SUBMISSION ABSTRACT: YORK REGION’S #YRTECH PAVILION
Purpose of Project
York Region’s #YRtech Pavilion at Collision was a ‘conference within a conference’ with 60+ speakers over 3 days including 9 municipalities, 8 mayors, leaders of 3 post-secondary academic institutions, 25+ businesses from 5 countries, 4 incubators/accelerators,12 angel investors, and many others. The pavilion was 12 meters by 10 meters; one of the largest at Collision.
York Region’s #YRtech Pavilion purpose was twofold:
- Build awareness of York Region – Canada’s second largest tech hub – as a key location for tech businesses, innovation, and talent attraction in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
- Assist tech ecosystem partners in meeting their business goals at Collision by providing a visible platform for them to share news and have attendees engage them directly
Effectiveness / Meeting Objective
On the #YRtech Pavilion stage more than $250 million worth of business investments and the creation of 800 jobs were announced. Additionally, innovation partnership announcements, startup pitch sessions, a tech talent recruitment panel, and more were hosted by emcee Marc Saltzman, a well-known tech personality in the US and Canada.
- Media coverage:
- Canadian Press coverage: 56 articles with reach of 44 million (est.) including Toronto Star, Globe & Mail, Financial Post, BNN Bloomberg, and others
- 680 News interview with York Region Economic Development Director, Jonathan Wheatle
- Lifestyle media coverage on TechTalent.ca, SidewalkHustle.com, and others
- Press release: shared across 278 news websites across North America with potential exposure to 135 million unique visitors/month
- Social media and web traffic: 3.3+ million impressions, reach of 400,000+, and 15,000+ visits to yorklink.ca/collision
- Positive feedback (see attachment)
- 1,000+ contacts (est.) made by #YRtech Pavilion partners
Challenges and Changes Made
There were several challenges to making this event a success including, but not limited to:
- Managing political expectations: 9 mayors from the Region were set to participate at the same event, which is very rare (one dropped out due to COVID diagnosis) and presented a unique set of risks, but were managed effectively with the help of the local economic development offices
- Our small core planning team was responsible for dealing with vendors, partners, participating businesses, marketing, and on-site production in addition to regular job tasks stretching their capacity to the limit
- Missed deadlines by partners (activation materials, attendee ticket lists, etc.) created additional last minute pressures, which we managed but created lessons learned for future events
Despite all the challenges our team was able to adapt to all issues and deliver a highly successful event.
- Experienced tech professionals: awareness and career building opportunities
- Senior-level decision makers: corporate decision-making related to business investment and expansion
- Tech sector influencers: add third-party credibility to York Region’s tech-sector messaging
- Tech and business-focused media: create opportunities for earned media in major publications providing additional credibility to York Region messaging
The promotion of York Region’s tech ecosystem through events like Collision will contribute to the long term growth and sustainability of the Region’s economy, improving quality of life for all residents.
- Full #YRtech Pavilion Recap: https://youtu.be/EKMXNCAJSZk
- Day 1 Recap: https://youtu.be/LpfREE_YnQ4
- Day 2 Recap: https://youtu.be/ABLoeJDnDQU
- Day 3 Recap: https://youtu.be/vDdwQ25YbL4
- Live Art Installation Time-Lapse: https://youtu.be/_kpqbw8iDMo