The Girletz Rodeo Ranch treats Sigma Nursing attendees to a Calgary Wild West Cultural Celebration. The off-site event helped increase social media impressions from the conference. (Photos with Finesse)
Two years ago, Sigma Nursing was searching North America for a destination to host this year’s 30th International Research Congress. The event, which usually welcomes about 900 medical professionals, is held in a new location every year in one of Sigma’s seven global regions. For 2019, the organization really wanted to find a city that was easy to get to for their international attendees and offered a one-of-kind experience. Calgary ended up being the perfect fit for the July 25-29 event.
“Calgary checked all the boxes, [including] a great international airport, the proximity of the city to the airport, and safety for our attendees,” Sigma Events Manager Joni Wallman tells PCMA. “The size of the Telus Convention Centre and its location near Stephen Avenue was the perfect match for what our attendees look for at this meeting.”
The Telus Convention Centre — which offers 122,000 square feet of convention space, more than 47,000 square feet of exhibit space, five pre-function areas, and 36 meeting rooms — proved to be an ideal venue for the congress. Delegates were able to attend education sessions while immersing themselves in the unique culture of the Stampede City. Plus, right near the venue is Stephen Avenue, a major pedestrian mall featuring restaurants, shopping, and entertainment options for attendees.
Some highlights of the research congress this year included a Western night at Girletz Ranch, providing an authentic Calgary experience — complete with homemade barbecue and wagon rides. The rodeo ranch is available for corporate buyouts and can accommodate up to 1,200 people. Sigma attendees went to the Western night dressed in their best cowboy gear. “The conference really embraced Calgary,” says Janelle Shields, Meetings + Conventions Calgary’s marketing and communications coordinator, “and vice versa.”