LinkUp 2017

Event | Venture Kamloops

Purpose of Project
Support and Connect Entrepreneurs: LinkUp is the annual Kamloops Business Development Summit. LinkUp 2017 was one of the largest business to government and business to support focused community organization events in the Province. It offered a unique opportunity for businesses interested in taking advantage of programs and incentives from local, provincial and federal government agencies and business organizations to learn about a variety of opportunities all in one day.

Business Community Outreach: Venture Kamloops meets with over 200 entrepreneurs a year, a lot of what we do in those 1 on 1 meetings is referrals to government services, tax credits/incentives, financing institutions, and other services. LinkUp provides more businesses the opportunity to learn about what is available. We wanted to spread information regarding all of the resources and services available to business as far as possible.

Promotion of an Entrepreneur Friendly Community: The event consisted of four modules; community support, financing, provincial/federal support, and grants. 23 support services presented for 15 minutes each and 1 on 1 meetings were organized in a break-out room, along with small booths for each of the presenters. In addition to the 5 event partners, LinkUp hosted other municipal, provincial, and federal business support organizations to present and attend.

Effectiveness / Meeting Objectives
LinkUp was successful beyond our expectations. We had well over 200 attendees. LinkUp has led to increased numbers of referrals to VK and has become a high profile, annual event. This event provides an easy drop-in opportunity for the business community to become apprised of the services of most interest to them. LinkUp provides an effective open channel through which all of the participating agencies can in part fulfill their mandate of reaching out to businesses.

Challenges & Changes Made
The real success though was the turnout, and the feedback from the presenters and the attendees. We have in the past had difficulty getting these support services to come to Kamloops, after this event we have assurances from all of them that they will be back for the third annual event in 2018. Based on the feedback from LinkUp 2016, Venture Kamloops implemented an innovative conference Q&A mobile app Pigeonhole for LinkUp 2017. This software allowed audience members to submit questions in real time to the panel via their mobile device and also vote on the questions they most wanted answered, streamlining attendees to experts on the panel with the solutions.

Target Audience 
LinkUp was created through a partnership of Venture Kamloops, the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures, Kamloops Innovation, and BDC. The speaker panels and tradeshow attracted 23 presenting organizations, many of whom had to send staff from out of town. Local entrepreneurs, local business leaders, local community partners (all demographics) are all brought together in a single venue for this one stop event. Attached is one supplement: A) pdf document containing the LinkUp 2017 Program and Agenda

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