Growing the North 2021 will proceed as planned, but, as with most things in the COVID-19 world, it will look a little different than those seen in the past.

“It has been an interesting learning experience but our committee has embraced it and we are running full steam ahead learning all the new things that we need to do to pull off a successful virtual conference,” says Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce CEO Tanya Oliver.

Oliver adds on top of moving from a two-day to a three half-day event, the process has given organizers the chance to really open the flood gates when it comes to planning, especially when you eliminate one of the biggest costs, and in some cases hurdle, a physical building.

“It gives more people an opportunity to attend the conference that might not have been able to afford to take the time or investment to travel, we are hoping to welcome a broader region of the north and beyond to the conference,” she says.

“We are utilizing technology like we never have before…so we have a virtual conference space we are setting up for our attendees, our sponsors and trying to cultivate that opportunity for connection.”

Oliver says while the majority of speakers have been confirmed, there is always a last-minute shuffle that happens every year. She adds, however, that they are thrilled to soon announce the diverse line up to the public. Growing the North remains one of the largest economic development conferences in the Peace Region and Alberta.

The 2021 Growing the North Conference is expected to take place February 16th, 17th, and 18th.