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Use the untapped potential of your tradeshow network BY BARRY SISKIND rade shows provide some of the best venues when it comes to networking opportunities. This is the one place where everyone in your industry congregates for a few short days and is focused on one thing – business. Over the last few years, we have seen a significant drop in the number of people who attend shows while the quality of attendees has risen. This is important news for an exhibitor or a visitor who wants to meet and greet sometimes-inaccessible industry people. These are the same people for whom you have left countless unanswered telephone and e-mail messages but may be the same people who will ultimately decide on the purchase of your product or service. There will be the movers and shakers – people who have their finger on the pulse of your industry. All you need to do is be prepared. Here are a few tips on preparing your networking activities for your next trade show: 1. Define your objective. Be really clear about what you want to accomplish whether it’s meeting decision makers, product experts, industry gurus, forecasters or people who work for your competitors. Ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish with these people?” If you want to learn more about your industry for example, take this statement a step further and ask, “What specifically?” 2. List it. Make a list of the people you want to meet and the most likely place to meet them. This will include such places as receptions, on the show floor, at participating hotels, during industry events such as meetings, banquets, sporting events or at a lecture. 3. Scheduling. Attempt to reach these people ahead of time to set up a pre-arranged meeting. This is a great idea because the people that you want to meet, just like you, are busy and have full schedules. 4. Develop your questions. Rather than leaving the meeting to chance it’s always better to spend a bit of time preparing a list of questions ahead of time. Questions like the one in Step 1 – “What specifically?” 5. Record information. Bring a notebook to record the information you are gathering. 6. Bring your business cards. Its simply good business etiquette to exchange business cards during a business meeting.

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Having a contact’s card also gives you their vital statistics so you can get in touch with them after the show in case you have additional questions or need some clarification on the information they gave you. 7. Thank you notes. Send them not only after the meeting is over but immediately after the show. It’s good business practice to send an e-mail or letter thanking them for the time they spent with you and the value of their information. 8. Look for opportunities to add information. During your face-to-face meetings, you may stumble across bits of information the person you are meeting with may be looking for. Here is a great chance to give something back to the conversation. But be careful and avoid gossip. Keep the information you are sharing factual and positive. Sometimes we get so focused on setting up an exhibit or planning a trip we neglect the power we can cultivate with a strong network. Put these eight simple steps to work at your next show and reap the rewards that come from adding networking to your show schedule. Barry Siskind is North America’ foremost trade and consumer show expert. Visit his Web site: www.siskindtraining.com or e-mail him at: barry@siskindtraining.com.

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In this market, YOU should be king! s we continue feeling the pinch of the tightening economy and search for better value for our money, suppliers should be giving you more bang for your buck. The reality may be different, however, as many are making serious cuts to weather the economic storm. The worst do it believing these cuts will help them survive, but this is clearly short-term thinking. The best suppliers – those thinking long term and looking to gain market share – will be resisting and actually doing more to safeguard their services and keep customers in this recession. In fact, top performers are treating their best customers better than ever. Some may be cutting back office expenses but are preserving front-line jobs. This recession will accentuate the difference between companies that put customers first and those that sacrifice loyalty for short-term gain. A few key elements will be: • Not to cutback in staffing levels, but instead work to cross-train employees so they can step up to fill a variety of needs. • Make their staff happy by spoiling them more than ever as they will be asked to work harder than ever. • Keeping their customers happy by giving them more service and attention than ever. So, as a planner, if your suppliers aren’t doing the above but instead are cutting look for those who are looking to gain you as a new customer. By offering you more in these difficult times, not less, they will be making you feel important – and that is what it’s all about. Leo Gervais

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There are a myriad of venues for a planner to choose from. Some university campuses are taking notice, and many are offering services and amenities to rival the traditional venues we all know.

11 Third party route >

For some meeting aspects, it can be a nobrainer to bring in a specialist. In particular, a site selection specialist can provide an invaluable service to an overwhelmed planner. Dave Jewell explains the benefits of having an extra person in the planning mix.

16 Conference centres > The

Planner offers a special section this month, looking at conference centres in Canada. We have included several articles and a comprehensive guide to many of these venues across the country to assist you in your search.

29 Sleepless Pt. 2 >

B.C. Planner Kathie Madden got a lot more than she bargained for when she agreed to help out some local high school students with their senior soiree. Enlisting the help of several other professionals, Kathie received much more than her regular fee.

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The Planner is a monthly publication distributed to professional meeting and event planners across Canada. M ANAGING E DITOR

A SSOCIATE E DITORS G RAPHIC A RTIST S ALES C IRCULATION EXECUTIVE

ASSISTANT

C ONTRIBUTORS

Leo Gervais lgervais@theplanner.ca Camille Lay clay@theplanner.ca Jyl Ashton Cunningham jashton@theplanner.ca Matt Riopel James Paulson jpaulson@theplanner.ca Tania Joanis, Patricia Lemus Debbie Barlow Melissa Bell, Cynthia Fell, Dave Jewell, Kathie Madden, Barry Siskind

Poste-publication No. 40934013 Colour printer: Litho Express, (514) 816-3865, www.lithoexpress.ca The Planner is published nine times a year. 2105 de la Montagne, suite 100 Montreal, Quebec H3G 1Z8 Telephone: (514) 849-6841 ext. 315 Fax: (514) 284-2282 Cover: The University of Toronto

The Planner uses 30% recycled post-consumer paper. 6

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Go nuts and feel good about it Dietary fibre will help your heart People who eat lots of fibre tend to live longer and have a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and digestive problems according to a recent Dutch study. The long-term study found that for every additional 10 grams of daily fibre (about 3/4 of a cup of beans or vegetables, there was a 9 percent reduction in overall mortality rates and a 17 percent drop in coronary death rates, regardless of factors like body weight or fat intake. People in their fifties and sixties seemed to benefit more than those in their sixties and seventies.

Taps for Muzak

The eyes have it Getting eye strain from your computer? Here are some tips to limit the problem: • Keep the monitor at arm’s distance, with the top at eye level so that you look slightly down at the screen • Limit glare by positioning your lamp so it does not reflect in the screen, dimming overhead lights and closing blinds. • Enlarge the print size on the screen, as needed. • If you wear glasses, have the prescription checked regularly – you may need special lenses for computer work. • Don’t forget to blink often, as computer work slows blinking and take breaks often • Artificial tears will soothe your eyes. • Take frequent breaks, 10 minutes per hour if possible

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Nuts have made their mark nutritionally in recent years. At 150 calories per ounce, they’re high in calories but also rich in healthy fat, as well as a variety of nutrients, fiber, vitamins (especially E), etc. many beans, nuts and grains are actually seeds. Some, like sesame and poppy, are used as snacks and flavourings while others, like safflower, are grown primarily for their oil. Remember these tips: 1. Try to avoid heavily-salted seeds. 2. Add seeds to cakes, breads and muffins and add them to salads. 3. Toast or roast raw seeds in a little bit of oil. (For more health news, visit www.wellnessletter.com)

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The elevator is going quiet – Muzak Holdings LLC filed for bankruptcy in February. Muzak, the creators of elevator music for the past 75 years, has filed to try to refinance some of its debt, estimated at between US$100 million and $500 million with assets of less than US$50,000. Among its biggest unsecured creditors is U.S. Bank NA, which is owed US$371 million according to a court filing. Other unsecured creditors include: Universal Music Enterprises, owed US$349,000; EMI Capital Records, US$320,000; and AT&T, US$257,000. Secured creditors, such as tax agencies, are paid before unsecured creditors and the list of those secured creditors should be filed soon. On the Web: www.muzak.com

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Planning an event at a university BY JYL ASHTON CUNNINGHAM, CMP nyone who still thinks that university campuses only offer student dorms and catering – where all the food is the same colour – is in for a very pleasant surprise. University event marketing and department operations are steadily taking on a level of professionalism and creativity that will give many hotels and conference centres some serious competition. Formerly the domain of low-budget groups, large corporations are seeing the potential for saving money and keeping all meeting components closely together on campus. When considering holding a meeting or event at a university, remember that availability – especially of accommodations – tends to be limited to four months, between May and August. There are a few exceptions depending on the facility, however it is essential to check before proposing any campus to a client. Another consideration is that university events generally take precedence, so booking several months or even years ahead is not always feasible.

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Some Canadian universities have been around for almost 200 years and have some of the most impressive architecture and grounds, often right in the heart of the city or community on land that is the envy of many a developer. Others have a varied selection of campus sites, situated in the countryside or suburbs. Many convents and seminaries have been taken over by universities, as the once-powerful Catholic Church’s outreach slowly diminishes. In Montréal, Concordia University recently procured the Grey Nuns’s magnificent property in downtown Montreal, which will undoubtedly provide some stunning event spaces in the future. As beautiful old mansions have come onto the market in the vicinity of most downtown campuses, they are regularly snapped up by universities for use as faculty clubs, offices and event spaces. However, as much as the beautiful old buildings offer fabulous backdrops for photo-ops and historically outstanding venues for every occasion, new and exciting building designs also provide state-of-the-art facilities for today’s meeting industry needs.

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Universities provide one-stop shopping CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9 These include auditoriums fitted out with the latest in lighting and sound; art galleries and exhibit halls with climate control and well-equipped catering kitchens as well as technical laboratories, complete with computers and Webcasting facilities, are available at a very competitive rate. The immediate advantage to using a university facility is cost. Olga Chodan, Administrative Officer of McGill’s Faculty of Dentistry explained that in-house services such as audiovisual are readily available and tend to be less expensive than outsourcing. Whenever possible, Olga keeps meetings and events on campus, only outsourcing when the event is too large for the campus properties. Many rooms in universities are also already equipped with proper tables and chairs that don’t require linens, so the room rate can be kept down. Universities are generally easily accessible by public transit, although during the summer months special commuter buses may be taken out of service, so check with the local transit authority. Parking is readily available, however it generally costs the same as the going rate for parking in the area, so it can be pricey. Before planning a university event, visit The Canadian University and College Conference Organizers Association website www.cuccoa.org or www.connectoncampus.ca. The 31-year old association’s site is a veritable gold mine of regularly updated information, with everything from resources to planning tools to help even the most inexperienced planner coordinate a successful meeting. Important information on planning accessible and green meetings demonstrate that the association and its members are constantly evolving to stay competitive and socially responsible in the meetings industry. Each CUCCOA member’s site is linked to the association site with details of venue capacity, number of meeting rooms, event photos and catering contacts. Test e-mails to just a few of the almost 100 association members received almost immediate helpful and informative responses. There are even links to other resources such as meeting planning associations and overseas venues. The association enjoys good relationships with local tourism bureaus that assist in providing information on the local scene. Having an event at a university provides a one-stop shopping experience that makes planning a breeze. Many facilities have their own catering or they can recommend caterers. Since campus life revolves around students for most of the year, there are usually plenty of on-site activities available, such as top of the line sports and fitness facilities, retail stores, pubs and restaurants (McMaster University has an excellent food hall with all kinds of healthy and unusual meals available), open year-round. 10

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The educational facilities in universities are naturally second to none, and perfect for team building exercises. Guelph University’s Kemptville Campus Agroforestry Education Centre near Ottawa, for example, has a maple syrup production farm that delegates can work on, learn all about Canada’s most famous food export and hopefully sample the product. There are resources for all ages, making it an ideal property for events where children are included. University venues can be particularly child-friendly, from pre-school to teen – not just because of the reasonable accommodation rates, but also for the educational opportunities and outdoor activities. Anyone planning an incentive event during the summer would find plenty to do at venues such as University of British Columbia’s several properties. With a vast array of playing fields, indoor recreation centres and two huge swimming pools, one indoor and one outdoors, the kids will be exhausted by bedtime. With such impressive amenities, UBC and similar properties are ideal locations for large multiday sporting events. UBC has some stunning venues for adults too, check out their Signature Venues link on their website and marvel at the beautiful First Nations Longhouse. On the Web: www.ubcconferences.com.

PROVIDE A COMPUTER LAB FOR DELEGATES The University of Lethbridge and the University of Calgary each have climbing walls on site and Trent University has rowing facilities. These are just a few of the examples of activities for all ages found on the CUCCOA website, there are hundreds more. For historical value, consider Queen’s University in Kingston or Bishop’s University in Quebec, where the architecture and beautiful interior designs from the last two centuries are prevalent everywhere. Both campuses offer stunning grounds and historical points of interest are only a short walk away. Some properties offer hotel standard accommodation (Ryerson and McGill to name two) but if the bedrooms seem sparse, cheer them up with a pretty throw (offer as a give-away) or a flowering plant and offer a program that requires minimum time in bedrooms except to sleep. Provide a computer lab for delegates to check e-mail, offer evening movies or pub nights and be outdoors in the fresh air as much as possible. Whatever the reasons for planning an event at a University, one thing is for sure: The possibilities are only limited by the imagination. So visit the CUCCOA website today and look at the many options available for planners in places of higher learning across Canada. ••• Jyl Ashton Cunningham is a meeting and incentive planner and freelance writer based in Oakville, Ontario. Jyl can be reached at: info@jaacevents.com

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Going the third party route will save you time and money BY DAVE JEWELL, CMP he path of the planner from “We have to do a meeting,” to “Whew, the final invoice has been paid!” can be a long and arduous one, cluttered with obstacles, distractions and no shortage of conflicting duties and responsibilities. From negotiating AV prices, to nailing down the best room rental package, few businesspeople can be pulled in multiple directions with a greater need for ever-expanding areas of expertise than a meeting planning professional. Enter The Specialist. For some meeting aspects, it can be a no-brainer to bring in a specialist. A team-building experience with very specific goals and objectives will almost always be best led by a professional from a company with this area of expertise. For that gala event, away from the host hotel, with catered food, entertainment, décor and more, your destination management partner can be worth their weight in gold. And your favorite speaker’s bureau will always be the best direction to go for that keynote address. Less obvious, but often of equal, if not greater importance, can be the site-selection specialist. While not new in our industry, site selection has been a component of destination management and complete meeting management services for decades, but the site selection specialty as an industry in and of itself can really be traced back fewer than 20 years. The most prevalent business model offers the planner the valuable contribution of the specialist while not increasing the planner’s budgeted expenditures, as the site-selection services are performed in exchange for the commission or finder’s fee paid by the hotel to the site-selection professional. As a representative of HelmsBriscoe in the Toronto and Canadian markets for nearly six years, I have had opportunity after opportunity to share the value of what we do with the meeting planning professionals in this region and beyond. The service companies such as ours can offer and will take a monumental weight off the shoulders of the meeting planner whose other responsibilities, in conjunction with the meeting they are charged with organizing, can be formidable.

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From making sure all VIPs have the appropriate room category, to getting the printing of materials done on time, to verifying the arrival of boxes in the right place on the right day, to fitting appropriate room sets into the appropriate spaces, a planner can feel pulled in many directions, and a professionally-managed assist in an area of such gravity as the siteselection component of the meeting can make all the difference in that planner’s successful implementation of their program.

BENEFITS FOR PLANNNERS The reasons why a planner would use a site-selection professional can be myriad. It can be a challenge for the planner to create an RFP for their program and get it into the hands of the various hotels where the program would be a good fit, only to then appropriately evaluate the responses they receive. As a result, often it is the case that fewer hotels are competing for the business, and the best possible package of rates, value and concessions might be missed. The siteselection professional has as their primary responsibility the complete and exhaustive execution of this process, thus putting the planner in the best case scenario of finding the best hotel for the various aspects of their program. Often a planner will be handling a program in a market where they are not accustomed to doing business, either within their own country or abroad in a foreign land with unfamiliar currencies and customs. In this situation, the specialist’s value can truly be appreciated, as many of the larger, global companies in this business have a network of professionals in many countries, where expertise can be harnessed in a timely and efficient manner, giving the planner a comfort level in an unfamiliar market equal to that of the markets in which they are accustomed to doing business. Additionally, the opportunity to convey to the planner that sense of “coming home” to a hotel that they enjoy with the properties they eagerly return to again and again, can be one of the most significant and overlooked byproducts of the siteselection process.

“The most prevalent business model offers the planner the valuable contribution of the specialist while not increasing the planner’s budgeted expenditures.”

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A selection specialist can help

Sudoku

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Sponsored by the Centre Mont-Royal Fill each square with a number from 1 to 9 so that every number appears only once in each row, column and cell.

SOME SUDOKU RESOURCES ON THE WEB: • www.websudoku.com •www.sudoweb.com •www.dailysudoku.com •www.sudokupuzz.com

LEVEL: EASY

Solution, page 31

LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE

Solution, page 31

While the planner may not have the reach to a substantial volume of hotels as they place programs in various markets, their specialist in site selection may enjoy a much broader contact base through the number of programs they place around the globe, and the value of that contact base can be transferred from specialist to end user in a very seamless fashion. The planner then finds they have the feeling of being welcomed back to a hotel where they are a new client, due to the previous experience of their site-selection professional and the company they represent. This can be of exceptional value when the planner has a program that might not immediately get the hotel’s attention (due to space/rooms ratio issues, budgetary constraints, date and timing needs, and various other reasons). That site-selection professional you have employed can make all the difference in getting you into the hotel you want and need to be in, while saving you the premiums often charged in conjunction with such circumstances. Ultimately, the relationships involved in the process can often be the most significant reason a planner uses a siteselection specialist. The specialist often becomes your trusted partner in the planning process, and their knowledge about your programs often allows you to develop a shorthand language in your communications. The ability to utilize your siteselection specialist as a filter for your communications with hotel partners competing for your attention between programs can be reason enough to justify their existence. And the specialists’ ability to keep you abreast of the new and renewed product you should be taking into consideration as you plan your future programs can give you the confidence you are making the best possible for each and every program you place. If you haven’t done so already, please consider a site-selection specialist for your next program. Dave Jewell is the Regional Vice President, Canada East for HelmsBriscoe. He can be reached at djewell@helmsbriscoe.com or (416) 304-0105.

Erratum

In the article “101 Ways To Save” (The Planner, February, 2009) we neglected to mention that some of the ideas offered had been sent to us by Louisa Davis of Prime Strategies in Vancouver, B.C. and should have been credited as such. The Planner regrets the error. Ms. Davis will be presenting a talk on the topic of saving on April 16 in Montreal for National Meetings Industry Day at Le Crystal Hotel, 1100 rue de la Montagne. For more info: www.mpimontreal.com/en 12

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Ed. Note: Following last month’s article by Cynthia Fell on savings in restaurants, we now present some eatery options in Central Canada as Part II of our series on restaurants.

Niagara Falls ELEMENTS ON THE FALLS RESTAURANT For the ultimate Niagara Falls view, bring your guests to the newly-remodeled Elements on the Falls Restaurant. Located on the upper level of Table Rock, this popular landmark is located on the very edge of the Horseshoe Falls. While here, guests can sample the finest VQA wines from the acclaimed Niagara Wine Region. Breathtaking views and delicious seasonal Niagara Cuisine make this the perfect venue for private conference buy out events with a private board room and full A/V services available. Tel: 1-877-642-7275 ext. 2 On the Web: www.niagaraparks.com/dining/elementsonthefalls.php

QUEENSTON HEIGHTS RESTAURANT The Gateway to Niagara Wine Country. Delight in a unique wine and culinary experience that highlights their award-winning VQA wine collection, The Best of Niagara. Your group can enjoy the panoramic view of the Niagara River and the bountiful vineyards stretching beyond to Lake Ontario, from the private dining room, the private Queenston Banquet Room or the intimate covered patio. With more than 20 years experience, their internationally-trained chef uses his extraordinary understanding of freshness, quality and pairing, to develop signature dishes for memorable private dining events. A/V services available. Tel: 1-877-642-7275 ext. 2 On the Web: www.niagaraparks.com/dining/queenstonres.php

EDGEWATERS RESTAURANT The beautiful and historic Queen Victoria Place is home to Niagara Parks' popular Edgewaters Restaurant. A stunning venue for private buy out events, this location has a spectacular panoramic view of both the American and Canadian Horseshoe Falls from the indoor dining room, the covered outdoor terrace or our 3rd level Commissioner’s Quarters. The nightly illumination of the Falls can be experienced here throughout the year, and the terrace offers a perfect seat for watching the Falls Fireworks during the summer months. Customized specialty group menus and full A/V services available. Tel: 1-877-642-7275 ext.2 On the Web: www.niagaraparks.com/dining/queenstonres.php March ’09

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LEGENDS ON THE NIAGARA CLUBHOUSE This grand venue boasts panoramic lakeside views of Legends’ Battlefield course, where your guests can relax over cocktails and a delicious meal prepared by their skilled chefs at this classically styled clubhouse. Enjoy their Lounge Bar, Dining Room, outdoor covered Terrace, or book one of Legends’ spacious boardrooms with full A/V services available. Book a tournament at your choice of two championship courses at Niagara’s only platinum golf complex, which offers all the amenities of a world-class golf destination. Located just ten minutes south of the Falls. Tel: 1-877-642-7275 ext.2 On the Web: www.niagaraparks.com/dining/legendsres.php

THE KEG STEAKHOUSE & BAR The Keg Steakhouse & Bar, located on the 9th floor of the Embassy Suites Hotel Niagara Falls – Fallsview, offers a relaxed, contemporary setting with mouthwatering steaks, a great wine list and many delicious appetizers. Paired with our beautiful two-room suites, fully equipped, spacious meeting rooms and service that is second to none, the Keg Steakhouse & Bar overlooking Niagara Falls is the perfect addition to your next conference. A semi-private area can be reserved for your group for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A variety of set menus, both plated and buffet are available. Tel: 1-800-420-6107. On the Web: www.fallsviewrestaurant.com

Toronto HARD ROCK CAFÉ The Hard Rock Cafe Toronto is located directly across from Dundas Square and The Eaton Centre.Their memorabiliastocked restaurant is suited for all types of events, from Black tie to Black Leather! Their private room “the Lounge “comes equipped with full lighting, sound and stage and all your A/V requirements. The Lounge seats 150 with 350 reception style. The restaurant capacity is very similar in size seats up to 175 with 400 reception style – full “buy out” seated capacity 325 with a 600 person capacity for reception style. Their banquet chef can custom design menus to satisfy diverse pallets as well as restricted budgets. Tel: (416) 362-3636 On the Web: www.hardrock.com/toronto

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SASSAFRAZ

130 WEST EVENT CENTRE Located in the heart of Toronto this event venue provides a modern esthetic with a comforting atmosphere. With the overview of industry professionals experienced in event production and the ability to create cuisine that defies any continental constraints this unique venue allows for a plethora of event types. With the amenities of 5 private rooms with many variances, an in-house A/V system, they are sure to have the right space for you. The Venue does entertain “Buy-outs” any day of the week. Whether you are looking to hold a business conference, or an intimate wedding, our production team is able to deliver a unique and memorable moment. 130 West Event Centre and One Up Private Dining is the venue of choice for anyone who demands perfection. With two floors and five available spaces, we are sure to find the right configuration for your event. Tel: (416) 340-9631 On the Web: www.130west.com

CN TOWER Do you want to experience an engineering wonder of the Modern World and the most spectacular views of Toronto while enjoying one of Canada’s finest culinary experiences? The perfect destination to do all that is Toronto’s CN Tower. The CN Tower combines a variety of breathtaking settings and award-winning cuisine to host over 500 memorable events each year for up to 2,000 people, from receptions, galas and parties to meetings, film screenings and press launches. 360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower is one of Toronto’s finest restaurants with unforgettable food combined with an outstanding revolving view of Toronto more than 1,000 feet below. 360 can host sunrise breakfast meetings, lunches or an elegant sunset event. Planners can book exclusive use of the restaurant for served functions up to 400 or receptions up to 600 guests. Cocktail receptions at the top include awe-inspiring views stretching out to the horizon and beyond for 50 or up to 600 guests. Horizons, the other great restaurant at the CN Tower, can accommodate 300 or 150 seated, is easily divided for privacy and a built in stage and sound system supports a variety of presentation and entertainment options. The ultimate event can combine dinner in 360 with pre and post dinner parties in Horizons. The venue also has a 144-seat cinema plus fully equipped meeting rooms. With all it has to offer, it’s no wonder the CN Tower is so popular. Corporate sales: (416) 601-4718 Toll free: (North America) 1-888-684-3268 On the Web: www.cntower.ca 14

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Sassafraz has a dedicated kitchen, events manager, core service staff, audio visual amenities and barrier-free access. These tools are all geared towards every private event, a key and integral component to their business, a huge success. Guests will experience service and attention to detail equivalent to that of a high-end hotel and group dining which offers on-site and individual selection in an atmosphere that is elegant, warm and welcoming. Sassafraz, located in Yorkville, understands that event planners rely on consistency and flexibility to meet the specific needs and goals of their clients. Sassafraz delivers both. Tel: (416) 964-2222 On the Web: www.sassafraz.ca

Ottawa COURTYARD RESTAURANT Located in a gorgeous, old stone-walled heritage building in downtown Ottawa, the Courtyard offers a warm and charming atmosphere with affordable prices. Private dining rooms are available for groups of 10 to 80 guests for seated functions or up to 200 for cocktail receptions, and all-day meetings and retreats can have up to 40 guests, with AV and Internet access available. Their award-winning chef works with our clients to create memorable menus using local products. Event coordinators are located on site to help with all aspects of planning your next event. Tel: (613) 241-1516 On the Web: www.courtyardrestaurant.com

Kingston KING STREET SIZZLE RESTAURANT & BAR Located at street level in the Four Points by Sheraton in downtown Kingston, King Street Sizzle offers your guests a fantastic dining experience. Experience Sizzle’s funky modern décor, open kitchen and contemporary menu. For smaller groups, reserve one of our two private rooms, featuring large screen plasma and dedicated lighting and music. For larger groups, choose from one of the Four Points many private dining venues including a second floor dining room complete with large outdoor terrace. Sizzle’s team of chefs will delight your palate with the fresh flavours of our signature dishes from pasta to seafood and steak. We offer a wide selection of over 40 international beers, including eight premium drafts. Enjoy a glass of Kingston’s coldest beer from one of our twin ice towers or sample our extensive wine list. Dine al fresco on The Sidewalk (seasonal). Underground parking. Tel: (613) 544-6226 On the Web: www.kingstreetsizzle.com

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Quitting for dollars A new study shows that smokers who earn financial incentives are three times more likely to kick the habit. Of almost 900 smokers employed at General Electric, 15 percent of those given incentives were smoke free after a year, compared with 5 percent of those who weren’t eligible for cash awards. “People are drawn to tangible things. It makes it easier for you to do in the short-term what you know is in your long-term interest,” said the study’s author Kevin Volp of the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. The American Cancer Society, which was not involved in the study, has said that tobacco taxes also provide a strong incentive to quit – research shows each 10 percent increase in the cost of cigarettes reduces the teen smoking rate by 7 percent and the adult rate by 4 percent. Avtec, Montreal’s leading audiovisual company, has for the past 15 years offered employees who gave up cigarettes a $500 incentive, with more than 10 successfully taking up the challenge. “It wasn’t (the only reason) why I quit, but it was an effective reason that helped,” said Matt Riopel, a longtime Avtec employee who quit smoking in 2008. Volp noted that 70 percent of smokers want to quit, but only 3 percent succeed each year. The relatively low quit rates in his study – in spite of incentives – underscore how difficult it is to quit, even with help. According to Statistics Canada, Canadians who are smokers, smoked less in 2007 (the last year for available data). Canadian smokers puff on an average of 12.7 cigarettes per day, down from 13.1 in 2003 and 14.5 in 2001. March ’09

Montréal ARIEL RESTAURANT The concept: Bistro + Gastronomie = Bistronomie. This is the art of good eating (gastronomy) in an energetic, elegant environment (bistro). Ariel offers modern bistro-based on French tradition, with international accents and Montreal style. It is the perfect balance of refinement, creativity and simplicity. Their menu reflects the changing seasons by celebrating the best local products. Available for semi-private or private functions for up to 75 people. Chef’s Tables are also available for guests to experience. Tel: (514) 282-9790 On the Web: www.arielrestaurant.com

GARÇON What we like about Garçon – other than their excellent food (or as they like to say adventurous) and the fact that one of Canada’s top sommeliers (DonJean Léandri) works there – is their openness to creativity. They are always open and coming up with new ideas. Another plus is their great location, with a terrace in summer and an ice bar in winter, right on Sherbrooke Street, next to all the major hotels. A sure hit with foodies! Tel: (514) 843-4000 On the Web: www.restaurantgarcon.com

TROIKA RESTAURANT Take a step back in time and enter into the world of Old Russia. Troika’s intimate dining room is rich in authentic Russian works of art and shines with all the splendor of the Czarist times. Experience all the charm, wonder and elegance of Imperial Russia while feasting on gastronomic delights once prepared by French chefs for Russian nobility. Ideal for group luncheons of up to 40 guests in their dining room or an evening dinner that will not only bring the taste but also the sounds of Old Russia to life with Troika’s own talented musicians in traditional costume. Located in the heart of downtown Montreal, enjoy the spirit of Russia with 15 flavours of the world’s best vodka and a wide selection of fine wines and imported beers. Step back, an enviable meeting of culinary excellence and excitement awaits you. Tel: (514) 849-9333 •••

EUROPEA They call it culinary art at it’s finest, so come discover exquisitely-prepared Quebec food products. From cooking lessons to Chef’s Tables, with a terrace in summer to nine-course meals, this is Montréal eating at it’s best. Located downtown on rue de la Montagne, Montreal’s high-end fashion street. Tel: (514) 398-9229 On the Web: www.europea.ca THE

PLANNER

15


Yes we can: Embracing new trends within the conference centre industry BY MELISSA BELL

ow more than ever, we all have a strong desire to know what the future holds. Where is my career headed? Did I just make the right business decision? And what in the world is happening to the economy? With the launch of the Board Associate role within IACC (International Association of Conference Centres) as Emerging Trends Advisor to the North American Board of Directors in January 2007, the Association sought out to do just that: understand the future – or at least gain an idea of what the future might hold as the next generation steps up. First of all, what exactly is an “Emerging Trends” advisor? Personally, I think that it is a genius idea that needs to be developed and fostered by associations (and even companies) throughout the country. The essence of the role within IACC is to actively involve a member of the incoming generation with the current board of directors in order to: a) represent the perspective of the incoming Generation Y

N

16

THE

(aka the Millennials) on issues that may have an impact on IACC and/or the conference center industry, and b) develop future leaders who have a desire to remain in the industry and have the ability to realize their potential for growth

EMERGING TRENDS The role consists of several layers, the first being within the Emerging Trends committee that consists of eight or so members from the industry throughout North America. As the chair of the committee, it was my responsibility to organize monthly conference calls relating to a variety of topics, which we would discuss and develop as a team. For example, during the Social Networking discussion, the subsequent initiatives were the launch and development of both the IACC Facebook group as well as the IACC LinkedIn group; simple and yet effective ways to bring IACC to the Web 2.0 world – a trend that has rapidly expanded from “new and emerging” to “must have” in less than one year.

PLANNER

*

March ’09


Everyone likes to know what lies ahead In addition to the monthly telephone meetings, I attended five Board of Directors meetings across North America, with the sixth (and final) meeting coming up at the end of March prior to the Annual Conference in Atlanta. During the board meeting this past January, I was able to assist in a brainstorming discussion regarding the IACC 2010 conference, prompting discussion surrounding new ideas that would potentially re-vamp the entire event. The discussion sparked ideas surrounding open-space and other fundamental changes to the future of programming, from pre-and post-conference blogs to embedding more free time options within the event. I look forward to seeing the impact that this input and discussion will have in the years to come. One of the most meaningful and memorable experiences was participating as a panelist during IACC’s first “Town Hall” meeting during the 2008 Annual Conference in Midway, Utah. Representing the voice of my committee, I was given the opportunity to share the development of the Emerging Trends Task force with not only the conference attendees, but also the IACC members the world over, via Webcast. I was able to provide ideas and insight from a new angle, which sparked several questions from the audience during the Q&A. The presentation experience alone was amazing, not to mention the opportunity to poke fun at my *ahem* baby boomer fellow-panelists!

ance to their clients during their stay: healthy menu options as a part of the CMP (Complete Meeting Package); fitness programs of a wide variety offered at several times during the day; on-site spa service; promotion of outdoor running trails and walking routes; and group teambuilding activities. As more Millennials are becoming meeting attendees or meeting planners, I foresee this trend expanding and growing into an expectation; similar to what we have seen over the past year in terms of the direction of the green and sustainability movement, it will be a “must-have” from all perspectives. Everyone likes to know what lies ahead. Although I do not hold a crystal ball, my hope is that this short article has inspired all generations to seek out new opportunities and move those ideas into action. Ultimately, it isn’t about age or which generational “category” one falls into, it is simply about embracing new ideas and uncovering new trends that will take you to the next level. ••• Melissa Bell is an Account Executive for Dolce Hotels & Resorts, supporting BMO Financial Group Institute for Learning, Toronto. She just completed her 16-month term as IACC’s Board Associate.

THOUGHT LEADERS: IACC AND THE FUTURE OF MEETINGS The Inaugural Thought Leaders Summit, held on my hometurf at the BMO Financial Group Institute for Learning in Toronto in October of 2008, offered the opportunity to experience the summit as a “fly on the wall” by viewing the entire meeting via simultaneous video-cast. The Summit involved industry representation relating to all aspects of the meeting experience, from architecture and sustainability to adult-learning styles and Food & Beverage; the summit truly was an ideasharing think tank. The question of “will technology replace the need for face-to-face meetings?” is often raised throughout the industry, and this was eloquently addressed during discussions surrounding the growing demand for “modular” and “blended” meeting design. As a member of generation Y, my answer to this question has always been that it is up to us to embrace new ideas and trends and find ways to integrate these ideas into the overall meeting experience. I was pleased to hear that my own understanding of the future of our industry was on track with the minds of industry experts. One correlation between discussions during the Emerging Trends committee calls as well as during the Thought Leader Summit was the increasing demand for work/ life balance. Conference centres have an undeniable ability to offer a balMarch ’09

THE

PLANNER

21


AB

AB

BC

BC

BC

22

Chateâu Louis Hotel & Conference Centre Contact : Rosie Gallo-Rose, 780-452-7770 11727 Kingsway, Edmonton, AB T5G 3A1 Courriel : info@chateaulouis.com Fax : 780-454-3436 Web : www.chateaulouis.com Description : This free standing conference centre has a beautiful grand ballroom and solarium. Offers superior soundproofing and advanced teleconferencing capabilities. Oasis Edmonton Conference Centre Contact : Leigh-Ann Angermann, 780-451-9227 10930 - 177 St., Edmonton, AB T5T 2X7 Courriel : admin@occonferencecentre.com Fax : 780-486-7870 Web : www.occonferencecentre.com Description : The ultimate conferencing event centre. World class décor throughout, inspiring Grand Hall w/balcony, marble foyer, VIP boardroom, outstanding AV, acoustic, private park with courtyard, a stage and a café. Shaw Conference Centre Contact : Martin Linlove, 780-917-7610 9797 Jasper Ave., Edmonton, AB T3J 1N9 Courriel : mlinlove@edmonton.com Fax : 780-425-5121 Web : www.shawconferencecentre.com Description : The Shaw Conference Centre is renowned internationally for its premier facilities and services. This centre has world champion chefs and award-winning architecture. Hotel Grand Pacific Contact : Allan Nichols, 250-380-4462 463 Bellville St., Victoria , BC V8V 1X3 Courriel : anichols@hotelgrandpacific.com Fax : 250-380-4475 Web : www.hotelgrandpacific.com Description : Four-key environmental rating by the Hotel Association of Canada. It has 10,000 sq. ft. of meeting space available. Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue Contact : Ian Wish, 778-782-7658 580 Hastings St., Vancouver, BC V6B 1L6 Courriel : dialogue@sfu.ca Fax : 778-782-5818 Web : www.sfu.ca/meetandstay Description : Located in a restored heritage building in the heart of downtown Vancouver. This IACC-rated conference centre features spectacular circular hall designed for dialogue and interaction. Simon Fraser University – Meeting, Event and Conference Services Contact : Ian Wish, 778-782-7658 580 West Hastings St. , Vancouver, BC V6B 1L6 Courriel : meet@sfu.ca Fax : 778-782-5818 Web : www.sfu.ca/meetandstay Description : Three vibrant downtown campus buildings, including a dedicated conference centre. All provide full catering services and in-house technology.

THE

PLANNER

3,864

1,000

N/C

11

3,240

Ext. NC

8

6,550

Ext. N/C

N/A

32,000

13

3,010

14

46

Guest rooms

60

Renovations

Parking

AB

Banff Centre Contact : Sales Office, 403-762-6435 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive, Box 1020, Banff, AB T1L 1H5 Courriel : conferences@banffcentre.ca Fax : 403-762-6202 Web : www.banffcentre.ca Description : The Banff Centre delivers a perfect environment for getting down to business. The range of accomodations, meeting rooms, dining venues and recreational options are designed for productivity and creativity.

Max. Capacity Auditorium

AB

Conference centre and coordinates

Max. Capacity Sq. ft.

PROV

Legend on page 27

No. of meeting rooms

Conference Centres

2007/ Dining room

400

Ongoing/ Hotel rooms and Conf. Centre

139

2007/ New

Ext.

2007/ Meeting rooms

Adjacent

Int. $

Ongoing

304

6,500

Ext. $

Adjacent

2,424

200

Ext. $

2008

Adjacent

March ’09


NS

NS

NS

NS

ON

Vancouver Island Conference Centre Contact : Amanda Kass, 250-244-4050 101 Gordon St., Nanaimo, BC V9R 5J8 Courriel : administration@viconference.com Fax : 250-244-4055 Web : www.viconference.com Description : A new location that offers wireless Internet access, global broadcast capabilities and can accommodate up to 1,300 people. Cunard Centre Contact : Elizabeth Newman, 902-425-5528 961 Marginal Road, Halifax, NS B3H 4P7 Courriel : elizabeth@rcr.ca Fax : 902-429-8516 Web : www.rcr.ca Description : Multi-purpose event site in downtown Halifax with a wall of windows overlooking the waterfront. It has 45,000 sq. ft. of innovative, column-free space with loading docks. High-tech kitchen available. Delta Halifax Contact : Tracy Gates, 902-492-6430 1990 Barrington St., Halifax, NS B3J 1P2 Courriel : tgates@deltahotels.com Fax : 902-492-6405 Web : www.deltahotels.com Description : The Delta Halifax is sourrounded by historic ambiance and located in the core of the business district. Directly connected to a multitude of restaurants and entertainment venues via an indoor pedway. Park Place Hotel and Conference Centre, Ramada Contact : Lori forward, 902-481-3886 240 Brownlow Ave., Dartmouth , NS B3B 1X6 Courriel : sales@ramadans.com Fax : 902-468-2255 Web : www.ramadans.com Description : Four-star property, with over 13,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, a four-green key rating from the Hotel Association of Canada (ECOmmodation program), meeting and conference specialists on site. Westin Nova Scotian Contact : Cherl D'Eon, 902-496-8585 1181 Hollis St., Halifax, NS B3H 2P6 Courriel : sales@westin.ns.com Fax : 902-496-8589 Web : www.westin.ns.com Description : The Westin has completed an $8-million renovation to all guestrooms and hallways with 310 well-appointed guestrooms and 23,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. The hotel is ideal for travelers and planners alike. Ambassador Conference Resort Contact : Erin Finucan, 613-541-4681 1550 Princess St., Kingston, ON K7M 9E3 Courriel : sales@ambassadorhotel.com Fax : 613-548-1613 Web : www.ambassadorhotel.com Description : Kingston's largest convention centre with over 22,000 sq.ft. of meeting space and 251 guestrooms.

March ’09

THE

PLANNER

2,336

Ext. N/C

15

1,272

200

1

45,000

17

Guest rooms

12

Renovations

Parking

BC

Max. Capacity Auditorium

BC

Tigh-Na-Mara Resort Contact : Jenn Houtry Ferguson, 250-248-1802 1155 Resort Dr., Vancouver, BC V9P 2E5 Courriel : sales@tigh-na-mara.com Fax : 250-248-1854 Web : www.tigh-na-mara.com Description : Tigh-Na-Mara comfortably accommodates up to 300 guests in their 12 meeting rooms with the largest resort conference facilities on Vancouver Island. All meeting rooms offer natural light.

Max. Capacity Sq. ft.

Conference centre and coordinates

PROV

No. of meeting rooms

Conference Centres

2008/ New bar added

192

Int. $

2008/ New

3,000

Ext. $

2006

4,124

Int./ Ext. $

2007/ Meeting rooms

296

14

2,920

Ext. N/C

2008/ Various

178

14

8,400

Ext. $

Ongoing

310

22

7,200

Ext. N/C

2009/ Guest rooms

251

23


ON

ON

ON

ON

ON

24

Blue Mountain Contact : Mark Rich, 705-445-0231 x. 6210 110 Jozo Weider Blvd., Collingwood, ON L9Y 3Z2 Courriel : sales@bluemountain.ca Fax : 705-444-1751 Web : www.bluemountain.ca Description : Ontario's largest meeting resort provides meeting options for groups ranging from 20 to 1,000 delegates. Blue Mountain offers 840 lodging rooms, expansive conference space and many après-meeting choices. BMO Financial Group Institute for Learning Contact : Event reservations, 416-490-4389 3550 Pharmacy Road, Toronto, ON M1W 3Z3 Courriel : eventreservations.ifl@bmo.com Fax : 416-490-4493 Web : http://ifl.bmo.com Description : The Institute for Learning is one of only a few conference centres in Canada to receive an IACC accreditation. The IFL is open to business groups for meetings or conferences. Brookstreet Contact : Sandy Mallette, 613-271-3543 525 Legget Dr., Ottawa, ON K2K 2W2 Courriel : sales@br4ookstreet.com Fax : 613-271-3541 Web : www.brookstreet.com Description : Brookstreet is Ottawa's leading Four Diamond conference hotel with 22,000 sq. ft. of naturally-lit meeting space, expert event managers, 276 contemporary guestrooms, an award-winning restaurant and much more. Days Hotel and Conference Centre Toronto Downtown Contact : Farnaz Zohrvand, 416-542-6013 30 Carlton Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2E9 Courriel : f.zohrvand@dayshoteltoronto.ca Fax : 416-977-0502 Web : www.dayshoteltoronto.ca Description : The hotel has 538 guestrooms as well as nine meeting rooms. The hotel is located within walking distance of the financial district, many great restaurants and mere steps away from the college TTC subway station. Delawana Inn Spa and Conference Resort Contact : Lisa Lauder, 888-335-2926 42 Delawana Road, Honey Harbour, ON P0E 1E0 Courriel : lisa@delawana.com Fax : 705-756-0422 Web : www.delawanaconferenceresort.com Description : Just 90 minutes from Toronto, this award-winning resort has 136 rooms, a complete meeting package, extraordinary onsite teambuilding programs, incentive packages, boat cruises, full recreation, golf and a spa. Donald Cousens Conference Centre/Hilton Suites Toronto Contact : Anna Ng, 905-470-8500 x. 2986 8500 Warden Avenue (at Hwy 7), Markham, ON L6G 1A5 Courriel : anna.ng@hilton.com Fax : 905-415-7624 Web : www.torontomarkham.hilton.com Description : Four Diamond all-suite hotel with 45,000 sq. ft. of renovated meeting space. Easy highway access. Twenty minutes from downtown Toronto and Pearson International airport with many amenities available.

THE

PLANNER

10,660

Ext. N/C

25

8,524

49

5,583

Ext. N/C

22

5,188

9

2,400

14

27

Guest rooms

15

Renovations

Parking

ON

American Conference Resort and Spa Contact : Pat Laskey, 905-371-8584 8444 Lundy's Lane, Niagara Falls, ON L2H 1H4 Courriel : plasky@americanniagara.com Fax : 905-356-9233 Web : www.americanniagara.com Description : Located just minutes from Niagara Falls. On-site amenities include the Waves Waterpark and Senses Spa.

Max. Capacity Auditorium

ON

Conference centre and coordinates

Max. Capacity Sq. ft.

PROV

No. of meeting rooms

Conference Centres

2008/ Spa and café

200

Int./ 2005/ Ext. Construction N/C of Village Conference Centre

840

2008/ Aesthetic & A/V

150

Int. $

2003/ New

276

Int. $

2005/ Meeting & guest rooms

538

6,000

600

Ext.

2008/ Lobby

136

14,040

Ext. $

2008/ Some meeting rooms

500

March ’09


ON

ON

ON

Hilton Garden Inn Vaughan/Toscana Banquet and Conference Centre Contact : Alexis Edgar, 905-532-2235 3201 Highway 7 W., Vaughan, ON L4K 5Z7 Courriel : alexis.edgar@hilton.com Fax : 905-660-4300 Web : www.torontovaughan.stayhgi.com Description : Offers an 8,000 sq. ft. ballroom - no pillars, equipped with surround sound, drop down screens, pin spot lighting and free Internet. Four additional breakout rooms and all meeting spaces are on street level. International Centre Contact : Lee-Ann Leckie, 905-678-5882 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga, ON L4V 1E8 Courriel : info@internationalcetre.com Fax : 905-677-3089 Web : www.internationalcentre.com Description : Service, style, flavor – this centre has it all. With restaurantstyle service for up to 2,500 guests and the latest technology built in, this new conference centre offers elegance, flexibility and top service. Ivey Spencer Leadership Centre Contact : Melanie Cooper, 519-679-4546 551 Windermere Road, London, ON N5X 2T1 Courriel : micooper@ivey.uwo.ca Fax : 519-858-1553 Web : www.iveyspencerleadershipcentre.com Description : Located on 30 acres of parkland, the centre is southwestern Ontario's only IACC-approved conference hotel. Offers 125 guestrooms, state-of-the-art meeting space and award-winning cuisine. Kempenfelt Conference Centre Contact : Scott J. Harradine, 705-727-4663 3722 Fairway Road, Barrie, ON L9S 1A5 Courriel : info@kempenfelt.com Fax : 705-721-3395 Web : www.kempenfelt.com Description : Less than 45 minutes north of Toronto. Features a 24-hour Complete Meeting Package.

March ’09

THE

PLANNER

50

13

6,630

Ext. N/C

23

11,000

229

Int. N/C

7

7,952

Ext. N/C

15

17,066

Ext. N/C

26

2,700

85

Ext. N/C

20

1,800

Ext. N/C

Guest rooms

ON

Hampton Inn Ottawa and Conference Centre Contact : Janice Byers, 613-741-2300 200 Coventry Road, Ottawa, ON K1K 4S3 Courriel : louise.beauchamp@hilton.com Fax : 613-667-9888 Web : www.hamptoninnottawa.com Description : This venue has 36,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, 23 meeting rooms, two ballrooms with 26 ft.-high ceilings, divisible, two amphitheatres, full-service catering, wheelchair accessibile and underground parking.

1,800

Renovations

ON

Four Points by Sheraton Hotel and Suites Contact : Susan Truppe, 519-681-0680 x. 8322 1150 Wellington Road S., London, ON N6E 1M3 Courriel : susantruppe@fourpointslondon.com Fax : 519-681-8837 Web : www.fourpoints.com/london Description : This state-of-the art conference centre is located on one level, just minutes from Hwy 401 and 402 and 10 minutes to downtown London. Within walking distance of one of London's largest shopping malls.

80

Parking

ON

Donald Gordon Conference Centre Contact : Claire Grazette, 613-533-2221 421 Union St., Kingston, ON K7L 3N6 Courriel : dgc@queensu.ca Fax : 613-533-2915 Web : www.donaldgordoncentre.com Description : Executive level conference centre. Distraction-free atmosphere. Complete meeting plan rates available.

Max. Capacity Auditorium

ON

Max. Capacity Sq. ft.

Conference centre and coordinates

PROV

No. of meeting rooms

Conference Centres

Ext.

2006/ Carpets, paint

181

2009

179

New building

155

2008/ New

2008/ Guest bathrooms

125

2006/ Guest rooms

79

25


ON

ON

ON

26

Nottawasaga Inn Resort Contact : Sylvia Biffis, 705-435-5501 6015 Highway 89, Alliston, ON L9R 1A4 Courriel : meet@nottawasagaresort.com Fax : 705-435-5840 Web : www.nottawasagaresort.com Description : Located 45 minutes north of Toronto, this centre specializes in convention services offering exceptional amenities, professional business services and a 40-year family tradition of great hospitality. Orchard View Reception and Conference Centre Contact : Elise Schmitz or Isabella Milito, 613-821-2675 6346 Deer Meadow Drive, Greely, ON K4P 1M9 Courriel : info@orchardview.ca Fax : 613-821-4692 Web : www.orchardview.ca Description : This centre has 30 acres of outdoor activity area for team building and executive retreats. Located 10 minutes from the Ottawa international airport. Free shuttle for groups over 100. St. Andrews Club & Conference Centre Contact : Andrew Hodd, 416-366-4228 150 King St. W., Toronto, ON M5H 1J9 Courriel : andrew.hodd@standrewsclub.ca Fax : 416-366-9347 Web : www.standrewsclub.ca Description : This centre integrates luxurious surroundings and modern technology, creating the perfect setting for meetings, corporate events and social functions. Sheraton Fallsview Hotel and Conference Centre Contact : Rosetta Snell, 905-374-3174 6755 Fallsview Blvd., Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3W7 Courriel : sales@fallsview.com Fax : 905-374-3715 Web : www.fallsview.com Description : Overlooking thunderous Niagara Falls, the Sheraton Fallsview extends a warm welcome with flexible meeting facilities and award-winning service for the perfect event. Close proximity to attractions and casinos.

THE

PLANNER

350

9

5,200

600

Int/ Ext. $

70

9,600

250

Ext. N/C

36

21,000

2 X 56

Ext.

5

5,400

Ext. N/C

17

1,850

Ext. $

25

7,992

40

Int./ Ext. $

Guest rooms

ON

NAV CANADA Training and Conference Centre Contact : Janice Eastman, 613-936-5067 1950 Montreal Road, Cornwall, ON K6H 6L2 Courriel : janice.eastman@navcanada.ca Fax : 613-936-5089 Web : www.conference.navcanada.ca Description : Eastern Canada's largest conference centre on 70 acres facing the St. Lawrence River. All-inclusive packages, 560 guestrooms, 50,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space and full recreational facilities are all available.

3,100

Renovations

ON

Metropolitan Conference Centre Contact : Bonnnie Townsend, 403-266-3876 333 4th Ave. SW, Calgary, AB T2P 0H9 Courriel : bonnie.townsend@metcentre.com Fax : 403-233-0009 Web : www.metcentre.com Description : A privately-operated conference and meeting space in downtown Calgary, centrally located with indoor access to three major hotels. It can host events from small board meetings to gala dinners and weddings.

43

Parking

ON

Kingbridge Conference Centre and Institute Contact : Stephen McInerney, 905-833-6512 12750 Jane St., King City (TO), ON L7B 1A3 Courriel : sales@kingbridgecentre.com Fax : 905-833-0762 Web : www.knigbridgecentre.com Description : Just a short distance north of Toronto, the Kingbridge Centre is a one-of-a-kind, innovative conference venue offering a wide variety of customized programs, resources and modern technologies.

Max. Capacity Auditorium

ON

Conference centre and coordinates

Max. Capacity Sq. ft.

PROV

No. of meeting rooms

Conference Centres

Ext. N/C

124

2008/ Carpet & painting

800 adjacent

2008/ Guest rooms & public areas

560

2007/ Meeting rooms

269

2009/ 5 New hall, adjacent bedroom and exterior

2006/ The conservatory

2008/ Carpets & painting

402

March ’09


Guest rooms

QC

Renaissance Conference and Banquet Centre Contact : Caterina Libertella, 514-352-1818 7550 Henri Bourassa Blvd. Est, Montréal, QC H1E 1P2 Courriel : clibertella@centrerenaissance.com Fax : 514-352-9962 Web : www.centrerenaissance.com Description : One of the largest convention centres on the island of Montreal. Up to 25,000 sq. ft. of space available. Can also accommodate smaller groups. Fine international cuisine. Professional, personalized service.

Renovations

QC

Gelber Conference Centre Contact : Carmela Mignacca, 514-345-2645 x. 3225 5151 Côte Ste-Catherine , Montréal, QC H3W 1M6 Courriel : carmela.mignacca@feserationcja.org Fax : 514-345-6422 Web : www.gelbercentre.com Description : Located 10 minutes from downtown Montreal. It is a worldclass, corporate meeting and banquet facility, offering fully equipped meeting facilities, in-house catering, state of the art AV and valet parking.

Parking

QC

Centre Mont-Royal Contact : Luis Ribeiro, 514-844-2000 2200 rue Mansfield, Montréal, QC H3A 3R8 Courriel : lribeiro@centremontroyal.com Fax : 514-843-8500 Web : www.cenremontroyal.com Description : Located downtown in the Golden Square Mile district. The former location of IATA has been entirely reconfigured into a first-class conference centre with more than 50,000 sq.ft of space.

Max. Capacity Auditorium

ON

White Oaks Conference Resort and Spa Contact : Julie Lepp, 905-688-2550 253 Taylor Road SS4, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0 Courriel : sales@whiteoaksresort.com Fax : 905-704-5616 Web : www.whiteoaksresort.com Description : White Oaks is located in the heart of wine country and offers a luxury conference experience with an IACC-approved, state-of-the-art conference centre combined with a Four Diamond, Five Star 220-room hotel.

Max. Capacity Sq. ft.

Conference centre and coordinates

PROV

No. of meeting rooms

Conference Centres 23

6,042

150

Ext. N/C

2006

220

17

8,280

730

Int. $

Adjacent

9

6,969

Ext. Valet

10

25,000

2,500

Ext. N/C

LEGEND : – = Not available, Excl. = Exclusive, Non-Excl. : Non-Exclusive, Ext. = Exterior, Int. = Interior, N/C = No charge, Valet = Valet service, $ = Pay Service CHA = Canadian Hotel Association

March ’09

THE

PLANNER

27


10 tips for travelers Follow-up to 101 Ways… In our continuing quest to help you find ways to save money, here are the top 10 tips for travelers recently released by American Express Business Travel: 1. Plan twice, book once – Travelers can incur many fees for changes with airlines often charging $150 or more and hotels charging “no show” fees of $50 or more. Double-checking to confirm appointments before booking can help you save on these potential added charges. 2. Pack light – As airlines move to unbundle services, travelers can minimize any costs by packing and checking the least number of bags as possible. For longer business trips, the cost of dry cleaning may be cheaper than checking extra luggage for additional shirts and pants. Overnight delivery and luggage forwarding services are also an option if you have a lot of materials or samples to bring on a business trip. 3. Check your paperwork - Ensure that your passport is current and that you have any necessary visas for your trip in advance. Expired or missing paperwork can delay your trip and add costly charges for expedited applications. Most travel management companies can provide visa/passport support before you travel. 4 . Be flexible to find savings – For travel to or from an area with multiple airports, ask your travel counselor to search alternate airports or use this option in your online booking tool. For example, in New York City, fares may be less expensive enough at JFK to offset the incremental taxi fare difference for a trip to LaGuardia. 5. Watch for waste – Millions of tickets go unused, even though most non-refundable fares are valid for travel for up to a year. While there may be change fees, travelers can still save money by not letting these unused tickets go to waste.

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THE

6. Employees that stay together, save together – Some companies are instituting room-sharing policies for co-workers traveling together. Along the same lines, sharing car service or taxis to and from the airport is an easy way to save. If you’re on different flights, plan to meet your co-workers at an airport lounge and travel to the hotel together. 7. Big ticket items can mean big savings – Complex international itineraries can offer opportunities for significant savings. Having travel counselors plan these trips for you saves you time and allows you to take advantage of their knowledge on the best airlines, fare classes, specials and more to ensure you get the lowest fare. 8. Plan ahead and stay in touch – The earlier you book air tickets and hotel rooms, the more likely it is that you’ll find a lower rate. Many airlines and hotels will offer you a lower rate if the price for your trip falls after you’ve booked it. Plan your trips as early as you can and ask for a discount if you see the rate drop. 9. Stretch your stay to stretch your dollar – With the resurgence of “minimum stay requirements,” postponing your return trip from a Friday until a Sunday or Monday can create additional savings. If possible, consider extending your trip to include a weekend vacation in the same destination. 10. Oldies but goodies - The “classic"” opportunities still exist for travelers, and some are even more common now with higher airline loads. Whenever possible, you should look for opportunities to get “bumped” for a free voucher, select destinations that are “off-season” (e.g. for team meetings) and be flexible with your travel dates. American Express Business Travel is a division of the American Express Company and is dedicated to helping its clients realize the greatest possible value from their investment in travel through increased cost savings, outstanding customer service and greater spend control. American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. On the Web: www.americanexpress.com/businesstravel

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March ’09


Sleepless in Vancouver… Pt. 2 Brainstorming and goodwill come together for a helpful Delta-based planner

Before we began that day, we took the time to review the reason behind our being there, and then began a 14-hour work day. Just as every event has its challenges, it was particularly difficult to work around 300 students traipsing through our work area throughout the day and it became a concern as we climbed ladders. We put our student council volunteers in charge of directing traffic, but even that proved difficult as BY KATHIE MADDEN masses of curious students passed through to observe and comment on our progress. In all honesty, it became a burden of worry at times and n response to my recent finally in frustration we article (“Sleepless in locked the doors. Vancouver,” Planner, We suspended the November 2008), I received giant snowflakes from many e-mails from across the ceiling, punctuated Canada supporting me and the black drapery with offering gratitude to the them and lit up the importance I felt in showflooring with snowflake casing a different side to Gobos (patterns cut our industry. I was appreinto a circular plate ciative of these e-mails and used to create patterns it was heartwarming to of projected light). learn that many of you A photography backhave shared the same spirdrop (complete with a ited sense of benevolence snowman) was created throughout your own for keepsake purposes careers. and when the students Managing Editor Leo finally emerged through Gervais has asked for this Kathie Madden and Diana Hambrook of Dionysos Events lend a hand. the twinkle light snow follow-up story. To recap, Tara Connolly of Effective Event Management, and Mike Kaerne of tunnel to welcome when the first article went HollyNorth Production Supplies Ltd., who generously donated the them to the Snowball to print, I had already snow décor, were also involved in this worthwhile project. Formal, a strategicallyenlisted the help of anothplaced snow machine near the entrance added to the ambier event professional, and by the end of that week we grew to become an enthusiastic team of four. The theme of the high ence of their arrival. Just as we completed our set-up and tiredly stood back to school senior soiree was “The Snowball Formal,” and although it was only nine days until Christmas, the only demand we examine our work, I noticed a small phrase written on the windows on either side of the entrance, it read: “Scatter Joy.” were given was to have no hint of Christmas in the décor. A rush of brainstorming through an extremely challenging I hadn’t seen it earlier, but it was a poignant moment to budget charged each of us with tasks and before we knew it, comprehend that we had done just that, but more importantly, we were off seeking quotes, utilizing discounts and our we had scattered joy into our own hearts, a priceless and incredibly persuasive powers in the underbelly of the event unforgettable deliverable. world. At the end of this process, we were ready for set-up, Kathie Madden is a Delta, B.C.-based event planner and VP of our cars loaded with enormous snowballs, giant snowflakes, Communications for ISES Vancouver Chapter. She can be reached at pipes and drapes, lighting, and a sense of joyful purpose. kmevents@telus.net or via her website atwww.kathiemaddenevents.com.

I

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wide popularity of this menu item, their numbers have been dwindling dramatically from illegal and aggressive fishing. • Bluefin Tuna – heavily over-fished in international waters, the plight of this species is so serious that the World Conservation Union lists Southern Bluefin Tuna in its grouping of most threatened wildlife. Their numbers have declined by 97% over the last four decades.

SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD Fairmont is looking to save our seafood, one fish at a time. The company recently announced an extension of its brandwide Green Cuisine program to include sustainable seafood choices in support of a global effort to conserve precious marine species. Fairmont will remove threatened fish species from their restaurant menus and will also align themselves locally with reputable seafood-watch organizations, ensuring guests continue to be provided with a comprehensive selection of sustainable seafood choices. By Spring 2009, Fairmont’s seafood purchases will be made with the guidance and consultation of these groups and in consortium with local suppliers. Fairmont has identified two seafood choices that are most at risk and has eliminated them from its food service operations. They include: • Chilean Sea Bass – also called Patagonia Tooth, this is a longlife fish, meaning it does not reproduce quickly. Due to world-

Fairmont’s initiatives will hopefully encourage healthier practices flowing down to suppliers, who will then offer better choices to restaurants. In addition, by promoting awareness and sustainable alternatives among its guests, Fairmont wants to play a role in influencing and shaping the tastes and preferences of guests who care about the future of the planet. For close to two decades, Fairmont has strived to minimize its impact on the planet through its award-winning Green Partnership program, a comprehensive platform focused on key areas such as waste reduction, energy management, water conservation, and innovative community outreach programs. On the Web: www.fairmont.com

ONE KING WEST OFFERS MONTHLY STAY Starting for less than $2,900, guests can have an extended, month-long stay at the Suites at One King West, one of downtown Toronto’s best luxury hotels. Among the many features available are amenities like washer/dryer, complimentary local phone calls, morning newspaper and high-speed Internet access, electronic safe that fits a laptop, a rooftop Wellness Centre and windows that open. The location is also pet friendly. On the Web: www.onekingwest.com

LIVE LIKE A ROCK STAR AT IRON MAIDEN’S SANCTUM HOTEL Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham once destroyed a hotel room with a samurai sword and the Who’s Keith Moon liked to take the screws out of hotel furniture to surprise the next unsuspecting guest. None of the activities are recommended, but the new 30-room Sanctum hotel might be the kind of place where that type of behaviour will not seem out of place. Located in the Soho district of London, the hotel was financed by legendary heavy metal band Iron Maiden and will offer rock stars and plebs alike a 24-hour bar, a rooftop hot tub, private security, “intimacy kits” in every bedroom and the possibility of ordering underwear from room service in case a groupie leaves with yours. It is being billed as “an alluring haven of hedonism – an extravagantly exclusive playpen for the most discerning of guests.” So if the rocker, bohemian spirit moves you, this might be just the place for you. The grand opening is slated for March 21, 2009. On the Web: http://www.sanctumhotel.com

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Websites of

Free software on the Web Paying for software is still commonplace, but those days are numbered if you listen to what some industry wags say. Web browsers, for instance, are free – in fact, more than 100 million people have downloaded a free third-party software called Firefox by Mozilla (including the Planner’s Managing Editor). Mozilla also offers a free e-mail program that many people prefer over Outlook, called Thunderbird. Here are a few suggestions for popular free software on the Web: • OpenOffice (www.openoffice.org) A full suite of office software similar to Microsoft Office. Equivalents for Word, Excel and PowerPoint are offered, and it can open and save in all common Microsoft Office formats. • NeoOffice (www.neooffcie.org) Same as OpenOffice, but for Mac users. • Firefox (www.mozilla.com) A popular, free web browser.

interest

MPI meetings

Getting the most from Google www.googe.com Ah, yes, the ubiquitous Google. It’s hard to imagine the world without this amazing search engine. It even spawned a verb (I Googled it). But there are many tools most people don’t even know about. For example: • Calculator. Simply enter the calculation into the search box e.g. 5+5 and hit enter. Can do complicated calculations. • Time. To see the time in many cities around the world, type in “time” and the name of the city e.g. time Paris. • Unit conversion. Convert between many different units of measurement of height, weight, and volume among many others. Just enter your desired conversion into the search box and Google does the rest e.g. 12 cm in inches. ••• If you have a website that you think might interest planners, please send it to lgervais@theplanner.ca

The following are some upcoming MPI chapter meetings in Canada. Why not drop in? See Web sites for more info: BC Chapter, April 14 www.mpibcchapter.com Greater Calgary Chapter, April 16 www.mpi-gcc.org Greater Edmonton Chapter, April 16 www.mpigec.ca Manitoba Chapter, April 16 www.mpiweb.mb.ca Toronto Chapter, April 16 www.mpitoronto.org Ottawa Chapter, April 16 www.mpiottawa.ca Montreal Chapter, April 16 www.mpimontreal.com Atlantic Canada Chapter, April 16 www.mpiatlanticchapter.org

.August 23-26, 2009 National Business Travel Association Annual International Convention and Exposition, San Diego Convention Centre. Contact : www.nbta.org.

October 25-27, 2009 Association of Corporate Travel Executives Fall Global Conference, Hilton Prague Hotel, Czech Republic. Contact : ww.acte.org.

May 26-28, 2009 IMEX Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Messe Frankfurt, Germany. Contact : ww.imex-frankfurt.com.

May 28, 2009 MTE 2009 Meetings Technology Expo, Chicago, Ill. Contact : www.meetingstechexpo.com.

WHO’S THE BOSS? “WE TEND TO FORGET WHO PAYS OUR SALARIES. IT’S THE CUSTOMER.” LARS NYBERG, CHAIRMAN, NCR CORP.

ANSWER EASY SUDOKU FROM PAGE 12

ANSWER MEDIUM SUDOKU FROM PAGE 12

June 24, 2009 Destinations Showcase Chicago, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, Ill. Contact : www.destinationmarketing.org. March ’09

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b. 28 % said “No”

Following a recent event about trends in 2009, organized by The Planner, 80 planners who were there helped us clarify certain points by participating in an electronic survey using an interactive system provided by Tandem House. Here’s the results : 1) As a meeting planner, when do you start your meetings ? a. 16 % said “on time” b. 58 % said “5 minutes after the scheduled time”

c. 26 % said “more than 5 minutes after the scheduled time” 2) How many meetings do you plan to organize in 2009 compared to 2008 ? a. 19 % said “less than in 2008” b. 35 % said “more than in 2008” c. 46 % said “the same as in 2008” 3) Do you ever organize meetings in restaurants? a. 72 % said “Yes”

version. For that amount of money, it’s a simple, inexpensive way to backup your important data.

Backing up your cel phone Have you ever needed to backup your cel phone but had no access to a PC? Or maybe you wanted to transfer some numbers from one phone to another? Back-up Pal offers a universal kit for US$49.99 that will work with most well-known brands like Blackberry, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and LG with a safe, secure and permanent data backup. This 5-time awardwinning product works with detachable tips on a round base to ensure compatability with most phones. Voted the “Best of What’s New Award-2006” by Popular Science magazine. Recommended. On the Web: www.backup-pal.com …Speaking of back-ups, when it comes to computers there are only two kinds of people: Those who have lost information and those who will. With that in mind, maybe it’s time for you to buy a removable USB key. They come in all shapes and sizes, and a 2 Gigabyte key retails for less than $20 at most office supply stores. Retractable ones sell for less than $25 for the 2 Gigabyte 32

Hypermiling can save you money In these days of penny pinching, hypermiling has gained a lot of traction. The term was coined by Chicagoan Wayne Gerdes in 2004, hoping to wean America off foreign oil by increasing a car’s miles per gallon with gas-saving principles. The New Oxford American dictionary named it word of the year in 2008 as the practice became hyperpopular. Some of the tenets of the practice: • Keep tires properly inflated. Use numbers on the tires sidewall. • An 80-kph driver uses less gas than a 112-kph driver. • Slowing down ahead of a stop instead of zooming to the intersection • Shut down engine if idling more than 30 seconds • Use cruise control if available to eliminate countless accelerations Following these tips could cut gas use by 5 to 10 percent, estimates John Nielsen of AAA. Some hypermilers neutralize the engine for downhill stretches THE

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4) In what sector do you plan not to cut your budget? a. 21 % said “audiovisual” b. 46 % said “food” c. 7 % said “speakers” d. 17 % said “the venue” e. 9 % said “the hotel” 5) In the current economic context, when will your events usually happen? a. 16 % said “in less than 30 days” b. 39 % said “in 30 to 60 days” c. 25 % said “in 60 to 90 days” d. 20 % said “in 90 days or more”

Watch future issues for more surveys!

on the way to a red light, or on a highway exit ramp. Tailgating trucks to take advantage of their draft is another hypermiler tactic. On the Web: www.hypermiling.com

Team safari in the city The Urban Safari, a team bonding experience, is expanding this year to Montreal. Developed by the Flip Events team in 2006, the Urban Safari was introduced to the Ottawa and Kingston meeting markets in 2007. The URBAN Safari explores the history, culture and architecture of the meeting city. The hunt is intended to be a fun and relaxed way for colleagues, after days of meetings in hotel rooms, to get out, discover the city and get to know each other. Groups of 4-8, on 2-3 hour hunts, will decipher clues and develop competitive strategies. Bonus points challenge teams to devise their routes for maximum points in minimum time. The end of the hunt is marked by a return to “base camp” (a local eatery) to celebrate. The Flip Events team has created a unique clue booklet for each city. Customized clue booklets can also be created upon request. On the Web: www.flipevents.com/urbansafari March ’09


March 2009  

* Conference and university centres: What planners need to know * Yes we can: Embracing new trends within the conference centre industr...

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