Page 1

trade shows

Quantity versus Quality

By Barry Siskind

Which would you rather have: 500 mediocre leads or 25 to 30 high value leads? The answer is obvious and yet many exhibitors who attend trade shows try to talk to as many people as possible then go back to the office with a fist full of business cards and say; “see what I accomplished.”

Suppose you have chosen a show and upon in-depth investigation you discover that ten percent of the expected audience fits your profile. If you don’t equip your staff with the necessary tools to differentiate the ten percent you have identified from the ninety percent who are outside your area of interest, they will waste lots of time talking to people who can add little value to your strategic exhibit plan. Your training initiative should include setting clear, focused and measurable objectives for each of your booth staff. This should include a detailed description of the profile of those high-value contacts and the skills your staff needs to do their job efficiently and effectively.


he cost of following up on these so-called business leads is enormous and it leaves your sales reps often disheartened with the number of rejections they receive. The solution is three fold: Set focused objectives The success of your exhibit program hinges on your strategic approach. The first step is to focus your efforts on a single purpose. Clearly articulate what you want to achieve from your exhibit program. This objective helps you establish the metrics you will ultimately use to measure your success. But it is not enough to just say your objective is to collect high value unless you also clearly identify the profile of what a high quality lead looks like. In a world filled with highly specialized channels of communication, trying to be everything to everyone

The best tool you have at your disposal is the use of a pre-show/event briefing. This can be done on-site immediately prior to the show opening, on-line a few weeks prior to the show or as part of a sales meeting or conference call. The choice is yours. is faulty thinking. Select the right shows Our discussion of profile helps you select the right shows and events. Talk to the show organizer of the event you are targeting and learn who the delegates are. This will be based on previous year’s attendance or perhaps those who have pre-registered for this year’s event. Look carefully and see if there is a match between the potential audience and the profile you have created. Will there be sufficient targeted people to justify your exhibit decision? All too often exhibitors choose their shows by the sheer volume of attendees. The problem with this approach is the thesis of our discussion: quantity versus quality. Train your staff on how to mine the show for high value contacts

Attempting to reach well-established goals without giving people the right tools is tantamount to disaster. An NFL coach whose team is playing in the Super Bowl assembles the team just before game opening, reviews the plays, the opponents and the field and then leaves the players with a final word of encouragement to excite their emotions so when the enter the playing field they are primed and pumped and ready to meet the challenge. Your Super Bowl is the next trade show your staff attends. The trick is to get focused on the right people, select the right shows and establish the game plan. You don’t want to get 100 touchdowns; 2 or 3 are often all that’s needed to win. Barry Siskind is North America’ foremost trade and consumer show expert. Visit his Web site: or e-mail him at: | November 2010 | ThePLANNER 3

SPAM-A-RAMA At The Planner we constantly receive requests to sell or rent our email list. Rest assured that we don’t because we value our subscribers’ time and patience. We sponsor email surveys/contests because we feel that the results bring something of value to planners. We may promote a planner activity via email, because again, that’s added value for you. Email abuse or abusEmail, as it’s being called, is something we should all resist. It’s a bit like the boy who cried wolf; after awhile he lost credibility and so will your emails if you oversend. Keep in touch, but only when you have something to say that will be beneficial to your reader. Nobody has time



7 Economic News

> US, Canada and the industry, how are we doing?

8 Winter : a promising season for groups

> Tips for successful outdoor winter activities.

10 Looking for a venue in greater Quebec City?

> We asked Véronique Hébert, our contributor and decor specialist, to give us the lowdown on multipurpose rooms in and around Quebec City.

simply because everybody sends them, which in turn means too

14 Negotiating

much of a good thing becomes a nuisance. The same goes for

you covered.

anymore for daily jokes not because they’re not amusing, but

all those specials. When you receive 5 or 10 a day, it’s not so special and people simply hit the Del-key. Worst of all, you risk sending messages of importance that will also be automatically deleted.


> From hand shake to holding the “Trump” card, we’ve got

21 Leisure Education

> The best way to learn is while having fun or while being entertained.

So by all means, keep in touch through email, but when it’s business, keep it business-like. Reserve email for when you have something informative to say. In the case of email, less is definitely more. As always your comments and suggestions are appreciated, so please send them along. Don Murray, CMP Editor



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. E ditor Don Murray A ssociate E ditor Aurélie Thirion G raphic A rtist Matt Riopel S ales C irculation Patricia Lemus C ontributors Barry Siskind, Marilyn Lazar, Sharon Worsley

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.

PAP – Registration No. 111100

We acknowledge the financial support of the

Government of Canada through the Publications

Assistance Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage toward our mailing costs.


PLANNER | November 2010 |




Blink: Some Data on Snap Decisions




New Job? 4 Tips in 3 Months Professionals need to prove their value to a new firm in the first 10 weeks, a recent survey by staffing firm Creative Group suggests. It takes 10 weeks on average to determine if an employee is well suited for the job. “Employers today expect new hires to adapt quickly to their work environment and start making immediate contributions,” said Lara Dodo, regional vice-president of The Creative Group. “The faster employees can learn both the written and unwritten rules of the organization, the more quickly they’ll fit in and establish themselves as productive and valued team members.” New employees can facilitate this process.

Trust your instinct Gut instinct can be more reliable than rational thought. ‘You expect people to make better decisions when given more time, but that’s not so,’ says Dr Li Zhaoping, of University College London. Trust your gut feeling when, say, viewing a property: your subconscious can pick up details that the conscious mind hasn’t yet processed.

Think positive If you lose nerve when

making decisions, you may be overly focusing on the wrong choice. Instead, think about the best potential result of each option. ‘The better you are at visualizing outcomes, the clearer your decision-making will become.’

Take a risk Waiting until you are certain is reassuring, but procrastination can result in missed opportunities. ‘When we make life decisions, we don’t ever know we’re made the best one, but be happy with it. Unless our old way of life was

awful and our new direction is fantastic, it’s always ambiguous,’ says psychologist Mark Turrell.

Be responsible Do you need other people to endorse your decision? ‘This may be a sign of reluctance to become fully adult and take responsibility for our life,’ says Turrell in How To Make Decisions (from the selfhelp site Don’t fear going it alone – decisions help us control events, instead of being controlled by them.

Here’s how:


 larify expectations within the first C few days and discuss how performance is evaluated;


 tudying work habits of your new colS leagues, their preferred communication styles and how they collaborate;


Ascertain who you need to rely on most and pay close attention to them;


Wait until you have proven yourself before proposing drastic changes. | November 2010 | ThePLANNER 5




In Canada’s cultural mosaic, event planners may be involved in planning a kosher event, or at least providing a kosher meal to someone in attendance. It’s a good idea to understand what this means.


osher refers to strict guidelines which observant Jews follow with regard to eating. Salient points include which animals may be eaten and how they are prepared. Cows, domestic fowl and fish with fin and scales are OK. Rabbits, pigs and shellfish are not. Combining food is a consideration. For example, meat and dairy is not eaten together. T h e s e guidelines were laid down in the Old Testament and derived in part for health reasons. They have been elaborated on by generations of scholars since. In a supermarket, kosher items will be clearly labeled as such. A kosher caterer will know all that needs to go into the planning and execution of a kosher function. They will also have an official designation by an authorized body and can be selected accordingly. Dishes and cooking utensils are also part of the process. Synagogue halls may have one exclusive

caterer or three or four to choose from. Their main kitchen is usually meat, but some will also cater kosher dairy or pareve. If a function is held in a venue other than a synagogue, a caterer can “kosher” a kitchen. Many hotels offer this service. Some hotels have a permanent, separate kosher kitchen. If you use a venue, but not their caterer, they need to charge on a different basis. Typically, this will be the equivalent of their most basic menu and will include things like tables, chairs and staff. People sometimes compromise by choosing to serve dairy, pareve, or kosher food and serving them on fancy disposable dishes. Often, hosts who do not follow a strictly kosher diet at home will plan a kosher function to ensure that all their guests feel welcome or because the nature of the event is religious, as is a Bar Mitzvah. Kosher food is delicious and by taste alone, you would never know the difference.

“Kosher style” should not be confused with “kosher” as it is absolutely not the same.

Canadians Shop Online: The Breakdown Most shoppers age 16 to 34. E-shopping is on the rise in Canada as nearly 40 per cent of Canadians placed more than 95 million orders online in 2009, up from 70m in 2007, figures made public by Statistics Canada suggest. Thanks to the Internet, Canadians spent more than $15 billion on goods and services last year, up from $12.8 billion in 2007. The average value of an order fell 13% since 2007. Those between the ages of 16 to 34 accounted for more than half of all online shoppers, while men were more likely than women to make purchases over the Internet. Geographically, British Columbia and Alberta residents were among the most active online shoppers. Although nearly half of all Canadians said they were concerned about using credit cards to make online purchases, the vast majority of Internet customers (84 per cent) paid for their items directly.


Jewelry on Men? Here’s what Russell Smith of The Globe and Mail has to say on the subject Rings for men are very tricky, and so my advice on them is rather draconian: I am against them. Jeweler on men is always risking looking too flashy. This includes bracelets: The rule for bracelets is never, not of any kind. Same with necklaces. It’s very simple: 6

Gentlemen do not wear necklaces. No chains, medallions or religious emblems, at least not in plain sight. One should also avoid tie clips and bars, collar bars, diamond-encrusted watches and even overly large gemstone cufflinks. Any large ring will make you look like a gangster or a pope. I acknowledge that this is an extremely conservative and censorious position, but I still recommend embracing it. It comes from a knowledge of class shibboleths. For some reason – and I

PLANNER | November 2010 |




do know this is irrational – it is acceptable in old-money circles to display one’s wealth by wearing a well-cut suit but not by showing off actual precious metals and gemstones. Fine dark wool, as expensive as it may be, is still sober and still carries the whiff of the practical. Ditto for heavy leather shoes – they are still designed for walking. Men’s wedding rings – which have one sole function: to warn women not to flirt with you too strenuously – should be kept plain.

economic news

Small Business Owners, Small Gains

In Canada Despite a return to modest economic growth, Canadian entrepreneurs are still suffering through the doldrums, according to a recent survey of small businesses. Much negative sentiment among small business owners lingers, and, in fact, has inched up from a year ago, said Jamie Sutherland, general manager of Sage Small Business Solutions in Canada, which conducted the survey of 283 businesses. «There is still some reticence about hiring again until we get right out of the economic downturn,» he said. Of those surveyed, 70% indicated they have been negatively affected by the recession and its aftermath, while 14% called the effects «dramatic.»

Travel Industry In the U.S. Small business owners grew slightly more optimistic about their economic outlook in September even as more planned to cut rather than hire new workers, a survey last week showed. The U.S. National Federation of Independent Business said its optimism index edged up 0.2 points to 89.0 in September -- the latest sign of sluggishness in the U.S. economic recovery. The number of firms reporting increases in capital outlays in the past six months rose to 45%, up one percentage point from a month earlier but still near a 35-year low, the NFIB said. «The downturn may be officially over, but small business owners have for the most part seen no evidence of it,» said William Dunkleberg, the NFIB’s chief economist. The U.S. recession ended in June 2009 but the recovery slowed dramatically in the second quarter. The NFIB poll showed 16% of small businesses plan to cut jobs in the next three months, up from 13% in August. Only 8% expected to hire workers.

Canadian corporations, conservative by nature, felt the corporate travel industry was not impacted to the same extent here as it was by our U.S. neighbours. That said, in a recent National Business Travel Association Foundation survey, economic recovery to date in 2010 has surpassed expectations and, as a result, global business travel spending is projected to reach $896 billion in U.S. dollars this year and to grow to $1.2 trillion by 2014. This includes Canadian corporations and the industry suppliers who overwhelmingly remain optimistic about what the next year and beyond holds. Despite the challenges the industry faced, the horizon does look brighter for all sectors of the business travel industry. Airfares in Canada should remain constant, with a possible increase as travel picks up and capacity remains constant. Hotels are reporting that individual business travel is increasing as well although meeting expenditures could always be better! For many, it is budget planning season and most corporate budgets for business travel are increasing slightly for 2011 – possibly as a result of more travelers back in the air again or anticipated increases in taxes, fees, and surcharges across all supplier segments. According to Tanya Racz of Executive Director, NBTA Canada.

Toronto Recession over? A look at what the stats really mean. Numbers don’t lie but they can be deceiving. The recession may be officially over and stats show that lost jobs have now been recovered. But a closer look at Canada’s largest city shows troubling trends behind the numbers: Unemployment 9.2%, bankruptcies triple the national average and more residents on welfare. Bankruptcies in Toronto are nearly triple the national average. The jobs being created are lower-paying service-sector jobs while higher-paying manufacturing jobs are disappearing - not an equitable offset. More people are waiting for social housing. Welfare rates are the highest in more than a decade. The unemployment rate for the census metropolitan area has risen to 9.2 per cent - well above the national average - and predictions are it will remain elevated for two more years. “There are an awful lot of people who are facing very difficult and trying times, and the aggregate economic numbers mask that story,” explains Craig Alexander, chief economist at TorontoDominion Bank. He adds that although the number of jobs has returned to prerecession levels, the reality is that fulltime positions disappeared while more part-time jobs were created. The unemployment rate for the city of Toronto itself is now 10.3 per cent, compared to the national average of 8 per cent. | November 2010 | ThePLANNER 7


a promising season for groups As the autumn leaves start to fall, and the crisp air of winter descends, our thoughts as planners turns to outdoor activities. Many sales meetings, incentive programs and events take place during the frosty season, and making sure that we have given thought to the countless details involved will ensure a successful experience. Here are a few tips:

Have participants register in advance

Not everyone is an outdoor person, and unless this is a teambuilding event where all must participate, offer other options. Balance activities such as skiing, sledding and snowboarding, with snowshoeing, cross country skiing and skating where guests can manage their time outdoors. Spa, if available is a great option as are cooking classes for those whom a sojourn into the snow is just not amenable. When having guests register in advance, ensure you request all the details required pertaining to each activity if rentals are involved or if they will bring their own equipment.

Communication is key!

Provide participants with detailed information on the activities so they are fully aware of the length of time and where the event will take place in addition to what they need in terms of clothing so they can make an

informed choice.

Creative gifting

The day of the event increase the anticipation by delivering an invitation to the participants enclosed in a comfy pair of socks. Mittens, hats, scarves and comfy fleece jackets with or without logos are always appreciated and will be used long after the event is finished. If your activity involves teams, differentiate by color and amp up the competition!

Beverage stations

Welcome beverage stations including gourmet hot chocolate, fine teas and coffee will draw participants. Discuss with the venue to have the beverage station strategically placed outdoors to encourage everyone to leave the building, and to ensure it is kept replenished. Easy high energy snacks will also be appreciated.

Interesting Venus

Many hotels have year round outdoor

By Audrey Esar

heated pools that create a magical ambiance with the mist rising above the water. Cocktails anyone? After dinner, a bonfire where guests can relax and mingle, make their own s’mores and drink hot apple cider is a memorable way to end an evening.

Weather or not

The weather is often just as much, if not more an issue in winter when it comes to outdoor programs. Too much sleet and icy conditions could result in road closures, transfer delays, and cancellations by vendors of their facilities. Too little snow has its own issues as well. Ensure your venue has back up facilities and have a plan in place for worst case scenario. At a recent event, a pizza making contest where participants designed and cooked their creations to be judged by the Chefs of the hotel was great fun and highly successful in building camaraderie among their peers. As well, carefully check your vendor contracts to ensure that you have a clause that allows you some leverage in the event something needs to be cancelled due to weather conditions. Audrey Esar is a Solutions Consultant specializing in incentive, meetings and event programs as well as site selection with Audrey Esar Consulting. To learn more about how Audrey can help you, E-mail her at AudreyEsar@


Tremblant hopes to open November 25th The lifts and trails at Mont Tremblant Resort are expected to open for the season Nov. 25. Any natural serving of snow will be enhanced by more than 1,000 snow guns, a system that has been expanded and is now one of the most powerful in North America. 8

Notes of interest: Tremblant has been voted North America’s top ski-snowboard resort in the east by Ski Magazine’s readers for 14 consecutive years. Lodging and lift tickets reserved before Dec. 1 carry a 25-per-cent discount, bringing the starting price of slopeside hotels and condos to $139, per night, for up to four people, including breakfast. Lift tickets for adults cost $55 before Dec. 1, $75 in regular season. Mont Tremblant Resort: 888-736-2526 |

PLANNER | November 2010 |



Porter Airlines winter service to Mont Tremblant starts December 21st from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Up to 12 flights per week are available this winter, an increase from eight flights per week last season. Highlights of the winter schedule include: • December 21 through January 9 – 3 weekly roundtrip flights • January 10 through January 23 – 9 weekly roundtrip flights • January 26 through April 3 – 12 weekly roundtrip flights


Massif = Big plans


Le Massif, near Quebec City is continuing to expand with a $16-million investment set for this season. The ski resort known for its stunning views of the St. Lawrence River has added four new trails, and an eight-passenger gondola.


t one time, Le Massif was a remote mountain without skier services or lifts. In eight years, former Cirque du Soleil executive Daniel Gauthier has created a user-friendly ski and snowboard area with cheerful base chalets, lively apres-ski and dining, and wide, well-groomed trails for all levels.

If you want to pair a Le Massif visit with skiing and riding at Mont Ste. Anne, or a stop in Quebec City or Baie St. Paul, shuttle buses connect all points. (The Mont Ste. Anne-Baie St. Paul shuttles are free).

positioning itself to be a four-season resort. The most dynamic boost to the region’s tourism will be a new train due to start service next June along the 140-kilometre route from Quebec City to La Malbaie. Included in the sweeping development will be The Farm, a new mini-village adjacent to the Baie St. Paul train station and encompassing a spa, restaurants, bars and boutiques, and an indoor market showcasing Charlevoix foods. A 150-room hotel is scheduled to open in December 2011, and there will be accommodations for another 400 people in new chalets, loft apartments and unusual lodging, like tree homes. A 500-seat performing arts and convention centre also is planned as part of the project.

With a total investment of $230 million between now and 2013, the tourism project called Le Massif de Charlevoix is

As a side note Porter has daily flights to Quebec City – Mont Ste. Anne is 45 minutes away and Le Massif is an hour.

However, Le Massif has not forgotten its roots as a tough downhill adventure. This year, it is doubling its off-trail skiable terrain.


The University of California Wellness Letter refutes the following food myth: Some health myths never die, and the internet and emails only amplify them. The idea that fruit, unless eaten by itself on an empty stomach, will ferment, or “rot” in your stomach has gained wide circulation again. It is the foundation of many odd “food-combining” diets. The fact is, you can eat fruit any time – as part of a meal, as dessert, or as a snack. Raw or cooked, it does not ferment inside you. The human digestive system handles all food combinations very efficiently. As foods are broken down into their various components, they pass into the small intestine, where bacteria are naturally present. The bacteria sometimes act upon certain compounds in fruits and vegetables and give you gas, but this has nothing to do with rotting or in what combination you ate the foods. The overwhelming weight of evidence is on the side of a varied, balanced diet. In fact, most vitamins and minerals are best absorbed and utilized when consumed as part of a complex mixture of food. For instance, the vitamin C in your fruit will help you absorb the iron in the grains you eat at that meal. | November 2010 | ThePLANNER 9


Looking for a venue in greater Quebec City? With Holiday events on the way, we asked Véronique Hébert, our contributor and decoration specialist, to give us the lowdown on multipurpose rooms in or near Quebec City. This list will help you

By Véronique Hébert

Event planners often ask me to recommend venues for their Quebec City events, because of the many decoration projects that I have produced over the past eight years. These organizers are particularly interested in knowing about new venues in the region and any distinctive locales that would inspire their guests at a gala event. Here are a few suggestions of multi-

For Banquets of up to 100 Guests Caserne Dalhousie

Morrin Centre

Run by Ex Machina, the Caserne is Lower Quebec City’s hub of multidisciplinary creation, near the Old Port. The ceiling, walls and floor are all in black. Ideal for enhancing a hushed setting.

The look is historic and the location charming. A stone’s throw from Old Quebec’s key attractions, this charming spot known only to a select few once served as a prison.

On the Web: Contact: 418 692-5323 d ’ interprétation


P lace

Not far from the site where Samuel de Champlain established North America’s first permanent French-speaking community in 1608, these unique rooms have stonewalls with the past written all over them. On the Web: Contact: 418 643-2158

spot any time of the year.

PLANNER | November 2010 |


On the Web: Contact: 418 694-9147

Artillery Park C entre Royale

find the PERFECT


purpose rooms not located in hotels. This means you can work with the caterer of your choice and add a special touch by adorning your table in keeping with the selected site, its view of the river and its historic or unique atmosphere. Your guests will certainly enjoy the change of scenery—and will talk about this great event for a long time to come.

It has two exceptional rooms. The Fonderie de l’arsenal sports red brick walls and pieces of 17th century equipment (banquets of up to 90 people). The Redoute Dauphine, with its incomparable ambience, is ideal for small groups (the Mess des Officiers room can hold 45 at u-shaped tables). On the Web: artiller/index.aspx Contact: 418 648-7016

Théâtre Petit Champlain Along with its regular programming, the Petit Champlain Theatre provides rental space for events. Its walls are rich with history, its big windows offer a splendid view of FélixLeclerc Park and it is situated in the heart of Old Quebec City. On the Web: Contact: 418 692-2631 ext. 233.

Banquets of from 100 to 250 People

for weddings and galas in 2011. Contact: 418 528-8528

For Banquets of 250 or More

Quebec City Aquarium

Espace 400e


This is not just about sea creatures! The aquarium also offers a stunning view of the river and the Quebec Bridge above it. Some of the rooms face squarely on this remarkable sight. Different spaces can host from 6 to 400 people.

On St. Paul Street with a overlooking the Seminary to one side and the Image Mill’s projection to the other. Two outstanding rooms: Héritage for banquets of up to 160 (or receptions of up to 250) and Vert for 30 people.

Adjacent to the Conference Centre, two fantastic high-capacity rooms with a theatrical feel.

On the Web: Contact: 418 659-5264, poste 248

Contact: 418 999-5946/418 648-3300

Espaces Dalhousie

Montmorency Manor

In Quebec City’s Old Port, this well-illuminated and easily accessible venue provides a spellbinding view of the river.

Beauport Bay Your guests will step into a different world this new space for galas, cocktail parties and weddings. It has rooms of different sizes, with plenty of light and windows looking out over the river and an immense sandy beach. On the Web: Contact: 418 266-0711


de la


The Cercle de la Garnison has provided members, non-members and their guests with meeting, reception and restaurant services since 1879. A distinguished private club in Quebec City for groups of 2 to 240.

A magnificent mansion over Montmorency Falls in Beauport facing the river and Orleans Island. Seven rooms have capacities of from 15 to 200 people. The “Full Manor” formula can host up to 400.



On the Web: Contact: 418 694-9930, ext. 226

On the Web: Contact: 418 649-6409




On the Web: Contact: 418 663-3330

Once Lower Quebec City’s Folies de Paris Theatre, the Imperial is short stroll from the Conference Centre and numerous hotels.


On the Web: location-corporative-groupes Contact: 418 523-2227 ext. 222

de la


360° panorama at an elevation of 221 metres! The Observatory can hold up to 250 people, but easily converts into a more intimate space for smaller groups.


de la civilisation

On the Web: Contact: 418 643-3117

On the Web: Contact : 418 692-2475

Lavish architecture with a view of the Estèbe House and its inner courtyard, as well as Quebec City’s Old Port on Dalhousie Street.

Palais Montcalm

On the Web: Contact: 418 643-2158

Chapel of Française

Many superb rooms are available in this site that was built in 1932 and completely redone in 2007. Located in the heart of Youville Square.



de l’Amérique

This one-of-a-kind former chapel is now used for concerts, conferences, meetings and banquets (banquets of up to 200). A magnificent setting with incredible acoustics.

On the Web: autres Contact: 418 641-6220 poste 2606

On the Web: Contact: 418 643-2158

Le Parlementaire

Domaine Cataraqui

Located in the inner courtyard of the Parlement Hotel, the Parlementaire Restaurant offers a magnificent Beaux-Arts setting.

Renovated and reopened in October 2010. Great view of the river. This will be a hot spot

On the Web: Contact: 418 644-5113

Musée national Québec

des beaux-arts du

Close to nature and the city, in the centre of Battlefield Park (banquets of up to 350 / 1,000 for receptions). On the Web: Contact: 418 646-9661 | November 2010 | ThePLANNER 11

Stay within the industry:

Christmas Gift Ideas

By Michel Geoffroy, CMM

I recently stayed at the Marriott Yorkville Hotel on Bloor Street in Toronto which I recommend.


t’s an excellent smaller hotel: 6 floors with 258 rooms and 13 meeting rooms for a total of 13,000sq. ft. of meeting space. What I really like is the great location at half the price of its neighbours just a few blocks away. Maybe not quite the same level of service as the Four Seasons and Park Hyatt (not mentioning names) but still excellent. If your group is smaller and you want a hotel to yourselves, than this hotel is for you. It’s always better to be the big fish in a small pond. In this case you would receive 100% of the attention. Another nice feature is the plug and play panel, found in all rooms. It allows you to hook up your MP3, video and computer and then enjoy all on the 32’’ LCD HDTV. It also means that twenty-somethings can have a split screen in order to watch TV and use their computers at the same time. The rooms are very spacious. I have no problem recommending this hotel and would certainly stay there again. All that to say that the room contained the ShopMarriott catalogue. Some of those products would make excellent Christmas gifts – you can also 12

find their catalogue on line at Another hotel which I stayed at recently was the 220 room Toronto Radisson Harbourfront Admiral Hotel. A stay at this hotel would certainly make an appreciated gift for a top employee who has been working long and hard for the past year. I enjoyed a room overlooking Lake Ontario. The r o o m was very pleasant and was furnished with a cozy corner fireplace, a telescope and a good work area complete with complimentary high-speed internet access. It would be a great spot to unwind. For the record, we (The Planner) paid for the above rooms – they weren’t freebies. When we travel at The Planner, we always try to reserve a room close to where we will be working/meeting the next day. This gives us the opportunity to try a variety of hotels and provide useful information to you, our readers (see page 4). Another interesting gift in Toronto, is A2D2 Cirque classes, from Aerial hoop and Acrobatic to their full out Bootcamp. For further information, contact cirquecentre@

PLANNER | November 2010 |


Sudoku Sudoku is simple enough that anyone can play, yet difficult enough that anyone can improve at it. Each Sudoku puzzle has a unique solution that can be reached logically without guessing. Fill in the grid so that every row, column and 3x3 square contains the digits 1 through 9. LEVEL: EASY

Solution, page 17


Solution, page 17

Some Sudoku resources on the Web: • • • •


Virtual Conversations That Influence Conference Call Best Practices

your department for servicing your customers to save them time.”

Are you guilty of muting your phone during a conference call as you catch up on email or other tasks? During the first five minutes of a conference call the majority of your audience will be distracted by other tasks if you don’t get them engaged. prepares them for what is to come. • Prior to distributing the agenda, ask everyone to notify you of a topic they want to discuss. Include their topics on the agenda, and allocate the time accordingly. • If multiple or ongoing calls with the same group are needed, rotate the role of the facilitator and note taker. This allows everyone an opportunity to take ownership of the calls.

Follow these best practices to influence action during your conference calls: • Stand when you deliver a conference call. You have more energy when you stand, which will be heard through your voice. • Prior to the call, ask a participant you feel comfortable with to ask specific questions during the call. This will encourage interaction by others.

By Stacey Hanke

• At the beginning of the call, explain the purpose of the call, your expectations, your role, the participants’ roles and what needs to be accomplished. Explain to participants: “To make this call efficient and to respect your time, we’ll need your participation. I want to make sure everyone is clear on their individual action steps moving forward. Therefore, I’ll be asking questions throughout the call for everyone to answer.” • State at the beginning of the call your process for asking questions.

• Start and end on time. When you go beyond the scheduled time frame, you communicate to participants that their time is not valuable.

• Follow the agenda and keep the conversation “on topic.” If the conversation goes off topic, ask the group if they want to make note of the topic for future conversations or if they want to discuss the topic now.

• Always have an agenda and distribute the agenda at least 24 hours prior to the call. Even if participants glance at the agenda before the call, it mentally

• The more specific the action step the more likely action will take place. For example; “By the end of the week each of you will identify three strategies within

• Avoid talking “at” them for more than 10 minutes at a time by mixing in questions and creating opportunities for group discussion. If you use handouts during your conference calls, follow the following steps: • Verify that all participants have a copy of the handout. If some don’t, be prepared to send them a copy via email immediately. • Continue to set your standards for the success of the call by saying, “You may be tempted to page through the handout rather than follow along as I explain the take-away from each page. To give you a clear understanding of how we came up with these results I recommend you follow along as I move through the handout.” You need to do whatever you can to keep the majority of your audience with you. • Frequently check in with your audience. Remind them what page you are on, ask them if they are still with you, and ask if they need additional information based on the handouts take-away. • Take your time. PAUSE immediately after moving onto a new page, concept or idea. • Rather than reading from the handout, give your audience a moment to read what’s on the page. Then, you can explain the take-away from each page or ask them to describe the take-away. • ALWAYS ask for feedback if you want to improve. Stacey Hanke is an executive consultant, author, coach and speaker with 1st Impression Consulting, Inc. in Chicago, Ill. E-mail her at: or call (773) 209-5970 | November 2010 | ThePLANNER 13

n e g o t i at i n g

The Not So Simple Handshake



When does the party that cares the least stand to gain the most?

Here is what Leatitia Baldrige has to say

At the negotiating table. More specifically, there is no stronger position at the negotiating table than indifference. The power to be able to walk away without negative consequence.


eatitia Baldrige was the social secretary to the White House and chief of staff for Mrs. John F. Kennedy. She is the author of twenty books, including Leatitia Baldrige’s New Manners for New Times. The handshake is usually the first physical contact adults have with one another, so for your own sake, make it good. The other person will form several opinions of you during this process, such as whether you are warm; an affirmative, take-charge kind of person; a half-hearted, snobby person; or a wimpy, cold, hesitant, untrusting person. A successful handshake depends upon when, where and how you execute it.

This is not to say that a walk-away strategy is best in every circumstance or in the long run. Nobody wants to win a battle but lose the war. One can gain the upper hand in many individual negotiations, but if in the process, you alienate potential business partners, you lose something far more important.

A good handshake entails body language. If you are the initiator, step forward, extend your right hand and smile while looking the other person directly in the eyes. If you are meeting someone for the first time, add your voice: say your name distinctly.

Win-win negotiating aims to satisfy both (or all) parties in a negotiation by employing meta-strategies: What is the level of thinking that will give everyone what they want? Are the needs of the parties truly at odds with each other? Do the individual parties really know what is most important to them? Are they holding on to the things that are truly to their benefit, and willing to let go of

Make sure your handshake is firm, not a limp-fish grip, but also not a killer crusher. Be sure not to have any remnants of the miniature pizzas, little hot dogs, or blue-cheese dip on your fingers. And if your palms are eternally sweaty, take a quick, unobtrusive swipe on the seat of your pants or your skirt to momentarily dry off.


Tips from the Top Here’s what real estate developer and author Donald Trump has to say about the art of negotiating. 1. 2.


Know exactly what you want, and focus on that. View any conflict as an opportunity. This will expand your mind as well as your horizons.





Know that your negotiating partner/partners may well have exactly the same goals as you do. Do not underestimate them. Patience is an enormous virtue and needs to be cultivated for successful negotiations on any level. Realize that quiet persistence can go a long way. Being stubborn is often an attribute. The key is to know when to loosen up. Remain optimistic at all times. Practice

PLANNER | November 2010 |



8. 9.


positive thinking. This will keep you focused while weeding out negative and detrimental people. Let your guard down, but only on purpose. Watch how your negotiating partners respond. Be open to change, it’s another word for innovation. Trust your instincts, even after you’ve honed your skills. They’re there for a reason (see page 5).


How much debt do you carry? Compare with other Canadians who responded to a Globe and Mail survey.


per cent of the readers said they carried no credit-card debt.

• $100 to $500: 4 per cent • $500 to $1,000: 5 per cent • $1,000 to $5,000: 12 per cent • $5,000 to $10,000: 3 per cent • $10,000 or more: 6 per cent When asked how many credit cards they had in their wallet: • 0: 1 per cent • 1: 33 per cent • 2: 38 per cent • 3: 28 per cent When women were asked if they had credit-card debt, 64 per cent said no. When men were asked if they had creditcard debt, 72 per cent said no. When asked the biggest balance they had carried forward on which interest was paid?


Less than $1,000: 1,316, 67 per cent More than $1,000: 170, 9 per cent When asked if they always paid their credit card balance in full: • • • • • • • • • • •

18-24: 75 per cent 25-29: 70 per cent 30-34: 69 per cent 35-39: 73 per cent 40-44: 79 per cent 45-49: 70 per cent 50-54: 82 per cent 55-59: 87 per cent 60-64: 89 per cent 65-69: 85 per cent 70-74: 94 per cent

The survey was based on the responses of almost 2,000 readers on globeandmail. com.

Creating a successful meeting, event or reward program isn’t simple. That’s why Cineplex Entertainment’s versatile corporate programs are the ultimate solution:

• Meetings, Events and Rentals • Corporate Products • Corporate Screenings

To get away from the everyday contact us at or call 1-800-313-4461

® Cineplex Entertainment LP or used under license | November 2010 | ThePLANNER 15


Flu Season Reminder


One of the most important things that you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands frequently says Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.


Fake Nails at the office? Here’s what Bahar Niramwalla of the Globe and Mail had to say If they’re subtly and correctly applied and no one can tell the difference, why not? Just keep in mind that you’re in a place of business, so you’ve got to keep it professional and neat. In other words, stay away from cat-lady claws painted bright orange and diamond embellishments that spell out your boyfriend’s name. Opt for shorter lengths and soft, nude shades or try out a trendy navy blue or hunter green, which are huge this fall. Incidentally, the same standard of subtleness and taste applies to hair extensions.


y washing your hands, you eliminate germs that you have picked up from other people, animals, or contaminated surfaces. The important thing to remember is that, in addition to colds, some pretty serious diseases – like hepatitis A or meningitis – may be prevented if people make a habit of washing their hands frequently. Here’s how: 1. Wet you hands and apply soap. 2. Rub your hands together vigorously to make a lather and scrub all surfaces (including between your fingers and under your fingernails), continue to rub your


hands together for 20 seconds. 3. Rinse and dry your hands. If possible, use your paper tower to turn off the faucet. It is especially important to wash your hands: • Before, during, and after you prepare food • Before you eat • After you use the bathroom • When you or someone in your home is sick And lastly encourage those around you to do the same.

PLANNER | November 2010 |


Paper is a TimeSaver Domtar, the Montreal-based company has several arguments for using paper. Among them: Reading on paper is up to 30% faster than reading online; And nearly 60% of senior executives prefer print information over the electronic version. “There are times when no substitute for paper will suffice,” Domtar chief executive John Williams stated recently.

QUIZ QUESTION OF THE MONTH In order to be protected by Canada’s Copyright Act, a published work must include the copyright symbol (©), publication year, author’s name and the statement “All rights reserved”.

TRUE OR FALSE? ANSWER : FALSE. The Copyright Act protects any original work as soon as it is “fixed in any material form” (tables, computer programs, literary works, etc.) To benefit from that protection, the work does not have to be registered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office or even display the copyright symbol. For any questions regarding copyrights, please contact: Companies/organizations located in Quebec: Copibec, the Quebec copyright licensing agency at Companies/organizations located in Canada (outside Quebec): Access Copyright, the Canada copyright licensing agency at /


EVENTS December 1, 2010 - Halifax Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Atlantic Canada Chapter. Education Session & Holiday Social. Maximizing Your Facebook Exposure to Increase Business. The Halifax Club. December 1, 2010 - Toronto Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE). Trillium Chapter. 2010 Holiday Event: Dancing with the Stars 70s Style. Delta Chelsea Hotel. Toronto. December 1, 2010 - Montreal Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE). Networking Reception. W Montreal.

December 2, 2010 - Toronto Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Toronto Chapter. December Holiday Gala and Annual Fundraiser. Toronto Congress Centre. December 2, 2010 - Winnipeg Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Manitoba Chapter. Holiday Celebration. Fort Garry Hotel Spa & Conference Centre, Winnipeg. December 7, 2010 - Edmonton Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE). Edmonton Chapter. Christmas Luncheon. December 9, 2010 - Ottawa Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Ottawa Chapter. Festive Luncheon. Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm. Metcalfe, Ont.





December 15, 2010 - Toronto Site Canada. Holiday Social. Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto. | November 2010 | ThePLANNER 17

social responsibility

Can business grow trees?

 The Planner has

already planted three

at our front door with more planned for our roof !


n an effort to offset the heat generated by concrete expanses, the city of Montreal is calling on corporations to plant a tree…or several. Bushes, too. The aim is to raise the island’s green coverage from 20 to 25 per cent and in the process benefit everyone’s health. In particular, they’re looking to businesses surrounded by massive expanses of cement which can raise temperatures 5 to 10 degrees Celsius above the regional average. Trees act as natural filters and air conditioners. “In the last five years, the city of Montreal has planted 45,000 trees on public land,”

said Alan DeSousa, city executive committee member, “but the green capital of the city can’t grow without the contribution of the private sector.” The city will offer businesses technical support and supply contacts to a service that will help plant trees for $250 to $400 each, and provide follow-up care. Businesses are also free to plant independently. For more information on how you can participate, go to

Hey planners, why not turn this into a teambuilding exercise!


Helping to save the Polar Bears, one toque at a time


Since November 4th you can purchase a Canada Goose merino wool toque, designed exclusively for Holt Renfrew, of which a portion of the proceeds from the sale will support Polar Bears International, a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of the polar bear. Each toque is $50. and available in Holt Renfrew stores.

PLANNER | November 2010 |


50 $


budget idea

Great food and savings…

By Michel Geoffroy, CMM

at Montreal’s popular BYOB Restaurants If you’re looking for a great spot to entertain a group for dinner or hold a Christmas party for under 50 people, most Montreal BYOB (bring-your-own-bottle) restaurants are just the ticket. And what’s best is you can bring your own wine. Planner certification goes to each of the following restaurants I tried. For further details, please refer to her guide. Bitoque is a Portuguese restaurant on Notre-Dame St West near the Atwater market. (514) 303-6402. The other two restaurants I tried were both French and also exceptional.


ver the summer, I tried three of these restaurants from Joanna Fox’s guide, “Montreal’s Best BYOB Restaurants 20092010”. Her guide features 60 restaurants, including French, Italian, Greek, Portuguese, to mention only a few of the different cultural restaurants represented.

One is called Bistro L’entrepont at 4622 Hotel de Ville, (514) 845-1369. And the last Les infidels on Rachel St E. (514) 528-8555. So save some money without skimping on quality and as we say in Montreal: “Bonne Appetit’’.


Air Canada unveils second-bag fee

Air Canada will be imposing a $20 one-way fee on consumers who check a second bag on domestic flights, matching a move by rival WestJet Airlines Ltd. The new Air Canada charge will apply to flights on or after Jan. 19.

n e w s

charge in place on second bags checked in for transborder routes into the United States. Air Canada said it will now be aligning its luggage policy with “prevailing industry practices,” noting its new $20 one-way fee will also apply to flights to the Caribbean, Costa Rica and Mexico.

Recently, WestJet announced its own $20 oneway fee on second checked bags across its network. Air Canada already has a $30 one-way | November 2010 | ThePLANNER 19


The need for speed: an insider’s report Following up on last month’s timesaver tips…

Here’s what Howard Stephen Berg, the world’s fastest reader, principal of and author of numerous books has to say on the subject of SpeedReading. your reading speed by making your eyes view text more visually. Hand motions also help overcome several habits that can slow down reading speed-habits like visual regression or repeating interesting information. Visual regression occurs when the eyes continually go back to read words or phrases that have already been completed. It might sound like this in your brain when visual regression is acting out: The… The dog… The dog ate… The dog ate a bone. Interesting information is pleasurable, and your brain desires pleasure. If something you read was funny, or interesting, it is tempting to read it again to re-experience the pleasure.


he average individual reads only about 200 words per minute. When you read a book, you brain converts the word-pictures into sound bites as a “little man” in the back of your head pronounces each word aloud. Reading is the only activity in which you use your eyes to hear, rather than see, information. We need a technique to make reading a more visual experience. Using hand motions can quickly increase 20

Unfortunately, this is done at the expense of your reading speed. Visual regression and the temptation to repeatedly read the same information - can quickly be overcome by strategic use of the hands during reading. In an orchestra, the conductor uses his baton to coordinate all the musicians. While speed-reading, your hands perform the role of the conductor’s baton. They move your eyes rapidly across the page. Here are a few simple steps to begin increasing your reading speed by using hand motions:

PLANNER | November 2010 |



Place your fingers at the start of the line, and quickly move them toward the right margin.


Ensure that your hand moves completely across the page from margin to margin. There are three possible ways to coordinate your eye-hand action:

1. Your hand can lead your eyes across

the line of text by moving in front of your focus.

2. Your hand can guide your eyes across

the line of the text by staying behind your focal point.

3. Your hand can underline text with your eyes focusing directly above your hand.

Experiment to find the position that feels best for you. Once you can control your eye movements using your hand, you are ready to begin dramatically increasing your reading speed. Here’s a simple 4-minute exercise:

1. Set a clock to beep after each minute 2. Read for 1 minute at your peak comprehension rate.


Read at double your comprehension rate for 1 minute. You will not be able to comprehend text during this minute, but you will be making your brain work harder so it can read faster during the fourth minute.

4. Read a triple your comprehension

rate for 1 minute. Again, you will not be able to comprehend text during this minute.

5. Read at your peak comprehension rate. Amazingly, you will be reading faster-and with comprehension!


Leisure Education: Learning The Economics of Fun Leisure education as a term is new. It is to learn while having fun or while being entertained. Leisure implies a state of relaxation which makes our mind and body most susceptible to absorb and retain the topic being taught. The way in which each one of us learns most effectively is as unique as our finger prints, and the vast majority of us prefer to be entertained while

By Amato De Civita

Children educators have known this for a long time.


n fact, Sesame Street, a pioneer of the modern educational television standard, combined both education and entertainment. As author Malcolm Gladwell has stated, «Sesame Street was built around a single, breakthrough insight: that if you can hold the attention of children, you can educate them». Sesame Street was the first children’s show that structured each episode and made «small but critical adjustments to each segment to capture children’s attention long enough to teach them something.” What followed was a myriad of children’s television shows in the 70’s built on what was termed as “edutainment”: a form of entertainment designed to educate as well as to amuse. Much later, the Discovery Channel also became known for its programs that follow the same methodology, such as Mythbusters and other developed primarily for an adult audience. It can be argued, in fact, that “edutainment” has existed for millennia in the form of fables that promoted social change while entertaining us. Is there a difference between learning casually and learning professionally? Of course there is, and the major difference is in the way the knowledge is applied or expected to be applied.

in a relaxed state of mind when

Leisure Education for casual learning

learning a new skill. Quite simply,

First, leisure education for casual learning resides mainly in games and board games and in the way we use them to learn while having fun. The most popular games for adults have been those that educate us about a hobby or a new desirable life skill. Witness the surging popularity of such board games as Music Notes Empire, a unique teaching aid,

people learn best and easiest when they’re having fun.

designed by a piano teacher with an international musical background, it helps people learn musical notation in a fun and interactive method. The ever popular game of Life, introduced in 1960 and updated in 1992, is one of the most loved games and is played all over the world in twenty different languages. The game of Life is also used in schools to reinforce life lessons, and to practice math, economics and investing. Another example is the popular board game that Time magazine called “the biggest phenomenon in game history”: Trivial Pursuit. First conceived in December 1979 by Canadian journalists and editors Scott Abbott and Chris Haney, the game’s popularity peaked in 1984 and the rights to the game were licensed shortly thereafter to Parker Brothers, now part of Hasbro. As of 2004, more than 88 million games had been sold in 26 countries and 17 languages, making it one of the most popular games ever invented. A more current example of a proven education method turned “game board” is wine aroma kits. An increasingly popular version recently launched was reinvented to appeal to wine hobbyists and aspiring wine connoisseurs who wish to enhance their wine appreciation skills by learning to recognize and identify the most common aromas found in wine. The elegant kit is designed to be shared with friends and provides a fun learning premise to enhance not only our knowledge of wine but also of our most neglected sense: the sense of smell. Wine Awakenings, the Canadian company behind these exclusive products, also teamed up with a renowned North American business consultancy company to offer a truly unique product: a series of executive seminartype events which cleverly and strategically combine business lessons with wine tasting lessons (and other fun and leisure activities) continued: p.22 | November 2010 | ThePLANNER 21


continued from: p.21 to educate, refresh and inspire its clients. This is a true example of leisure education for professional learning. The most astute corporate event planners are quickly adopting this principle. They subtly, yet smartly, sprinkle their client’s events with leisure education of the most alluring and contemporary topics of personal interest : the demystification of fine wine appreciation, the exploration of the culinary arts, and even the navigation of the trendy social media universe…all very personally appealing to their affluent “boomer saturated” audiences.

Our inherent craving for such activity could be traced back deep within our psyche. According to Bill Bradley and other scholars on the topic of learning while playing, “… everyone loves to play, and since toys are typically the first thing a child comes in contact with, they are the tools we use to manifest our pleasure and stimulate our learning receptors.” Think of your favourite hobby or past time. How difficult was it to learn? More importantly, how long did it take you to learn it? And, how much fun was that…?

Leisure Education for professional learning

Now hold that thought (and that smile)

Leisure education for professional learning, in the way that it is intended here, means combining a leisure activity with a professional lesson, either business related or of a more technical nature. This is a very tricky task. It is not simply delivering a business lesson while being at a leisure (or fun) venue. Leisure must be the vehicle and the means for teaching, not just to provide the physical premise. A dry lesson in “principles of finance” is just as dry if the lecturer were standing in the middle of Disney World instead of the school auditorium. For leisure and education to mingle and truly create the dynamic forces referred to here as “leisure education” the learning task (the education) must be incorporated and conveyed within the very same context and medium as the leisure activity it is being combined with.

In the business world, leisure education is quite simply learning a new skill while having that much fun. If learning that new skill is done in parallel with a fun leisure activity, then our level of absorption and retention is exponentially increased (and we keep that smile throughout). The most complex topics are best absorbed and assimilated when they are communicated in relevant parallel with the most pleasant and sensory based learnings and personal discoveries.


Can we compare learning to adjust your golf putting technique to learning to adjust your business communication style, so as to yield better and more predictable results? In both cases, a question of discipline, self awareness and “cause and effect”.

PLANNER | November 2010 |


Dare we compare learning how to perfectly sear and garnish that roast to give it a nice deep brown flavorful color to learning how to prepare and plan for that all important sales call? Both are a lesson on setting the premise for a planned and controlled outcome. And finally, can the careful artful analysis of tasting a fine wine… detecting the subtle aromas and savouring the rich velvety texture of a deep ruby Amarone be experienced and learned in parallel with resolving a specific business challenge…let’s say to sharpen your skills at interviewing and choosing the right candidate for that key position. Both are an art and a science containing a very similar approach and methodology based on sensory awareness. After all this, can the long awaited leisure society be far behind…? Amato De Civita is senior partner with Journey To Excellence, an industry-leading business consultancy firm based in Toronto Canada. After an illustrious career as a senior marketing executive of a multinational corporation, he has now developed the much sought-after expertise in the emerging field of leisure education and new consumerism. Contact: Products Referenced: boardgame/2952/trivial-pursuit#moreinfo

November 2010  
November 2010  

Canada, Winter Wonderland