M+IT March + April 2018

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E D U C AT I O N I N B U S I N E S S E V E N T S   +   T E C H N O LO GY   +   L E A D E R S H I P   +   D E S T I N AT I O N S   +   M E E T I N G D E S I G N   +



+ Venue Security + 5 Steps to Disconnecting + Destination Banff & Lake Louise + Force Majeure Clauses PM 40063170

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+CONTENTS features 22



BY Allan Lynch



EXPERIENCES Hawaii: Meeting the aloha way

PLACES + SPACES Delta enters Asia-Pacific market; Aria reno complete; Memphis Convention Centre make-over; and more.

Mountain meetings in Banff & Lake Louise



CUISCENE A sampling of dine-like-a-local food tours BY DON DOULOFF

columns 9


NEXTGEN Meet Caitlin McElhone, Owner & Leader Planner, CM Events

LEADERSHIP Chuck Schouwerwou, CMP, CMM President & Principal Meeting Planner


ConferSense Planners Inc.


THE SUPPLY SIDE Safety and security are top priorities for venues



What’s on MeetingsCanada.com


Editor's Comment



Gifts + Gear



Buyers’ Guide Marketplace

Does your venue contract cover the unforeseen?






E D U C AT I O N I N B U S I N E S S E V E N T S   +   T E C H N O LO GY   +   L E A D E R S H I P   +   D E S T I N AT I O N S   +   M E E T I N G D E S I G N   +


Five steps to disconnecting while you’re away

Cover photo © Rawpixel Ltd | istockphoto.com.




New boutique hotels in Vancouver,


MOCA reopening and Lord Nelson renovation. BY LORI SMITH


+ Venue Security + 5 Steps to Disconnecting + Destination Banff & Lake Louise + Force Majeure Clauses PM 40063170



what's new on VOLUME 48, NUMBER 2 MARCH.APRIL 2018



LORI SMITH, CIS 416.614.5819 | lori@newcom.ca

ART Art Director

ELLIE ROBINSON 416.510.6854 | ellie@newcom.ca

SALES Director of Business Development

HEATHER DONNELLY 416.459.2350 | heather@newcom.ca International Business Development Manager

ALANNA MCQUAID 416.510.5144 | alanna@newcom.ca

EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Don Douloff | Ann Gomez Allan Lynch | Heather Reid, ARCT MSc



Celebrity Edge leaves dry dock. Photo © Celebrity Cruises.

Circulation Manager

MARY GARUFI 416.614.5831 | mary@newcom.ca



PRODUCTION + ONLINE Production Manager

ALICIA LERMA (Print & Online) 416.510.6845 | alicia@newcom.ca




FOUR SEASONS EXPANDING PORTFOLIO Four Seasons Hotel São Paulo at Nações Unidas. Photo © Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts


MIET founder Sheila Wong. Photo © Meetings + Incentive Travel

“If communications are going sideways—pick up the phone. People can easily hide behind emails…” Holly Doty, Connect Dot Management Inc.

Listen in on the conversation or better yet, join in! Follow us on Twitter for the latest breaking industry news and updates @MeetingsCanada 4


View and share event photos, ask for advice from other planners, and suppliers or react to industry headlines on our Facebook page (facebook.com/MeetingsCanada)

Chairman & Founder

JIM GLIONNA Vice-President, Operations


Meetings + Incentive Travel (M+IT) magazine receives unsolicited features and materials (including letters to the editor) from time to time. M+IT, its affiliates and assignees may use, reproduce, publish, re-publish, distribute, store and archive such submissions in whole or in part in any form or medium whatsoever, without compensation of any sort. MAIL PREFERENCES: Occasionally we make our subscriber list available to reputable companies whose products or services may be of interest to you. If you do not wish your contact information to be made available, please contact us via one of the following methods: Phone: 416-614-5831, Fax: 416.614.8861, E-Mail: mary@newcom.ca. SUBSCRIPTION PRICE: Canada $77.95 per year, Outside Canada $108.00 US per year, Single Copy Canada $13.00. HST #10386 2405 RT0001. Meetings + Incentive Travel is published 6 times per year except for occasional combined, expanded or premium issues, which count as two subscription issues. Meetings + Incentive Travel is indexed in the Canadian Business Index and is available online in the Canadian Business & Current Affairs Database. Contents Copyright Newcom Media Inc. Canada Post — Canadian publications Mail Sales Product Agreement 40063170 ISSN No. 0225-8285 (Print) ISSN No. 1929-6428 (Online). 5353 Dundas St. W. Suite 400, Toronto ON M9B 6H8.

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Explore our special group offers now. Call the Hilton sales office at 1-800-671-9981 or visit meetings.hilton.com.

Š 2018 Hilton.



SHARE YOUR OPINIONS & EXPERTISE! Meetings +Incentive Travel welcomes letters to the editor. Contributions should be a maximum of 175 words and refer to a specific article or column in the magazine. Letters may be edited for length.

STAY IN THE KNOW Sign up for our newsletters, delivered right to your inbox. WEEKLY The week's must-read stories, new venues, renos, upcoming events, photo galleries, blogs, videos and more. MONTHLY In case you missed them, we recap the month's most-read industry news items. meetingscanada.com/subscribe

There’s a lot of talk in the industry these days about “legacy.” The IMEX Group, organizers of the major MICE shows in Frankfurt and Las Vegas, has made it the theme of its 2018 events. They are focused on exploring how communities and individuals are impacted after the trade show, conference, incentive travel program or convention ends. They want to encourage and champion events that leave behind something of value in host destinations. This interest in looking outward is not only a sign of the times, but proof of the maturity and strength of the industry. But, legacy is also something happening within the industry proper. The planning profession was born in the early 1970s, the child of the Baby Boom and the widespread entry of women into the workforce. Throughout the '80s, '90s and '00s, it has been transformed, gaining credibility as a career and a contributor to the GDP. Many people were instrumental in its transformation—Boomers and Gen Xers. These people are leaving a considerable legacy. On April 12th, planners and suppliers around the world will take part in Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), the annual celebration of the industry. GMID was born in Canada in the mid-1990s. Back then it was called National Meetings Industry Day. In 2015, it was adopted by the U.S. planning community and morphed into North America Meetings Industry Day. The following year it went global. Another homegrown initiative—the Canadian Economic Impact Study (CEIS)—

has also spread beyond our borders. The MPI Foundation Canada developed and fielded three editions of the CEIS. The survey and resulting report have become templates for other communities, who want to demonstrate the industry’s value to politicians. Canadian business event planners and suppliers are also taking a leadership role in the fight against human trafficking. Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking (MPAHT) was established last year by a committed group of Canadian event pros, who are doing an amazing job educating other planners, clients and suppliers about the crime as well as what they can do to combat it. All of these achievements resulted from members of the planning community coming together for the greater good. They brainstormed, collaborated and took action. Then they shared their ideas and successes with colleagues around the world. This is the legacy of the Canadian business events community, and it’s a legacy to be proud of. It’s also a legacy to build on. I know the new generation of planners is up to the challenge.

LORI SMITH EDITOR lori@newcom.ca 416.614.5819

M+IT EDITORIAL MANDATE Meetings industry and travel publications are often offered free FAM trips, accommodations and gifts. M+IT magazine only accepts those that will be featured in the magazine or online through editorial content. Destinations are chosen through reader surveys and market research. MEETINGSCANADA.COM


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+LEADERSHIP “Dream big, engage fully, accomplish much!” Chuck Schouwerwou, CMP, CMM President | Principal Meeting Planner ConferSense Planners Inc., Ottawa, ON Chuck Schouwerwou has been organizing and managing conferences for associations, government departments, universities and private sector companies for more than 25 years. He also consults in the areas of venue contracts, revitalizing failing meetings and making meetings accessible. Devoted to the betterment of the industry, he has given back—and continues to give back—to the business events community by taking on leadership roles in the Canada East chapter of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). He was the driving force behind the creation and success of the chapter’s Canadian Innovation Conference (CIC), the sixth edition of which will be held in Victoria, B.C. this November. In 2015, Chuck was inducted into Meetings + Incentive Travel’s Hall of Fame in the Industry Planner category.

How do you define leadership? Leadership is the ability to envision, influence and orchestrate positive change and goals in partnership with those around you. Describe your leadership style. I would describe my style as being one that enables, encourages and expects the best. Who are your leadership role models? Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau was my teenage hero. Anna Lee Chabot, retired, past International Chair, Meeting Professionals International (MPI); Heidi Welker from Freeman AV Canada; and Barry Smith from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC). Did you have a mentor? Yes, Heidi Welker (Freeman AV Canada).

How did you meet? How did this person impact your career/life? She was president of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Canada East chapter when I joined the board as membership director. She always had time to listen and encouraged me to take my ideas—as grandiose as they could be (e.g. the PCMA CE Canadian Innovation Conference)—and pursue them. She also gave active feedback on my actions and compliments when due. What is the one characteristic you believe every leader should have? The ability to dream. How have you coped with failures under your leadership? I analyze them, try and figure out what went wrong, then adjust myself, or methods, or goals accordingly. CONTINUED

Photo: Donna Santos Photography

© Copyright Anna Beaudry 2017





“I firmly believe we each have the potential to be a great leader, but usually we are our own worst enemies—we often deny ourselves the right to dream big or take chances on achieving big things.” What steps did you take to become a better leader? It kind of naturally evolved around me, but I also found that volunteering in PCMA and taking on larger roles as a volunteer had big impact. What do you wish you’d known about leadership in your 20s? That it is okay to dream big and pursue those dreams regardless of what others think or say. Is there one book that has influenced your leadership style? Not one really, but the genre of science fiction and fantasy has fueled my creativity and ability to dream. Who are the people in your life who make you a better leader? Definitely my spouse, Bill Shannon. He encourages my aspirations and dreams, yet grounds me in a solid basis of real life. My colleagues in PCMA, with whom I have worked to create amazing opportunities and activities for the meetings industry in Canada. Especially Heidi Welker (Freeman AV Canada) and François Brunet from D.E. Systems, both who are always there for me personally and professionally. How do you get others (clients, employees, etc.) to accept your ideas? I call it a reasoned sales approach. I list all options, provide my factbased thoughts on each option, state my preferred option and why I think it is the best. People need information and comparison to accept big ideas. What do you do to ensure your strategic plans become reality? I set goals for each and define what I think are the best paths to achieve them. When things aren’t going well, how do you rally a team? Honest, open communication. Tell it like it is, say where it needs to go and then show not just the team, but each team member how they are uniquely suited to help make it happen. What are the keys to developing the next generation of leaders in the business events industry? This is a hard one. I find many of the up and comers very self-focused. We need to encourage the next generation to see the big



picture of the industry as a whole and how they uniquely fit into it to help make amazing things happen for everyone. How do you decide who to mentor? It happens naturally, I find. I believe in being a mentor to all, but often it is a result of an accidental crossing of paths. I also have found that people have considered me a mentor and I had no idea— this may be some form of natural mentoring that happens without conscious awareness we are doing it. Vince Lombardi famously said leaders are made not born. Do you think leadership can be learned or is it in a person’s DNA? I think it is a bit of both. In high school I was considered an introvert. This changed drastically as I grew older and completed various levels of education. I believe I always had the potential—DNA—but needed the nurture (learning) to bring it out and make it blossom. Definitely I think both are or can be at play here. What holds people back from becoming/being a leader? Themselves. I firmly believe we each have the potential to be a great leader, but usually we are our own worst enemies; we often deny ourselves the right to dream big or take chances on achieving big things. What is the biggest challenge facing leaders in the business events industry today? It is a changing world, economically and politically. Due to mergers and acquisitions, our industry is shrinking into a tightlycontrolled supplier market. Revenue/profit is god, and supporting and developing the event industry is secondary. Certain countries are also taking action to take back rights and freedoms, restricting travel and access and causing a decrease in tourism and event attendance. What action is needed to meet that challenge? I believe that the event industry can be a force for good. It can, and should, engage politicians where possible and lobby for basic rights and freedoms. As for the supplier market, a correction in market will at some point happen, especially if travel restrictions continue to restrict access to tourists and event attendees. What leadership lessons would you like to pass along to others? Dream big, engage fully, accomplish much!

Photo: Donna Santos Photography



In 2008, two Greenpeace protestors took over the podium at a luncheon for 125 international writers, hosted by Discover Canada (then the Canadian Tourism Commission) at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. They were inexperienced protestors, who picked the noisiest time of the meal—during the table clearing of entrée dishes and delivery of dessert—to denounce Canada’s east coast seal hunt. As a result, they went largely unheard by the room of chatty writers. That afternoon new “doormen” in dark suits and earpieces stood outside the meeting rooms, discreetly scanning the name tags of attendees. The Greenpeace protest was a benign disruption, far removed from the concerns of the industry today. We’ve seen violent attacks on neighbourhoods and entertainment districts,

from hotels and on hotels. So far convention centres and most off-site venues have been spared physical interference, but that doesn’t mean planners and properties aren’t discussing event and venue security. At the Vancouver Convention Centre (VCC), general manager Craig Lehto believes venue and event security should never be a difficult conversation. “It’s having a very open dialogue [with planners] to make sure that we understand their goals for their event and their concerns around security,” he says. Planners have to be aware of, and reveal, anything about their event and/or its delegates, sponsors and speakers that could attract disruptors. The VCC team also monitors any protests planned in the city for potential impact on a client event. “People

have the right to express their thoughts and to demonstrate in public places. This is something we embrace fully,” says Lehto. “At the same time their actions may have an impact on an event, so we have to know if there will be impediments to traffic and pedestrian flow that will affect access to the centre, and we have to sort that out for our client.” The goal is for the VCC client event not to suffer collateral damage from an unrelated, local issue. The VCC is a multi-level facility, and as a result, it can tailor security to specific events and needs. This might be as simple as protecting trade show equipment in off hours. However, one of the biggest elements of the facility’s security is being aware of who is in the building at all times. “We have a good handle on our staff and the suppliers and contractors

associated with us and our clients,” Lehto explains. “It’s very important to make sure there are no surprises in terms of who is on-site for an event in the back, as well as the front, of house.” “There’s so much industry discussion about preparing for things that aren’t the norm anymore,” he adds. “To be a successful planner today you have to be prepared for many circumstances. So, what kind of plan do you have? What services exist to help you react quickly to a disruption? What can you do with your delegates? Planners aren’t waiting until something happens to sort out those details.” At Canada’s largest hotel, the 1,590-room Chelsea Toronto, public relations director Tracy Ford says requests for pre-event emergency planning have increased in the last five years, CONTINUED




and more planners are asking for someone from conference services or the security team to speak to them about security details of the hotel, emergency evacuation and emergency procedures. “Some planners even come with a security questionnaire,” she adds. “It’s rare, but happens.” To help planners when problems do occur, the Chelsea has a manned, in-house emergency hotline, which will manage the problem and contact 911 if necessary. Another of the property’s prescriptive safeguards developed from hosting an annual Multiple Sclerosis Society conference. Ford says that prior to each edition of the conference the hotel lets the fire department know that it has a high number of guests with

disabilities on-site, so it [the fire department] can be prepared if called on for assistance. In Halifax, The Westin Nova Scotian hosts an annual international security forum attended by 300 senior officials from around the world. Some of these people are of rank that requires them to travel on their own aircraft with their own security teams. Glenn Bowie, the property’s director of sales, says in the interest of discretion and effectiveness the forum organizer arranges event security. For its part, The Westin makes its in-house security technology available to the forum’s security team. “One of the biggest advances that technology has brought is the affordability and quality of cameras and recording devices,” says Bowie. “We

“It’s very important to make sure there are no surprises in terms of who is on-site for an event in the back, as well as the front, of house.” Craig Lehto, Vancouver Convention Centre

have cameras pointed at the key entrances, exits and high activity areas throughout the hotel. This makes potential challenges disappear because people are concerned about being caught, and it also allows us to effectively determine guilty parties within situations.” The technology also means they can spot issues as they happen. Discussing event and venue security isn’t engaging in neg-

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ativity. It’s part of the process of planning for the worst and hoping for the best. Whether or not suppliers mention security, they’re ready for the questions. Or should be. Allan Lynch is a freelance journalist based in New Minas, Nova Scotia. He writes extensively about the business events industry.

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NEGOTIATING FORCE MAJEURE CLAUSES DOES YOUR VENUE CONTRACT COVER THE UNFORESEEN? BY HEATHER REID ARCT MSC A FORT LAUDERDALE LANDMARK HOTEL suffered considerable damage on September 10, 2017 as a result of Hurricane Irma. In addition to the flooding of the ground level spaces—including the ballroom, meeting spaces and food outlets— more than 50 guestrooms were damaged by driving rains when the property’s roof was lifted by the hurricane’s winds. Hearing of the damages sustained in the vicinity, Claudia*, an employee of a major international travel agency with offices here in Canada, was immediately concerned. She had placed a prestigious client meeting at this property that was slated to begin October 24th—six weeks after the hurricane

hit. Upon reaching a representative of the property, Claudia asked the property to put its commitment to being reopened by October 9th in writing, specifying that services and spaces would be fully restored, as this was a high-level, influential group that she needed to ensure had the best of experiences. Regrettably the property would not agree, and at the 11th hour, Claudia cut her losses and took her business elsewhere. A wise decision in hindsight as the property officially opened the day before her event dates! The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) was scheduled to hold its annual conference in Toronto on April

5-9, 2003, with 16,000 attendees anticipated. Despite the World Health Organization (WHO) having issued a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) emergency travel advisory for Toronto on March 15, 2003, Toronto public health officials reassured organizers that there was no real threat. In response to overwhelming attendee cancellations and concern, the AACR cancelled the conference on April 2, 2003, at a cost of $7.5 million. In addition to the potential for the meeting to be sparsely attended, the AACR also claimed that the event would be lacking its usual interdisciplinary interaction. On November 21, 2017, Mount Agung

*Not her real name.






for event hosts to consider when negotiating force majeure clauses include:

Does the venue contract have clear language that either party involved in the contract can invoke the force majeure clause? Many contracts contain language that protects only the venue against unforeseen events. This is not a fair and balanced approach and needs to be addressed.

in Bali, Indonesia began spewing volcanic ash upwards of four kilometres into the atmosphere and directly into the flight paths of commercial airliners. The Ngurah Rai International Airport was closed November 27-29, 2017 inclusive, cancelling 443 flights and affecting over 53,000 passengers on November 28th alone. The Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center reported that a 1,000-attendee conference terminated its contract. The convention centre’s marketing manager was quoted as saying, “I think for Nusa Dua, people know about its safety [due to its distance from the volcano], it’s just they can’t get here.” Meetings and events in every corner of the globe have the potential to be impacted by force majeure conditions “beyond one party’s reasonable control.” In fact, there is an old saying that potential causes are “limited only by the size of one’s dictionary and imagination.” In addition to seeking specific legal counsel, it behooves every event host to understand for themselves the premise of the force majeure clause so they don’t leave themselves vulnerable to significant risk, penalties and liability. In negotiating force majeure language in venue contracts, an event host’s philosophy should be when it happens, not if it happens Heather Reid, ARCT MSc, is the founder and owner of Planner Protect, a boutique contract review

Does the venue contract have language that specifically says “events that are known to happen in the vicinity” cannot invoke force majeure? For example, Claudia’s event was located on the Atlantic seaboard during hurricane season! Did the contract specifically exclude hurricanes? Does the venue contract have language that covers “other situations beyond the control of either party?” What about labour disputes, civil disturbances, curtailment of transportation, and travel advisory warnings issued by the government or WHO? Did the group meeting in Bali have the unavailability of transportation hubs identified as a possibility in its contract? Does the venue contract have clear language that, despite a force majeure event, the client has the ability to terminate the contract without liability should the hosting of the event be significantly encumbered (i.e. key spaces and/or services are not restored to contracted expectations) or their experience may be negatively impacted? Did Claudia’s venue contract explicitly describe the importance of flawless execution and no tolerance for diminished performance on behalf of the venue? Does the contract address impracticability? Does the venue contract have clear language that despite a force majeure event, the client has the ability to move forward with the event but with no financial damages for reduced performance? Does the contract address the impact of reduced performance in other areas of the contract, such as attrition? Does the venue contract have language that, should the contract be terminated, protects the return of the client’s deposits made to date? Does the venue contract protect the client from force majeure events only on the specific dates of the contract? Or does it protect the client by providing a window of time ahead of the contract dates that allows the client to invoke the clause? Did the group meetings affected by the SARS travel advisory or the Bali volcano have the ability to claim force majeure of their actual event dates?

agency that negotiates venue contracts for independent and in-house event planners and event hosts.

Does the venue contract have specific details about how the notice of claiming force majeure is to be given and delivered? Does the contract indicate to whom notice should be sent?





Québec City is an event planner’s dream destination. It ranks first among Canadian destinations for a second year in a row according to Travel + Leisure - World’s Best Awards 2017. And the reasons are compelling! Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Leading Culture Destination (supported by The New York Times), Québec City celebrates its heritage as much as it embraces innovative ideas. Known as the birthplace of French civilization in North America, Québec has both preserved and reinvented itself for more than 400 years, which is why it stands at the leading edge of technology, fine art, gastronomy and style. It remains a preferred meeting and convention destination that attendees love to discover! With more than 17,250 rooms available and over 795,000 sq. ft. of versatile meeting, exhibition and convention space, Québec City offers the perfect venues for all of your needs.


Want to be right in the action? The Québec City Convention Centre is located in downtown Québec and is surrounded by restaurants, hotels, unique and breathtaking off-site venues and world renowned attractions. The Convention Centre is a meeting planner’s dream with close to 300,000 sq. ft. of flexible space and a knowledgeable team of event specialists. To start planning your meeting in Québec City, visit : QuebecBusinessDestination.com



Give yourself the time to LEARN / ENGAGE / GROW 2018 CHAPTER EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM May 30 – Toronto Workshop topic: The power of food on your mind, body and soul! Speakers: Amanda Li and Suzanne Hajto, 7IKMWXIVIH HMIXMGMERW ;IPPRIWW WMQTPMǻIH

June 10 - 13 – Cleveland 2018 PCMA Education Conference August 13– Toronto Chapter Reception

September 26 – Ottawa Workshop topic: Emotional Intelligence: The three most important EQ Skills needed in business today

Speaker: Professor Paul Byrne

November 8 – Montreal Workshop topic: The disaster experience UYMGOǻVI -S[ VIEH] EVI ]SY$ Speaker: Bob Mellinger, PCMA Best in Class Series speaker

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Give yourself permission.


Manage expectations.

Allow yourself to disconnect. You’ve earned this. And people will call or text if something is truly urgent. In most cases, however, they can and will wait until you return.

Tell your colleagues you are on vacation. Get them what they need before you leave and negotiate all other deadlines for after your return. If necessary, arrange for people to cover you and use an out-of-office notice.


Remove access.

Compelling research shows we are addicted to email. We are constantly tempted to check email, even while lounging on a hammock. Give yourself the gift of removing the email app from your phone (Yes, you can reinstall it after vacation.) Or at least move the app off of your home screen.


Be selective:


Get back on track.

What if you simply must check email on vacation? If this is a legitimate truth, establish strict email boundaries. Plan for short windows that don’t interfere with vacation activities.

Once back to work, use Email Warrior strategies to clear up all those messages that ended up being perfectly content waiting for your return. Sure, it makes the first day back to work a tad more intense, but you’ll be well rested and invigorated after your vacation. ©mavoimages/iStock

Time for a vacation? BY ANN GOMEZ SO, THERE I WAS, sitting in the business centre at a resort in a sunny destination. This was several years ago and internet connections were both unreliable and intermittent. A quick “check my email” session turned into a few hours of frustration and misdirected energy while my family was waiting patiently for me to join them. Reflecting back, I now realize an email detox would have been a better plan. These days, we practically carry the office around with us in our pocket. Smartphones create a digital tether that is hard to sever, even during a precious vacation. But a digital detox is extremely beneficial. Just because we can check email on vacation doesn’t mean we should. Taking a vacation actually makes us more effective. A break is not only good for our health and happiness; it also boosts our performance at work. A digital break allows us to come back more creative, focused, motivated and productive. If we are constantly checking email while on vacation, we don’t reap these benefits. Disconnecting can be tough to do, but it’s well worth the mental break. Given the strong temptation and ease around checking email, we need to proactively protect our precious vacation. Thankfully, I have come a long way since my earlier flawed vacation strategy. I successfully did a digital detox on our most recent vacation. I didn’t check email at all (ok, I checked twice, but I think that is pretty close to zero) and it felt amazing. I hope this inspires you to do the same. Ann Gomez is a productivity and leadership consultant, and best-selling author of The Email Warrior. She is president of Clear Concept Inc. Contact her at info@clearconceptinc.ca.



August 14 + 15, 2018 Metro Toronto Convention Centre • Connect with 350 exhibitors and leading suppliers • Build your skills to plan better events and meetings • Experience the latest, hottest trends on the show floor

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+DESTINATIONS While First Nations have been coming to the sheltered low valleys in the Banff and Lake Louise region for 12,000 years, it was in 1886 that tourism to the area got thrown into high gear. That’s when the president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Sir William Van Horne, stood on a bluff overlooking the Bow Valley and famously said: “If we can’t export the scenery, we’ll import the tourists.” Van Horne did several things to encourage tourism. As a type of early FAM trip, he brought in artists to paint landscapes of the valley, mountains and forests. These paintings were placed in railway offices and other public buildings across Canada to create a desire to see and experience the area’s natural beauty. Then, to cater to this desire, he commissioned the construction of what would become The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel (BSH). The original Banff Springs Hotel opened 130 years ago, then, as happened in many places, there was a fire. So, 2018 is the 90th anniversary of the second opening and of the Banff Springs Golf Course. In addition, this year is the 50th year since the hotel was insulated, which enabled winter opening, making it a true four-seasons resort. The Fairmont Banff Spring’s other superlative is size. While it recently shaved the room count down to 758 bedrooms and suites, it remains the largest hotel west of Toronto. It has 76,000 square feet of meeting space clustered in the main hotel, The Stanley Thompson Wing and conference centre. While the 15,000-square-foot Van Horne Ballroom is the resort’s largest space, the property’s 2,300-square-foot castle-like Mt. Stephen’s Hall, with its heavy chandeliers, soaring stained glass windows and minstrel’s gallery, is probably one of the most famous event spaces in the country. While the hotel has old and new rooms, none are cookie-cutter spaces. Another non-cookie cutter property is the nearly 552-room Fairmont Château Lake Louise. Its 36,000 square feet of meeting space is divided between grand, beamed halls and a purpose-built conference wing. Group sales director Craig Hudspith says that some clients combine both properties in their program, starting the group at one and then moving to

the other, all done on the master account. Banff has a significant amount of choice for planners. The next largest facility is The Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity. It has a 44-acre, in-town “campus,” with 400 guestrooms. Its meeting inventory includes 246-, 350- and 959-seat professional theatres with lobbies, pre-function space and breakout rooms and a fully-functioning television studio. The centre-point of its meeting infrastructure is the purpose-built, LEED-certified Kinnear Centre for Creativity and Innovation. It has 17 meeting rooms plus bistro and adjoins the 2,000-seat Shaw Amphitheatre. In downtown Banff, one street off the main drag is the 211-room Banff Park Lodge. It has 19,000 square feet of meeting space spread over 11 rooms and six breakouts. The four-star property has two other lower-rated properties across the street and down the block for overflow or price-sensitive delegates. And Banff’s newest property is the 174-room Moose Hotel and Suites, which has a meeting room, hospitality suite and boardroom. While most Banff and Lake Louise properties are decorated with a mountain chic esthetic, the 324-room Rimrock Resort Hotel breaks tradition to present a sophisticated Art Deco décor. The Rimrock is like an iceberg in that its low street profile hides the fact that a further six floors flow down the mountainside giving guests intimate forest and mountain views. Amenities include the only fivediamond dining room in Western Canada, a 10,000-bottle wine cellar, full-service spa and 18,000 square feet of meeting space. Just as some properties promote special floors as hotels within a hotel, the Rimrock’s neighbours make it a resort within the resort. Across the street are the Banff Upper Hot Springs and Banff Gondola, providing planners with two walkable off-sites. The Banff Gondola has just completed a $26 million renovation. This three-storey James Bond-like mountaintop pavilion sits 2,281 metres above the town. It contains a café, fine dining room, Parks Canada interpretative centre, meeting room, and a rooftop terrace for 100. The Gondola offers partial daytime and full nighttime facility buyout.

PHOTOS (Page 22): (Top) Norquay Resort lodge. Photo © blf Studios Inc. (Second row, l-r); Mt. Stephen's Hall, Fairmont Banff Springs. Photo © Fairmont Hotels & Resorts; Moose Hotel & Suites; MountView BBQ. Photo © Paul Zizka. (Third row, l-r) Banff Gondola building. Photo © Chris Amat; Kinnear Centre, Banff Centre. Photo © Laura Vargas; Fairmont Château Lake Louise. Photo © Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. (Bottom row, l-r) Exhibit space, Whyte Museum; Story Hall, Cave and Basin Historic Site. Photo © Pam Doyle; Rimrock Resort Hotel.

Unique Venues

Wild Bill’s Legendary Saloon Located on Banff Avenue, Wild Bill’s can accommodate groups from 10 (in its loft) to 550. It features multiple bars, a fully-equipped stage, and a mechanical bull.

MountView Barbecue Located in a forest on the edge of Banff, this private event and reception venue celebrates western culture and cuisine (under the eye of a Red Seal Chef). Enjoy campfires under the stars, line dance lessons, First Nations’ dancers and more.

Cave and Basin National Historic Site The birthplace of Canada’s national parks, the facility has four interior meeting spaces as well as a large stone arch-lined terrace for receptions, dinners and fun events, like curling. Evening lantern tours of cave available.

Mount Norquay The ski hill’s 24,000-square-foot, two-storey main lodge features wood-burning fireplaces and can accommodate groups up to 900. In summer, groups can use a chairlift to access the 48-seat Cliffhouse Bistro.

Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies The museum’s galleries can be used for banquets (capacity: 100) receptions (350) and theatre-style gatherings (150), while its grounds can be used for 1,000-person receptions. It also operates Cascade Lodge, a former Masonic Hall located in a heritage building. MEETINGSCANADA.COM


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Renovated guestroom, Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites.

NEWFOUNDLAND Cineplex has announced plans to build a new location of The Rec Room at Avalon Mall in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Scheduled to open in early 2019, the nearly 30,000-square-foot dining and entertainment complex will be The Rec Room’s seventh location in Canada and the first to open in Atlantic Canada. NOVA SCOTIA Michelle Brenton has been appointed the new vice-president of sales for Discover

Halifax. She brings more than 20 years of sales leadership experience to the role. + Halifax’s historic Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites has completed a multimillion-dollar refresh conducted by Design360 by Keri Koch. All 12,500 square feet of event space—ballrooms, meeting rooms and corporate boardrooms—was totally restored. Highlights include new hand-crafted ceiling moldings; marble borders around wool carpeting; and a new grand piano. The property’s 262 guestrooms were also completely remodeled with new modern

Chef Jean-Pierre Cloutier, Québec City CC CONTINUED





flooring, plush seating, custom-made furnishings and a serene colour palette. QUEBEC Montreal's hotel inventory increased this month with the opening of Hôtel Monville, a 269-room property located steps away from the Palais des Congrès and the Quartier des Spectacles, and close to Old Montréal, Chinatown, and the city's business district. It has more than 4,000 square feet of meeting space, and a rooftop terrace. + The Québec City Convention Centre and its exclusive food and beverage partner, Capital HRS, have announced the appointment of Chef Jean-Pierre Cloutier as new executive chef of the convention centre, the biggest event-driven kitchen in Québec City. ONTARIO Niagara-on-the-Lake’s hotel inventory will expand in mid-May with the opening

of the Holiday Inn Express Niagara-onthe-Lake. The 104-room property will have 1,600 square feet of flexible meeting and social event space. Amenities will include: indoor pool, fitness centre, free hot breakfast buffet and business centre. + The InterContinental Toronto Centre has launched its newly-renovated Club InterContinental. The revamped guestrooms and suites feature warm, textured wall coverings with purple and gold accents; double headboards; and new carpeting. Club InterContinental amenities include private check-in/check-out; premium Internet; laundry and garment pressing; limousine drop-off within Toronto's downtown core; access to a private boardroom; and deluxe continental breakfast, afternoon tea and evening hors d'ouevres. + The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCA) will reopen on May 26, 2018 in its new home. Located

in the Tower Automotive Building in the Junction Triangle-area of west Toronto, the 55,000-square-foot space is nearly three times larger than MOCA’s previous location on West Queen West. BRITISH COLUMBIA Two new boutique hotels are slated to open in Vancouver this year. The SeaSide Hotel by Executive Hotels & Resorts will be located in The Shipyard Development at Lower Lonsdale (Lolo) on North Vancouver’s waterfront. The property will have 71 rooms and suites, including an oceanfacing spa suite. A second Executive Hotels & Resorts property, EXchange Hotel, is currently under construction in downtown Vancouver. Located at the corner of Howe Street and Pender Street in the city’s business district, the 202-room hotel will occupy the first 11 floors of the Exchange Tower being developed by Credit Suisse.

The Meetings Industry is Ready to 6KXIÁH WKH 'HFN Join us for an evening of fun and fundraising in support of the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation A night for everyone (from beginners to experts to spectators) Lots of exciting prizes to be won! #LetsEuchreCancer together Thursday, April 26, 2018 DW WKH %HDQÀHOG &HQWUH 26


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Hawaiian cuisine is a fusion of diverse, ethnic flavours and fresh island ingredients. It is worldrenowned for the quality of its fish. Try poke. Skip spam sushi.


Hawaii is well-served by all major carriers. WestJet has extensive service to Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii. Air Canada offers seasonal service from Toronto to Honolulu and Maui, year-round flights from Vancouver, and in Winter 2018/19 will be increasing service and routes from Vancouver and Calgary.


Anytime is a good time to go to Hawaii, but more competitive pricing is available in the spring and fall shoulder seasons.

PHOTOS (Page 27): (Top) Pool, Kauai Marriott Resort. Photo © Don Riddle Images.(Second row, l-r) Lobby, Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa; Rum Fire Bar/Lounge, Sheraon Waikiki; Pre-function space, Valley Isle Ballroom, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka'anpali. (Third row, l-r) Luau, Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa; Kailulu Club Boardroom, Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa; Sea turtle. Photo © Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau. (Bottom row, l-r) Te An Moana ceremony, Wailea Beach Resort - Marriott, Maui. Photo © Mark Kushimi; Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. Photo © Ric Noyle.



It is 6:30 a.m. and Waikiki Beach is coming to life with walkers, runners, swimmers, paddleboarders, wannabe surfers and swimmers. Our group of five journalists, along with representatives from the Marriott’s Waikiki properties, is also on the beach. We are not there to swim, paddle, walk, run or surf. We are there to experience a Hui Wai, a traditional Hawaiian sunrise ceremony that takes place oceanside. Thelma Kehaulani Kam, the director of cultural services for a trio of Marriott-brand hotels lining the beach, leads us in a series of chants honouring the life force of the waters and welcoming the new day. Aloha, we say to Hawaii. 4 ISLANDS, 8 FLIGHTS, 10 HOTELS Marriott has brought us to Hawaii to see its eight Convention Resort Network (CRN) properties. Over the course of five days, our group travels to the islands of Oahu, Hawaii, Maui and Kauai for site inspections of the properties. In Honolulu, we also tour The Royal Hawaiian and Moana Surfrider, storied properties on Waikiki Beach that are not CRN members, but are part of what Marriott calls its Waikiki Complex, and as such can be used by groups booking the CRN properties. The site inspections make it clear that Marriott and the owners of its Hawaii CRN properties are committed to making major investments in the upkeep and ongoing revitalization of the hotels, all of which have extensive indoor and outdoor event and meeting spaces. The Sheraton Waikiki completed at $1.3 million refresh of its event space in 2017, and has now started a $200 million renovation of its 1,636 guestrooms. The Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa renovated its ballroom in 2017, and full renovations of its 1,310 guestrooms are slated to begin in Q4 2018, with approximately $75,000 being spent on each room. The pool at the 508-room Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay will undergo a $500,000 renovation this year. The Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa wrapped up a year-long renovation in May 2017. The Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott, Maui also finished a major $130 million renovation last year. A $26 million renovation of the guestrooms at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa is currently underway. In March 2014, the 759-room Westin Maui Resort & Spa unveiled a $70 million redesign of the 553 rooms in its Ocean Tower. And, the Kaua’i Marriott Resort was renovated in 2012.

FLYING, FIDDLING AND FAMILY In between site inspections, we take part in a selection of group-appropriate activities and meet some extraordinary locals, who collectively transform a busy trip into that holy grail of programs, an authentic, meaningful experience. At the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, we are given a ukulele lesson by musician Jack Stone. He teaches us three basic chords and we are soon strumming a song. In Maui, we also meet Bryant Neal, curator of the Story of Hawaii Museum in Lahaina. The museum is in a small room in a strip mall and its exhibits consist of maps, newspaper articles and a few artifacts. But Neal delivers a big experience, explaining how Polynesian practice of island hopping due to famine or defeat in battle; the European discovery of the Islands; the bombing of Pearl Harbor; and Hawaii’s involvement in World War II. On Kauai, Outfitters Kauai takes us on a kayaking, hiking and zip-lining adventure. We paddle two miles up the Hule’ia River, and then hike to the waterfall/swimming hole featured in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, before heading to higher ground and a picnic lunch. We then fly superman-style down Kauai’s Biggest Zipline, a three-quarter mile descent at speeds of up to 50 mph over scenery seen in blockbuster movies such as Jurassic Park. We fly again when we get to The Big Island. There Paradise Helicopters takes us on a helicopter tour of the island. Aboard a Bell 407, we soar over black sand beaches, hover over lava flows, and dive in and out of green valleys streaked with waterfalls. The pilot drops us off at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa, where during dinner, we learn that the company can fly groups into remote locations. On The Big Island, we also meet Micah Kamohaoali’i, the leader of a traditional Hawaiian dance school. Along with his mother and cousin, he performs hula for the group at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, where we have a farm-to-table breakfast courtesy of executive chef Jayson Kanekoa. When the performance is finished, Kamohaoali’i sits with the group and explains his work in preserving the language, teachings and traditions of Hawai’i. He shares the significance of “ohana” or family, and the importance of “pono,” the Hawaiian belief in doing what is morally right and selfless—principles any group can embrace.




Lobby, Waldhotel, Lake Lucerne, Switzerland.

CHINA Delta Hotels, part of Marriott International, Inc., has entered the Asia-Pacific market with the opening of Delta Hotels by Marriott Shanghai Baoshan. The 339-room property is located close to downtown Shanghai in the waterfront Baoshan district. It has six event rooms over 11,948 square feet of space. The largest room can accommodate 650. FRANCE The Paris Convention Centre officially opened in Q4 2017. Located within the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles exhibition complex, which is three years into a decade-long renovation project, the new venue has more than 473,000 square feet of exhibition space and a 5,200-seat plenary hall—the largest in Europe. Gothia Towers, Gothenburg, Sweden. CONTINUED





Photos (clockwise from top): Monterey Convention Centre; Great Hall, Louwman Museum, The Hague, Netherlands; Lobby, Delta Hotels by Marriott Shanghai Baoshan, China.

NETHERLANDS The Louwman Museum in The Hague received the 2017 Best Event Location award at the Meeting Business Event, an annual event for members of the Dutch MICE industry. Home to the world’s oldest private car collection, the museum contains more than 230 antique and classic cars. It can accommodate groups ranging from five people to 1,000.


a total of 441,320 square feet of meeting and exhibition space. Meeting options include the 21,527-square-foot Congress Hall, which can seat 1,500 guests, and a 40,902-square-foot Exhibit Hall.

NORTHERN IRELAND Hickson’s Point, a new shipyard-themed hospitality space at Titanic Belfast, is opening this spring. Inspired by one of the city’s first ship builders, it has an authentic 1900’s public house setting, and offers traditional music and entertainment as well as locally-produced food. It can accommodate 80 people and is available for private and corporate events.

SWITZERLAND The Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence has opened at the Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort Lake Lucerne, Switzerland’s newest luxury resort. Designed by architect Matteo Thun, the “forest hotel” features 160 rooms and suites; a 1,722-square-foot conference rooms; boardroom; a 45,208-square foot medical facility, a 13,993-square-foot spa, three swimming pools, Verbena restaurant serving healthy cuisine in Mediterranean style, an educational kitchen, a library, two private dining rooms including a historic 15th century stube, and a garden featuring 30 different herbs.

SWEDEN The Gothia Towers in Gothenburg, is now being represented to the North American and European meetings, conventions and incentive market by Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI). Situated in the heart of Gothenburg in the center of Scandinavia, Gothia Towers offers 1,200 guest rooms and 60 meeting rooms with

UNITED STATES CALIFORNIA – Following a $60 million renovation, the Monterey Convention Center reopened at the end of January. The LEED-certified facility has more than 40,000 square feet of meeting space and can accommodate up to 3,000 people. It is located adjacent to the newly-renovated Portola Hotel & Spa and connected to


the Monterey Marriott. Together, these properties offer 85,000 square feet of meeting space and 19,150 square feet of exhibition space. LOUISIANA - The Hilton New Orleans Riverside has converted the executive lounge on its 29th floor into an intimate 1,920-square-foot space that can accommodate up to 60 people. Named Lagniappe 29, the space has floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of the New Orleans cityscape and Mississippi River. NEVADA - The Luxor Hotel and Casino is redesigning more than 1,700 hotel rooms in its East and West towers through early 2018. + After two years of construction, the $165 million USD expansion of ARIA is now complete. The project has added 200,000 square feet of technologically-advanced, flexible meeting space across four storeys. TENNESSEE – Work has started on a $175 million USD renovation and expansion of the The Memphis Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis. The project, which is slated to be completed in Q4 2019, includes the construction of an exterior, pre-function concourse overlooking the Mississippi River; a new sky bridge across Main Street, connecting the convention centre to the 600-room Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel; redesign of the loading docks; and more.


1. Bose’s SoundLink® Micro Bluetooth® speaker delivers up to six hours of audio, has an IPX7 waterproof rating and is easily attached to bags, backpacks, bikes and more via a durable strap on its flipside. It is available in black, midnight blue and orange. MSRP: $139.99 bose.com 2. 8x Telescope Lens for Smart Phone allows users to take perfect long-distance shots and close-up photos. The clip fits on all major smart phones and showcases company/event logo. Prices as low as $13.40 per unit with one-colour logo. bosspro.com 3. Create custom messages: The Cinema Light Box includes 60 letters and symbols. It runs on three AAA batteries (included) and comes in a white gift box. Prices as low as $8.21 per unit with $66.00 set-up fee for one-colour imprint. universalllinksinc.com 4. This insulated two-tier food container features folding handles that allow it to be carried like a classic lunch box. The two tiers—one is stainless steel, the other plastic—keep food separated. FDA-compliant and BPA Free. Per unit price as low as $21.63. brandblvd.ca 5. Chipolo tracking   tags are small, but powerful. Tags attach to virtually anything (laptop, wallet, keys, etc.) and have a range of approximately 60 metres within line of sight. Battery lasts up to six months and is replaceable. Retail price: $36.50. orangefish.ca MEETINGSCANADA.COM



n a e r u c i Ep adventures BY DON DOULOFF

As a component of group programs, city food tours — on foot, or by bus or minivan — provide attendees a unique opportunity to dine like a local and, in so doing, plumb a destination’s culinary soul. Fortunately, in Canadian and U.S. cities, creative food tour options abound.

Pour the pog and pass the poke Groups visiting Oahu, the third largest of Hawaii’s islands, can sample some of the area’s best and most authentic foods via the three-hour Aloha Plate Food Tour, led by Lanai Tabura, a local who possesses a wealth of knowledge regarding the islands’ culture, people and gastronomy. Conducted in four-person Jeeps (or minivans, for larger groups), tours vary based on the group and Tabura’s ideas for the day, so no two itineraries are alike. Stops could include a poke shop and the food trucks of Oahu, which dish up local faves like sticky rice, chicken katsu and laulau (pork wrapped in taro or luau leaf). Cost is $169USD per person. jeeptourshawaii.com (Photo © Alexandralau1977 | istock)

West Coast suds and snacks In Vancouver, the Craft Beer ’n Bites Tour eats and sips its way through three gastropubs in the historic Gastown neighbourhood. With a beer educator as their pub-crawl guide, attendees will discover and discuss craft brews along with carefully curated food pairings. In addition to dishing up modern gastropub snacks, each destination outlines how to pair beer with food, serving up one flight of three brews, for a total of nine different samples (to be precise, eight beer tastings and one organic cider tasting). Also highlighted at each stop is suds-related info such as beer history and the brewing process, and discussions on specific beer styles, such as Northwest and international. For corporate or incentive groups, tours can accommodate up to 50 people at one seating. Cost is $80 per person. vancouverfoodtour.com (Photo © sfe-co2 | istock)

Have a scoff and a scuff In Newfoundland, So-Full Food Tours leads groups on a walking exploration of food establishments along Duckworth and Water Streets, in historic downtown St. John’s. Stops include Newfoundland Chocolate Company; Tavola, a restaurant dishing up eclectic small plates; Rocket bakery café; YellowBelly brew pub; and the famed O’Reilly’s Irish Newfoundland pub, where the music is always live (and lively) and the menu spotlights such local specialities as toutons (pan-fried bread-dough pancakes), either on their own or stuffed with salt cod; and a puff-pastry pie filled with onions, root vegetables, fried, salted pork and seal flipper. The tour accommodates a maximum of 32 people (two groups of 16, each with their own guide). Cost is $75 per person. sofullfoodtours.ca (Photo © Newfoundland Chocolate Company) 32


“Food is not just eating energy. It’s an experience.” – Chef Guy Fieri Tastes & tales in Festival City

The Golden Gate to gourmet In San Francisco, Avital Food Tours curates four-course progressive meals (two appetizers, an entrée and a dessert), with each course served at a different restaurant. Walking tours are offered to the Mission District, North Beach and Union Square, and provide attendees insight about the culinary history, chef stories, art and culture in the neighbourhood they visit. As an add-on, Avital offers team-building exercises such as a hands-on mixology tasting or dessert class. Tours can accommodate groups as large as 300 to 500, depending on the neighbourhood (or combination of neighbourhoods) and timing. Pricing for four courses starts at $100USD per person (upgrades are available to add alcohol and supplementary food). For larger groups, the company offers three-course tours that start at $90USD per person. avitaltours.com (Photo © Billy Cole | Orange Photography)

Edmonton Food Tours offers custom programs that explore different areas of the city such as the Old Strathcona neighbourhood, located five minutes south of downtown across the North Saskatchewan River. Historic, vibrant and eclectic, the neighbourhood is home to a farmer’s market and hosts the Fringe Festival in summer and Ice on Whyte Festival in winter. The Savour Strathcona walking tour visits venues such as El Cortez Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar, which doubles as an arts space; Old Strathcona Distillery; two bakeries (Sugared & Spiced, and FanFan Patisserie); Porc Salé butcher shop and charcuterie store; and Situation Brewing gastropub. Led by a storytelling local guide, tours last two to three hours and can accommodate up to two groups of 15 people. Price is $99.00 per person. edmontonfoodtours.com (Photo © Edmonton Food Tours)

Taking a bite out of The Big Easy New Orleans is a food lover’s dream. For proof, look no further than Doctor Gumbo Tours, run by Dylan O’Donnell and his wife Tracy, whose food history tour of the lively French Quarter visits six venues over the course of three hours, during which time guests sample 10 dishes, such as sweet potato beignets, boudin balls, catfish po’ boy and seafood gumbo. Throughout the tour, guides provide extensive background on the historical and cultural forces that shaped The Big Easy’s culinary history; discuss recipes old and new; and recommend places to eat and shop. When possible, the chefs visit with the groups and discuss their influences and passions. Typically, tours accommodate up to 18 people, although private tour options can host up to two groups of 20 people each. Cost is $55USD per person. doctorgumbo.com (Photo © sf_foodphoto | istock)



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ALANNA MCQUAID | alanna@newcom.ca

HEATHER DONNELLY | heather@newcom.ca




PCMA Canada East & West Reception, Convening Leaders 2018 4







Metro Toronto Convention Centre South Building Open House 11



(All captions are left to right. Unless noted, all photos are © Meetings + Incentive Travel) PCMA CANADA EAST & WEST RECEPTION, CONVENING LEADERS 2018 | 1. Arianna McLaughlin, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP; Edward Byers, CHRP, CMP, Realpac; Johanne Bélanger, Tourism Toronto. 2. Jennifer Rafuse, Lynn Menzies, Stephanie Couture, Jenna Nicholson and Diana Reid, Vancouver Convention Centre. 3. Isabelle Godin, Hilton Quebec; Sherry Watson, Canadian Real Estate Association; Hélène Kenny, CMP, National Judicial Institute; Nancy Bradshaw, CMP, Tourism Saskatoon. 4. Rachel Stephan, DES, Sensov/event marketing; Madeleine Bart, Freeman Audio Visual | Canada; Tamela Blalock, MBA, CMP, DES, Section on Women’s Health APTA. 5. Valerie Guillet, Société Internationale d’Urologie; Raymond Larivée, Palais des congrès de Montréal. 6. Brian Slot, CMP, Calgary Stampede; Barb Stuhl-Smith, Edmonton Tourism; Jan Altmann, MBA, Meetingmax. 7. Colleen Deckert, CMM, CMP, and Angie Pfeifer, CMM, Investors Group Financial Services. METRO TORONTO CONVENTION CENTRE SOUTH BUILDING OPEN HOUSE | 8. Jessica Sinclair, Marilyn Sinclair and Esther Cyrus, Secretariat Central. 9. Maria Vella and Mark Storey, Metro Toronto Convention Centre. 10. Alisha McFetridge, Louise Greer, Adina Siperman and Sarah Belbeck, MCI Toronto. 11. Bonnie Howell, Tourism Toronto; Julie Holmen, MPI. 12. David Chisholm, Metro Toronto Convention Centre; Juliano Lissoni, MCI Group Canada; David Campbell, Freeman Audio Visual Canada. 13. Rita Molinari, Canadian Independent Petroleum Marketers Association (CIPMA); Roving Oyster Shucker; Susan Phillips, SGP Conferences and Events Ltd.; Rita Plaskett, CMP, CMM, Agendum Inc.



+NEXTGEN “I try to make the impossible possible ...” Name | Caitlin McElhone

Title | Owner & Lead Planner

Company | CM Events, Edmonton, Alberta

I got a taste for the industry when I was a young girl. Growing up my parents loved to entertain. They were wonderful hosts and always made the house special for anyone coming over. I don’t think I really understood how much I picked up from helping them until I lived on my own and started becoming the host for our friends When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them I am really just the puzzle master who keeps all the pieces (and people) organized so they can be put together to make a great event. The role of the event professional is similar to that of a project manager and it can be a lot of work keeping track of all the different suppliers, timelines, changes and last-minute requests leading up to an event. I often reference the assistant in the movie The Devil Wears Prada – I try to make the impossible possible for my clients every day. The biggest challenge I encountered when I began my career was not being that person who knew exactly what they wanted to do with their life. So, when an opportunity to do a work practicum with one of the leading event and wedding planners in the city came up during university, I didn’t quite know what to expect. Well, after six years working full time for them (and over 100 events!), I branched out and started my own company. That’s been the biggest challenge so far! Starting your own company is a huge risk. Working from home—especially with a baby and a toddler—has many challenges and it is almost impossible to find a good balance. When I figure out the perfect recipe for success, I will let everyone know! The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is to get involved! Join industry associations (like MPI and ILEA), attend local and international conferences and meet other planners, suppliers and colleagues in the industry. There is so much we can all learn from each other. I joined both the local MPI and ILEA Chapters when I first started my company and I strongly believe that’s the reason my company has been able to grow and become successful today. I think our industry could benefit from greater collaboration between event professionals and acknowledgment from post secondary institutions that the event industry is not only a serious profession, but also serious business! It would be wonderful to see more universities and colleges offer event management as part of their business programs, so that individuals and corporations start to take the role of an event professional more seriously and understand the value we bring to the table.

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