The upcoming BestCities Global Alliance annual meetings industry event will this year be hosted in Vancouver, Canada.

Registration has opened for BestCities Global Forum, an annual gathering of industry thought-leaders, international associations and destinations that are members of BestCities Global Alliance. Taking place December 8–11 in Vancouver, Canada, this year’s event is inspired by “fresh perspectives” with a focus on peer-to-peer education, exploring how events can positively impact their host communities, and gaining valuable insights in an inspiring destination whose natural attributes are nothing short of spectacular.

During Global Forum 2022, Capilano University’s School of Tourism Research and Destination Vancouver will share groundbreaking research resulting from a comprehensive Legacy Impact Study. This partnership between industry and academia will create a framework of best practices guiding associations towards ideating and executing sustainable, purpose-driven events that exceed the standard expected by delegates today.

The event will also introduce Buy Social Canada and Destination Vancouver’s “Guide to Social Procurement in Tourism, Hospitality and Events”. The document explores the concept of social procurement while providing best practice examples.

Attendees will benefit from an open forum where they can engage in discussions with their peers about opportunities and challenges, including the road towards post-pandemic recovery. The event’s format was designed to encourage attendee engagement, with the goal of fostering creative ideas and solutions that delegates can apply to their own organisations.

Global Forum attendees will have several opportunities to learn about legacy and social impact while taking a well-deserved time out to enjoy Vancouver’s laidback vibe and inspiring natural attributes. Highlights include:

  • Opening night reception at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, where guests will learn how to incorporate local culture into future conferences.
  • An explanation of how the meetings industry can adapt principles promoted by Ocean Wise Seafood, which empowers event planners, consumers and businesses to choose sustainable seafood options that support healthy oceans.
  • A visit to Grouse Mountain, including an evening snowshoe through a stunning light installation before tucking into dinner at 1,230 metres (4,035 feet).
  • An ambassador dinner at the Vancouver Convention Centre, the world’s first double LEED Platinum certified convention centre.
  • Opportunities throughout to learn the latest news from the global meetings industry and gain valuable insights that can be applied to local events.

Global Forum 2022 will be facilitated by Eva Gutsche, founder of STEM Consulting and Marketing, who has extensive experience in the hospitality, communications and training industry. Guest speakers include Kara Walker, whose longstanding career in the event industry includes leadership roles with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games; Dr Jeff Wahl, an instructor at the School of Tourism Management at Capilano University whose research interests include tourism impacts and sustainability, as well as cultural heritage, social conflict and Indigenous perspectives; and Gwendal Castellan, manager of Sustainable Destination Development at Destination Vancouver, whose many sustainability-focused endeavours include designing water conservation curriculum in Western Australia and producing a film documenting his bike journey from Patagonia to the Northwest Territories in Canada.

For the first time, BestCities is expanding registration for the Global Forum beyond association planners to include meeting planners from any discipline who arrange large international events that rotate around the world. Registration includes conference access, return economy flights to Vancouver, three nights’ accommodation at the Fairmont Waterfront, meals, and return airport transfers. Space is limited, so register today on the event website.

“As we near the end of 2022, we are delighted to welcome international meeting planners to the coastal retreat of Vancouver, where nature is seamlessly integrated into a globally recognised meetings city. This year, our focus on ‘fresh perspectives’ will expand the possibilities for meetings and events to leave a meaningful and lasting impact on their host cities. The Forum offers a perfect excuse to indulge in a relaxing getaway while gaining new and valuable insights that will support a successful and positive 2023,” says Lesley Williams, Managing Director of BestCities.

“The collaborative knowledge sharing of conference legacies and best practices at this year’s Forum hosted in Vancouver is an important global conversation. There is noticeable interest from Vancouver’s leaders in how conferences impact host communities and the findings from Capilano University’s research team will be a meaningful step in increasing the overall sustainability of events. In partnership with BestCities, we are excited to welcome delegates to our destination – a natural backdrop for a ‘fresh perspective’ on the events industry,” comments Michael Drake, Director of Sales, Meetings and Conventions, Canada and International at Destination Vancouver.

Eva Gutsche, Global Forum facilitator says: “I am honoured to be part of the BestCities Global Forum and look forward to welcoming delegates to Vancouver in December. Together, we have an opportunity to shape and influence partnerships that can have an impact on sustainability and change lives on a global scale. We will have a chance to understand this impact through the Vancouver-based research team, as they analyse and present their findings on conference impact and legacy. I look forward to working with delegates to inspire ideas, share experiences and look at ways conferences can further shape our world and future.”