The Raptors championship & collision conference

Our Region is Centre Stage

2019/2020 was a big year for the Toronto Region – one for the history books.

The country rallied together under the banner of “We the North,” to celebrate the Toronto Raptors’ first-ever NBA Championship. Collision, the fastest growing tech conference in North America, was looking for a bigger and more globally connected home, and realized the opportunity in the Toronto Region, choosing to relocate the conference here for the next three years – an expected economic impact of $147 million.

Toronto Raptors Championship

From ‘Burlassic Park’ in Burlington, to ‘Jurassic Park West’ in Mississauga’s Celebration Square and ‘Jurassic Commons’ in Newmarket, the fandom spilled well beyond the City of Toronto limits. It was estimated that 100,000 people attended the celebration at or near Nathan Phillips Square, with more than one million people attending the festivities throughout the city during the playoffs. Enormous crowds upwards of two million Raptors fans packed a parade route through Toronto’s downtown to see the NBA champions first-hand.

At the core of this phenomenon is our people. The Toronto Region is a place where people come together. From every nation, speaking hundreds of languages on our streets. It’s a place where bright, young, educated and talented people from across the world converge to live, dream, create, inspire and celebrate. It’s where ideas come to life and game-changing technologies are created and patented. It’s where you get that “Made in Canada” label and wear it with pride. From the elites of basketball to the elites of business, the Toronto Region has never had more Canadian swagger, and the championship provided an awakening and call to business leaders to head north and be a part of what’s happening in the Toronto Region.

Toronto Raptors Social Media Campaign

2.6 million impressions
14,357 website visits
1,110% increase in new website visits
43,769 likes, shares & comments

The goal of our Raptors social media campaign was to leverage the awareness of the Raptors in the NBA finals to showcase the strength of our region and encourage investors to visit the Toronto Region, along with inviting them to check out our website and blog for more information.

Collision Conference

The decision to host Collision in the Toronto Region was a signal of the region’s growing prominence in the global tech sector. In May 2019, the conference welcomed 25,711 attendees from 125 countries to hear from 730 speakers about the most pressing issues in technology today.

25,711 attendees from 125 countries to hear from 730 speakers about the most pressing issues in technology today.

The Toronto Global Investment Attraction team leveraged the conference by meeting with 85 companies, of which 57 were new companies engaged at or around the conference. One of the biggest advantages of hosting Collision in the region was the platform it gave to our clients, which was used to advance them through the pipeline. In addition, the profile around the event was used as an opportunity for clients to announce potential investments on the global stage and to push key opportunities across the finish line, moving them out of our sales funnel to successful wins. In all, five of the nine Canada-wide FDI announcements were from Toronto Global, making Collision a big success for the Toronto Region. The collaboration at Collision between Toronto Global and Invest in Canada, Global Affairs Canada, the Province of Ontario and our regional and municipal colleagues, showed the full force of the Canadian value proposition. For our clients, it was an extraordinary opportunity to meet business and government leaders and truly understand the depth and breadth of the opportunities in Canada and across the Toronto Region.

With all in-person conferences and events cancelled for the foreseeable future, Collision decided to move to a virtual platform for its June 2020 tech conference. Despite virtual programming, Collision reached an audience of tens of thousands of people and we see this as a great way to reach new clients and reconnect with existing ones, all from the safety of our homes. We are looking forward to welcoming the international tech community back to Toronto in 2021!