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November 17, 2023
That’s a Wrap! Here’s Our 2023 VI Economic Summit Recap
Announcements Articles Marketing The Array Fam
Photo courtesy of HA Photography.

For the 12th time, our marketing & design agency attended the 17th Annual State Of The Island Economic Summit, hosted by the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA).

Business owners, community leaders, and industry professionals from across B.C. travelled to Nanaimo on October 25th & 26th to attend this immersive, two-day networking event. The theme for this year? Unlocking opportunities through collaboration.

Read on for our marketing & design agency’s take on this year’s economic summit.

Breaking the ice with a colourful booth and cool giveaways.

As a gold sponsor for the event, our marketing & design agency was thrilled to sponsor the Business to Business Exhibitors and Networking Sessions. Inspired by the collaborative theme, our team of graphic designers, digital marketers, and copywriters created a fun ad for Douglas Magazine riffing off the first hip-hop single to top the Billboard charts—Ice Ice Baby.

The magazine was distributed at this year’s summit and for anyone who saw it and dropped by our booth, we handed out really cool branded whiskey cubes as take-home swag. Our booth also featured attention-grabbing brochures, eye-catching stand-up banners, and our new website on display. (Pro tip—well-branded assets are great ice breakers.)

Collaborative sessions offered insight into economic opportunities.

Photo courtesy of HA Photography.
Our mornings and afternoons were spent in breakout sessions or action-labs. These were a collection of inspiring and dynamic discussions featuring panelists, industry experts, and some hands-on activities. From topics like the creative economy to the future of island travel, and remote work, sessions put focus on regenerative business models that can help propel the economy forward.

For our account executive Dan Stelck, this was his first economic summit. Here’s what he had to say about his experience:

“Collaboration was a recurring theme in several sessions. In some sectors it was hindered by challenges of coordination, bureaucracy, and misaligned objectives. For most, however, collaboration was acknowledged as an aspiration and an opportunity to facilitate measurable progress and economic growth for the Island.”

For all of us, it was interesting to hear how different organizations and industry experts approached collaboration, and the solutions they’re creating to address its challenges. If you want an overview of featured sessions, check out the full list here.

Photo courtesy of HA Photography.

If there’s one thing our marketing agency can get behind, it’s a love for good food. Breakfasts and lunches featured locally sourced products from businesses sealed with the Island Good stamp of approval. The seat-yourself table arrangement was a great way to meet and interact with new people. (Shoutout to Shift Environmental Technologies!)

Post-meal (and with bellies full of dessert), we had the pleasure of listening to keynote speakers. Our first lunch tackled AI and its evolving challenges and benefits. Island Innovation’s executive director, Graham Truax, Sean Mark, a Nanaimo-based epidemiologist and data scientist, and Lauren Evanow, a health, energy, and AI solutions advisor presented their thoughts and research on the impact AI will have on VI’s economy. The conclusion? AI is here to stay and your business would be wise to leverage it.

Two other notable speakers were Ken Coates, chair of the Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Governance Program at Yukon University, and Premier David Eby. Coates gave a compelling speech, calling on rural communities to rewrite their narrative and amplify their stories to boost their economic potential. Premier Eby sat down for a Q&A where he addressed concerns regarding housing and the economy. Read more about this here.

As a Nanaimo-based creative agency, we recognize the immense potential Vancouver Island offers when it comes to economic growth. That’s why we partner with local businesses, organizations, and industries committed to enhancing the prosperity of our communities. If you’d like to learn more about the work we’re doing with VIEA, check out our portfolio. And if you’re interested in partnering with a full-service creative agency, give us a call and we can discuss your marketing goals.