Destination: Saskatoon at a Glance
Located in the Province of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon’s diversified economy and cultural center make it attractive to event planners in all industries. Saskatoon is more than just an appealing destination. It is home to many of the key ingredients necessary for a stellar event.
If you want to improve your next event, take a look at this well-kept destination secret.
- Rooms: 4,900+
- Meeting Space: 800,000 square feet
- Nearest airport: Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport, offers direct or one-stop travel from 240 global destinations
Exactly how are event planners improving their events with this walkable and friendly Canadian destination? Here are a few ways. They’re:
Receiving Personalized Attention in a Congenial Atmosphere
Saskatoon provides an intimate atmosphere without sacrificing entertainment options. The city is also easy to navigate. It boasts meeting space options for not only small groups but also events up to 4,000+ delegates. Resources are well organized and positioned to help.
Meeting options are many in this city. Popular meeting options include Prairieland Park and TCU Place.
Prairieland Park is the city’s largest Trade and Convention Centre with 240,000 square feet of space, including six halls and a grand foyer. Plus, it features its own entertainment with Marquis Downs Live Thoroughbred Race Track, the Prairieland Park Ag Centre and Sports on Tap Sports Bar. It’s only minutes from downtown and offers substantial free parking.
TCU Place, on the other hand, is a favorite for arts and conventions. It specializes in conferences up to 1,500 delegates. Natural light and 19’ ceilings set this venue apart from a traditional conference center. Plus, it’s home to the Sid Buckwold Theatre and the Saskatoon Symphony.
Keeping the Group Together for Greater Interactions
One of the many frustrations for some destination choices is the inability to keep the conference group together. When you can house them in one location or amongst several nearby locations, you create a much more cohesive and enjoyable experience. With close to 5,000 rooms in staying together is easy. Planners and attendees also love the fact that Saskatoon hotels offer complimentary WiFi.
Saskatoon boasts a range of accommodations from well-known, established brands to historic establishments like the Delta Bessborough Hotel, which was opened by the Canadian National Railway in 1932. The venerable hotel pays homage to Paris with its mansard roof and turrets and a view overlooking the river.
Many hotels in Saskatoon have achieved green ratings. The city is environmentally conscious and has launched a Green Stem program that helps event planners and travelers make deliberate choices to limit their environmental impact. Many businesses have taken the pledge to provide greener solutions.
Accessing Some of the Best Minds in the Industry
Saskatoon enjoys a strong academic and research base. Local leadership works closely with industry leaders in areas such as biotech, life sciences, mining, nuclear research and technology to create the opportunity for unparalleled exchange.
Conference planners work diligently in creating top-notch learning and networking experiences for their delegates and Saskatoon’s network of professionals can help. By creating opportunities and connections that are difficult to find outside of Saskatoon, one of the most diversified economies in the country, event planners can offer attendees a heightened learning experience and set their event apart from others.
Keeping Attendees Entertained In and Out of Your Event
Providing robust experiences for your attendees outside of your conference is important to their overall enjoyment. Since delegate preferences are varied, and sometimes include additional travel companions or family, selecting a destination with multiple entertainment options becomes a priority. It’s also important that these forms of entertainment are easily accessible.
Saskatoon offers a rich arts community including the theater performances, art galleries, live music, and dance.
The Saskatoon artisan tradition thrives at the Handmade House, which offers a year-round craft market with gallery space. Visitors find treasures like unique jewelry and pottery, as well as works made from metal, wood, fiber, and glass.
The recently-opened Remai Modern is an impressive facility that includes a learning center, convention and meeting space, restaurant, and community galleries. Visitors will also find the Picasso Gallery, which includes the world’s most comprehensive collection of Picasso linocuts and other works by the Spanish master.
Creating a Memorable Experience Through Attending Annual Local Events
The arts are not the only thing Saskatoon is known for. It is home to numerous festivals and events. Each yields a chance to soak up the flavor of the city.
The Sasktel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival runs for ten days every summer and brings in hundreds of world-class artists to perform. The award-winning festival attracts over 80,000 music fans each year. It also provides professional development opportunities for local musicians.
If your event occurs in late August or early September, you won’t want to miss the Nurtien Fireworks Festival. The enchanting event is held at River Landing for two nights providing an extraordinary fireworks display set to music. The festival also includes food trucks, family activities, dance performances, and an art show.
Ag in Motion is Western Canada’s premier outdoor farm expo and it is amazing to see. The trade show focuses on farming innovation and interactive exhibits and demonstrations. Even for those who aren’t in the agriculture industry, it provides a chance to gain a better understanding of what farm-to-table really means.
Improving Attendee Satisfaction Through Unique Areas of Historical and Cultural Significance
Saskatoon is rich in history with over 6,00 years of documented and explorable history in the area. Just twenty minutes from downtown, at Wanuskewin Heritage Park, visitors can explore and get a better understanding of the Northern Plains indigenous peoples’ sacred relationship with the land. From dance performances, archeological digs, craft workshops and more, attendees can begin to see the land in a different way. You can also host your small meeting or event there. AV technology services are available on-site. The in-house catering group specializes in local foods like bison and Saskatoon berries to ensure your meeting is one that’s remembered.
Transport yourself back to 1910 Boomtown – from the general store overflowing with everything from nails to gingham, to be blacksmith shop ringing with the sound of the hammer striking the anvil. Explore the world of alternative fuel vehicles with the Fuelled by Innovation exhibit Don’t miss Winning the Prairie Gamble – the story of Saskatchewan farm family as they grow and change over 100 years. The Western Development Museum provides the opportunity for your delegates to visit 1910 Boomtown, the longest indoor museum street in Saskatchewan. Special arrangements may be made to include interpreters in period costume, blacksmithing demonstrations, horse and buggy/sleigh rides or a melodiously playing calliope. Delegates can also visit the Museum Store, where specialties include handcrafted and Saskatchewan-made items, and Boomtown Photo Studio, where they can dress in period costume and take home a souvenir.
Another unusual spot with venue capabilities is Champetre County, a western-themed venue offering an “Old West” experience and a taste of relaxed country lifestyle. Sitting on 50 acres. Special arrangements can be made for delegates to enjoy a hayride or Picture this…..an Arrest is made. The Sheriff and law officers meet your bus at the half mile. The Sheriff will enter each bus searching for an individual to take into custody. The riders will escort the bus to the Saloon.
Champêtre County has an on-site Chef that offers superb homemade meals with a focus on local produce and protein. Kicking it up a notch with our famous Pitch Fork Fondue.
Satisfying Cravings with Award-winning Culinary and Craft Beverage Attractions
Saskatoon provides much more than historical and cultural entertainment. It’s well-known for its growing culinary and craft beverage attractions. The farm-to-table movement is strong here and the area has long been known for its agricultural roots. The dining varieties are many, from vegan and gluten-free eateries to those specializing in local favorites and ethnic cuisine. There are also local farms and farmers markets nearby where attendees can sample fruit, produce, and baked goods.
The craft brewery scene is strong here due in large part to the grain production. Distilleries, cider companies, and breweries offer tours that could be added to your event program. Many dining establishments carry local Saskatoon-produced beverages. Saskatoon offers conference planners a lot of menu options.
Encouraging Exploration in the Walkable and Clean Downtown
Delegates will want to explore this clean, safe, and walkable metro area. Saskatoon’s bridges and River Walk encourage meandering and can provide a nice break to hours of indoor sessions. Professional tour companies are also available to ensure guests are able to see the highlights of the city. The city is easy to explore on foot or by bike and it is nearly evenly spread on both sides of the river. Plus, Saskatoon experiences more sunlight than anywhere else in Canada.
National Geographic Magazine listed the city in its Places of a Lifetime and described Saskatoon as “…a pocket of Saskatchewan’s culture, vitality, and welcoming prairie spirit. These days, city streets are buzzing with an infusion of new restaurants and residents, breweries and bars, making Saskatoon one of Canada’s fastest growing cities.”
Accessing Things They Need Easily in One of the Fastest-growing Economies in Canada
With many recent hotel upgrades, and a new art Gallery, the Bridge City is more than just a historical and cultural hotspot.
Saskatoon also boasts a tight-knit committee of professionals dedicated to sharing the beauty of the city and its cultures with From speakers to vendors, signage to visitor guides and maps, Saskatoon provides everything event and conference planners need to keep their guests relaxed, entertained, and connecting with experts in their areas of interest.
Saskatoon has a network of local hosts who are positioned to welcome industry peers and colleagues when they come for conferences and trade show events. These knowledgeable professionals love to showcase Saskatoon’s vibrant business community, its academic and scientific excellence centers, and the bustling cultural and entertainment scene. They can also connect planners with local events and professional opportunities that may be of interest to them and their attendees.
Saving Money with Affordable Meeting Options Designed to Stretch Your Budget
While there is no best time to visit based on entertainment and cultural options because there’s always something to discover. But there are times when saving money is a prime focus. he shoulder seasons of early spring and fall can provide even better value for the dollar.
Convention Saskatoon!’s planning professionals can provide a list of suppliers and vendors to help put together an affordable and successful event.
Improving Team-building and Events in the Great Outdoors
Saskatoon’s outdoor areas play a big role in the activities of the city. The Meewasin Valley Trail meanders along the South Saskatchewan riverbank and provides the perfect area for walking, riding bikes, or just taking in the views of downtown and its green spaces.
The river is also a hotspot of activity with water sports, canoeing, and the Prairie Lily Riverboat. The riverboat offers sightseeing cruises and can accommodate private groups of up to 118 people for chartered events. There are also dockside meeting event options.
Tour companies, like CanoeSki Discovery Company, offer the opportunity for attendees to get out and enjoy the beauty of the area or experience an active team-building activity. There are canoe courses of the northern and southern waterways, from historic venues to adventurous explorations of waterfalls. The company also specializes in women-only wilderness trips.
Saskatoon is an area rich in history and hospitality that provides a unique experience for attendees. The creative energy and pioneering spirit here leave an indelible imprint on audiences of all sizes. Though it seems a world away from the ordinary, Saskatoon is still accessible enough to make travel easy. If you want to improve your events by offering your audience an unparalleled visit into a world of ground-breaking technology set on a stage rich with 6,000 years of history, you don’t have to build it from your imagination. It already exists in Saskatoon and you can join the many event planners who are discovering it for themselves.