This text is part of the special Hub Montréal notebook
Showcasing the digital creativity of local entrepreneurs during international events or markets: this is one of the missions that HUB Montreal has given itself since 2021. And very often, Montreal’s enviable reputation precedes metropolitan companies that are taking the international route.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not put a damper on Montreal’s digital creativity or its influence. Rather, it made it possible to realize “the importance of human contact in business development,” says Rachel Parent, project manager and director of programming at Hub Montréal.
The Hub on the Road initiative was born from the desire expressed by several participants in the annual Hub Montreal market event “to have other opportunities to continue conversations all year round,” explains the project manager.
The organization now offers several types of international missions. These are driven by a “circular” vision, aiming both to “approach to seek out new buyers and meet the ecosystems with a view to the Hub that we hold [en octobre] in Montreal”, while propelling local talent into new markets.
“For us, digital creativity is everything that mixes arts, culture, as well as new technologies,” explains Rachel Parent. She wants a wide variety of local companies to take the road with Hub to Brussels, Paris, New York and even Mexico.
Creatives are invited to participate in large-scale events, such as the IAPPA trade show in Orlando, or the South by Southwest festival in Austin. Up to 70 companies can join this type of mission, made possible thanks to collaboration with various authorities, notably the Ministry of Culture and Communications, Investissement Québec international and the Société de développement des enterprises culturelle (SODEC).
“Personalized” missions are also organized by Hub Montréal. During these, “we go to meet buyers with the participating studios,” notes Rachel Parent. All this to encourage new collaborations and the potential for international development.”
Designed for around ten companies at a time, these missions are “smaller, much more targeted, but very impactful in terms of economic benefits and influence,” she assures.
“We come back with our heads full of ideas”
Mathieu Saint-Arnaud, co-founder and creative director at Normal studio, is full of praise for the initiative.
He and his colleagues have been collaborating with Hub Montréal since the first edition of its market event, in 2017. Their participation in several missions has since allowed them to explore the European and American markets, in which they wish to develop. “It helps us target customers with whom we want to contact,” explains Mathieu Saint-Arnaud.
“It’s extremely dynamic. We often come back with our heads full of ideas… and too many things to do! » he continues, enthusiastically.
These stays abroad also allowed the studio to introduce the Montreal ecosystem to their already established international network. “The essence of our collaboration with Hub is also to put these people in contact,” he emphasizes. Competitors whom they get closer to thanks to the experience of On the road.
The human benefits are just as important as the economic benefits, says Mathieu Saint-Arnaud. “Sometimes, just by interacting with others […], we realize that in the end, we all experience the same problems; It feels good,” he admits.
An enviable reputation
The co-founder of the Normal studio attributes the success of the experience “to the field work done upstream by the Hub team”, but also to “the aura of Montreal, and of Quebec in general”.
According to him, Montreal businesses stand out thanks to their ability “to do a lot with few resources.” Internationally, “we almost wonder what we eat in Montreal! » adds Rachel Parent.
A reputation that also benefits the city of Montreal, according to her. Its commitment to Hub sur la route allows it to “present itself as the playground for these companies and to [s’ériger] as an example.
This momentum does not seem to be stopping any time soon: more than 150 international participants are expected to attend the Hub Montréal market event. Then, the creatives will hit the road again, heading for “new, more varied sectors”, and hoping to open the way to new Asian and Middle Eastern markets, confirms Rachel Parent.
This content was produced by the Special Publications team at Duty, relating to marketing. The writing of the Duty did not take part.