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Niagara Falls is primed to take on the business market

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Canada’s Honeymoon City has long been known as a tourist destination. Anchored by the iconic Niagara Falls itself, a thriving hospitality and attractions sector has become the face of the city.

That isn’t going away, but Niagara Falls is taking big strides to go beyond the bright lights to position itself as one of Canada’s top destinations for conventions, conferences and trade shows.

“Tourism is very much driven by the seasons, but conventions and business travellers will make Niagara Falls a year-round destination,” says Anthony Annunziata, Vice-President of Marketing at the Marriott Gateway on the Falls. “Niagara Falls has a premier facility for large corporate gatherings, with all the amenities to keep your employees, delegates and clients happy when not on the convention floor.”

The convention and conference market is a new one for Niagara Falls, but it has all the pieces in place to make any large gathering a successful one. The Scotiabank Convention Centre just opened in April and is the catalyst for bringing convention and trade show business to Niagara Falls. The centre is equipped with an Exhibition Hall that boasts more than 81,000 square feet of multi-purposes space, a 17,000-square-foot ballroom, an intimate 1,000-seat theatre plus meeting rooms and a banquet hall.

But it takes more than just a convention centre to properly cater to the trade show and conference business that would use such a facility. Delegates will require space for breakaway meetings where they can meet in smaller groups.

Across the street from the Scotiabank Convention Centre sits more than 40,000 of conference and meeting space in the Marriott Gateway on the Falls, the largest Canadian conference facility in the Marriott chain. The hotel boasts 15 meeting rooms that can be further divided into 24 breakout rooms and is the ideal complement for trade shows and other events at the convention centre. It also offers nearly 400 guest suites that offer quick access to the convention centre for delegates.

But at the heart of it all is the attraction that is Niagara Falls itself. Conferences and trade shows may be about business, but the most memorable of these are ones that have plenty to offer when the business is done. Plans are in the works to forge links between the convention centre, its neighbouring hotels and popular tourist attractions like the Fallsview Casino.

“It’s about creating a sense of connectivity,” says Annunziata. “There is a natural flow from the convention centre to the Marriott Gateway and through to the escarpment that offers spectacular views of the Falls. That in turn leads directly to the casino.”

Niagara Falls is one of Canada’s leading tourism destinations. The Fallsview district where you will find the convention centre and Marriott Gateway on the Falls is convenient to many casual and fine dining restaurants, spas, casinos, wineries, golf courses and attractions.

“Just like real estate, it’s all about location,” says Annunziata. “Within 15 minutes of the convention and conference facilities you can be teeing up a drive or sitting amid Niagara’s vineyards with an award-winning wine. When the business is finished, there is never a shortage of things to do in and around Niagara Falls.”

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