Design Approach

Creating a world-class convention facility that will enhance the entire guest experience in and around Stampede Park. 

The BMO Centre expansion will deliver a comprehensive, high-quality offering for meeting organizers, attendees and invited guests. It will offer top-tier meeting and banquet space in addition to improved access and efficiency behind the scenes through state-of-the-art back of house facilities such as loading areas, food preparation space and building systems.

Industry trends and user expectations influencing design

Speed. Facilities and equipment need to accommodate fast set-up and tear-down; meeting spaces should be flexible and adaptable; bookings should be possible on short timelines; and connectivity for electronic devices must be fast and reliable.

Large, multifunction ballroom space is a priority. Spacious ballrooms are among the highest revenue-generating spaces in a convention centre—rooms that can accommodate banquets and convention meal breaks, evening receptions with dancing and musical entertainment, and large-scale lectures and presentations.

Space requirements are evolving. Industry trends favour multiple, smaller meeting rooms over a single large lecture hall. Smaller, flexible break-out spaces suitable for town-hall meetings, working groups and fast-paced presentations are the new norm. The resulting demand for greater floor space per attendee needs to be factored into convention centre design to keep up with trends.

Non-event space. Facilities are responding to increasing demand for spur-of-the-moment workgroup sessions, follow-on discussions and private space to use personal electronics by providing movable pre-function furniture, huddle rooms and collaboration suites.

Increasing technology requirements. With meeting goers toting multiple Wifi-connected devices—on top of the usual audio-visual equipment and connectivity requirements for presentations—accommodating high bandwidth demands has become a primary (and growing) consideration. 

Safety and security. Convention venues increasingly have to balance the need to provide positive user experiences with the requirement to integrate tighter safety and security measures into the venue’s design and operations.

Energy efficiency and sustainable design. Designers need to consider users’ evolving needs, expectations and experiences into a venue’s design and construction materials. This includes, for example, using sustainable materials, natural lighting, and materials/layouts that accommodate modern space, sustainability and technology requirements.

“The experience.” Meeting planners and attendees are increasingly looking for a unique experience when choosing a convention destination—preferring those that deliver “a sense of place” that’s representative of the destination.