C2 Montréal to host 2021 conference through virtual, in-person model


C2 Montréal, an annual business event, is planning to host its 2021 conference this fall through a hybrid model of a virtual conference and an in-person component.

The 2021 event is currently set for October and will take place over six days between October 19 and 21, and October 26 and 28. The event marks C2 Montréal’s tenth anniversary.

C2 Montréal is a nonprofit organization that holds an annual international conference in Montréal. The goal of these conferences is to stimulate Quebec’s economy by enabling collaboration and networking in the business and creative communities.

C2 Montréal’s hybrid model could indicate Canada may see a return to in-person events in the latter half of this year.

“For 2021, which remains a transition year as we re-emerge from confinement, we decided to bring back our extremely successful online event and add an in-person component,” said Jacques-André Dupont, president and CEO of C2 International. “We’ll be able to convene our global audience and connect them to our local participants and partners, who have been so supportive of C2 over the last year.”

Last year, amid public gathering restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, C2 Montréal held an entirely virtual event called C2 Online. Speakers from that event included celebrities such as actress and activist Jane Fonda and author Malcolm Gladwell, as well as members from Quebec’s tech community, such as Dialogue COO Jean-Nicolas Guillemette.

Few details of the in-person component of the 2021 conference have been revealed by the organizers, but the event will include a mix of “physical and digital experiences” aimed to help businesses and individuals improve their business game. C2 Montréal said more details about the in-person component of this year’s event will be released when public health measures for the fall are announced.

For the 2021 event, in-person access is currently limited to 2020 pass holders and partners, however, C2 Montréal has created a waitlist for those wishing to attend in-person this year.

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The theme of C2 Montréal’s 2021 conference is ‘(Re),’ with the organizers saying in a statement the conference will represent the time to “(Re)convene, (Re)connect, (Re)engage, (Re)imagine and (Re)new,” following an unprecedented global pandemic.

The hybrid in-person and virtual model for conferences has been used for several other business events since the onset of the pandemic. Startupfest adopted this model last year, hosting its tech festival via a live broadcast with a studio audience. Startupfest plans to use the same model this year, according to its website. Other events, such as Collision and TrueNorth, cancelled their in-person events last year.

C2 Montréal’s latest announcement comes at a much different time than Startupfest’s 2020 event. With vaccines on the rise in Canada, and public health restrictions easing in a number of provinces, C2 Montréal’s hybrid model could indicate Canada may see a return to in-person events in the latter half of this year.

Last year, when tech festival Elevate cancelled what would have been its fourth event in Toronto, Razor Suleman, CEO of Elevate, signalled to BetaKit his intention to hold the 2021 event in person. Since then, Elevate has been busy creating new innovation ecosystem supports, most recently launching an e-commerce accelerator with Moneris.

A spokesperson for C2 Montréal told BetaKit the organization plans to keep the hybrid model in future years, so C2 can engage with its global audience and connect them to the event’s local participants and partners.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by Samuel Charron.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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