Meet your Global Food Tourism Conference hosts!
Last Updated October 05, 2017
EzTix is excited to be sponsoring the 2018 Global Food Tourism Conference in Montreal, Canada, on October 16 & 17. The conference is an incredible opportunity for culinary tourism businesses to grow by leveraging new relationships and actionable takeaways for the year ahead.
In Montreal, you’ll meet Frédérik Nissen, pictured above with his business partner, Ismael Ulvik. They’re co-founders of Local Montreal Tours and this year’s GFTC local hosts. We caught up with Frédérick to talk about how his company has benefitted from past conferences, as well as what he has in store October 16 & 17.
EZ: What was it that drew you towards the idea of hosting the world’s top culinary experience leaders in your home town?
FN: The idea of hosting the conference was an easy decision. We knew we wanted to right away when we came in Chicago in 2015 for the first conference. Montreal is celebrating its 375th anniversary this year, which made it a great opportunity for us to invite our colleagues from other cities at a time where Montreal is having an exciting year.
EZ: Montreal certainly has a unique culture in comparison to much of North America. When you meet visitors who might be a little intimidated by the French language, what advice do you share?
FN: When someone is a little bit intimidated, the best way to make him-her more comfortable is to kiss her-him on both cheeks, like everyone here. Usually it helps a lot. In fact, most people are bilingual here, so visitors usually do not have problems communicating and asking questions to locals.
EZ: Can you give us a few pre-conference spoilers? What’s in store? What are you excited about?
FN: We unfortunately have to keep the scoops secret. However, we are working hard on the City Host Tribute Experience that will happen Monday evening. We invite everyone to join this special tour that will be offered only once!
We also invite people to take full advantage the things Montreal has to offer while they are here. That includes our award winning Food Tours and Craft Beer Tours in Montreal and our Food Tours in Quebec City. Use our special promocode gftc2017 at check out to get a 20% discount.
Here are our websites links:
EZ: How has your experience at previous conferences changed the way you run your business?
FN: It changed everything.
Just over the last 2 years, with all the concrete feedback and ideas we received from our colleagues, we:
- Redesigned our operations structure and our hiring processes,
- Started working with a business coach that we actually met at Seattle’s Conference (Casey Clark from CultivateAdvisors.com)
- Improved our company culture drastically
- Created 5 new products in key neighborhoods
- Increased our sales by 250%
- Implemented new technologies like Slack, When I work, Typeform and getting emails from our participants on iPads for our mailing lists.
- Reached 700K unique visitors per year, only on localmontrealtours.com by becoming a touristic media
Our goal for 2017 was to receive 30K participants and we are on track to attain this goal!
Coming to the conferences and having the opportunity to exchange with other tour operators changed our business deeply!
EZ: What would you say to someone who hasn’t been to a conference before and may be on the fence about investing in this opportunity?
FN: We think the meetings and discussions you can have before or during the conference can be game changers for your company. We highly recommend that you start contacting in advance other tour operators and plan some meetings ahead. For example, we would suggest coming few days in advance and book some meetings in some cafés or with the Montreal-based breather app. https://breather.com/
EZ: What about your own experiences are you most excited to share with your colleagues.
FN: This is a unique opportunity for us to make friends with some of the best tour operators in the business. When we started this company 6 years ago, we never imagined how far it would take us. Many of our most important decisions were taken after sharing our ideas with other food tour operators in other cities and getting their perspective on things. Every year we plan for GFTC with a long list of questions and ideas. We generally exit the conference with even more ideas and a totally new set of questions. We are honoured to be your hosts this October and we can’t wait to meet all of you!
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