Thursday, October 20, 2016
Being an event ambassador for any conference or tradeshow is always a challenge in today’s business environment in which busy professionals are constantly solicited for their time and attention. It can even be more difficult when trying to make a mark in a highly competitive and popular industry, like animation and entertainment.
But then again, Louis Leclerc thrives off this type of challenge. Mr. Leclerc is founder and General Manager at Pixel Québec, a non-profit organization that creates high-profile networking events for Canada’s animation industry. He’s also a member of Québec City’s Ambassador’s club, which helps to bring world-renowned events to the city.
For the past several years, Mr. Leclerc and the Pixel Québec team have organized many events for the animation sector, including Cartoon Connection Canada, the largest event in the animation industry in Canada, as well as Pixel Animation and Pixel Challenge. These events attract hundreds of attendees from all over the world each year. While events in the animation industry are a dime a dozen, Pixel Québec has carved an enviable reputation and popularity in this thriving sector.
How did Mr. Leclerc pull it off?
“Pixel Québec key differentiator is that we don’t ‘just’ organize events in the animation industry. We also provide a means for creators and broadcaster to come together to network, share knowledge, and form partnerships. Our events are all about creating opportunities.” And as the website of Cartoon Connection Canada highlights: Business speed dating to find the right partner.
Pixel Québec employs a development strategy that hones into what attendees really need. “In the animation industry, creators are always on the hunt for broadcasters to get their productions out in front of the public. On the flip side, in such a hyper-competitive market, broadcasters are hunting for amazing concepts that are most likely to be a hit with their viewers. That mutual need and desire to build mutual beneficial relationships is what drives all of our efforts.”
How powerful is this strategy? “Imagine artists and artisans basically pitching their life’s mission, their life’s creation to potential partners. Everything is on the line. We foster an environment where the proximity between delegates becomes less intimidating and more about how they can mutually help each other,” Mr. Leclerc added.
In other words, rather than simply flaunt the number of delegates or name-drop high-profile companies that are participating in an event, Pixel Québec remains focused on the value. To attract such big names as Disney, LucasFilms and Sony Pictures, it appears that Pixel Québec’s bet has paid off.
Another key aspect to standing out from a glut of other, similar-type of events is the host city. “The bleisure aspect is also fundamental for any event. Don’t underestimate the marketing potential of your event’s location,” Mr. Leclerc said. “Québec City played a major factor in attracting delegates to our events. A host city’s reputation and exoticness can definitely play in an event planners’ favour.”
Pixel Québec makes a point of organizing off-hour activities that enable event goers to sightsee—and discover the local culture. After all, nobody wants to be holed up in a hotel room at night. “Organizing a variety of engaging activities that are representative of the host city can go a long way in getting delegates on board for your tradeshow or conference,” he said. Event attendees are more likely to be interested in an event if it’s combined with unique experiences they cannot find anywhere else.”
The main takeaway? “The event’s value to potential attendees is everything,” concluded Mr. Leclerc. Give your potential delegates a real reason to choose your tradeshow or conference over another. Go beyond the buzzwords and oh-hum logistics to craft the event of a lifetime.