Vancouver will host rebranded Collision in 2025 and beyond

Vancouver skyline
With Toronto deal set to expire, the West Coast emerges as next locale for the rebranded Web Summit Vancouver.

Vancouver has an agreement with Collision parent company Web Summit to bring a rebranded version of the major North American technology conference to the West Coast in 2025, BetaKit has learned.

Speaking with BetaKit on condition of anonymity, multiple sources familiar with these efforts indicated that local tech leaders are preparing to host the event next year, with Vancouver locking in a three-year deal that was planned to be announced tomorrow.

BetaKit had reached out to Web Summit, the City of Vancouver, the Government of British Columbia (BC), and Frontier Collective for comment. Following multiple requests for comment from BetaKit earlier today, Web Summit announced the news on social media.

The event, now called Web Summit Vancouver, will take place in May 2025. Further details regarding the conference remain scarce, but Destination Vancouver anticipates Web Summit Vancouver will generate $172 million in direct spending and $279 million in overall economic impact for the province. Sources indicated to BetaKit that the likely venue for the event would be the Vancouver Convention Centre.

“As Web Summit becomes bigger, our aim should be to make it smaller for our attendees. More intimate. More convivial. More community focused. We will seed small communities at our events, and then help those communities thrive long after each event.”

Paddy Cosgrave
Web Summit CEO

As BetaKit previously reported, Vancouver began exploring the possibility of luring Collision to the city last year, when local innovation advocacy organization Frontier Collective and affiliated groups publicly and privately rallied support for the idea in a push that garnered the attention of the City of Vancouver and the Government of BC. While Collision ultimately inked a one-year extension to stay in Toronto for 2024, its long-term future in Canada remained uncertain.

In April, BetaKit reported that Vancouver’s efforts culminated in a bid to host the tech conference after this year and keep it in Canada, in close competition with Mexico City.

Multiple sources have since indicated to BetaKit that they had heard that Mexico City was no longer in the running to host Collision in 2025. They also indicated that should the tech conference move to Vancouver next year, it might do so under a new brand. That information has now been confirmed as part of Web Summit’s announcement.

Last year, when Collision’s future in Canada was uncertain, Vancouver mayor Ken Sim told BetaKit that the city would support “whatever it takes” to keep the tech conference in the country. Now that a deal for Web Summit Vancouver has been confirmed, Sim said in a statement, “Vancouver is ready to welcome the world.”

This is not the first time that Vancouver has pitched to host Collision. Vancouver previously pushed for the conference prior to 2019, competing alongside Toronto to bring it to Canada after its departure from New Orleans in 2018.

Multiple sources familiar with those efforts told BetaKit that it was ultimately determined that Vancouver lacked the hotel capacity and convention centre space to handle Collision and its growth ambitions.

Nearly six months after resigning following his controversial statements about the Israel-Hamas war on social media, Web Summit co-founder Paddy Cosgrave returned as CEO this April.

In an X post announcing his return, Cosgrave noted that, “As Web Summit becomes bigger, our aim should be to make it smaller for our attendees. More intimate. More convivial. More community focused. We will seed small communities at our events, and then help those communities thrive long after each event.” These comments appear to align with the notion of a smaller Collision in Vancouver.

Multiple sources told BetaKit that Cosgrave came to Vancouver this spring to have dinner with a group of local tech leaders and attend a Vancouver Canucks-Edmonton Oilers National Hockey League playoff game. Attendees included Web Summit head of Asia Pacific and Frontier Collective strategic advisor Casey Lau.

Frontier Collective is also hosting a “Vancouver Takeover” event on June 17 during the opening night of Collision’s upcoming conference in Toronto. The event’s registration page notes that, “At Collision, everyone will be talking about Vancouver.”

Last year, when Collision’s future in Canada was uncertain, Vancouver mayor Ken Sim told BetaKit that the city would support “whatever it takes” to keep the tech conference in the country. Now that a deal for Web Summit Vancouver has been confirmed, Sim said in a statement, “Vancouver is ready to welcome the world.”

With files from Douglas Soltys and Aaron Anandji.

Feature image courtesy Alejandro Luengo via Unsplash.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling in-depth Canadian tech stories and breaking news. His coverage is more complete than his moustache. He was also the winner of SABEW Canada’s 2023 Jeff Sanford Best Young Journalist award.

0 replies on “Vancouver will host rebranded Collision in 2025 and beyond”