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Negotiation Edition



Deciding objectives and avoiding the pitfalls of RFPs BY JYL ASHTON CUNNINGHAM


ost planners go through the RFP (Request for Proposal) process with hotels several times a year and many are seasoned experts in the process. This article is intended as a validation as to why RFPs are used and to better understand the objectives and potential pitfalls of negotiating with hotels, sometimes several years in advance. In an effort to provide continuity in the negotiation process, site inspections and hotel contracts will be addressed in future issues of The Planner. Unless you are intimately knowledgeable about the city you are planning on visiting, why not save considerable time and effort by forwarding the RFP to the local convention and/or tourism bureau. They in turn will distribute the information to all the hotels within a pre-determined geographical radius and will collect all the responses on your behalf. This is particularly important when the RFPs are monitored or even judged by company procurement departments, as working through the CVB potentially avoids favouritism towards the planner from any hotel.

Ethics come first First and foremost, when embarking on an hotel RFP, be ethical in your selection. Don’t go through the process if there is an existing relationship with a particular hotel chain that will override your recommendations. That just wastes everyone’s time. Similar ethics apply when conducting a site inspection of several hotels.

Since usually only one will get the business, try spreading yourself as thin as possible by dividing offers of complimentary accommodation, meals, etc. as fairly as possible between all the properties. Again, the CVB can help you determine your agenda. Some companies prefer to pay in full for a site visit in order to remain completely unbiased in their decision making. When reporting back to the client or employer on the suitability of a property, state the facts and make tactical recommendations. It is important to remain neutral and offer your expertise without putting down any hotel in particular. You never know when that same property will fulfill your every requirement for future events, so always keep an open mind. Be clear and concise about your objectives and on the criteria on which the RFP will be judged. For example, outline bottom line items, such as cost of accommodation, cost of meeting room rental and the ability to stay within budget on food and beverage. As well though, meeting room size, location, accessibility, room upgrades, and proximity to exhibition halls or nightlife should all be considered in the RFP. Give an accurate and honest demographic of the group you are planning to bring to the property. Remember that just as you are vetting the hotel, they in turn like to attract business that they can most suitably accommodate, and appreciate knowing in advance of any potential controversies, special needs or security measures that need to be taken into consideration.


Halifax to host the Canada Games


Halifax will host the Canada Games in 2011. The city of 380,000 beat out other Nova Scotian cities Antigonish and Truro as the winner chosen by the Canada Games Council. The Canada Games are held every two years and alternate between summer and winter. The provincial government and the city of Halifax announced recently they were scrapping their bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games amid increasing criticism over the growing projected cost of staging the event.

Going to the dogs? With most airlines having problems serving their human customers properly, this item may strike you as curious. Continental Airlines, which claims to be the best in services for travelling pets, recently unveiled the first-ever airport lounge (a.k.a. kennel) in the U.S. for animals en route. The 102-square-metre air conditioned facility at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas features round-the-clock grooming, exercise and housekeeping services for pets waiting for connecting flights. Arf!

Cuba carry-on for cash Going to Havana but don’t want to pay full fare? Give Antillas Express of Montreal a call. The company offers clients a rebate if they take a suitcase past Cuban Customs. Canadian Press reported recently that the company says it is simply acting as a middleman for ex-patriate Cubans wishing to send hard-to-find everyday items to Cuba and that the practice is completely legal. On the Web:

Daylight saving time computer alert Remember how stressed out everybody was just before Y2K when we all wondered if our computers would keep working? Well, March 11 might go down as as another potential pullyour-hair-out day. A daylight saving time (DST) law passed two years ago means the U.S. springs ahead three weeks earlier, and the move may leave some older machines in the dark. The American federal law that established “daylight time” does not require any area to observe daylight saving time. But if a state chooses to observe DST, it must follow the starting and ending dates set by the law. From 1986 to 2006 this has been the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October, but starting in 2007, it will be observed from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November, adding about a month to daylight saving time.

Literary living and tours with experts How would you like to tour Paris to get a better understanding about Les Miserables? Horizons Literary Sojourns offers trips and discussions to places that inspired great literature. Also, Context: Paris and its sister companies in Rome, Florence and Naples offer tours by architects, historians and archeologists to explore the cities where they operate in unique ways. On the Web:



Accuracy is a key to getting proper feedback CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

the omitted questions in order to get them to the next stage. If the information continues to be unavailable, be prepared to omit the hotel from your selection process. For accommodation rates, some hotels show current tariffs with a clause giving an option for a five percent room rate increase per year to the time of the event. Calculate the final rate yourself and put that figure into the matrix. If you have never visited the property, check their Web site for floor plans to easily ascertain whether proposed meeting rooms meet or exceed requirements. If accessibility questions have not been addressed, follow up in advance of the site inspection. Once the matrix is completed (the time used to do this is truly time well spent), present the results to whoever needs to be involved in the selection process and contact the CVB to organize a site inspection of the hotels you choose to move forward with. It is hoped the above information provides a concise and fair insight to hotel RFP’s. Your comments are always welcome and we would appreciate hearing of additional advice that may be offered to our readers.

Explain the objectives of the meeting or conference clearly, with an overview of all the required event space in the introduction. When detailing the accommodation and meeting block requirements, it is helpful to the hotel to have as detailed a history of the event as possible, showing room block and eventual pick up as line items. This (a) validates the RFP and (b) gives planner and venue valuable tools to negotiate with. For meeting rooms, always request by square footage (asking for at least 30 percent more than you may need to allow for AV and a possible increase in numbers) and clearly define minimum ceiling height, no pillars or other site obstructions and accessibility. Ask for meeting room names to be included in the RFP. Define whether the rooms need to be on a 24-hour hold, as this information is invaluable to the hotel when deciding how much to charge for the space. If the room can be sold between meetings to another group, the cost will go down. Be as accurate as possible when defining food and beverage requirements as they are a huge part of the hotel’s calculations on room rental, attrition and profit margin calculation. Clearly define budget parameters for each meal function and even ask whether the type of food service offered (buffet versus plated) has a bearing on the end cost. Consider enquiring about the hotel’s corporate responsibility and sustainability policies in the RFP, something that is becoming increasingly topical in major cities and property chains. A brief Yes or No Survey to the hotel, of recycling practices, use of disposable products, type of laundry service and the fuel used for heating and air conditioning would be useful factors for consideration. Ask for all complimentary and incentive amenities up front and be realistic in your expectations. One complimentary room for every 40 paid is excellent – one in 50 when booked two or more years ahead is quite fair. Not all costs will be covered by the meeting hosts, therefore it is advisable to ask for costs of Internet services, parking and anything else that may impact on the cost to the delegate. Any savings to them could be used in the marketing of the event and would demonstrate that you have delegate interests in mind. Once the RFP has been responded to and all the reviews are carried out, a “weeding out” process may be necessary. Although the task may seem a little overwhelming at first, it is always easier than it seems. First, prepare a matrix of the initial RFP questions and the qualifying hotels. Put all the costs in the first few columns, followed by availability and suitability of accommodation and meeting rooms. Wherever there are blank spaces, the property has not addressed the question, perhaps because it was overlooked. If the hotel meets requirements in every other way, give them the benefit of the doubt and ask them specifically to respond to


Jyl Ashton Cunningham, CMP is an Associate Editor of the Planner and owner of JAAC Events in Oakville, Ontario. E-mail her at: Jyl would love your feedback on any of her articles.



We live it Why has The Planner been so popular, becoming the #1 planner publication in Canada in less than five years? The short answer is because we are giving planners information they can use. And there is a good reason for this: Our writers are planners themselves or people who have been working within the industry for years. Take our Associate Editor Jyl Ashton Cunningham, for example. She was in Montreal recently doing a sight inspection. Or our colleague Camille Lay who was planning a small corporate event. I was an emcee at a recent gala and our longtime contributor Mike Auctor was out working for a client as usual, and so on … In short, we walk the talk. To that end, we also listen when you talk, as you’ll see on pages 6 and 8 where we feature some of your favourite venues with a view. So you see, we live what you live and have the same needs as you. So when we write about it or get others in the industry to write about it we have something that is impossible to fake – credibility. That’s why colour pages in our publication has never been the most important issue for us, although you will see more and more of them in the coming months because some advertisers have requested it. We’re much more than a coffee table magazine. Our primary goal has always been to give you information you can use. We always like to say, “We don’t sell the sizzle, we sell the steak.” We supply information you can use. So if you have information that other planners can use, please pass it along. We’re always eager to hear from you.


IN THIS ISSUE Venues with a view


Loyal readers of The Planner share some of their favourite venues with a view, with several locales that might surprise you.

Promptly put

Advice for planners

2105 rue de la Montagne, suite 100 • Montreal, Quebec • H3G 1Z8 Telephone: (514) 849-6841 ext. 333 • Fax: (514) 284-2282 WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS: Editor and Publisher: Leo Gervais – Associate Editor: Camille Lay – Associate Editor: Jyl Ashton Cunningham – Graphic Artist: Matt Riopel Sales: James Paulson –, Circulation: Julie Boisvert, Tania Joanis, Patricia Lemus Contributors: Mike Auctor, Vanessa Baudry, Anne Biarritz, Sandy Biback, Jim Clemmer, Peter de Jager, Barry Siskind, Louise Villemaire, Harriet Wezena

The Planner is a monthly publication distributed to professional meeting and event planners across Canada The Planner uses 30% recycled post-consumer paper Poste-publication No. 40934013


Futurist and planner oracle Peter de Jager explains how to negotiate to get the speaker that is right for your event.

Planner survey


In this month’s survey we look at blogs, and whether or not planners find them compelling enough to read or write themselves.

Book review


Negotiating is a necessary skill in the shark-infested waters of today’s business world. Learn how to swim and survive with a classic book on the subject.

Airport lounges Concept and design by:


Speaking in public can be a nerve-wracking experience. But using a teleprompter can help even the shiest of speakers.


How would you like to be treated first class even before you get on a plane? Airport lounges are the way to go and they can be affordable.

Growing others


A true leader doesn’t have the most followers but creates the most leaders, according to trainer and leadership expert Jim Clemmer.

Winnipeg is for planners


You probably know it for the Guess Who and the windy corner of Portage and Main, but Winnipeg has lots to offer planners.

Creating an exhibit budget So you’re an exhibit manager and need to keep your project on track? It all starts with the budget says columnist Barry Siskind.


Winnipeg Makes Sense! “I was especially proud to hold our CUPE National Convention at the Winnipeg Convention Centre in my hometown of Winnipeg. I would like to thank everyone at the Winnipeg Convention Centre for helping us achieve a very successful National Convention” Paul Moist CUPE National President

“Winnipeg is a wonderful city to host a conference and the Convention Centre is an excellent venue to hold a meeting.” Sandra Wood, Annual Meeting Manager Canadian Medical Association/ Association Médicale Canadienne

Visit us at or call toll free 1-800-565-7776





A planner who loves Quebec City

Industry News

Here is what one of our readers had to say about Quebec City... “My favourite city to hold our annual dealer show is Quebec City. It’s an amazing city that combines old world charm with new world facilities. The warmth and beauty of the walled portion of the city is unparallel anywhere else in North America. The culinary delights found in many restaurants are wonderful and the visitor is faced with a plethora of choices that leave the palate begging for more. More importantly, however, the meeting facilities are very impressive. The facilities found in many of the city’s fine hotels are some of the best in North America. In particular, I’m very impressed with what the Hilton has to offer. Their attention to detail and their overall quality combined with warm, friendly and very accommodating service are first class. This is also true for many other properties. I believe that they have perhaps the best convention centre in North America. It may not be the biggest but whatever it offers is top notch. This is true of their food service facilities that prepare some of the finest fare in the city but also to the overall attention paid to the client. Their staff takes great pride in taking care of their clients and this is reflected in their manners and friendly attitude. In conclusion, I would not hesitate in recommending Quebec City to anyone. Hitachi has been there five times over the years with our Annual Dealer Show. It’s a favourite of our dealers and many extend their stay and we will definitely go back in the future.” Joe Ragonese Marketing Communications Manager Hitachi

Mexico’s international tourism revenues reach a record high The effects of Hurricane Wilma are apparently abating as Mexico roared to a record-high in tourism revenues in 2006 and provided a trade surplus. According to Mexico’s Tourism Secretariat (Sectur), Mexico received 21.35 million international visitors in 2006, a 2.6 percent dip from 2005. However, international tourism arrivals for 2006 were above figures posted the year before in all but two months. Thanks to several marketing initiatives, including targetted campaigns to attract affluent travelers, the revenue generated by these tourists reached a record high of US $12.18 billion, a 3.1 percent increase over 2005’s revenue of US 11.8 billion. In 2004, international traveler revenue was US $10.84 billion. International visitors (excluding border tourists) to Mexico spent an average of US $710 per person per visit in 2006, a 4.7 percent increase from the US $678 per person they spent per visit in 2005. The record high tourism revenues helped enable the Mexican tourism industry’s trade balance post an impressive US $4.07 billion surplus in 2006. Approximately 1.95 million people were employed in the tourism sector by the end of 2006, a huge increase from the 1.83 million people employed by the end of 2005. On the Web:



Using technology to play Sudoku

Sudoku The object of the game: Fill each square with a number from 1 to 9 so that every number appears only once in each row, column and cell.



s you have probably learned if you play Sudoku regularly, you’ll want to work on these puzzles whenever you have a few spare minutes. To that end, consider the array of high-tech gadgets that offer the puzzles, including the the Treo 700p and the Apple iPod. With the Treo, you can compete online with other sudokuers with their version of the game from Real Dice Inc., which makes Sudoku a social interaction. But putting in tentative answers isn’t as easy as with a paper and pencil, the most common way most sudokuers try to solve puzzles. The iPod has colourful background graphics for its game EA Sudoku from Electronic Arts Inc. which can be found on the iTunes store. It salutes the Japanese origin of the game by playing Asian music in the background and offering scenes from the Far East. The iPod’s trackwheel is perhaps not the best thing for inputting the numbers on the 81-box grid for Sudoku, but it’s a small price to pay if you’re an iPoding sudokuer. Obviously, learning any technology takes time, so that is a slight drawback – learning how sudoku works with these new gadgets. On the Web: On the Web:


Solution, page 24.


Solution, page 24.




Industry news New York taxis get a facelift The experience of a yellow taxi ride in New York City is something everyone should get to try. And now, you’ll be able to do it with new features in the cabs, including TVs. The city Taxi & Limousine Commission recently showed off the next generation of New York cabs with a touchscreen device that lets passengers check news and weather reports, look up restaurant reviews and track their cab’s progress on an electronic map. The tracking feature will also be used to help people find items they accidentally leave behind. Riders will call a city information line and say where they were dropped off and what was lost and the taxi commission will use that info to try and find the cab. Other features include a credit card reader, a major change from the largely cash-only system. Best of all, passengers will be able to turn it all off if they want to and enjoy a silent trip. The new features have been in the works since a 2004 fare increase. Drivers can choose from four different models. The taxi commission flirted with televisions in taxis in 2003, but the 515 touch-screens were yanked within months. Some passengers bemoaned the inescapable flickering of screens that could be muted but not turned off.

REFLECT UPON your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. Charles Dickens

“Good tips, quick to read, useful publication not full of useless ads and junk, very

Planners see us. Don’t you need them to see you? To advertise, call (514) 849-6841 ext. 328

practical, nice format.” “Out of all the literature and magazines I receive, I always take the time to read The Planner.”



Web sites of

D ATEBOOK Upcoming Events


Striking out on your own Ever wanted to change jobs but not go to another corporate culture? Well, maybe it’s time to strike out on your own. Many meeting planners operate as independent contractors, and this Web site is full of great tips and articles about being your own boss.

March 18-20 Meeting Professionals International, Professional Education Conference-Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark. Contact: (972) 702-3000,

Create E-mail campaigns the easy way Are you interested in creating a dynamic advertising campaign but think it’s too much work? A reader suggested this Web site, which can help you put together an effective E-mail campaign from scratch. Worth a look.

March 25-28 Association of Collegiate Conference and Events Director-International, Annual Conference, Renaissance Harborplace Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland. Contact: (877) 502-2233,

A resource for meetings Ever wonder why you are in a meeting? Or is the meeting even necessary? Here is a Web site that features dozens of relevant articles about meetings and what they entail. A real resource for an important facet of business.

April 17-19 IMEX, Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings & Events), Messe Frankfurt, Germany. Contact: (011) 44-1273-227311, April 19-22 International Association of Conference Centers, Annual Conference, The Heldrich, New Brunswick, NJ. Contact: (314) 993-8575, July 28-31 Meeting Professionals International, World Education Congress, Montreal, Quebec. Contact: (972) 702-3000,

Britannica forever Gone are the days when everyone had a set of Encyclopedia Britannicas in their home, thanks to the Internet. So EB did the smart thing – they joined the Web too. Now free, you can enjoy this famous resource while waiting for your next E-mail, and browse alphabetically or by subject through thousands of well-written articles.



Have an event? E-mail us at

Do you have a Web site you want to share with other planners? Email us at For more great Web sites, check out



Teleprompters to the rescue BY LEO GERVAIS


teleprompter is a device that scrolls text vertically on a screen, to provide cues for television, meetings and concerts so that the talent can read it from left to right without losing eye contact with the viewer. It is a display device that prompts the person speaking with an electronic visual text of a speech or script. Using a teleprompter is similar to using cue cards. The view screens should be at a height where it’s as though you’re looking at the audience. Read from both screens so you can address both sides of the room. Spelling out words phonetically helps those who are not speaking their mother tongue. Teleprompters are sometimes used in concerts, to assist performers who have trouble remembering the words to songs. The teleprompter may be of the kind used in speeches, or may just be a monitor set into the stage floor. Notable singers who have regularly used teleprompters during concerts include Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses, Elton John, Ozzy Osbourne and Bernard Sumner of New Order. Jess Oppenheimer, producer of TV’s I Love Lucy, rightfully claims credit for the original concept of the teleprompter and was awarded the U.S. patent for its creation. It was originally used so that comedienne Lucille Ball could read commercials on-camera, it soon became a staple for television news.

3. When the content delivery is ‘mission critical’: sales figures that can have an impact on a company’s future, for example. 4. When the presenter does not want to be preoccupied with the content of their presentation and prefers to concentrate on the delivery, body language and constant eye contact with the audience. 5. When the organizers of a meeting need to time presentations very precisely, and control the output of ad-libbers. 6. When the stage presentation is very elaborate and every element needs to be perfectly on cue. We have barely touched the surface of what the teleprompter can do in the previous few paragraphs. Anybody interested would benefit from trying this technology out and most people who use it once have a hard time getting by without it. Free seminars will be offered in 2007 on technological aspects of stage presentations – besides descriptions and demonstrations of the teleprompter, an advanced electronic audience response system will be featured. If you have questions about the subject of this article, contact Tandem House at (514) 849-2011, ext. 307. •••

When to use a teleprompter When should you consider the use of a teleprompting system? The occasions are numerous. Here is a list, provided by teleprompter specialist Matt Riopel of Tandem House: 1. When a presenter is overly nervous, or did not have enough time to practice their speech, and wants to appear as professional and in control as possible. 2. When the presenter needs to deliver technical information that is easy to stumble on.



Proverbs to live by

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving

If the rich could hire other people to die for them, the poor could make a wonderful living.

Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.

The wise man, even when he holds his tongue, says more than the fool when he speaks. Ask about your neighbors, then buy the house.

The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax. Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.

What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t invent with your mouth.

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

A hero is someone who can keep his mouth shut when he is right.

Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.

One old friend is better than two new ones.

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.

One of life’s greatest mysteries is how the boy who wasn’t good enough to marry your daughter can be the father of the smartest grandchild in the world. Old friends, like old wines, don’t lose their flavour. A wise man hears one word and understands two. You can’t control the wind, but you can adjust your sails. •••

The wisdom of Albert Einstein Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

It’s not than I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people. Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility. Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy. Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18.


Puntastic A man rushed into a busy doctor's office and shouted, “Doctor! I think I'm shrinking!” The doctor calmly responded, “Now, settle down. You’ll just have to be a little patient.” A marine biologist developed a race of genetically engineered dolphins that could live forever if they were fed a steady diet of seagulls. One day his supply of the birds ran out. So he had to go out and trap some more. On the way back, he spied two lions asleep on the road. Afraid to wake them, he gingerly stepped over them. Immediately, he was arrested and charged with transporting gulls across sedate lions for immortal porpoises. There were three Indian squaws. One slept on a deer skin, one slept on an elk skin and the third slept on a hippopotamus skin. All three became pregnant and the first two each had a baby boy. The one who slept on the hippopotamus skin had twin boys. This goes to prove that the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides. A famous Viking explorer returned home from a voyage and found his name missing from the town register. His wife insisted on complaining to the local civic official who apologized profusely by saying, “I must have taken Leif off my census.” •••


Advice for meeting planners BY PETER DE JAGER

4) Within reason, extract everything you can from your professional speakers. a. Are they willing to meet with your breakout session speakers the night before and offer some speaking hints and tips from the expert? b. Are they willing to do an executive breakfast/dinner session with key members? Board members? Student members? c. While they’re with you, could you get them to give an additional presentation for the local board of trade? d. Will they do media interviews before the conference? e. Will they provide a follow-up article for your newsletter? Web site? f. Will they contribute books and materials for draws? g. Will they do a book signing at one of the vendor booths?

1) Decide who you want to speak for your conference based on the value of their message and their ability to enthral your audience, not on their reported ‘fee’. Once you’ve decided who you want as your keynoters, then negotiate with them. Negotiation Lesson 101: Make at least one counter-offer to anything that anyone proposes. Negotiation Lesson 102: If what they are asking is way above your budget, then come clean…tell them your budget. Don’t be ashamed of it, just let them know it. Your budget will NOT insult them. Remember, fees are not cast in stone (regardless of what anyone says), they aren’t ‘rules’ they’re more like ‘guidelines’. Believe it or not, speakers value more than money, but remember ‘exposure’ is not always a selling point. People can die from exposure. 2) Stick to the schedule. You’ve paid the speaker mega-bucks to speak for you for an allotted time. If you want them to do the best possible job for you, give them the time you promised them. Professional speakers will never make your job more difficult than it already is: They will never speak past their allotted time. Please, please, please do the same for them. Protect the time you gave them, to do their best for you they need that time. (Although they’ll do their best with whatever time you actually give them.) 3) Hand out speaker evaluation forms, read them and pay attention to what they have to tell you. Feedback is gold, never miss the opportunity to bend down and pick it up.


Not all of the above will be possible, not all of it will be for free, but a speaker who wants to create a long term relationship with your association will be more than willing to do one or two or three of the above. It costs nothing to ask. 5) Even though I speak for a living… here’s a dark secret. Speakers do not make your meeting a success; they merely add an experience for your people to discuss. Make sure you include enough networking time in your conference. Running from speaker to speaker is not a conference, it’s a marathon. 6) Google is your friend. When anyone gives you client references they offer you the names of clients who are certain to provide good feedback; this is not a secret, it’s obvious. So… get onto the Internet, Google the speaker. Speak to some folks they haven’t provided as references. 7) And finally? If a speaker has done a great job for you, write them a knock-your-socks off letter of thanks/reference, and spread the word to your peers on how they helped make your meeting a success. ••• Written by Peter de Jager a speaker/writer/consultant on Change Management – you can read more of his work and contact him at – reprinted by ASAE with his permission.



his month’s Planner survey reveals that most planners are not big fans of blogs, either writing or reading them. Blogs have become an Internet phenomena, in theory a way for the common man (woman) to espouse their views in a free, untethered fashion. In reality, blogs tend to be more rant than revelation, with information often going unchecked or verified by anyone but the writer. This leads to the question of credibility, and our readers appear to agree that blogs, for the most part, are basically blah-blah.

Do you read blogs? 10% said YES 90% said NO

Do you write blogs? 2% said YES 98% said NO






ne can make the argument that everything in life is a negotiation. But how do you get what you want without causing friction with your negotiating partners? Getting to Yes, a classic in the literature of dispute resolution, offers many examples of successful negotiating and a comprehensive list of things to do and avoid. First published in 1981, it has aged well.

Highlights The book is about negotiation on merits. The aim is to reach a smart agreement, defined as meeting the legitimate interests of all parties to the extent possible, resolving conflicting interests fairly and ensuring the agreement lasts and takes shared interests in account. The factors of principled negotiation include: PEOPLE: separating people from the issues/problems. INTERESTS: focus on them, particularly mutual interests and not on “positions.” A principled negotiator probes interests, raises questions. The question, then, is “what are your interests in this deal?” and “Why do you suppose that is a fair proposal?” PLANNING: a skilled negotiator will gather, organize, and weigh all information carefully relating to a negotiation. CRITERIA: prior to reaching an agreement, the parties should agree to using objective criteria to measure an agreement. These include market value, precedent and so forth. OPTIONS: generate a variety of options to reach an agreement. Visualize what a successful outcome would be prior to negotiation, then generate several options to satisfy everyone's interests to obtain the goal.


A great point in the book is what to do when you feel attacked. The answer? Control yourself, let the other side vent, then remain silent. Do not embarrass them, do not retaliate. Tough to do, but ultimately very effective. Finding shared interests is the key. Acknowledging the other side’s interests as a part of the whole system of negotiation is also essential.

Know your BATNA One must know her/his BATNA well – the Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement. The better your BATNA is, the more power you have. Your BATNA should be your measure against any proposal made by the other side. If your BATNA is better, then you obviously reject the proposal. This is book is a worthwhile primer on negotiating and I recommend it.


By Roger Fisher and William Ury Book: Getting to Yes Author: Roger Fisher and William Ury Publisher: Penguin, 1981 ISBN: 0140157352 Price: $17.10 on

Airport lounges are worth a look BY JYL ASHTON CUNNINGHAM Many corporations include airport lounge membership in their employee incentive packages, the idea being that if the environment is receptive to someone being able to work efficiently, everyone ultimately benefits. Credit card companies and banks also offer lounge memberships to cardholders, either at an additional or complimentary charge with the higher fee platinum cards. British company Priority Pass has, for the last 15 years, been revolutionizing airport lounge membership. For a very reasonable fee of upwards of US $99, access can be gained to over 500 lounges worldwide. EasyJet, also of the UK, offers one-time entry to their lounges from only CAN $25, with free alcoholic beverages, snacks, business centre and reading material. There are a few catches to airport lounge membership, although none of them designed to trip you up and cost you a bundle. Dress code remains business casual, so no summer shorts, soccer attire or baseball caps (I could say something here about excluding a significant percentage of North American travellers, but that would be wrong). There is often also a limit of three to four hours on each lounge stay, so if your flight is delayed for longer than that, you could potentially be back out with the rest of the travellers just as tempers are starting to fray a little. Priority Pass offers different levels of membership pricing, with the cheapest offering a limited number of lounge visits annually. As the price increases, so does the number of visits per annum.


he idea of an airport lounge could be considered something of an enigma. Almost anyone who has experienced the secret thrill of being upgraded to Business or First Class service enjoys a visit to the luxurious private “Club” as one of the added perks. Whenever I have been in an airport lounge it has either been with someone else or through being upgraded, and although each time it is a little less of a novelty, there is no denying that sitting in a comfortable seat with a nice cup of coffee or a tasty martini beats the main departure lounges hands down. The oldest airport club in the United States, The Admirals Club, was founded in 1939 by American Airlines and it first appeared at LaGuardia Airport in New York City. It still has a reputation as the grandfather of the lounge experience, although the emphasis tends to be more on the business traveller nowadays, with wireless Internet, computer ports, printers, etc., all designed to keep a travelling executive busy. These offices away from home have become almost essential for executives on the move, as the waiting time at an airport has almost doubled in the last decade, due to heightened security measures and increased delays for various reasons. There are also many lounges which cater to the leisure traveller also, with Wellness packages including gym equipment, soothing massages, manicures and facials. For those travelling with small children, play areas (designed to wear them out for a nice long sleep when in flight, perhaps?) have become very popular for the entire family, with some very clever marketing designed to cater to the executive who occasionally brings a spouse and children along for a mini work-break. Other lounges move in completely the opposite direction and cater to those who still enjoy a real smoke before eight hours chewing nicotine gum. Swissair in Zurich’s International airport apparently has an amazing cigar bar, where cognacs and Cuban cigars are consumed with relish (at duty free prices, of course).

Do your research first Not all lounges are created equal, and it is wise to research the ones you plan to visit before committing to a membership. Some are everything you dreamed of while others may be under-equipped, under-staffed and over-crowded. Also, there is no guarantee that your membership covers lounges in all airport terminals, or that they are accessible to passengers in transit, where waiting time between flights would be exactly when they would be needed most.

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A small price to pay In Toronto for example, membership with one lounge “Club” is only available in Terminal 3, however is not accessible by people clearing customs there to the United States. Assuming all the research has been done and if a group is in your charge, is there a better way is there to enhance a transcontinental journey than by adding an airport lounge membership to the budget? For a round trip, $45 US each way seems like a small price to pay for added relaxation in a more luxurious environment and the delegate would be eligible for a few more lounge visits during the year, potentially without paying anything extra. I put an enquiry in to Priority Pass to find out whether group membership was a possibility, and have not heard back yet. If any Planner reader has information on temporary group membership to airport lounges, please contact us at with your experience. We will share the information with our readers in a future issue. For a frequent flyer who simply has to be connected to the office as often as possible or a harried mom who wants to be pampered while the kids are supervised, or for someone who simply wants to relax with CNN without the expense of flying Business Class, a Priority Pass membership just might be the answer – we sent off for ours yesterday. Now, where shall we go next? ••• Jyl Ashton Cunningham, CMP is an Associate Editor of the Planner and owner of JAAC Events in Oakville, Ontario. E-mail her at: Jyl would love your feedback on any of her articles.

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December - January book poll Sponsored by Tandem House The question : What good books have you read recently?

Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands by Terri Morrison “Great for business leaders when traveling abroad.” Lynda Lamey of Honeywell

Our winner of a $50 gift certificate at Chapters/Indigo is Krystyna Roberts of Lombard Canada Inc. who recommended the following books:

Naked in the boardroom by Robin Wolaner “This book is a must read for any woman starting their career in the business world!” Shannon Arnold of Maitre’D

The Other Boleyn Sister by Philippa Gregory “What a great read! Depicts life of royalty wonderfully, and keeps the reader solidly entertained by the scheming and conning Boleyns.”

Fall on Your Knees by Anne-Marie MacDonald “Excellent book written by a Canadian author – extremely well written, very poignant and disturbing.” Andrea Wrin of Stanley Morgan

The Aztecs by Gary Jennings “A mesmerizing journey of a man’s life during the Mayan civilization when it reigned in Mexico, and then conquered by the Spanish. Eye opening and very entertaining.”

Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs “Loved the premise, loved the main characters, but the story is too short.” Rachel Berryman of Leviton Canada

Here are some of the other books that were suggested, due to limited space not all the books recommended are mentioned, but thank you to all our reader who took the time to give us suggestions and good reading to all.

A little side note here: A Indigo Books recent survey of 3000 readers found that women prefer romance novels and men do not. Big surprise! The survey also found men also prefer books written by men. Here are a few Chick Lit suggestions we received... The Devil wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger “The book makes you appreciate your job and your boss, even when they seem impossible.” Four Blondes, by the same author as the popular show Sex in the City, Candace Bushnell “Sexy, funny, tragic and shallow a real treat for grownups.”

The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve “Enjoyed good story – well written.” Francine Goodyear of NSK Canada Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood “It’s a futuristic look at cloning and how it changes people’s way of life, thinking and general approach to everything. Very believable and frightening.” Cynthia Shipley of The Toronto Zoo Speaking of Margaret Atwood, did you know that she and Graeme Gibson, according to the Globe and Mail, are trying to save from extinction a bird that lives thousands of miles from Canada. The two have agreed to lead a campaign to save the national bird of Grenada – a dove now found only in Grenada. The birds live in a sanctuary which is now the proposed site of a massive resort to be managed by Toronto’s Four Seasons chain. On the Web:



Growing others BY JIM CLEMMER

“A true

master is not the one with the most students, but one who creates the most Masters. A true leader is not the one with the most followers, but one who creates the most leaders.” — Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue I was doing fairly well in grades one to three – especially in reading. Then I hit a terrible teacher in grade four. She made school so unhappy and unappealing she almost caused me to drop out — of course I would have waited another few years to make it official. However, in grades five and six I came under the nurturing Mrs. Westman. I vividly remember her saying after I’d read a composition to the class; “someday I won’t be surprised to see your name on a book.” Her encouraging words simmered in my subconscious for years and helped me to see new possibilities for myself. Twenty years later, my first book, The VIP Strategy: Leadership Skills for Exceptional Performance, was published. It was a real pleasure to present her with one of the very first copies — inscribed with a warm thank you message. Her family and the local paper ensured that she got the recognition she so richly deserved. Most people see others as they are, a leader sees them as they could be. Leaders like Mrs. Westman see beyond the current problems and limitations to help others see their own possibilities. It’s a key part of our own growth and development. We continue to grow when we help others grow and develop. That’s the second half of the two part growing and developing circle. The first part is our own growth and development. We can’t develop others if our own growth is stunted. The two parts of the growing and developing circle depend upon and support each other. We develop ourselves while we’re developing others. By developing others, we develop ourselves further. This allows us to develop others still


further — the growth circle spirals ever upward. The reverse is also true. By failing to develop myself and others, my growth and development circle spins downward. The art of developing others is the art of assisting their self-discovery. The 15th century Italian physicist and astronomer, Galileo put it this way: “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself.” This leads us to the developing-without-teaching paradox. The ancient Chinese philosopher, LaoTzu, described it like this; “Superior leaders get things done with very little motion. They impart instruction not through many words, but through a few deeds. They keep informed about everything but interfere hardly at all. They are catalysts, and though things would not get done as well if they weren’t there, when they succeed they take no credit. And because they take no credit, credit never leaves them.” Growing and developing others is one of management’s key responsibilities. The traditional view of management is getting work done through people, but strong leaders develop people through work. As managers, team leaders, or team members, we can’t be much help in developing others if we don’t really know where they’re trying to go. Once we understand that, we can work to align their development goals with those of the team or organization. They don’t always match, but generally it’s not too difficult to bring them together. A similar approach applies to our parental leadership role with teenagers. The deepest love we can show our sons and daughters is to help them discover their unique purpose and uncover their special talents. That can be especially tough if it doesn’t match the dreams we may have for them. Our leadership task is to help them be all that they can be, not what we would like to be if we were in their place. Jim Clemmer is an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, workshop/retreat leader and management team developer on leadership, change, customer focus, culture, teams and personal growth. His Web site is


Hotel News

SPEAKING INGLÉS? Marriott International recently announced plans to provide an English training program to its Spanish-speaking employees in the United States, beginning Feb. 15. The program’s core curriculum is Sed de Saber (thirst for knowledge), and consists of workbooks and audio presentations designed specifically for adult Hispanic workers in the hospitality industry. It re-creates situations that students might encounter in the workplace. Marketed by retention Education of Newport Beach, Calif., Sed de Saber has been deployed by companies such as Wyndham Hotels, Chili’s and Del Taco. Marriott will make the course available to its more than 2,300 hotels in the United States, all with the aim to improving customer service. On the Web:

WEB BOOKINGS ARE A BOON FOR INTERCONTINENTAL The Internet delivered US $2 billion worth of room revenue in 2006 for Inter Continental Hotels Group (IHG), 86 percent of which was from Web sites. The proportion of total room revenue was 16 percent, up from 14 percent in 2005. Its site is the most visited hotel site in the industry, with 75 million site visits per annum, according to the company. IHG is the largest hotel chain by room number – it owns, leases manages or franchises more than 556,000 rooms. On the Web:

THIS JAILHOUSE ROCKS – AS A HOTEL It might be named for the opposite of confinement, but Boston’s Liberty Hotel has a storied past as the former Charles Street Jail on Cambridge Street. Built in 1851, the old granite jailhouse was an imposing structure that seemed right out of a Dickens novel and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 300-room Liberty Hotel will be operated by MTM Management LLC of Seattle. The renovation project, which is preserving much of the former jailhouse, is about US $120 million. On the Web:

TO SURF OR TO CALL… THAT IS THE QUESTION Many hotels guarantee a better price than you’ll find on the Internet through an online travel agency like Expedia or Travelocity. The Hilton, Marriott and Starwood chains will all offer rate guarantees on rooms, so if you find a lower price on the Net, they’ll provide a gift check or a discount. Another disincentive to book online is some chains have stopped offering loyalty programs to guest who reserve and receive discounts online. To fight back, Expedia and Travelocity have begun offering price guarantees of their own and focussing on discount packages combining flights, hotels and rental cars.


Le Groupe Germain has chosen downtown Calgary as the site of its first development in Western Canada – a hotel, office tower and residences development. In addition, the company will open one of its signature boutique-hotels at Maple Leaf Square in Toronto. The first project, Le Germain Calgary, will feature 42 luxury condominium units above two separate buildings for the 150room boutique hotel and office tower. The three components will join in a bridge formation creating an open breezeway in the centre. The boutique hotel, the sixth Canadian hotel for Le Groupe Germain, will have particular appeal for business travelers and those who are drawn to the blend of luxury, simplicity and exemplary service. In addition to innovative architecture and luxurious interior design, Le Germain Calgary will showcase the works of Canadian artists. Le Groupe Germain has made a commitment to invest $500,000 to acquire Canadian art for the development. In Toronto, the Hôtel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square will be the company’s second boutique-hotel in Toronto. Located adjacent to Air Canada Centre, one of the busiest entertainment venues in the world, Maple Leaf Square is a $450 million privatelyfunded sports and entertainment development. It supports Toronto’s city building initiative, revitalization of the railroad lands, and complements the waterfront development. Offering an inviting atmosphere and exceptional service all contributing to a unique experience for guests, the eight-storey boutique hotel will have 171 guest rooms, 5,000 square feet of meeting space, 8,000 square feet of fitness facilities and a 2,000 square foot hotel café. Maple Leaf Square received the “2006 Community of the Year Award” from the Greater Toronto Home Builders Association. Both projects are slated to be completed in 2009. On the Web:


Fairmont Hotels and Resorts will be marking its centennial with several of its iconic hotels hosting “Open Doors” tours. Each month, one hotel will host historical, behind-the-scenes guided tours for guests and members of the public. In 1907, the landmark Fairmont San Francisco opened and one of the world’s leading luxury hotel brands was born. A sample tour may find you meeting your guide and group in a grand lobby, visiting famous ballrooms where greats like Ella Fitzgerald held court, listening to tales of resident ghosts and exploring the hotel’s busy kitchen. Some of the hotels who will partake on the “Open Doors” tour are the Fairmont Royal York, Ottawa’s Fairmont Chateau Laurier, The Fairmont Banff Springs and London’s Savoy. On the Web:


Loews Hotels is jumping on the no trans-fat bandwagon: By June 1, 2007, the company-wide initiative to phase out artificial trans-fats from all 18 properties in the United States and Canada is targetted to be complete. Chefs began a phasing out of trans-fats from their recipes on February 1, starting with frying oil and French fries. Next will be salad dressings, frozen foods and pastry items. The decision came soon after New York City announced it will ban all transfats from restaurants. On the Web: 22


Hotel News EIGHTH HOTEL INDIGO OPENS IN OTTAWA Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) recently opened Hotel Indigo’s first property in Canada, a 106-room hotel just four blocks from Parliament Hill in the business district. It is a converted 1900s building that is owned by Gillin Engineering & Construction Ltd. and managed by Atlific Hotels & Resorts under license with IHG. On the Web:

Area with more than 400 companies headquartered in Markham. The property is completing renovations amounting to more than $2.5 million including newly renovated meeting facilities and pre-function space – all wireless – and will include five boardrooms, ranging from 450 to 625 square feet, two hospitality suites and two 3,000-square-foot ballrooms, both soundproofed and divisible.




DELTA MARKHAM OPEN FOR BUSINESS The 204-room Delta Markham has been rebranded from the Radisson flag. It is a strategic addition for the Greater Toronto






Perfume: A tool in the art of seduction or a health threat? BY VANESSA BAUDRY


or some women, leaving the house without putting on perfume is unthinkable. Perfume is the final touch in our daily beauty regimen – the little extra something that helps a woman stand apart and to leave behind a subtle reminder of her presence. However, although it is generally regarded as a beauty accessory, and even a tool in the art of seduction, perfume can sometimes be disagreeable to others and may even pose a risk to your health.

Beware the dangers of perfume! Perfumes have always been designed to leave a pleasant aroma on the skin, but they can also have very harmful effects. The fashion phenomenon of wearing perfume has led to the increasing use of chemicals in the manufacturing process. The ever-expanding search for new scents and the growing desire for these products among consumers represent a potential danger. Fragrances that penetrate the body through ingestion, inhalation, or cutaneous absorption may produce serious longterm health effects. There are a number of symptoms that characterize these troublesome effects: nausea, dizziness, headaches, skin irritation, allergies, hives, a tingling sensation around the eyes and nose, breathing difficulties, asthma, etc.

Can these dangers be avoided? Some people have called for a no-perfume policy in the workplace so that co-workers will not be affected.


Should such a radical measure be encouraged? Feel free to express your opinion. On the other hand, there is a very simple way to avoid any undesirable effects: know how to choose the right perfume.

A perfume for every woman When it comes to choosing the right perfume, the best advice is to follow your instincts. No special rules apply, but if you want to avoid making a mistake, take the time to choose carefully. First, try out the perfume that you are interested in on a smelling strip, and then test it on a warm part of your body, such as your wrists, in order to allow the perfume to start acting. Wear the perfume for two to three hours before buying it, in order to ensure that the scent doesn’t change and that you don’t develop an allergic reaction. Skin colour is not really an issue; it’s the pH that matters. The perfume must be a good match for your skin. It is also a good idea to switch perfumes from one season to the next, because scents change with the temperature. Finally, when applying perfume early in the day, spray a small amount into the air and move through it, allowing the scent to settle on your skin lightly. By applying your perfume in this manner, you reduce the likelihood of subjecting the people around you to an overpowering aroma first thing in the morning! Take your time when choosing a perfume, not only because it serves to identify you and as a reminder of your presence, but also because it may have a significant impact on your health. Vanessa Baudry is a freelance journalist based in France.


Accepted Practices Exchange: Where is the evolution today? Here are some interesting facts from Mary Power, Convention Industry Council’s President & CEO, CAE: • Over 7,200 Toolboxes are in the industry • Sales have included 13 countries outside of North America • Currently a networkable option is being beta tested which will allow multiple users to track any project at any given time • The ESG is being embraced by hotels for its ability to have everything in the same place and hoteliers are using it in word documentation. They say that it increases efficiencies 50-65 percent • The last report, Meetings & Site Profiles are scheduled to be voted on the end of February • Over 420 industry professionals have worked on APEX in volunteer capacities What’s the future? According to Power, the core work is done. It’s time to move forward. APEX will always be a work in progress and to that end, two committees have been set up: The Educational Advisory Council to continue the upgrading and to incorporate APEX into various certification programs and the Marketing Advisory Council, which will market the ToolBox. Currently, 5,200 people receive the e-newsletter. To subscribe, send an email to: I encourage each of you to take a look at APEX and see if you can use it in your work. Perhaps you have a junior you are training – what better way to give them some information and then let them work their way through an APEX template? It is about evolution – the next generation will embrace APEX. APEX needs to be more aggressive about getting the word out and perhaps once it is a part of North American planners/suppliers work, they can expand the product to include other parts of the world. It doesn’t take away creativity, it adds time so you can be more creative, more strategic in your design concepts. On the Web:

BY SANDY BIBACK According to the APEX Web site, APEX is... “An initiative of the Convention Industry Council that is bringing together all stakeholders in the development and implementation of industry-wide accepted practices to create and enhance efficiencies throughout the meetings, conventions and exhibitions industry. “ The areas of accepted practice are: Terminology History/Post Event Reports Resumes & Work Orders (Event Specifications Guide) Housing & Registration Requests for Proposals (RFPs) Contracts Report Meetings & Site Profiles As a first product, APEX has developed a ToolBox of templates from each panel and many other tools meeting planners can use. This is available for US $99.95 from CIC. OK, so much of the work has been done. Now what? How much is APEX being used in North America? I did a very small poll, asking a couple of listservs. It seems our industry hasn’t overwhelmingly accepted the ToolBox. Many use the Glossary (particularly educators). As one planner put it, “It’s about ready to hit the round file and something I got for $99 bucks can’t possibly have that much value!” On the other hand, Johanna Roach of Knowledge Bridge in Ottawa finds the templates “...easy to use and it is a good reminder to ensure that nothing is missed.” She finds the hotel properties like the detailed reports and the best thing is “ clients like the consistent documentation I can create from these templates”. APEX truly is about evolution. In my teaching, I use APEX as much as possible. My students do assignments related to APEX as well in class projects.

Sandy Biback, CMP CMM, principal, Imagination+Meeting Planners Inc. has over 25 years industry experience. She is a meeting consultant, an educator and has been involved with APEX for 5 years. She was co-chair of the ESG panel and is currently a member of the Glossary review committee. She can be reached via E-mail at:

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Canadian ice wines impress What is icewine and how is it made?

Another issue is the widening price gap, with half-bottle (375ml) prices ranging from $24.95 to $59.95. The average is about $45. The industry would of course like to see prices remain evenly high to help preserve icewine’s image and profit margins, but increasing volumes by some wineries are reducing production costs, and there is a brand shake out underway as consumers gain experience and sort out quality and value.

Dessert wines (usually much sweeter than regular wine) make up only about one percent of the total consumption of wine throughout the world. Icewines makeup up only about ten percent of the rarified dessert wine market, so their overall place in the wine food chain is quite small… but growing. Many encyclopedias only refer to it as eiswein, its German and Austrian name. It is made extremely late in the growing season from white grapes in the coldest growing regions, and produced exclusively from handpicked grapes which have frozen on the vine and are loaded with much sugar and little water. Grapes which reach this desired state are extremely few, harvesting them is excruciatingly labour intensive, and vinification can be tricky. The frozen grapes are pressed in the extreme cold. The water in the juice remains frozen as ice crystals, and only a few drops of sweet concentrated juice is obtained. This juice is then fermented very slowly for several months, stopping naturally. The finished icewine is intensely sweet and flavourful. The balance is achieved by the acidity, which gives a clean, dry finish. The nose of icewine recalls lychee nuts. The wine tastes of tropical fruits, with shadings of peach nectar and mango. Grapes left on the vine until frozen at minus 11 Celsius should have better concentration and better developed flavour complexity, acidity, and sugar levels than grapes picked earlier, then frozen in freezers. The much cheaper cryo-extraction practice (colloquially, Frigidaire icewine) is increasingly common in regions where it doesn’t get cold enough, and in the underground and U-vin markets.


Many varieties abound Also of note is the widening variety of icewines. Canada’s first was a riesling icewine made in B.C. by Walter Hainle in 1973. Ontario jumped aboard with vidal icewines in 1983, then introduced riesling icewines shortly thereafter. Since then gewurztraminer has become fairly prevalent in Ontario, as well as ehrenfelser, ortega, kerner, chenin blanc and pinot blanc in British Columbia. There have even been a few experimental icewines from red grapes, and in 1995 Hillebrand stirred the stylistic pot by adding a barrelaged icewine.

How to serve it There are several ways to enjoy icewine. Here are some serving tips for icewine. • Serve with paté, fresh fruit, young cheeses, or desserts that are not too sweet. Serve 1 1/2 to 2 oz. per glass. •Serve with pear tart or some apple or peach-based sauce desserts. •Chill in an ice bucket for 30 minutes or refrigerate for two hours before serving. Once opened you have 3-5 days to finish the bottle.


Winnipeg is for planners • The Winnipeg Art Gallery has the largest collection of Inuit art in the world.




lanners, take note: If Winnipeg isn’t on your radar it should be because it has a lot to offer you. As Canada’s largest central city, Winnipeg is located in Manitoba and is almost the dead center of North America. With a population of 700,000 it is a vibrant metropolis with 65 percent of all Manitobans living in it. Winnipeg was formerly an important trading spot for native aboriginal tribes due to its location at the Forks, the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers. The natives traded furs, shells, beads and other goods at this spot. In 1738, de la Verendrye became the first European to discover this meeting place, and in 1812 Lord Selkirk convinced 105 Scottish farmers to form the Red River settlement there. Today, more than 100 ethnic groups speaking 80 languages are represented, enhancing the city’s vibrant cultural arts scene.

• Folkorama is North America’s largest multicultural folk festival. The World Tourism Organization voted it the festival that best depicts Canadian culture. The Winnipeg Folk Festival is one of the oldest in the world. In fact, Winnipeg has more than 130 days of festivals – that’s more than a third of they year spent in celebration. • Winnipeg has been jokingly referred to as Winterpeg, mostly due to the famous windy corner of Portage and Main. • Winnipeg has more than 1,100 restaurants – one of the highest number of restaurants per capita in North America. From authentic Ukrainian perogies to Thai cuisine to German pastries to French bistro fare, the city’s diverse range of cultures brings you the world through food. Experience a wide range of multicultural neighbourhoods that reflect the heritage of its inhabitants.

Meeting and Convention facts • During 2006, Destination Winnipeg and its partners were involved in securing 145 future conferences confirmed for meetings and conventions from 2006 to 2012 that collectively total over 46,000 delegates and associated spending estimated at over $40 million.

• Winnipeg is home to the largest community of French Canadians west of the Great Lakes. • Winnipeg’s Union Station was designed by the same architects responsible for New York’s Grand Central Station.


• In 2006, there were a total number of 13 city-wides being held in the city with estimated direct spending of approximately $10,000,000.

• Winnipeg’s Exchange District has been designated as a National Historic Site by the Canadian Government due to its rich collection of turn-of-the-last-century terracotta and stone cut buildings, unrivaled in all of North America. This is the area where Shall We Dance? and The Assassination of the Jesse James were filmed.

• The total hotel meeting space in Winnipeg is 320,223 sq.ft.

• The Winnipeg Convention Centre (WCC) has 160,000 sq.ft of space on three-levels including a state-of-the-art 5,100 sq.ft presentation theatre with movie theatre screen and sound quality. The addition of the permanent service desk will allow the WCC to further build on their award-winning customer service. The Convention Centre was recently awarded the 2007 Reader Choice Award by the Canadian M&C industry publication M&IT.

• Winnipeg produces over 25,000 pounds of gold medalwinning Golden Caviar and sells it worldwide to some of the best restaurants. • The Second World War’s most famous spymaster – William Stephenson, the man called Intrepid – was the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s 007. He was born and raised in Winnipeg.

• Off-site venues account for an additional 188,843 sq.ft.

• There are 6,600 hotel rooms city-wide, 3,000 in the downtown area.

• British Airways voted Oak Hammock Marsh the best Environmental Experience in the world.

Interesting facts about Winnipeg

• Author A.A. Milne named his famous character Winnie the Pooh after Winnipeg, a black bear at the London Zoo. The bear had been brought to London in 1919 during WW I by Lt. Harry Coleburn who had named it for his hometown. Milne’s son Christopher loved the bear which was the inspiration for calling his own teddy bear Winnie.

• In 1970, local band The Guess Who scored a number one international hit with American Woman, and outsold every band in the world that year, including the Beatles and the Doors. Some of the original members still tour under various names.



Creating an exhibit budget BY BARRY SISKIND


ou have a fiscal responsibility as an exhibit manager to allocate your resources properly and report results accurately to management. Without money nothing will happen, so the bottom line for your entire exhibit program depends on having a well-balanced budget. The first step is to look at where your budgets come from. Often, they seem to materialize out of thin air. A number magically appears that is available for show and event marketing or the budget is a derivation of the previous year’s costs. You spent X dollars last time, so this year you ought to be able to spend X plus or minus 10 percent. Today you are at ground zero. It is the beginning of a new era in exhibit management for your organization, a time to wipe the slate clean. A results-oriented, fresh approach is needed. This begins with setting measurable, realistic objectives and asking yourself how much money do you need to accomplish these objectives? Here is a three-step approach.

1. Create your wish list As you develop your budget based on


what you want to achieve take into account all the budget area including: • Exhibit Design and Production, • Transportation • Show services (e.g.: space rental, furnishings, electrical, A/V and cleaning). • Booth staff (e.g.: per diem allowance, travel and training.) • Promotion (e.g.: advertising, marketing and sponsorships) • Hospitality Pretend you have no monetary restrictions. Simply assume that you can have everything you need to accomplish what you have set out to do.

Step 2 – Compare costs Compare your cost/reward numbers with what you have achieved at other shows or through other marketing efforts. How does this compare? At this point you need to add a touch of reality. Lets say you assumed in the first step that you could spend $25,000 what is your reality now? Talk to senior management. Do some research and see what was spent in previous years.

Step 3 – Trim to reality Now that you have your wish list and you know your reality it’s time to trim the budget. Although you likely will not have the resources to do everything you want, developing a budget based on what you


think you need to do the job properly is a good place to start. It forces you to focus on the entire program rather than on one aspect of the plan such as your booth or your promotion. From this you will be able to develop a realistic budget to include resources for all areas of your exhibit. It’s a challenge trying to keep up with escalating costs, new technology, union and show rules, and ever-changing methodologies. The solution is not to create your budget in a vacuum but to get help from suppliers. Have an open dialogue with your suppliers and ask them for price quotes and ballpark estimates based on your objectives. The numbers at this time are “guesstimates,” but having an experienced industry person make educated guesses is likely to be a lot closer to reality than if you try to do it yourself. Asking for help does not necessarily obligate you in any way. Be upfront with your suppliers. Tell them what you are looking for to create a first draft of your budget, and let them know that there might still be a bidding process before a final vendor is selected. By following these three steps and keeping your eye on results and you have taken a huge step towards exhibit success. ••• Reprinted with kind permission from the author. Barry Siskind is North America’s foremost trade and consumer show expert, president of International Training and Management Company, and the author of several books. E-mail him at:

March 2007  

* Deciding objectives and avoiding the pitfalls of RFPs * Venues with a view * Teleprompters to the rescue * Advice for meeting...

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