For Vancouver, YPO Edge is small in terms of number of convention delegates, but unprecedented in the way of influence. The potential for business development between local companies and global chief executives is significant. But there is a short-term impact for the local economy that is poised to make history.
YPO Edge may become Vancouver’s most lucrative convention in direct spending. The conference’s host city chair estimates that the 2,700 delegates from 130 countries will spend an estimated $54 million on hotels, restaurants, retail, transportation, and attractions. That’s $20,000 per delegate.
According to the Vancouver Convention Centre and Tourism Vancouver, by comparison, an average conference delegate spends $1,400. The conference that currently holds the record for direct spending is 2014’s SIGGRAPH, when 16,000 delegates spent an estimated $39 million.
“As a global non-profit organization, the fee to attend YPO’s landmark event will be spent in Vancouver,” said Host City Chair Paolo Kalaw. “Many delegates will arrive early and extend their stay in Vancouver or head to Whistler. Judging from previous Edge conferences, this will be a real boon for the local economy.”
Founded in 1950, YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization) has over 23,000 members who, collectively, run enterprises with US $6 trillion in annual revenue and 17 million employees.
YPO Edge, held on a different continent every year, gives members and their guests an opportunity to convene with world-renowned thought leaders to address key global issues in business, politics, philanthropy, and humanities.
Conference Chair Larry Bond is a California-based YPO member. He’s overseeing the entire convention and signed all the speakers, including chief executives from Disney, Sony, and Samsung.
“I’ve been asked to take a leadership role with YPO Edge before, but when I learned the conference was being held in Vancouver, I wanted to be part of it,” said Bond, head of Bond Companies, a multi-faceted and award-winning real estate development company in the US. “Vancouver has been an easy sell to our speakers because of its natural beauty, the creativity of businesses here, and the world-class nature of the city. In fact, many speakers and attendees will be going skiing in Canada, given the convenience to some of the best slopes on the planet.”
Both Bond and Kalaw said another key differentiator is that Vancouver offers a welcome and open environment, which is timely, given the current global temperament.
“I have heard from technology companies in the Silicon Valley who are eyeing Vancouver for satellite offices for foreign-born employees,” said Kalaw, CEO of Nimbyx, a Canadian fintech company disrupting global healthcare. “YPO Edge is a tremendous opportunity to showcase BC’s tech industry and that’s why I began pursing it as a host city.”
Bond said his goal for the conference is simple: “I want to ensure attendees leave in awe of Vancouver. “I don’t think that will be very difficult to achieve.”
YPO Edge runs March 1 to 3 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.