The National Aboriginal Business Opportunities Conference (NABOC) has grown every year since its inaugural year in Prince Rupert and 2014 is no different.
The NABOC draws delegates from international private sector organizations aiming to develop business relationships with First Nations communities and businesses.
To meet the demand of its growing popularity, the 2014 conference will be held at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre from April 29 to May 1.
“The conference gets more powerful every year and brings more people together. It’s positive to see the response to the region,” said organizer Geoff Greenwell of the 2G Group.
The conference is being hosted by Metlakatla First Nation Chief Harold Leighton and Lax Kw’alaams First Nation Mayor Garry Reece, and will include more than 400 Aboriginal and private sector business leaders for two days of dialogue. So far 150 different organizations are registered, some coming from China, the U.S., Europe, Russia and elsewhere in the world.
Throughout the days of April 29 and 30 there will be a number of sessions on topics like marketing and advertising, as well as employment, training and procurement initiatives, as well as updates on port of Prince Rupert operations and project updates on the proposed liquefied natural gas terminals and pipelines.
In addition, there will be more than 60 companies included in the North Coast Job Fair taking place both days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the auditorium.
“There will be companies looking for employees. People looking for work or a change of work can find out what some of these companies have to offer,” Greenwell said.
In the evenings there will be hospitality events, during the first night at The Crest Hotel and the following evening at the civic centre.
On the final day, participants will have the chance to play a charity golf game, take a tour of the harbour and Ridley Terminals, and potentially go on a helicopter tour if everything works out. The conference will conclude with a banquet dinner at the North Coast Convention Centre that night.
This is the fourth consecutive year the conference will be held in Prince Rupert, with Greenwell estimating the event generates more than $500,000 for the Prince Rupert economy.