From the C2-MTL blog: C2-MTL‘s second edition lived up to its promise to reinvent the traditional business conference with its unbridled, unconventional exploration of the links between creativity and commerce. Heightening the unforgettable experience were inspiring, innovative workshops, original, relevant programming, and a striking location. Curated by creative agency Sid Lee and supported by Founding Partner Cirque du Soleil, Content Partner Fast Company magazine, Innovation Partner Intel, and Montréal-based global powerhouse, Solotech, C2-MTL 2013 was an undeniable triumph. In just two short years, C2-MTL has made a name for itself as an essential global rendez-vous for local and international economic and creative leaders, and a world-wide byword for experiential and economic savoir-faire.
Over the course of three days, over 50 internationally-renowned business leaders provided participants with inspiration and invaluable insights. Speakers and panelists unleashed their business savvy and acumen, burnishing C2-MTL’s already enviable reputation as a high-level, borderless event. Top-shelf speakers included Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, architect and designer Philippe Starck, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, Intel’s Chief Evangelist and futurist Steve Brown, free-spirited shoemaker Blake Mycoskie, entrepreneur Bobbi Brown, Boeing strategist Nicole Piasecki, designer Chris Bangle, GE Healthcare Systems president and CEO Tom Gentile, ING Direct founder Arkadi Kuhlmann and the director of MIT Media Lab’s Mediated Matter group, Neri Oxman.
The second, sold-out edition of C2-MTL hosted almost 2,000 participants – an increase of 60% compared to last year – from 25 countries. At times, C2-MTL could have been taken for a United Nations event, with its contingents of German, Chinese, Brazilian, Indonesian, French and Swedish attendees! Some 400 Québec companies represented the province. Among the participants, 90% were CEO / executive level. The 2013 edition of C2-MTL also saw a long line of representatives from some of the most prestigious companies on the planet:
- Victoria’s Secret
- The Coca-Cola Company
- Ford Motors
- The Walt Disney Corporation
- The Boeing Company
- Red Bull
As well, event organizers anticipate a balanced budget, plus or minus 2%. It is worth noting that public subsidies for this year’s edition were 20% lower than the previous year’s edition, with a 25% rise in ticket sales and a 100% increase in private sector investment. Keep in mind that the first C2-MTL generated $187-million worth of business deals, which are now being realized and developed. It goes without saying that we are eager to see the final tally for this year!
“The C2-MTL 2013 team managed to reinvent the business conference and the traditional economic meeting by adding unique experiential elements, just as the Cirque du Soleil did with the traditional circus industry,” said C2-MTL Chief Executive Officer Benoît Berthiaume. “It created a unique concept that can be exported anywhere in the world. C2-MTL creates a huge network of business leaders in the field of global communications.”
The event was hosted in the 83,000-square foot, 1846-built Arsenal of Montréal, with its collection of contemporary art works, and was renovated especially for the occasion. One of the event’s big successes was the physical and artistic setting of the Intel Forum, including the storyteller, electro-jazz-rock house band Plaster, Baillat Cardell’s visuals and Thomas Pintal’s signature stage direction.
C2-MTL sought to maximize participants’ networking opportunities through a unique system of personalized concierges and the creation of an efficient and user-friendly networking tool dubbed Hubert, through which over 1,000 business meetings were organized! Networking is a hugely important part of our event: aside from forming friendships and new relationships, it can lead to big and profitable business opportunities across all sectors. C2-MTL drew on its high-profile artistic partners to help inspire participants. Taking part in the festivities were internationally-celebrated members of Montréal’s legendary arts scene, including the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Cirque du Soleil,
L’Opéra de Montréal, the Festival TransAmériques, as well as the exceptional talents of the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival, M For Montréal and Igloofest. Among this year’s many unforgettable moments were sets by artists Kid Koala, DJ Tiga and Half Moon Run, who performed on the conference’s closing night. Dress to Kill magazine’s TWELVE-ID production gathered the brightest lights of Montréal’s fashion scene for a catwalk presentation of 12 designs created especially for the event.
Other partners also contributed to the event’s smashing success with original workshops, from Cirque du Soleil to François Chartier, and organized visits to the headquarters of local powerhouses of creativity including SAT, Moment Factory, the IRIC, and others. C2-MTL is not only about shining a spotlight on the “commerce/creativity” dynamic and those who are a part of it, but is also dedicated to tearing down the walls around industrial clusters, finding a common use for everyone’s talents and strengths, and mobilizing them around an idea that will benefit all.
The Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation contest’s goal is to provide Québec’s most promising entrepreneurs with the opportunity to share their ideas and network with C2-MTL participants, including global leaders in creative business. Thanks to the Foundation, 25 emerging entrepreneurs were able to take advantage of the opportunities presented by C2-MTL over its three days. The EYE50 contest, propelled by Intel, has the same goal. It allows young inventor-entrepreneurs from around the world to shop their ideas with world leaders in business and innovation.
Thanks to those two contests, C2-MTL accelerated the development or project implementation of young talent to no small degree. For example, Erin Kennedy of DIY Robot Kids was able to connect, via Hubert, and meet with Ivan Poupyrev, of the Walt Disney Company’s scientific research department. The meeting resulted in an internship for Kennedy with the prestigious company. Bernat Lozano and Rocio Garcia of Smarter Phone, supported by Intel’s Steve Brown and his team, discussed the possibility of funding grants with the British Council and met several Indonesian businessmen who were interested in developing the project in their country. Provender co-founder and president Caithrin Rintoul, meanwhile, was able to discuss his idea with representatives from Walmart and Whole Foods, which resulted in a $100,000 investment after only a single appearance at C2-MTL.
More than 60 private and public partners contributed to C2-MTL 2013’s unprecedented success. This year included Sid Lee, Cirque du Soleil, Fast Company, Intel, Laurentian Bank, Videotron, Solotech, Tourisme Montréal, Ubisoft, SAP, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montréal, Nurun, Moment Factory, PwC, Earnscliffe, Fasken Martineau, Phi Centre, Autodesk, National Film Board of Canada, Fatboy, HEC Montréal, Mosaic, IVPA, McGill, Stingray Digital Group, Arsenal, Astral, La Presse, Newad, the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation, Power Corporation, the City of Montréal, the CRÉ de Montréal, Montréal International, Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, the Government of Québec, Loto Québec and Investissement Québec.
Finally, thanks must be given to the devoted and generous C2-MTL team. Without their incredible drive and their inexhaustible energy, it would be impossible to organize an event of this magnitude.
You already know how dedicated the C2-Mtl team is to bringing together different talents from as varied backgrounds as possible – always looking to expand our knowledge base in order to celebrate creativity and commerce. They’re already hard at work planning the 2014 edition, which takes place May 27-29. They are promising attendees an extraordinary adventure with prestigious guests, which in 2014 includes the legendary filmmaker, explorer and all-around innovator James Cameron, who will take top billing at C2-MTL’s next edition. Tickets for C2-MTL 2014 are already available online. Hurry though – hundreds of tickets have already been sold and a one-time special offer of $1,600 per ticket is available until May 31.