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Public relations at a trade show:

By Barry Siskind

A little effort goes a long way

information. The completed kit can be sent ahead of time to specific journalists, placed in the media room at the show. As well, keep a supply at your booth.

Is public relations just for big companies at large shows that have a dedicated PR consultant?


hen Steve Jobs or Bill Gates speaks, everyone listens, but don’t let the size of their budget discourage you. The media is constantly on the look-out for interesting stories, and not just the ones everyone else is covering. So, being big is not the panacea to PR; being prepared with a well thought-out plan is. Trade shows are a great place to initiate a PR campaign. Whether it is the major news outlets that will attend large international shows or regional publications, cable or local media at a regional or community show, the media will be there. One word of caution; there are no guarantees with the media. The best-made plans and promises can be easily derailed when an earth shattering global issue suddenly materializes and captures the headlines. But, with a little planning and execution your chances of landing valuable PR will rise dramatically. The online encyclopaedia Wikipedia defines public relations as “the practice of managing communication between an organization and its public.” PR therefore provides corporations and associations an opportunity to build and maintain rapport with various stakeholders including employees, customers, investors, voters and the general public. There’s a lot at stake. Follow these steps and to set your PR efforts on the right path.

1 Piggyback onto the PR that your show organizer is arranging. At some large shows there might be a media room where the media meets and browses corporate literature. At smaller shows the media may be invited to participate in a press conference, opening ceremonies or hospitality breaks. Whatever the case, talking to your show organizer to learn their media plans will give

you insights into ideas that can be initiated in conjunction with the show organizer or on your own.

2 Massage your message. The media is not interested in spending hours leafing through all of your corporate literature. You need to focus on issues that their readers/viewers will be most interested in learning about. Each media contact may appeal to a different audience so its important to ensure your message is appropriate to the media person you are sending it to. Often they are simply interested in reporting a new product or service. 3 Create a news release. This one page (typed, double-spaced) document is what the media will read first. If your news release captures their attention they might be motivated to learn more, if your news release falls flat it will be discarded. Your news release should be structured to include the following: a. The headline. This one line statement should get to the point quickly and stand out from the rest of the copy. b. Answer the questions: who, what, where, when and why in the first few paragraphs. Don’t try to write the story for the journalist, rather give them enough information for them to make an informed decision as to whether they think your story is worth telling. c. Include a photo when possible d. Don’t forget to include contact information. They need to know who to speak to and where you will be situated in the show. 4 Create a media kit. This kit will include your news release as well as photographs, company literature and detailed product

5 Focus your media contacts. If you can obtain a media list from your show organizer or have developed one on your own, pick those journals, web-sites, newsletters, magazines etc, that attract your specific audience. 6 Personalize your approach. There’s nothing wrong with calling first to let the contact know that you will be sending them some information about a new product or service and that you will be participating in an upcoming show. Then after you have send information to those media personnel that you have chosen, follow up to make sure they received it and to see if you can gain a commitment from them to stop by your booth.

7 Develop a relationship with the media. Media personnel are like everyone else, they don’t want to be pressured or hassled so walk that fine line between good follow-up and harassment carefully. The other issue is to become a source of information. They may ask you questions or for contacts that may have nothing to do with your PR objective. If you can become a source of information, you may not have achieved your short-term goal but a solid relationship has excellent long-term benefits. 8 Keep vigilant. Train your booth staff to be on the look-out for media as they pass-by your booth. They will be wearing a designated media badge.

A Public Relations campaign is an important tool for most companies and organizations. Trade shows offer an amazing opportunity to sharpen your PR skills and develop relationships with the media. The investment in developing a PR approach is relatively small and the pay-off can be huge. Barry Siskind is North America’ foremost trade and consumer show expert. Visit his Web site: or e-mail him at: | April 2011 | ThePLANNER 3

The Canadian



for meeting and event professionals

* “A Mari Usque Ad Mare”



8 28 questions to ask yourself

before planning an event Lyne Branchaud discusses the first step in establishing the bases of the project.

Publisher’s Note

12 Grads Come Knocking

Rachel Mangal tells us how to handle the new graduates that will come knocking.

While I was attending a recent event at the new Ritz Carlton in Toronto, I was introduced to a planner who said to me ‘’You’re

3 The 2011 Ottawa Venue Guide A comprehensive guide to many of the venues in Ottawa flip

Front of the house

with The Planner - oh I love your publication, it reminds me part of your magazine is like the front of the house of hotels, all beautiful’ but the real action is in the back of the house… and that’s how I see your magazine - all the useful information

12 A Night Out in Ottawa

Canada’s capital has a great variety of lounges, bars and flip

of hotels’’ so of course I asked her why, ‘’Because the colour

to help you find the right spot to host your next meeting or event.

night clubs to choose from after a long day of meetings.

is found in the black and white section and as a planner that’s what’s important for me!’’ And it’s certainly like that for any event. The finished product is always beautiful, the colour section, but getting there is half the fun or at least should be. The planning and organizing before an event is what makes the work challenging, enjoyable, the black and white section.

“A little more knowledge might light our way.” - Yoda



The Planner is distributed to professional meeting and event planners across Canada with the goal of providing reliable and timely information to make better decisions.

And I think that’s how The Planner helps, through useful information and educational content. Not perception but

P ublisher Michel Geoffroy, CMM

reality, the way it really is. They use to say a picture is worth a

E ditor Don Murray, CMP

thousand words, and it probably was before it could be altered to show reality as perception.

A ssociate E ditor Alice Dawlat G raphic A rtist Matt Riopel, Sergio Szwarcberg S ales C irculation

Colour contracts… There is a time for black and white and a time for colour, both have their place but let’s remember that words convey specific thoughts – have you ever seen colour contracts? Colour conveys whatever perception is intended without ever having to commit it to words or deeds.

“The colour of truth is gray.” Andre Gide (French writer, humanist and moralist, 1947 Nobel prize for literature, 1869-1951)

C ontributors Lyne Branchaud, Karen Garscadden,

Camille Lay, Marilyn Lazar, Rachel Mangal, Patrick McWeeny, Barry Siskind

2105, de la Montagne, suite 100 Montreal, Québec H3G 1Z8 Telephone: (514) 849-6841 poste 315 Fax: (514) 284-2282 Your comments are appreciated:

The Planner is published ten times a year. Poste-publication No. 40934013 The Planner uses 30% recycled post-consumer paper.

Michel Geoffroy, CMM Publisher We acknowledge the financial support of the

Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) for our publishing activities.

*Canadian Coat of Arms motto “From sea to sea” 4

PLANNER | April 2011 |



Rewarding employees at little or no cost Tough times don’t mean that you should forget about rewarding your employees. There are many ways that you can reward employees without handing them money. Here are some ideas you can implement immediately, with very little investment of time or money. no-cost 88 NO-COST

lo-cost 88 LO-COST


Use of the president’s office for a day.


A vacation day


A handwritten thank you note.


Bouquet of flowers


A reserved parking spot.



A public thank you.

Keep the break room stocked with their favourite drink or snack.


A birthday card mailed to their home address.


A book or CD by their favourite author or artist.


A note to their family, sharing how important the person’s contribution to the company has been.


A pair of movie tickets.


A gas card (much appreciated these days!)

ways to reward employees

ways to reward employees


A formal letter of appreciation for their personal file.


Find out what they are passionate about and give them a gift that relates to it.


Celebrate the anniversary of their joining the company.


A subscription to their favourite magazine | April 2011 | ThePLANNER 5

hotel news

Holiday Inn Opens its Largest Hotel in Canada

industry news

Independents Take a Bite of the Big Apple New York City’s hotel market is expanding. Approximately 33 new hotels are scheduled to open this year, 18 of which are independent properties. For these new properties, a stabilizing New York market offers great rate potential and strong demand. Statistics point to better days ahead, with occupancy running back up over 80% and hotels sold out many weeks in the year.


anada’s largest Holiday Inn property with 513 rooms, over 23 floors and 9,000 square feet of modern, multi-functional event space opened on April 6th. The grand opening marks the completion of the hotel’s $20 million renovation project. The hotel will be among the first and the largest in North America in 2011 to open, following the successful completion of the $1 billion Holiday Inn global brand relaunch, the biggest ever project of its kind in the history of the hospitality industry. Located at 30 Carlton Street in the downtown Yonge neighbourhood, the hotel is steps away from Toronto’s historic landmark, Maple Leaf Gardens, and within walking distance of the Eaton Centre, Ryerson University and hundreds of restaurants.

created by architect Ava Janikowski of Chase International Consultants in Design. Toronto-based visual artist Neil Young’s artwork was selected for the hotel lobby. His vibrantly colourful abstract visuals accentuate the hotel’s modern design. The hotel boasts a variety of dining options including the new urbane dining experience at The Carlton. Renowned executive chef Chris Moreland (formerly of White Oaks Conference Resort & Spa) brings his culinary vision of ‘go local’ to life with exotic dishes created with locally sourced ingredients. Thirty Bar & Lounge is the perfect modern, relaxed environment for both business and holiday travellers to enjoy cocktails and tapas. Guests will also be able to enjoy the fitness centre and large indoor pool complete with an outdoor patio.

The existing building was gutted and completely redesigned. The modern look was 6

PLANNER | April 2011 |


The New York hotel market signalled a bounce back from the recession at the end of 2010 with revenue up more than 18% over the previous year, according to data from STR. That was just the beginning; January and February 2011 numbers-typically a weak period for the New York market- showed increases in all key areas, making the city an attractive market for those opening their doors this year. New York is spinning on all cylinders, according to Jan Freitag, VP of global development at STR. “It is showing very, very healthy fundamentals. The growth rate of supply is so strong here, but at the same time, there doesn’t seem to be any rate resistance or other foreboding signs,” Freitag said. “And although supply continues to rise, demand has rebounded here as well with a 7% increase in January 2011 over the same period last year. In fact, January 2011 occupancy, (average daily rate) and (revenue per available room) are all up, supporting a 13.4% increase in revenue over last January.”



Five key tips for planning a golf tournament

n e w s

A basic planning guideline for tournaments:

Four Seasons celebrates five decades

1 Comprehensive and accurate advance registration process. Use a comprehensive questionnaire to gather information about your golf participants. What are your player’s handicaps? How many gloves, shirts, hats or jackets will you need to buy and in what sizes? What are the player’s arrival and departure times?

As Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts celebrates its 50th birthday, it looks ahead to the future of its business. It has grown from a single motor hotel in Toronto to more than 80 properties in 34 countries and over 35,000 employees. What’s on the horizon?

2 Extensive checklist of all the “little things”. How many rental sets will you need? Left-handed or right? Are all the names of the attendees spelled correctly? Are tees, balls and towels on the cart? It’s the little things that count in creating a truly memorable golf tournament. 3 Fair but strategically planned golf pairings. You may want to make certain that your top customer plays with the right salesman, or that your boss plays with a decision maker, or that you don’t put two staff people together from the same territory. But you also want to make certain that you do not make the tournament unfair by putting two low handicap golfers together. 4 Fun with rules, awards and the presentation process. Provide a customized, detailed script and rules sheet for the person in the group selected to MC the tournament. The script outlines everything that is important to say before the tournament, directly following the tournament, and during the awards presentation. 5 Offer high quality, unique golf awards. How do you make your golf tournament stand out from all others? Choosing personalized awards with a long shelf life is a start. Additionally, select distinctive awards that make a statement about how you regard the importance of your guests and your tournament.

“Four Seasons has always been guided by the Golden Rule - treating others as we would like to be treated,” says Kathleen Taylor, president and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “The Golden Rule inspires every interaction with our guests, our employees, our business partners and with each other.’’ Benjamin Franklin said, “Your net worth to the world is determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones”’. At the Four Seasons, it’s next to impossible to spot a bad habit.

Happy Birthday and many more to an institution that sets the bar high.

The Planner Gang | April 2011 | ThePLANNER 7


28 questions

to ask yourself before planning an event Here are the six steps which planners must inevitably go through and apply when launching an event: 1 Establish project bases; 2 Develop a preliminary plan; 3 Launch the event – production and logistics; 4 Create communications elements; 5 Carry out the event; 6 Analyze the complete project and write up a balance-sheet.


n this article, I will discuss the first step in establishing the bases of the project. This is the most important step, because it allows solid foundations to be determined upon which rest all project planning decisions and to understand each of the key issues involved in the event. When you receive the initial instructions to organize an event, the project description is, 99% of the time, incomplete; lack of data, some important elements were not analysed and often we hear, “Oh, I didn’t think about that.” It is therefore essential, at the beginning of the project, to arrange a meeting with all relevant players and decision-makers. This meeting is intended: to give an overview of the mandate, to establish the mission and objectives, determine the profile of the people you want to assign, to ensure that all people see the event in the same way and to clarify the expectations of each. This meeting brings together all relevant and essential information to plan the project by asking the right questions.

Specify the event’s mission

The first elements to be addressed at this meeting relate to the mission and direction of the event, i.e. its reason for being and the needs it aims to satisfy. It does not seek to 8

PLANNER | April 2011 |


clarify the details of the project, but rather to understand why this event should occur. Here are some questions to help focus the discussion in order to clarify the mission. I ask that you carefully analyze them with your group: • Will the event be unique (i.e. that it will happen only once, at a single location) or recurring (repeated several times, repeated each year or even carried out at various locations)? • For how many years has the event been held? Is it an anniversary that you want to highlight (e.g.: the tenth anniversary)? • What is the primary mission of the project - awareness, thanks, to motivate, to inform, to promote meetings or networking, to have a product discovered, to celebrate a special occasion, to entertain, to do business, etc.? Are there secondary objectives? • If your event is recurring, why was it created in the first place? Do these reasons still remain valid today? If not, what new realities should be taken into account? • What business needs must this project satisfy? Why must the company produce this event? • If you were to use only a few words to describe the goal to be reached, what would they be? • What are the concerns, visions and expectations of the project leaders? • Was this event done the same way, or differently, in the past? What positive and negative points have emerged from these experiences? • Is there a similar project organized by your competitors? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What does your project offer that is different? • Who will be the people involved in the decision-making processes? The answers to these different questions will help you specify the event’s mission: • Understand what was done in the past;

By Lyne Branchaud

• Check if the market and its realities have changed : • Define the essential directions and elements of the project; • Determine the visions and expectations of the work team; • Understand the culture of the company - its image, its guidelines, principles, priorities, etc.; • Decide if elements will be used only once or if they will be repeated on several occasions. As a manager, don’t hesitate to ask lots of questions at this stage, to obtain as much information as possible. Make sure you capture the opinions and views of the various stakeholders and understand the leaders’ expectations. Summarize the discussions and make sure all participants agree with them.

Establish objectives

The second part of the meeting is to clarify the event objectives so you can: • Have a clear idea what goals the company seeks to achieve; • Define the project content; • Determine the directions to be followed; • Understand the needs and expectations of participants; • Identify the elements to be communicated; • Prioritize the objectives; • Define the results that will be analyzed. As done for the mission definition, stop at each of these issues and discuss them with your group: • What outcome do we want to achieve, how much and how long (e.g.: meet a minimum of 500 participants at our August benefit event, turn a $20,000 profit, get 40 new members within the next 60 days, ensure that 90% of participants know the services of your company before the end of the event, etc.) ? • Are these objectives specific (simple and accurate – what is it we want, exactly?),


measurable (at the quantity or quality levels – concrete facts), attainable (reasonable in a specific context), achievable (realistic) and have a specified timetable (and, therefore, with a start and end date)? • What key messages must be distributed at the event (e.g.: demonstrate the achievements of the organization and where funds collected are distributed, thank and demonstrate the importance of our employees, etc.)? Does the company wish to take this opportunity to introduce changes or new work methods? • What is it that motivates guests to take part in the activity? What are they looking for? What do they expect (gather information, develop new relationships, etc.)? Do you know their needs? Can the event respond to these needs? • What is the current situation compared to target? Is there a problem? • Have participants already heard of your company? How much do they know the range of your products or services? • What impression do you wish to leave the participants? What do you want them to remember after the event? • Is there a financial result to be achieved (e.g.: make a profit for a given amount)? The answers to these questions will help you establish a list of objectives to be achieved through the event. Remember to be specific, classify your objectives in order of priority to focus on the most important, and make sure that they are approved by all concerned. These goals will become the guidelines of the project and the entire contents of the event will flow from them.

Analyze the target public and establish participant profiles

The last part of the meeting is to identify who event participants will be; identify who you will invite and develop the most accurate possible socio-demographic profile of the various categories of people who will take part. To help you to define these profiles, here are a series of questions to which you must find answers: • To whom is the event mainly targeted, and what other groups could participate? Determine a percentage for each category of participants (e.g.: Motherhood Salon - is for moms (70%), but dads (20%) and children (10%) may also attend) • What is the marital status of the participants - married, unmarried or divorced? • What is their profession - professionals (physicians, business leaders), employees, people seeking jobs, retirees, and women at home? • How old are they? In what age group are they (adolescent, adult, elderly, aged 18-54)? What would the average age be? • Will there be more of men or women? In what proportion (50 - 50, 80-20, etc.)? • What language do they mainly speak (French only, English only, French and English, etc.)? • Where do they come from (city, province, country)? • Do the guests know each other? • Will they remain captives of the event or will they only pass by? • Will they be alone, accompanied or with their children?

The answers to these questions will help you to: Define the various participant categories; • Understand who you are targeting; • Determine the language level and the language to use; • Focus on activities that will appeal to various groups; • Select content that will effectively reach all types of participants; • Specify how and with what communications tools you can reach them. You will thus understand the realities and needs of participants and can better plan the different aspects of the event. For example, the content of your activities, your way of expressing yourself and your communication tools will vary depending on whether you are talking to a young mother in her twenties with children at home, married, who works and lives in Montréal and who seeks to entertain, or to a company executive in his 50’s without children at home who lives in Brampton and wishes to become involved in the community. And that’s it - your first step in planning an event has been completed. You will now benefit from solid foundations on which all stakeholders agreed, and all future decisions on event content will flow from these bases. Excerpt from ‘’L’organisation d’un événement, guide pratique’’ published: Presses de l’Université du Québec. Lyne Branchaud was until recently in charge of events and sponsorship for Uniprix. She is now a professional coach for the meetings and events industry. You can contact her by E-mail at





WWW.LUMINUX.CA | April 2011 | ThePLANNER 9

n ow


The Scotiabank Convention Centre on April 8th

The Scotiabank Convention Centre, in Niagara Falls, Canada, the region’s newest and largest meetings & events facility, is now open. Built to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification (LEED)*, it  aims to become an innovator of the unconventional and a model of a new class of ‘green’ convention & meeting facilities committed to sustainability and community leadership. Located a mere 500 yards from the breathtaking Canadian Horseshoe Falls, the Convention Centre will draw from the magic and awe-inspiring natural beauty of the Falls and a whole region rich in history, culinary delights, and year-round cultural activities. The Centre features: an 82,000 square foot exhibition hall; a 17,000 square foot ballroom; an intimate 1,000 seat theatre, and 26,500 square feet of flexible meeting space. Sur le Web :

The Ottawa Convention Centre on April 12th A bold, modern design, boasting a bright naturally-lit interior  with  a 7-storey high sweeping window façade facing the Rideau Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site. • 192,000 sq. ft. / 17,837 sq. m. of usable space • 28 meeting rooms in maximum configuration • 56,000 sq. ft. / 5,203 sq. m. multipurpose hall with capacity 6,260 theatre-style, 4,600 banquet style • 21,300 sq. ft. / 1,979 sq. m. ballroom with view of the Rideau Canal and Parliament Hill 10


Guests Want Wi-Fi but cost is an issue. A leap in the number of business travellers using wi-fi has been accompanied by increasing unwillingness to pay for it. Online interviews with 2,000 people found that wi-fi use by business travellers in hotels has soared from 56% to 73% in only the last 12 months. The British Hotel Guest Survey, conducted by market research agency BDRC Continental, found that while technological improvements have led to the big jump in demand, it also meant that business travellers were less willing to pay for internet access, seeing it as something that was a low cost to the provider. “This, in itself, is not surprising given how

technology has improved, but what was interesting this year is that business travellers are starting to resist what they clearly consider to be excessive charges.” The survey found the pricing point (in pounds Stirling) at which guests began to log off. At £5, 40% said they probably or definitely would be prepared to pay, with 39% saying they probably or definitely would not. When this price increased to £15, 79% said they were unwilling to pay and only 9% said they would. The poll found that 49% were “very likely” to replace their number one choice hotel brand for one that offered free wi-fi, if possible. It also showed an increasing trend for onestop shopping online, with 37% saying they wanted to buy things such as car hire and train travel on the same hotel portal, six percentage points higher than last year.

The Omni Mount Washington Resort recently completed $60 Million of renovations. The Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire announced the latest phase of enhancements, part of their comprehensive, $60 million expansion and renovation project. Located at the base of Mount Washington, the multi-phased, property-wide effort began in the fall of 2009 and includes the redesign of several culinary venues, the renovation of guest rooms and suites, the creation of a new Family Suite and more - all with an eye to maintaining the historic nature of the property while embracing

modern amenities. The latest chapter joins other recently completed work, including a new 25,000 squarefoot spa; a large, refurbished wraparound veranda; renovation of the main dining room; a new 20,000 square-foot conference center; the restored Donald Ross-designed Mount Washington 18 hole golf course; and the new Bretton Woods Canopy Tour - quickly becoming a “must” for travelers in New England. For more information visit:

TIFF Bell Lightbox fundraising nears an end The Toronto International Film Festival is inching closer to completing its arduous fund-raising campaign for the Bell Lightbox, the festival’s permanent headquarters. The Festival announced recent donations of $7-million, bringing the total amount raised to date to almost $188-million, or 96 per cent of the goal of $196-million. The latest donors were HSBC Bank Canada and Steve Gupta and the Easton’s Group of hotels.

PLANNER | April 2011 |


n e w s

Congratulations - an inspiration to all.



Little Risk to Body Scans in Airports This according to an article published online Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The potential risks of the radiation emitted from so-called “Backscatter X-ray Scanners”, a commonly used machine which the Transportation Security Administration has installed in nearly 500 U.S. airports and with an estimated 1,000 more scanners to be installed by the end of the year. Rebecca Smith-Bindman, a professor of radiology at the University of California, San Francisco and one of the article’s authors, said the amount of radiation emitted by a full-body scan “is a drop in the bucket” compared to the amount of radiation used by X-rays and other medical-imaging procedures such as CT scans. The amount of radiation women would be exposed to from a mammogram is equal to 4,000 airport scans, while the amount from an abdominal CT scan would equal 200,000 airport scans. Dr. Smith-Bindman said air travelers are exposed to far more radiation from flying,

Airport Hotel Rebrand The former Hilton Dorval is being rebranded as The Sheraton Montreal Airport Hotel. GM Kevin Gillespie described it as “a local landmark since 1963, whether you are a business traveller to the city, a leisure traveller enroute to a vacation destination, or have planned a wedding, special event or corporate meeting.” Also announced is the plan for a multi-million dollar facelift, phase 1 of which is currently underway. The first 170 rooms & suites have now been completely refurbished and renovated. Improvements to the 20 meeting rooms is well underway and includes energy-efficient LED lighting, floor to ceiling large windows offering natural lighting and 20,000 sq ft of banquet and convention facilities. The new, totally redesigned restaurant will overlook the freshly-landscaped and expanded garden, complete with waterfall and pond ideal for weddings and special events. Most significantly, the launch of a new kosher

April 27, 2011 Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE). Ottawa-Gatineau Chapter. April Luncheon. May 3, 2011 Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE). Manitoba Chapter. Strategic Governance Forum. Winnipeg Convention Centre. and that going through a full-body scan “is like one or two minutes on an airplane.” She noted everyone is exposed to radiation on a daily basis from the sun and the Earth. Flying increases the amount of radiation exposure from the sun. The scanners deliver an additional amount of radiation that is equivalent to the amount of radiation received from three to nine minutes of daily living, the analysis found. “We conclude that there is no significant threat of radiation from the scans,” the authors write. kitchen facility will be made available to a select number of Montreal’s most prominent and well respected kosher caterers. Phases 2 and 3 will roll out concurrently and will include renovation of the remaining rooms, the inclusion of suites and the addition of a full-service spa. The heart of the lobby will be “Link@ Sheraton(R) experience with Microsoft®” – the brand’s signature social hub where connections - whether face-to-face or webcamto-webcam - take place. The hotel’s guest rooms will be upgraded and equipped with an oversized work desk, a custom-designed ergonomic chair, high-speed Internet, LCD flat panel television, iPod home docking station and the all-white Sheraton Sweet Sleeper® bed.The Sheraton Montreal Airport Hotel is situated at the entrance to Trudeau International Airport, 20 minutes from downtown Montreal and with convenient access to the West Island business district. The Sheraton Montreal Airport Hotel will accommodate groups of up to 600 people in its 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting and function space.

May 5, 2011 Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE). Executive Forum. Navigating the Business Travel Space. WestJet Campus, Calgary. May 5, 2011 Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Ottawa Chapter. Prix Prestige Awards Gala. Ottawa Convention Centre. May 11, 2011 Society of Incentive Travel Executives (Site Canada). Swing into Spring with Site Canada. Breakfast, followed by hands-on golf activities. Glen Abbey Golf Course, Oakville, Ont. May 11, 2011 Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). Canada East Chapter. Educational Programmes in Montreal and Toronto. May 12, 2011 Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Ottawa Chapter. Social Media Workshop. Algonquin College. May 25, 2011 Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE). Ottawa-Gatineau Chapter. Annual General Meeting. Fairmont Chateau Laurier. | April 2011 | ThePLANNER 11


Grads knocking on your door?


s predictable as April showers is the flurry of cold calls from new graduates at this time of year. Students call upon seasoned professionals for advice on how to break into our industry, so have your elevator speech planned. There are always three types of students graduating secondary school. The bulk will be Generation Y (born in early 80s & higher), some will be Generation X (1965 – 1979), followed by a small percentage of retirees. Knowing where a grad is in their lifecycle can certainly change not only the advice you provide, but also the delivery.

Gen Y When most Gen Y students call asking for advice we really know that they just want know if we’re hiring or if we know of others hiring. They are fresh out school with little or no experience, so what can you offer them?

110% all of time to stand out. Students should strengthen and maintain their relationship with their professors and their placement employers who have the power to give positive and negative references. From my personal experience, I have hired 60% of interns after their placement for part-time work. (This also means 40% did not pull up their socks to be worthy of employment.) When you receive that cold call and you don’t have a requirement for a young fresh grad, here are some suggestions you can pass along to the Gen Y grads: • look over their resume & offer suggestions to improve • reinforce if they volunteer they’d better make sure the organizer remembers them • for instant exposure into the industry, consider temp work through a caterer or staffing/model agency

Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer has been drilled into their heads by professors, so that’s probably the last thing they want to hear since it doesn’t pay. However, you can expand on that and tell them what impresses you in your volunteers.

The above would surely be appreciated by Gen Y students instead of just an outright decline, so have a list handy of volunteer & temp work websites, like

For example, I’m pretty impressed when a student volunteer shows up an hour early or even before me, ready to help unload my trunk!

Gen X grads - the 30 somethings- have it in the bag.

In the Toronto region, 6 colleges within 90 minutes spit out approximately 600 Event Management grads every April. Tell the students to do the math. There are not 600 paying jobs in the GTA market and I’m sure the math is similar in other major markets across the nation. As employers, we can literally handpick the best of the bunch and not even advertise a job posting. Many of us in the industry have colleagues as faculty members and students need to understand that future employers may consult their professors for references. Most event management & hospitality courses include an internship/co-op placement. This is time for the student to shine and really a time to make it or break it. Students should work 12

Gen X

Bringing maturity, professionalism, some corporate experience and much more life experience, these grads actually “get it”. They understand the event industry and have a growing passion to be part of it. Generation x students are made up of many females returning to the workforce after a maternity leave. The Gen x grads also include people already in the workforce and are in it to get the official certificate, climb the ladder or who are ready to start their own business. These are the types of grads you would most likely hire in a heartbeat. Advice you can give the Gen X grads looking for employment can be the same as Gen Y but here’s a few more tips that involve a little more

PLANNER | April 2011 |


By Rachel Mangal

capital: - before leaving school, be sure to join an industry association, like ISES, at the student rate • consider moving to a smaller population with an untapped market. Did you know there is only 1 major decor company in Winnipeg? • consider starting your own business in an untapped market • create self-produced events. Not much capital is needed and there are trends you can capitalize on. For example, holding a finale party at a theatre for the Oprah finale.

JOB MARKET Since the beginning of 2011 the event management and hospitality job market has started to flourish with new postings popping up daily across the nation. Good news that the event industry is shifting into growth mode. Bad news for grads is that, as with every industry, there are many un-posted jobs. Cultivating relationships is important in our event industry in regards to all aspects and also from a “job hunt” point of view. Want to work for a particular company? Find out what volunteer committees they sit on and volunteer too. Make a good first impression, work your butt off and start the relationship off on the right foot. The process could take 1 to 2 years, or maybe even five, but in the long run, a new circle of colleagues is cultivated as well as a new circle of job references. Although the best advice still hails from the professors to volunteer, volunteer, volunteer, students should do so with a strong work ethic, a strategy to meet the employers they want to work for and a plan to stand out from the crowd. Good Luck Grads of 2011! Rachel Mangal Past President ISES Toronto | April 2011 | ThePLANNER 13

industry news


These numbers are not

Mickey Mouse


Avoid e-mailing emotions! E-mail is fine for accelerating the transfer of factual information. But when your communication involves any emotion - such as expressing different opinions - a face-to-face meeting is by far the best bet. A traditional, interactive, phone conversation is a distant second choice. Why is face-to-face communication so important? As we get more efficient at communicating facts electronically, we tend to forget how much emotion we convey through body language and voice tone. For example, as I say with words that I disagree with someone, my tone, my posture, my smile, and my eye contact may at the very same time be saying, “I value and respect your opinion and enjoy working with you…even though I disagree with you on this point.” So the more managers communicate electronically, the more pressing become the need for face-to-face meetings.

Quick Tips


alt Disney World and its related businesses in Florida generate an estimated $18.2 billion a year in economic activity and are responsible for more than one of every 50 jobs in the state, according to a recent impact study paid for by the giant resort.

ations in the state – which include Disney World, Disney Cruise Line and its Disney Vacation Club timeshare business –

fall of 1971, that we opened the gates of Walt Disney World and we’ve been growing ever since,” said Disney World President Meg Crofton.

Disney Generates 1 in 50 jobs and 2.5% of GDP in Florida

The report found that Disney’s theme-park oper14

account for 2.5 percent of Florida’s cumulative gross domestic product. “It was 40 years ago, in the

PLANNER | April 2011 |


The eye-popping numbers stem from a report prepared by consulting firm Arduin, Laffer & Moore. The firm examined data from Disney’s 2009 fiscal year, which ended October 3, 2009.

On negotiating... Using the right phrases matters. • “How did you come up with that number? Opens a window into the other side’s thoughts.” • “Let me check with my wife (or husband or boss).” Stops you from saying yes prematurely. • “If things change, give me a call.” Put the onus on them. The name game… Never confuse Don with John again. • Introduce yourself first so you can focus on the other person. • Connect the name to your brain. When you meet a guy named Bill, think of other Bills you know. • Use the name three times. Once to confirm you have the name right, then in mid-conversation, and again when you say good-bye.

industry news

Boulud’s to open in Montreal Ritz Famous chef already uses Quebec ingredients and loves Montreal


he Montreal restaurant world received good news recently when the Ritz-Carlton Hotel announced that New York celebrity chef Daniel Boulud will take over its restaurant space. Slated to open in early 2012, Maison Boulud will occupy the space that formerly housed the Café de Paris and Jardin du Ritz. Montreal will be a good fit for the chef, widely regarded as one of the world’s best. “After a love affair of many years with Montreal, I’m proud to be coming to North America’s most European city to join its roster of fine chefs – many of whom are dear friends – and to take part in your love of fine food and vibrant culinary culture,” Boulud said in a press release. Montreal chefs have echoed that affection, and say Boulud’s arrival will kick up the competition. David McMillan, chef-owner of Joe Beef, Liverpool House and McKiernan, uttered two words: “I’m pumped”. McMillan is also excited for the Ritz

“which was the best dining destination in Montreal forever, but not in the last 20 years. To breathe new life into a Montreal institution like that is brilliant.” Boulud, a 56-year-old native of Lyon, France, made his name as the executive chef in the glory days of Le Cirque in New York after apprenticing under Michel Guérard in France. He then opened Café Boulud followed by his flagship restaurant Daniel. The Montreal restaurant will be modeled after Café Boulud more than the super high-end Daniel, said Andrew Torriani, the director general of the Ritz. “We want an upscale restaurant,” he said, “but it will be the only restaurant in the hotel, so we’ll have to deal with ad hoc customer demands as well.” The new restaurant is part of a massive reconstruction at the Ritz, which is converting floors to residences; $150 million has been invested so far. Web:


Choice Hotels International, Inc.

states and two additional countries, adding more than 1,800 rooms to the company’s existing 495,000-plus rooms. In Canada the new opening is the:

Choice Hotels International, Inc. continues to grow with the announcement of 27 newlyopened franchised properties during the month of March. The openings include hotels in 13

Quality Hotel Fallsview Cascade Niagara Falls, Canada


Located in the heart of the city, providing easy

PLANNER | April 2011 |


n e w s

access to the beautiful Horseshoe Falls, this hotel offers free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, heated pool and hot tub, business center, laundry facilities, and adjacent conference center. Spacious guestrooms offer flat-screen Plasma TVs, coffee makers, hair dryers, irons and ironing boards while select suites also offer sofa beds and whirlpool bathtubs.

April 2011  

Health benefits of laughter, lightheartedness, games, and humour.

April 2011  

Health benefits of laughter, lightheartedness, games, and humour.