Destination Sherbrooke adopts a new incentive to attract conferences and events in Sherbrooke. The Relief Fund Conventions and Events (FACE), which includes $ 75,000, will allow potential organizers to obtain financial assistance of up to $ 10,000.
“This is a way to attract new money in the middle,” says Lynn Blouin Director of Advancement, hospitality and business tourism and sports destination in Sherbrooke.
Specifically, financial assistance may be granted at a convention or event that has not been present in the territory of Sherbrooke in the last five years and that generates more than 200 nights in the city. All conferences and events generating more than 800 overnight stays will also be eligible. The fund consists of $ 60,000 from the budget of the City of Sherbrooke and $ 15,000 from the hotel establishments.
“The funding is not recurring and will be adopted in the budget every year, but we do not birth to a fund to give up after a year. The market is becoming increasingly difficult. Budgetary constraints of governments in recent years have had an impact on those who organize conferences or events. They often decide they decrease the number of days of participation, they send less people or literally skip a year. The market is modulated, it has shrunk and there are more players. We were looking for a way to have one more advantage to keep our head start in the field, “says Lynn Blouin.
“It’s been 35 years since Sherbrooke is positioned for conferences and events.”
Some might be tempted to see a result of the construction and competition from Drummondville exhibition center. Error, corrects Ms. Blouin. “The fund is not used to holding fairs and exhibitions. This is not a tool to develop the trade show center. Congresses and events are rarely held at Exhibition Center. We did not have incentives for these activities and it is rather Victoriaville that we heard. They have a similar fund since 2012 and they are reaping the benefits.
“It’s been 35 years since Sherbrooke is positioned for conferences and events. This is an important economic activity that sustains the hotels, restaurants, shops and the same time, they contribute to the wealth of the city. Congresses and events, seven million in tourism spending in 2015. ”
Unlike tourist attractions, which are dependent on unpredictable factors such as weather and the dollar, the tourism business is much more “predictable” since Reservations can be made two or three years ahead. “The hotels fill it with more than leisure tourism. Normally, events over 200 nights are signed two years in advance. But since last year, the contracts are signed over to the last minute. We already feel that the fund will make a difference. We have already received some application forms. ”
Applications are assessed primarily on the number of overnight stays generated and the possibility of organizing parallel activities that will benefit outside the hotel, a restaurant, a vineyard or a museum for example.
A promotional video was made and was posted on the YouTube channel of Destination Sherbrooke.