It’s almost easier to begin a description of C2 Montréal by saying what it isn’t: a run-of-the-mill, off-the-rack, been-there-done-that business conference. Rather, C2 is a potentially career-and-mind-altering networking and problem-solving sensory experience that also knows how to have fun. In the parlance of the times, it has disrupted the traditional business conference.
The fifth edition of C2 Montréal goes down May 24-26 this year, and will once again unite business innovators, entrepreneurial icons and social game changers at the top of their creative game. Some 60 speakers will be on hand to share their knowledge and experience. Those already announced include Martha Stewart, Dr. David Suzuki, Airbnb’s Chip Conley and master chef Massimo Bottura, as well as made-in Montréal success stories Byron and Dexter Peart (WANT Les Essentiels) and Hicham Ratnani and Ethan Song (Frank Oak). Additionally, there will be even more of the popular masterclasses, hands-on workshops, experiential labs and other uniquely C2 activities designed to inspire creative solutions for today’s business problems.
Once again this year, C2 will take place at Arsenal, an industrial heritage building that’s been transformed into a vast contemporary art gallery in Montréal’s historic Griffintown neighbourhood. Arsenal becomes a veritable beehive of activity during C2, with almost innumerable activities and social opportunities vying for participants’ attention over what’s always a lightning-speedy three days. It’s therefore absolutely essential that attendees take steps to optimize their time at C2, and we humbly suggest the following:
• Make a plan. If you’re attending (or thinking about attending) C2, you need to know something: You’ve already got a best friend there in the form of “Hub,” the official C2 Montréal web app.It not only helps you build and manage your schedule, and reserve your spot in workshops and masterclasses, it also allows you to set up Brain Dates (peer-to-peer, face-to-face learning sessions). Hub will help you sort your schedule so you don’t miss out on any of the awesomeness.
• Register for workshops and masterclasses before arriving in Montréal because space is limited and they fill up fast. Again, Hub’s your bud here.
• Every participant has a dedicated, knowledgeable Concierge Extraordinaire to assist with any queries or needs (i.e., an actual human being). Once registered, you’ll get a call from your Concierge Extraordinaire. Be sure to answer that call.
• There’s been a change to the passes this year, which now require a photo, and which will be taken on the first morning of registration. While C2 is putting assurances in place to make sure there won’t be lineups, it might nevertheless be prudent to take advantage of the preregistration period that begins May 18.
• Upon arriving at Arsenal, locate the information booth right away near the entrance. This is where every question imaginable can be satisfied with an answer.
• Take the time to survey and familiarize yourself with the site, making sure to explore the space so as not to miss out on anything. Be sure to go outside Arsenal and have a peek around because there’s lots of cool stuff happening outside this year as well. The C2 site is also located right beside the city’s historic, pathway-lined Lachine Canal, and close to one of Montréal’s main farmers and artisanal food markets, Atwater Market.
• Speaking of food, take heed: Also new, instead of a prepaid food program, this edition will see six food concessions (from grills to deli counters) setting up in Arsenal and featuring top-quality culinary offerings from local producers. Moreover, there will also be six of Montréal’s famous food trucks onsite (including a vegan/vegetarian truck), so make sure to plan meals so as not to miss out.
• Wear comfy clothing and shoes, because there’s lots of playtime and probably a fair amount of on-your-feet time. While there’s no dress code, one’s attire should be ready for anything and everything.
• Lastly, and most importantly, don’t be shy. C2 is all about networking, about making beneficial business connections and – who knows? – maybe some new best friends. If you don’t know how to get the ball rolling, start by visiting the matchmaking lounge where the in-house matchmakers (who basically live there) will be happy to break the ice for you.
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