The Québec City Convention Centre is expanding on traditional, formulaic event spaces by working with event planners in innovative ways and specializing in new event formats. Here’s our review of the space:
When some event planners envision using a convention center, they usually do it out of space considerations rather than a desire for innovation. The Centre is setting itself apart by aligning its offerings with exactly what the innovative and savvy event planner wants:
- Technology and free WiFi
- Sustainability and reduced ecological footprints
- Extensive concierge services
- Customized menus with local farm-to-table food options
- Giving back to the community
While planners today understand the importance of these initiatives, it’s often up to them to find ways to incorporate them into the event. Venues face an additional challenge in doing their part to help planners: the infrastructural investments required are often steep and the ROI needs to be justified through a litmus test of generating value. The Centre is ahead of this curve.
This review will cover how they are addressing the needs of event professionals and what you can expect from the city, the Centre’s space, and the team behind it.
Why Québec City?
Québec City offers a mix of old-world charm and culture with modern big-city amenities that is rare in North America. Easy to get to, fun to visit–Québec City has all the ingredients for a great host city. Let’s take a look.
Culture and Entertainment
In Québec City there’s always something to do. Old Québec is the only fortified city on the continent north of Mexico. Its European atmosphere with cobblestone streets and outdoor bistros makes it a favorite among visitors. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
But Québec City is also a modern one, and is considered a top foodie destination with its French and British culinary influences. The local chefs also create dishes using locally sourced and farm-fresh foods.
Québec City offers a number of unique outdoor experiences for attendees:
- The natural beauty of Jacques-Cartier National Park
- The Ice Hotel, which opens every year in January
- Parc de la Chute-Montmorency, a waterfall that is 30 meters (98 feet) higher than Niagara Falls
- The artisans and history of the Île d’Orléans
Visitors also can find a number of unique events throughout the year, such as Québec’s Winter Carnival in February, the Snowboard Jamboree in March, and the Magic Festival in May, and the Festival d’été de Québec (the summer music festival).
Plus, the Québec City Convention Centre is in the heart of the historic capital, so attendees have easy access to the best parts of this quaint city.
Traveling to Québec City
Québec City itself is easily accessible by plane, train, or car. The Centre is only 16 km (about 10 miles) away from the Jean-Lesage International Airport, which offers direct flights from several US and Canadian cities including New York (Newark), Chicago, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto and many more with seasonal direct service.
Train travelers can visit the city via Amtrak or Rail Canada, which offers daily service from Toronto, Ottawa, and Montréal.
Québec City’s RTC (public transportation) is also easily accessible, with more than 200 bus stations throughout Québec. The RTC offers many different kinds of passes, including some for unlimited travel on weekends or for five consecutive days. For attendees who prefer to park their car and take the bus, they can use one of the free lots as part of the Park-o-Bus program. Once in the city, the area is very walkable and safe.
Now that we’ve explored the many things Québec City itself offers, let’s take a look at the Centre.
Meeting Spaces in the Québec City Convention Centre
The Centre offers a number of different kinds of meeting spaces and possibilities. It has hosted intimate corporate meetings as well as larger-scale events like trade shows, conventions, galas, and even sporting events.
In fact, the Québec City Convention Centre has become known around the sports events community for having hosted national fencing, karate, taekwondo and cheerleading competitions.
Here are the numbers behind the space:
- 9,000 attendee total capacity
- 294,290 sq. ft. (27,286 m²) of usable space
- 134,500 sq. ft. (12,450 m²) of total exhibition space
- 78,251 sq. ft. (7,254 m²) of pre-meeting space
- 57,874 sq. ft. (5,375 m²) of meeting space
- 75,000 sq. ft. (6,950 m²) Exhibit Hall
- 34,500 sq. ft. (3,210 m²) Convention Hall
- 25,000 sq. ft. (2,320 m²) Multipurpose Hall
The Québec City Convention Centre also has:
- 38 meeting rooms, plus a client lounge and boardroom
- 7 separate entrances
- A main hall with permanent registration desk
- An executive client lounge next to a high-tech 26-seat boardroom
- A concierge desk with business center and gift shop
- The Lounge Restaurant
- The Petit Café for light meals
- Two covered loading areas (10 docks in all)
- Wheelchair accessible areas in accordance with the National Building Code of Canada and the Americans with Disabilities Act
The building offers impressive views from some of the public areas and rooms, including the view of Québec City and the Laurentian Mountains in the mail hall, the view of the Château Frontenac in the VIP lounge and adjoining boardroom and meeting room, the solarium overlooking the Saint-Jean-Baptiste district, and the view of Old Québec from the urban space and terrace.
The Centre is easy to navigate and also has underground passageways that connect it to the Québec Hilton and the Québec Delta—both four-star hotels.
Unique Selling Points of the Québec City Convention Centre
Innovation is not just a marketing term here. The Québec City Centre strives to offer things other convention centers aren’t doing (or have been slow in adopting):
Event Technology and Free WiFi
The Centre is the first Canadian convention center to offer its attendees free high-speed WiFi in all areas. Visitors and attendees stay connected with a 15 Mbps connection and unlimited data transfer. Coverage at the Centre extends through every hall and common area, to every corner of the building.
They also have an extensive network of digital and static display and signage options for displaying directions, information, images, videos, promotional material, and more.
This signage provides strong sponsorship possibilities as well. The Centre helps planners offer promotional space to sponsors as an added source of revenue. Video walls and screens are located throughout the Convention Centre and can be used as an advertising opportunity for events.
The Centre is committed to sustainability. All events at the Centre meet sustainable certification standards. It has earned many certifications since 1996 for its commitment to the environment and creating a greener world, including LEED-CI (Gold), LEED-EB (Silver), BOMA BEST Level 3, and the AIPC’s Gold Quality Standard. It even has its own apiary.
The Convention Centre offers step-by-step assistance for meeting planners to reduce their environmental footprint.
The Centre’s concierge desk is attached to their business center, and it has a gift and souvenir shop as well. The concierge also offers the personalized services you might experience in a hotel, such as assistance in booking a guided tour, purchasing promotional items, and making reservations, among other things.
Menus at convention centers are undergoing extensive changes, and that’s certainly the case at the Centre, where they pride themselves on their customized menus for each event.
The executive chef and his team offer many creative dishes using local produce and inspired by regional fare, including a poutine bar that is very popular. The Centre also has its own rooftop garden to ensure extremely fresh ingredients.
The team can create up to 6,000 meals a day and wants each planner to be happy. They offer tasting services to help make sure the menu and food reflect the planner’s vision.
In keeping with its sustainability promise, the Centre doesn’t want anything to go to waste. It donates all of its food surpluses to local nonprofits. It also provides support for community projects, many benefitting the residents of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste neighborhood where the Centre is located.
What Type of Events Fit the Québec City Convention Centre?
The Québec City Convention Centre offers multifunctional meeting, convention and trade show spaces that can be configured to host events of all sizes and for groups ranging from 100 to 9,000.
Québec City is attractive for event organizers who want a unique experience–something outside of the conventional convention. In keeping with the city’s exciting mix of history and modern attractions, the team at the Centre strives to provide unique experiences for event attendees. For instance, in March of 2019, they converted the Centre into the athlete’s village for the Québec Winter Games, erecting dormitories and showers to host the athletes.
Concierge Services: YES
Québec City Convention Centre is incorporating some crucial event planning initiatives into their standard offerings, like sustainability, giving back, and creative culinary experiences. Add in free WiFi throughout the entire space and you have a venue that is anticipating the needs of its clients.
If you’d like to learn more about the Centre, request a proposal.
Disclaimer: Reviews are paid for placements. While Event Manager Blog receives a fee to extensively look at the venue and review it in detail, the content of the review is independent and by no means influenced by the company. If you have any questions please use the contact us section.