Why Waterloo Region is the ideal destination to host your next AGM, annual conference or company retreat
by Doug Wallace, Ignite magazine | October 2023
With a range of accommodations, both unique and traditional-style conference spaces, along with an intriguing mix of urban and natural environments, Waterloo Region checks all the boxes for event planners.
“We are a bit of a hidden gem,” says Jennifer Eddings, Director of Business Development for Explore Waterloo Region. “We’re this very cool community with a tech-forward and urban culture, and yet, right beside it is St. Jacobs, home to about 10,000 Old Order Mennonites.” This mix is one of the key reasons Waterloo Region makes such an interesting host environment. Its central location also makes the area’s connectivity appealing, being so close to Highway 401 and Toronto Pearson International Airport.
A Variety of Venues
Depending on the needs of your particular group, Waterloo Region offers a variety of spaces to set the stage for your event. “If you’re looking for something more corporate,” Eddings says, “we’ve got the beautiful Delta Waterloo that’s located in Uptown Waterloo very close to our universities. And for something a bit different, we have the Walper Hotel, a boutique hotel in a historic building in downtown Kitchener, steps away from one of our tech hubs.”
Eddings says there are also meeting spaces available in St. Jacobs for gatherings of up to 200 people. “This is a great option for a staff retreat or a board meeting,” she says, noting the opportunity to incorporate a wellness component into group programs, offered in that area.
Sustainability is part of the strategy
“Sustainability is a subject that we’re very passionate about,” Eddings says. “I’m working with a local organization called Sustainable Waterloo Region toward implementing a strategic sustainability plan that will kick off in January 2024.”
Event organizers will have useful tools such as a carbon calculator that can assess and measure sustainability goals. The strategy involves doing baseline readings of hotels and event spaces, tracking and measuring things like food choices as well as green transportation options. “We are considering all of the aspects that go into making an event more sustainable,” Eddings says. “Responsibly sourced food choices are easily made here, thanks to all our nearby farmland and food producers.”
Get Access to Local Expertise
Explore Waterloo Region recently launched The Vanguard Collection which introduces key thought leaders that can help event and conference planners tap into a range of expertise within the area. “The Vanguard Collection features academic, sustainability and knowledge sector representatives that we have here and that we have available to planners,” Eddings says. Connecting organizers with the perfect guest speaker is all part of the right mix and a sure-fire way to effortlessly enhance your next meeting or conference.
Personalize Your Group Experience
Contact Jennifer Eddings to learn more about hosting your planet-friendly business event in Waterloo Region.
Jennifer Eddings, Director of Business Development
Explore Waterloo Region