Connecting food and lodging

VANCOUVER—British Columbia’s Connect Food+Drink+Lodging Show will return to the Vancouver Convention Centre West on Nov. 3 and 4, with new show m

Chef Kevin Wall, from Joey Group.

Chef Kevin Wall, from Joey Group.

VANCOUVER—British Columbia’s Connect Food+Drink+Lodging Show will return to the Vancouver Convention Centre West on Nov. 3 and 4, with new show management. 

Hospitality industry association partners include Restaurants Canada, the British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) and the Alliance of Beverage Licensees of British Columbia.  

In addition to hundreds of exhibitors, Connect will host educational seminars and networking events for delegates.

In-depth sessions on key topics will be offered Monday and Tuesday afternoons. Registration for these sessions will be limited and the events will be ticketed.

On Monday afternoon, Deirdre Campbell of Tartan Group will moderate a panel discussion on Crisis Communications for Tourism and Hospitality Businesses and Destinations.

It seems a day does not go by without hearing or reading about a crisis situation somewhere in the world. Epidemics, natural disaster, fire, riots, threats of terrorism, plane and train crashes…the list keeps growing.

This session will explore the shift from traditional media to new media, and how it is changing crisis communication. Delegates will also hear about best practices from people who are the key communicators when a crisis hits a destination.

The educational program also includes a trends breakfast; beverage seminars; tastings and cocktail demos by the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association at its beverage pavilion; featured speaker chef Vikram Vij; a session on 15 common marketing mistakes in the restaurant industry; and’s Joel Cohen on websites, e-mail and social media—what’s going to increase sales and not waste time. 

The inaugural 2013 Connect Show featured more than 350 exhibit booths and 4,000 attendees. 

“We are pleased to announce that show management will be handled by Samantha Scholefield and Nora Cumming (Chemistry Consulting Group),” show director James Chase of the BCHA said in a release. 

Chase noted the two event professionals bring a combined 35 years of event experience to the Connect Show, with backgrounds in the management of hospitality events including the BC Foodservice Expo, the Vancouver International Wine Festival and the BC Hospitality Conference & Expo.

“We are constantly striving to improve the show and deliver an event that is not only better than the previous year, but also better than the competition,” said Mark von Schellwitz, Western Canada vice president of Restaurants Canada. 

Tourism and Hospitality Summit

The BC Tourism and Hospitality Summit will also be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre at the same time. It will kick off on Monday morning with a pre-summit session titled, TourismU—Big Ideas for Big Success in Tourism and Hospitality, presented by Royal Roads University. Other sessions will deal with Top 10 Canadian destinations, Destination BC, the Canadian Tourism Commission, labour shortages and YVR—Vancouver’s International Airport.

Gala Awards cancelled

Last month, the Tourism Industry Association of BC said that due to low industry participation and insufficient sponsor support, the BC Tourism & Hospitality Industry Awards program and gala evening are officially cancelled.

“We extend our apologies to all of you who have invested time and energy in coordinating and submitting your nominations. The decision to cancel the event is very disappointing for everyone,” TIABC chair Christine Willow said in a release.