, perform test runs before the conference.
Famous Locations in Toronto
- Eaton Centre
The Toronto Eaton Centre is located in the heart of downtown and covers two city blocks. It has more than 230 stores, making it one of the largest malls in Canada. Every year, millions of people visit the mall, one of Toronto's most popular tourist attractions, second only to the CN Tower. When it opened its doors in 1977, the Eaton Centre set a new retail architecture and design standard. The mall was designed after a galleria in Milan, Italy, and contained multiple glass-vaulted ceilings with open pedestrian areas on different levels. The well-known Canadian artist Michael Snow created the ceiling's intricate flock of goose sculptures.
- High Park
High Park is where you want to go if you are looking for various outdoor activities in one area. This large park stretches over 161 hectares (400 acres) and boasts playgrounds for the kids, beautiful gardens, and even a zoo. The Ravine area is a wild space with woods and ponds to explore and look for wildlife like wood ducks and great blue herons. The High Park Zoo is one of the most popular attractions with all the animals like yaks, wallabies, reindeer, emus, bison, peacocks, and capybara.
- Aga Khan Museum
The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada, is a world-class museum that showcases art from Muslim civilizations throughout history and contemporary Muslim communities around the globe. The stunning, architecturally designed facility was created by Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki and is meant to be a place of peace and reflection. North America's Aga Khan Museum is the first museum dedicated to purely Islamic arts. It boasts impressive displays from private collections of Prince Amyn and His Highness the Aga Khan and new acquisitions, special exhibitions, and live performances open to the public.