C2 Looks to the Future With Anick Beaulieu at the Helm

Anick Beaulieu, CEO of C2 International

Skift Take

Newly appointed C2 CEO Anick Beaulieu is pushing boundaries to re-inject the spark that was once in the business community.  She plans to be the voice amplifying everything C2 does, beyond its Montreal flagship business event.

C2 is about pushing boundaries, and Anick Beaulieu is pushing one of her own as its new president and CEO.

Beaulieu joined C2 in 2015 as sales and marketing director working her way up to vice president of growth and partnerships before taking over the top spot.

“I’ve been with the company for six years and have watched it grow, evolve, struggle during the pandemic, and then re-emerge and transform,” she said.

What does she hope to accomplish in her new role? “To drive this next phase by inspiring our team; to re-inject the spark that was once in the business community. Yes, we are back to meeting, but based on the gatherings I have gone to, there is a little bit of magic missing today. I am focused on re-injecting that magic, that energy.” 

She also plans to be the voice amplifying everything C2 does, the breadth of which many are unfamiliar.

Beyond C2 Montreal

C2 Montreal is the flagship, “a showcase of Montreal’s creativity,” according to Beaulieu. In addition, there are two other lines of business.

Inc. is a white agency label that creates bespoke experiences leveraging the know-how of C2. “Inc isn’t well-known as it is behind-the-scenes, behind the brand,” said Beaulieu.

C2 also does design for hotel brands and real estate owners. “We wanted to find a way to impact our industry at scale and wanted event planners and experiential professionals in the B2B space to have access to convening spaces that are more collaborative, inspiring, flexible in their configuration, and more adaptable to the needs of today and tomorrow’s planners,” said Beaulieu. One of its partnerships is with the Accor Hotel Group, where it helps design meeting space across its premium brands. 

Its newest space opens in March at the Pullman Paris Montparnasse. It will be a limitless playground for immersive experiences of all shapes and sizes. 

This isn’t C2’s first foray into a hotel. Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth and C2 joined together to create Espace C2, a unique space on the 21st floor of the hotel, in 2017. 

Inc., as well as its event spaces, benefit from C2 Montreal, born out of a desire to smash the mold of the typical conference experience. It throws away best practices and preconceived notions of what a conference or business event should be. After a lot of experimentation, the C2 team created an immersive event at the intersection of commerce and creativity that is human-centric at its core.

Focus on the Why and the Whom

“This is a big belief at C2 — we don’t design events for positions or roles. We design events and experiences for people who have interests, passions, and personality profiles. We really pay attention to the why and whom we’re designing for,” explains Beaulieu. “Our events need to be beautiful, inspiring, and captivating, and that element of wanting to connect people. You can say we are connection architects where we set the stage for people to have meaningful relationships and conversations quicker, deeper, which usually leads to better business outcomes.”

Being considered one of the most forward-thinking business events in the world is an honor but also a challenge. An event like C2 can’t rest on its laurels. “I feel that the events industry is quite risk averse sometimes. And because we have our own brand that we can create under, and that brand is highly associated with innovation, it allows us to keep pushing the boundaries,” said Beaulieu. 

It is also a place to experiment, as no innovation happens without it. 

This year’s C2 is May 24-26, and Beaulieu is excited. “It’s the first time since the pandemic that we are claiming our spot in the spring. We’re going to have a bunch of cool speakers including Tony Hawk who is headlining. Our theme this year is combined perspective, and we’ll start experimenting with formats again. We’re also looking at new ways to engage our audiences during the talks. We’re bringing back the festivities. Gone are the days of austerity and masks. We’re bringing back the parties and the festive aspect of networking. And there will be lots of surprises.”