The 2014 edition of Ontario Centres of Excellence’s Discovery trade show and conference was not only the largest in the event’s nine-year history, it was a major hit with attendees.
More than 20 per cent of the 2,500 delegates – young entrepreneurs, researchers, domestic and foreign investors, government officials and exhibitors – weighed in on our voluntary survey asking not only for opinions, but for comments, anecdotes and recommendations based on their experiences.
“I’m incredibly encouraged by the results of this survey,” says OCE President and CEO Dr. Tom Corr. “It’s heartening to know we are doing many things right with Discovery. We believe it’s important to hear from those who attend not just so we know where we’re succeeding but also where there’s room for improvement.”
Ninety six per cent of survey respondents rated Discovery good to excellent with 72 per cent rating it very good or excellent and 89 per cent saying they would recommend the event to a colleague or friend. Perhaps most gratifying, 95 per cent of respondents said Discovery met their objectives.
Individual testimonials highlighted the direct value of the conference. “As a relatively new, small company, the conference opened many doors for us and introduced us to many useful companies/individuals who we were able to form mutually beneficial bonds with,” said Craig Thomas of Toronto’s SE3D Interactive.
As shown by survey findings, attendees came to Discovery for a variety of reasons with nearly 60 per cent citing “networking and new connections” as their focus.
One attendee noted that Discovery produced a wealth of follow-up activities for his company. “We are currently at the planning board sorting the potential clients, important relationships and people of interest from the event. A full day of work is ahead just prepping our first round of contacts (not a complaint!),” said Curtis Ingleton of Hamilton-based 3D scanning and printing firm Genius Inspirata Evolorum.
Discovery 2014 took place May 12-13 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Dr. Corr notes that the survey results will be invaluable for planning Discovery’s milestone tenth anniversary next year on April 27-28 at the same venue.
“We heard from a number of people with helpful suggestions for next year and we’re doing everything we can to reflect those comments,” says Dr. Corr. “We want our 10th year to not only be the biggest and best yet, but the most rewarding for our attendees as well.”