Palais des congrès de Montréal : Among the world’s best convention centres

The Palais des congrès de Montréal emerged as the runner-up for the APEX Award in Recognition of the Highest Client Rating Received by a Convention Centre. The Palais earned the prestigious international accolade, presented on July 3 in London, on the strength of an exceptional score.

The AIPC APEX Award honours the world’s convention centre with the best customer satisfaction rating for quality. This comes on the heels of the AIPC having recently Gold Quality Standard certified the Palais des congrès, meaning the Montréal venue now joins a very small group of convention centres having both received that certification and also been shortlisted for the APEX Award in recognition of their customer service excellence. “We are very proud of this distinction, which reflects how passionate our teams are about satisfying our clients,” declared Raymond Larivée, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal. “When you combine our employees’ knowhow with the excellent quality of our offering, this allows us to deliver the very best to our customers, as we continually strive to exceed their expectations,” he added.

AIPC Apex Award
The AIPC Apex Award is a bi-annual recognition of excellence in convention centre customer service quality. The winner and the two runners-up are determined on the basis of a comprehensive analysis of centre performance in a wide range of areas based on customer satisfaction surveys. A separate independent evaluation process carried out by Ipsos ensures a review of factors such as project management quality, as well as catering and technical capacity.

World Robot Olympiad coming to the Palais des congrès de Montréal in 2020

From November 13 to 15, 2020, the Palais des congrès de Montréal will serve as the venue for the International Final of the World Robot Olympiad (WRO). The event, organized by Zone01, will draw 2,000 participants to Montréal and generate $1,818,000 in tourism revenue for the city and Québec. This international competition attracts students between the ages of 7 and 25 from over 60 countries. Each year, more than 20,000 teams from all over the world build robots and take on various WRO challenges in order to qualify for the International Final and represent their country.

“We feel privileged to host these promising young creative minds and to play an active role in an event that is so clearly aligned with the importance we attribute to robotics and AI in Montréal. The intellectual wealth that will result from the event will greatly benefit students, researchers, universities and anyone advocating for technology,” stated Raymond Larivée, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal.

The crucial involvement of dynamic local influencers
This international bid coordinated by Andrée-Anne Sauvageau of the Palais de congrès de Montréal and funded by Tourisme Montréal, was presented at the most recent Olympiad, held in Costa Rica. The participation of Dominic Bruneau, a graduate of École Polytechnique and HEC Montréal, had a determining impact on the Palais and Montréal being awarded the event. Mr. Bruneau spent several years designing vision systems for industrial automation, and has been a member of numerous robotics clubs. He helped establish Zone01 as the WRO National Organizer for Canada. “I get involved in local and international competitions to offer young people the opportunity to broaden their horizons by exploring robotics systems. They represent our future scientists, engineers, manufacturers and inventors, and I like to see the spark in their eyes when they create and program robots,” said Bruneau.

City known as a bustling centre for AI and robotics
An AI hub, Montréal is home to the biggest and most prestigious community of deep learning researchers in the world (MILA)1. It has 11 higher learning institutions and 91,000 ITC workers, making the perfect city to host the WRO. Also, the Palais des congrès de Montréal just hosted the RoboCup international competition in June 2018, and will welcome the 30th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence and the International Conference on Computer Vision in 2021, as well as the ICRA - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in 2019.

Convention city
Montréal hosts more international events than any other city in the Americas, according to the rankings released by the Union of International Associations. Shortlisted for the World’s Best Congress Centre award (AIPC) and the recipient of the highest quality standards certification in the industry, the Palais des congrès de Montréal enjoys the collaboration of leaders from various sectors, who in turn can count on the Palais’ experience and support to foster the international reputation of their industry as it continues to evolve.

About the Palais des congrès de Montréal
The Palais des congrès de Montréal attracts and hosts conventions, exhibitions, conferences, meetings and other events, and generates major tourism revenues and intellectual wealth for Montréal and Québec, while also contributing to Montréal’s international reputation as a premier host city.

About Zone01
Zone01 is a non-profit organization that promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics among young people through the advancement of educational robotics in schools and the hosting of robot competitions across Canada.

About the WRO
Founded in 2004, the World Robot Olympiad Association is a non-profit organization that organizes a global competition dedicated to science, technology and education. All revenue from sponsorships and fees is invested toward supporting its mission, which is to promote robotics in STEM education worldwide.

1 Montréal International

Montréal and the Palais des congrès to host major hematology conference in 2023

Montréal, June 20, 2018 — The Palais des congrès and Tourisme Montréal teams are delighted to have won the bid to host the 2023 ISTH Annual Congress, a major event organized by the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis. Thanks to the efforts of the two partners, combined with the support of key resources from the life sciences community, nearly 8,000 delegates will meet in Montréal, book 22,400 room nights in the city’s hotels and bring in tourism revenues in excess of $21,500,000.

The bid was widely supported by the scientific community. Dr. Susan Kahn and Dr. Marc Rodger, co-directors of CanVECTOR, the Canadian Venous Thromboembolism Clinical Trials and Outcomes Research Network, put together a conference program focused on the development of young and emerging researchers, which wowed the leadership of the international association, which currently has 4,000+ members from 94 countries. “The determination, commitment and energy with which Tourisme Montréal embraced the idea of making our international congress a bona fide success were determining factors in our decision, as were the quality of the venue and the support we can expect from the team of professionals at the Palais des congrès de Montréal,” mentioned Lisa Astorga, the ISTH Director
of Meetings.

“The researchers’ involvement is invaluable to the process of bringing an international conference to Montréal. For those tasked with selecting the host city and site for their next conference, these scientists are the manifestation of the desire, vitality and support of the city’s various economic sectors to hold these events that have a tremendous impact on our city. By working closely together to attract major conventions, the universities, the leaders of this key economic cluster, and the Palais des congrès make it possible to generate economic and intellectual benefits for Montréal and Québec,” said Raymond Larivée, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal.

“The synergy and teamwork displayed by the partners were rewarded with success! Well done! Hosting this international event is excellent for the city’s brand as a global convention destination and its reputation as a life sciences hub. The ISTH team and researchers can count on our cooperation to ensure their congress is a success,” stated Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal.

The essential involvement of luminaries
Dr. Kahn is the founder and director of the Centre of Excellence in Thrombosis and Anticoagulation Care at the Jewish General Hospital in Montréal. She is also a Professor in the Department of Medicine of McGill University, where she is Director of the McGill Thrombosis Fellowship. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Venous Thromboembolism. Dr. Marc Rodger is Head of the Division of Hematology and Head of the Thrombosis Program at the Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa. Professor Rodger holds a Faculty of Medicine Clinical Research Chair in Venous Thrombosis and Thrombophilia and a Career Scientist Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

City renowned for life sciences
Over 600 pharma and healthcare organizations operate in Greater Montréal, making it Canada’s biggest laboratory. Ranked 7th among North America’s Top 20 cities for life sciences and health technology employment concentration, it is home to 600 establishments and institutions, including 150 public and university research centres1. The bid for the 2023 ISTH Annual Congress was endorsed by the Société des sciences vasculaires du Québec, Thrombosis Canada and the Canadian Hematology Society, among others.

Convention city
Montréal hosts more international events than any other city in the Americas, according to the rankings released by the Union of International Associations. Shortlisted for the World’s Best Congress Centre award (AIPC) and the recipient of the highest quality standards certification in the industry, the Palais des congrès de Montréal enjoys the collaboration of leaders from various sectors, who in turn can count on the Palais’ experience and support. It is a synergy that continues to foster the international reputation of industries as they evolve.

About the Palais des congrès de Montréal
The Palais des congrès de Montréal attracts and hosts conventions, exhibitions, conferences, meetings and other events, and generates major tourism revenues and intellectual wealth for Montréal and Québec, while also contributing to Montréal’s international reputation as a premier host city.

About Tourisme Montréal
Tourisme Montréal is a private, non-profit organization that works to position Montréal as an international-calibre leisure and business travel destination. The organization leads innovative tourist welcome strategies with a twofold objective: ensuring that visitors enjoy a quality experience and maximizing the economic benefits of tourism. Uniting more than 800 tourism professionals, Tourisme Montréal plays a leading role in the management and development of Montréal’s tourism business, and makes recommendations on issues surrounding the city’s economic, urban and cultural development. For more information, go to www.mtl.org.

1 Montréal International

Palais des congrès de Montréal posts historic performancePositive annual results for Montréal business tourism leader

Positive annual results for Montréal business tourism leader

The Palais des congrès de Montréal had a very busy year, hosting 360 events, and coming really close to equalling its best record ever. It’s an 8% increase over the same period last year. The events generated over $181 million in business revenue for Montréal and Québec, and brought 835,000 convention-goers and participants to the city, despite the last-minute cancellation of two major events, including the World Police and Fire Games. The conventions drew an average of nearly 3,000 people, up almost 10% compared to the average for the last 5 years. These figures clearly speak to the appeal of Montréal as a professional meeting place for convention-goers from all over the world.

The Business Development team confirmed 17% more events this year than it did in 2016-17, which represents a significant increase. Totalling 388 overall, and slated for the coming months and years, these events are expected to attract an estimated 1.1 million convention-goers and participants, who will generate nearly $235 million in tourism revenue. Many conventions were secured thanks to the collaboration of city partners, especially Tourisme Montréal.

“2017-2018 was unquestionably a very good year for the Palais, shattering records on several fronts, including customer satisfaction rate, own-source revenues, average attendance for conventions, etc.,” declared Raymond Larivée, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal. “Montréal hosts more international conventions than any other city in North America, and we fully intend to continue to play an active role in maintaining that standing for the province,” he added.

Dynamic local market
While hosting a steady number of conventions throughout the year, the Palais held 270 short-term events, such as conferences, meetings and galas, up 15% over last year. These special events drew a total of 176,000+ people, representing an increase of 14% compared to 2016-17.

Hosting major conventions
2017-2018 also accounted for 36 national and international conventions, many of which were large-scale events.

Some of the major conventions hosted
in 2017-18
Number of delegates Tourism revenue
Global Public Transport Summit (UITP) 2,500 $4.6 M
American Sociological Association Annual Meeting 5,500 $10.7 M
URSI XXXIInd General Assembly and Scientific Symposium, International Union of Radio Science 1,400 $5.8 M
Intelligent Transportation Society of America World Congress (ITS) 6,000 $15.7 M
Family Medicine Forum 2017 3,400 $7.3 M

 

Conventions held attracted with the help of Ambassadors
Many of the conventions held in 2017-2018 were obtained with the cooperation of members of the Ambassadors Club.

Convention Ambassador(s) Number of delegates Tourism revenue
Global Public Transport Summit (UITP) Carl Desrosiers, Nicolas Girard and Michel Labrecque 2,500 $4.6 M
12th Metropolis World Congress Denis Coderre 800 $1.4 M
URSI XXXIInd General Assembly and Scientific Symposium, International Union of Radio Science Fabrice Labeau 1,400 $5.8 M
Conference of the Americas on International Education Francis Brown 450 $1 M
World Design Summit - Montréal Sheila Copps and Alain Dufour 1,500 $6.2 M
Intelligent Transportation Society of America World Congress (ITS) Claude Carette and Michael de Santis 6,000 $15.7 M

 

Satisfied customers
The Palais des congrès team, together with its official and exclusive suppliers, continued to rate favourably in terms of customer satisfaction. The efforts paid off, translating into an overall satisfaction rate of nearly 90% – a record high that reflects the remarkable work of the Palais teams and the excellent cooperation of the following partners: Capital Catering, Freeman Canada and GES.

Own-source revenue on the rise
A Québec government corporation, the Palais rolled out several new strategies these past years to increase its own-source revenue. Thanks to the creativity and passion of its entire workforce, the Palais posted remarkable results, setting a record since opening in 1983.

Convention city
Montréal hosts more international events than any other city in North America, according to the rankings released by the International Congress and Convention Association. Shortlisted for the World’s Best Congress Centre award (AIPC) in 2018 and the recipient of the highest quality standards certification in the industry, the Palais des congrès de Montréal has all the necessary assets to host a major convention with the level of professionalism and creativity the city is known for. Winner of the APEX Innovation Award in 2017, the Palais continues to be a leading authority in the industry, as it has been for 35 years.

Prestigious multisector strategic taskforce set up to attract even more international conferences to Montréal

The Palais des congrès de Montréal has assembled a group of leaders representing eight of the city’s key economic sectors to form a new Multisector Strategic Taskforce. Their mission will be to establish ties with influencers who will actively contribute to attracting major international conferences to Montréal and the Palais des congrès.

Among the members sitting on this prestigious taskforce are:

  • Frank Béraud, Chief Executive Officer of Montréal InVivo
  • Mathieu Charbonneau, Executive Director of CargoM
  • James J. Clark, Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of McGill University
  • Fabrice Labeau, Interim Deputy Provost, Student Life and Learning, at McGill University
  • Marie Larue, Chief Executive Officer of the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail
  • Maryse Lassonde, Scientific Director of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies
  • Serge Marchand, Scientific Director of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé
  • Louise Poissant, Scientific Director of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture

These top executives will become major collaborators in the process of finding researchers, scientists or business influencers who can be the difference maker when striving to persuade international associations that have been approached, to choose Montréal and the Palais as their destination for their next event. “The process of bidding for major international conferences is not unlike that of the Olympic Games, and many of these bids are won thanks to the paramount role these Montréal and Québec experts play. Their involvement shows global decision-makers the dynamic spirit and support that exists within the city’s key economic sectors,” stated Raymond Larivée, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal, a Québec government corporation.

The role of the vastly experienced leaders who make up the new Multisector Strategic Taskforce will be to develop and nurture ties with researchers, scientists and business executives who might be inclined to actively participate in the process of bringing large-scale international gatherings to Montréal. They will be able to mine their networks for topnotch collaborators and match them with specific conferences.

Conferences advance science
Montréal is widely recognized as a knowledge hub. The city attracts international conferences that enable local researchers and experts to interact with peers who have travelled here from every continent. The Palais des congrès de Montréal works very closely with its Ambassadors and partners to advocate for the major sectors driving the Montréal and Québec economy. “Conventions represent a privileged opportunity to exchange with our peers from all over the world, and they help push the boundaries of knowledge for our industries. These intellectual benefits greatly contribute to Montréal’s international reputation,” added Hany Moustapha, President of the Ambassadors Club.

Let’s remember that over the years, the Palais has reached important agreements with partners like the Fonds de recherche du Québec for the purpose of raising the profile of Québec researchers and their fields of expertise.

A prolific Ambassadors Club
During the course of the Club’s 33 years, its members have definitely made a difference, attracting 201 events that have drawn nearly 475,000 participants, and generated benefits estimated at almost $1 billion. Not to mention the invaluable intellectual wealth, including the establishment of international working groups, the creation of new research areas and the recruitment of researchers.

Convention city
A leading international knowledge hub, Montréal hosts more international events than any other city in North America, according to the rankings released by the International Congress and Convention Association. Shortlisted for the World’s Best Congress Centre award (AIPC) and the recipient of the highest quality standards certification in the industry, the Palais des congrès de Montréal has all the necessary assets to host a major convention with the level of professionalism and creativity the city is known for.

The Palais des congrès de Montréal earns major environmental recertification

The Palais des congrès de Montréal is proud to have had its BOMA BEST environmental certification renewed until 2020. This signifies that the Palais’ environmental performance and the fulfilment of its commitments have been duly recognized and certified by Canada’s largest environmental assessment and certification program.

“It is with pride and enthusiasm that we continue to maintain our commitment toward sustainable development, by multiplying our efforts in various areas of our operations,” indicated André Saucier, Vice-President, Finance and Administration, and also in charge of sustainable development at the Palais.

“We are pleased with our energy saving outcomes stemming from equipment we’ve replaced via our asset maintenance program, including the replacement of a chiller and two winter water towers, and the restoration of our summer water towers,” added Stéphane Alarie, the Palais’ Director of Building Management. “The complexity of managing operations tied to hosting different events at different times of the day renders this recertification that much more rewarding,” Alarie went on to say. Optimizing the control of fresh air supply circulating throughout the property’s distribution system has enabled the Palais to reduce its energy consumption by almost 3%, in a building that hosts nearly 350 events a year, 900,000 visitors, and spans 1.4 million sq. ft.

A commitment entrenched in business practices
Responsible, determined and committed, the Palais des congrès de Montréal became, in 2005, one of the first convention centres in Canada to be BOMA BEST certified. The Sustainability Action Plan and Sustainable Development Policy at the core of its strategy are ensuring the viability of its commitment. Also, the Responsible Procurement Policy it recently adopted is raising awareness among the Palais' staff, partners and suppliers about the importance of consuming, producing and purchasing responsibly.

An urban farming lab as a form of green roofing
When the Palais des congrès de Montréal opened its Urban Agriculture Lab in 2016, in collaboration with AU/Lab, an organization associated with the faculty of science and the institute of environmental science of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), it became the main showcase in Québec for experimenting with and advocating for urban farming technologies and techniques.

The Lab’s VERTical project is among the activities endorsed by the “Carrefour de recherche, d’expertise et de transfert en agriculture urbaine” jointly set up by the Québec department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the city of Montréal and UQAM. The project, which earned the Palais the 2017 AIPC Innovation Award, has attracted the interest of the scientific community and the media.

 

A certifiably green host destination
Montréal and the Palais are ASTM-APEX certified (Accepted Practices Exchange) as a green convention site.

Human-Computer interaction: Key aspect of technology being tackled at the Palais des congrès de Montréal

From April 21 to 26, 2018, human-computer interaction will receive a thorough examination during the CHI 2018 international conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems held at the Palais des congrès de Montréal. This prominent conference will attract 3,000+ delegates from 50 countries and bring in an estimated $6.7 million in tourism revenue for the city and Québec.

“Montréal hosts the most international events in all of North America and AI is a field we continue to excel in. We feel privileged to welcome these world experts and to play an active role in bringing them together, which will help generate significant intellectual wealth for the province,” stated Raymond Larivée, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal. “The cooperation between the various industry partners, especially Tourisme Montréal, made it possible to attract this major conference, and we are eager to welcome the attendees,” added Larivée.

Widely recognized as the world’s most important showcase for human-computer interaction, CHI gathers thousands of the top researchers, scientists, and designers in the world to present their latest research, solve their hardest problems, learn new material and build their networks. Originally a small conference for psychologists interested in user interface design, the annual CHI conference has grown to include a diverse group of interaction designers, computer scientists, engineering psychologists, developers, and performing artists. CHI also addresses the organizational integration of technology, and the use of technology in all areas of life.

City known as AI and IT hub
Montréal offers a fertile setting for developing a topnotch scientific and professional program for CHI delegates. In fact, the city enjoys the support of numerous universities and centres specializing in fundamental and applied research. These include the McGill University Centre for Intelligent Machines, the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) and the Institute for Data Valorization (Ivado), both associated with Université de Montréal, the Laboratory for Imagery, Vision and Artificial Intelligence (LIVIA) of the ÉTS school of engineering, Concordia University’s Centre for Pattern Recognition and Machine Intelligence (CENPARMI), and the Computer Research Institute of Montréal (CRIM).

Convention city
Montréal hosts more international events than any other city in North America, according to the rankings released by the International Congress and Convention Association. Shortlisted for the World’s Best Congress Centre award (AIPC) and the recipient of the highest quality standards certification in the industry, the Palais des congrès de Montréal enjoys the collaboration of leaders from various sectors, who in turn can count on the Palais’ experience and support. It is a synergy that continues to foster the international reputation of industries as they evolve.

A Palais des congrès de Montréal marketing campaign earns international distinction

The meetings and conventions world recognized the work of the Palais des congrès de Montréal at the Meeting Industry Marketing Awards (MIMA) recently presented in London. The “Numbers 1-5-52” relationship marketing and communications campaign intended for the international, U.S. and national convention markets earned the Palais the prestigious award for Best Integrated Marketing Campaign. The Palais was also shortlisted in the Best Use of Budget and Marketing Team of the Year categories.

“There’s a promotional component in our approach strategies that people notice, which this international recognition speaks to, and we are honoured. We have a magnificent convention centre and a vibrant city known for its creativity, and it is our duty to show them in the best possible light,” states Chrystine Loriaux, Palais des congrès de Montréal Director of Marketing and Communications. “This campaign, which branches out to reach several geographic markets, enabled us to convey three essential messages to potential customers looking for a venue for their next international convention,” concludes Loriaux.

campagne-trophee

1-5-52: Three numbers that speak volumes
This relationship marketing campaign was rolled out by the Palais in international, U.S. and national convention markets and was aimed at associations in the final stages of deciding which city would host their next event. With a limited campaign budget, the Palais set out to attract the attention of decision-makers with a creative message and design to secure a premium spot for Montréal and its main convention centre on the shortlist of host destinations under consideration. The campaign revolved around three numbers that are undisputedly Montréal, figures that contribute to the city’s brand within the convention market, i.e.:

  • 1: Montréal is the #1 host city in the Americas for international events (according to the International Union of Associations);
  • 5: Montréal has retained that top spot for five straight years (2011-2015);
  • 52: Montréal accounts for 52% of all the international events held in major Canadian cities.

The “Numbers 1-5-52” campaign was a joint effort between the Palais’ marketing and communications, business development, and research teams, and the Samarkand Design+Communication firm.

A year filled with accolades
The Meetings + Incentive Travel trade magazine recently announced the winners of their Readers’ Choice Awards. The Palais des congrès was on the list, having earned an honourable mention in the Best Venue – Central Canada category. Palais partner Tourisme Montréal was also among the readers’ favourites, with an honourable mention in the Best Destination Marketing Organization category. These recognitions are on top of the Palais winning the AIPC Innovation Award earlier this year for its Urban Agriculture Lab – a prestigious international award given by the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC).

Three researchers rewarded for their work on international scientific conferences

The Palais des congrès de Montréal and Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ), along with Québec’s Chief Scientist, Rémi Quirion, seized their annual exchange forum to announce the winners of the Palais des congrès de Montréal Ambassadors Club – Fonds de recherche du Québec Awards, which recognize the work of researchers actively involved in organizing international scientific conferences. The three $10,000 awards went to:

  • Pierre Giovenazzo of Université Laval
    46th Apimondia International Apicultural Congress 2019
    8,000 delegates and $20.5 M in tourism revenues
  • Fiona Darbyshire of UQÀM
    27th IUGG General Assembly 2019 - International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
    4,000 delegates and $16.3 M in tourism revenues
  • Philippe Archambault of Université Laval
    World Conference on Marine Biodiversity
    800 delegates and $1.5 M in tourism revenues

recipiendaires

Rémi Quirion, Chief Scientist of Québec, with Philippe Archambault, Fiona Darbyshire, Pierre Giovenazzo and Hany Moustapha, President of the Ambassadors Club.

“Winning a bid to host a major conference helps generate significant intellectual wealth, and also contributes to promoting the field of science as well as the reputations of those associated with the event. Montréal hosts more international conventions than any other city in North America, and the Palais is proud to play an active role in putting together the bids in order to support the work of these professionals looking to welcome their peers to Montréal,” says Raymond Larivée, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal, a Québec government corporation.

“Conventions are an important part of researchers’ scientific communication. They allow for peer-to-peer discussion on progress in a specific field, but can also be an opportunity to raise awareness of a disciplinary field and the research findings outside the academic community, toward the general public. At the Fonds de recherche du Québec, we strive/intend to pursue our efforts to support researchers who take this path”, reinforces Rémi Quirion, Chief Scientist of Québec.

Titled Talking about science in 2017: Challenges and outlook, the third edition of the forum brought together more than 100 researchers, research centre managers, university administrators and members of the Ambassadors Club, who engaged in dynamic discussions and workshops in order to come up with possible actions on how to best communicate science. The forum is a joint effort between the Palais des congrès de Montréal and Fonds de recherche du Québec, organized within the scope of a partnership agreement in place since 2014.

The Palais des congrès de Montréal and McGill University’s James Clark bring a major AI conference to the city

Thanks to the hard work and determination of James J. Clark, a professor at the McGill Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Director of its Centre for Intelligent Machines, and of Marc-André Gemme, a member of the Palais des congrès de Montréal’s business development team, 6,000 delegates will be converging in Montréal in October 2021 for the IEEE Computer Society’s International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV). This major international conference, which is expected to translate into 16,800 room nights for the city’s hotels, will generate an estimated $12.7 million in tourism revenues for Montréal and Québec. This large-scale high-tech event is the 3rd artificial intelligence (AI) conference the Palais des congrès has announced in the last 3 months, news that confirms the city’s expertise and global standing in the field of AI.

ProfClark_02Proud of the outcome after more than a year of hard work, Professor Clark said: “Winning the bid speaks to the importance of making clear the added value of hosting this major international event in Montréal. I’d like to thank Marc-André Gemme who played an active role in bringing this conference to our city, by talking to and persuading many of the people who participated in the voting and selection process. I look forward to working with the members of the Palais team these next 4 years on putting together a high-quality conference. Montréal is known for its advanced technological expertise, and this represents an opportunity for the city to showcase its active AI industry and excellent research centres.” Professor Clark will continue to enjoy the support of the Palais des congrès de Montréal and Tourisme Montréal, as well as that of the local organizing committee, for matters related to the planning, promotion and hosting of the conference.

A committee packed with luminaries
What tilted the balance in Montréal’s favour is without a doubt the quality of the organizing committee put together by Professor Clark, whose presence helped clinch the bid. This shows the importance of having a rich scientific program for a conference in a field as specialized as computer vision.

“Montréal hosts more international events than any other city in North America, and artificial intelligence features in numerous major conventions focused on the future. We have the privilege of hosting these world experts and playing an active role in bringing them together in the heart of our city, which will translate into significant intellectual benefits for the city and the province,” stated Raymond Larivée, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal. This bid was made possible thanks to the support of numerous partners, including funding from Tourisme Montréal.

City emerging as an AI and ICT hub
With its world-renowned speakers, luminaries and advanced research centres, Montréal has become fertile ground and the quintessential setting for developing a topnotch scientific and professional program for ICCV delegates. In fact, the city enjoys the support of four major universities and is home to numerous centres specializing in fundamental and applied research in computer vision and machine learning, and is shaping the next generation of engineers and scientists in the field. These include the McGill University Centre for Intelligent Machines, an inter-departmental group formed in 1985 to facilitate and promote research on intelligent systems. The city can also count on the reputable expertise of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) and the Institute for Data Valorization (Ivado), both associated with Université de Montréal, the Laboratory for Imagery, Vision and Artificial Intelligence (LIVIA) of the ÉTS school of engineering, Concordia University’s Centre for Pattern Recognition and Machine Intelligence (CENPARMI), and the Computer Research Institute of Montréal (CRIM).

Convention city
Montréal hosts more international events than any other city in North America, according to the rankings released by the International Congress and Convention Association. Shortlisted for the World’s Best Congress Centre award (AIPC) and the recipient of the highest quality standards certification in the industry, the Palais des congrès de Montréal enjoys the collaboration of leaders from various sectors, who in turn can count on the Palais’ experience and support, in order to foster the international reputation of industries that are continually evolving.