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Connect First at GBTA Conference 2023 | Toronto

Are you a first time attendee, young professional, returning professional, or just generally unsure of what to expect at GBTA Conference 2023 | Toronto?

We invite you to Connect First with your fellow attendees, seasoned leaders, and GBTA community.

We want you to make the most of your Conference experience. It’s important to GBTA that you have the tools and knowledge to begin a strong relationship with the business travel community and make your Conference a success.

We encourage anyone to use these resources and connection opportunities to ensure that your Conference experience will be a successful and memorable one. This is an inclusive, non-restrictive, no-sign-up type of program.  Feel free to email us at with any questions you may have

Tips and Tricks

Convince Your Boss Template

  • Get your investment to The Business Travel Event of the Year® approved.
  • Download GBTA's Suggested Template specifically designed for first time attendees, young professionals, or returning professionals.

Before Conference

  • Book your hotel and travel as soon as possible. GBTA partnered with local hotels for discounted accommodations, book while they’re available!
  • Packing- attire, comfortable shoes, water bottles, tote bags, notetaking items. Appropriate clothing: some attendees dress casually in jeans, others are in suits. The best recommendation is to dress according to your conference goals. If you plan business meetings, you'll need business attire. And don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes! The days are long, the convention centre is large, and sharp sneakers with business attire are in style now. Conference is a great time to embrace the trend!
  • Create an agenda of sessions you want to attend via the attendee hub and the mobile app. Be sure to download the app before arriving. Adding a session to your agenda does not guarantee a seat in the room.
  • Try not to be overwhelmed by the number of programs and activities. Plan ahead to optimize your time. Sessions fill up and you may get closed out of the room for capacity. Pick a Plan B for each time slot.
  • Make time for breaks – conferences can be overwhelming there is so much to do, so many people to meet. Don’t wear yourself out early, it won’t matter how much you see if you are too worn out to remember it or how many people you meet if you are too burnt out to make a good impression.
  • Engage with other attendees via the Conference app. Check out the attendee list and expo map to see who you may be interested in meeting with.
  • Review what meals are included in your registration and in the program.
  • If you’ve never been to the exhibit hall, plan to set aside some time to cover it adequately. Plot out where vendors are located so you don’t waste time backtracking later.
  • Become a GBTA Member if you haven’t already! GBTA Membership is a great way to get involved and make connections that last a lifetime.

During Conference

  • Own your status as a Connect First attendee, and use it as an opportunity to break the ice. Conference participants love to welcome new community members, and many have been in the industry, attending GBTA Events and affiliated with GBTA for years. If you have a question, we promise that someone in the room knows the answer!
  • Explore the show floor to meet contacts you have never met face-to-face, hear industry news or trends, experience various activations, and be open to learning about new buyers or suppliers you don’t know yet (and, let’s be honest, probably pick up some cool swag while you are at it!).
  • Aim for meaningful conversations – quality over quantity. You won’t remember everyone you meet at Convention, but you will remember the meaningful ones, and so will they.
  • If you are a supplier, keep customers in your booth by introducing them to your colleagues who they may not know yet.
  • Step outside your comfort zone – sit with a friendly face who you may not know at a meal, strike up a conversation with that person you have run into at the hotel coffeeshop the last two mornings, and go to a party even if you will only know one or two people. Make the most of your time by being open to new people or experiences!
  • Make a buddy at a Connect First event who you can walk to and sit with at sessions, share a meal with, and who’s growing networks you can introduce each other to. Everything is more fun with a friend!

Don't miss out on these key sessions during the Conference:

  • Main Stage Opening General Session and Welcome Reception on Monday, May 15
  • Connect First Open House, more info below

After Conference

  • Connect with your new industry friends on LinkedIn, where their network becomes your network.
  • Debrief on GBTA Conference 2023 | Toronto with your boss and colleagues, share interesting insights or trends you picked up, and show the value of your attendance.
  • Continue to foster the relationships you made at Conference by becoming a member, if you haven’t already
  • Follow up with people you met at the conference. Even if you don't have a specific need in mind, it’s good to further develop relationships started at the conference.
  • View the attendee list in the app to collect contact information for any contacts you developed that you would like to continue after Convention has ended.
  • Follow GBTA on socials to stay connected with your colleagues and GBTA after the Conference.
  • Complete the survey and tell us what you liked and how we can improve!

Connect First Events & Resources

As a first time attendee or someone who is looking to learn more about GBTA Conference | Toronto, you are invited to attend the Connect First Open House on Monday, May 15th from 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Here you will have the chance to-

  • Get to know GBTA and the Conference
  • Learn tips and tricks on how to get the most out of the Conference
  • Network with other new attendees, make a new connection right from the start
  • Connect with seasoned GBTA attendees and leadership

Do you plan to attend this event? Please let us know in the Conference registration form. (Please respond accurately so we can ensure counts for refreshments)

Coming Soon!

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! We want to make sure you are feeling confident throughout your Conference experience. Keep an eye out for GBTA Staff and Conference Ambassadors onsite.

Email to ask any questions before, during, or after GBTA Conference | Toronto.

While we put a lot of work into these initiatives, we still need your help as an GBTA Conference | Toronto veteran! The best way for you to help is simply to connect. 

If you see a first time attendee, say hello, introduce them to some of your contacts, sit by them in a session, or simply stop by the Connect First Open House or Lounge. Not only will you help the first timers, but you’ll grow your own network and likely make a great new friend!

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