Continuing with its strategic plan for 2013, CanSPEP has many new options for its members, partners and the profession in general. During the 16th annual conference, held this year in Fredericton, N.B., suppliers and planners gathered from February 28 to March 2 to learn, network, make new connections, revitalize old connections and yes, have a lot of fun!
With an amazing committee of volunteers at the helm, this year’s conference theme was WIRED: Where Independents Reconnect, Energize and Discover. And we certainly did!
The following event synopsis, written by Lorne Collis, KIT Services, is a compilation of all the education and networking at the conference:
- Seven steps to growing your business by getting out of your own way: Business coach Pat Mussieux took no prisoners as she described the barriers we put up for ourselves in our business and personal lives.
- Roundtable discussion: Facilitated by fellow planners. A great time to share our ideas and concerns.
- Winning proposals: Keith Parker of The Proposal Centre walked us through the various segments of an RFP to demonstrate where and how to punch up our proposals in an effort to win more business.
- Seven humour habits for workplace wellness: It was hard to take humorist Paul Huschilt seriously in this fast-paced, hilarious presentation, but the subtle messaging he left behind was priceless.
- Interacting with influence: Kelly MacDonald from Speakers’ Spotlight and ethics specialist Heath Slawner demonstrated how to gain credibility.
- Shaping contracts: A panel of the best in the business shared tips on reviewing contracts and deciding what is etched in stone and what can be negotiated to protect yourself and your clients.
- Excellence within: Author and philanthropist Martin Latulippe is a master of using humour to tug at your heartstrings.
- Meeting planner apps: Robert Thompson from AV Canada took us on a tour of available apps for mobile devices. Interesting tools (and toys) for your business and personal use.
- LinkedIn means business: Collette Robicheau, President of Organize Anything, provided step-by-step instructions on how to stay connected.
- Website refresh: International speaker Andy Ebon left no one unscathed as he critiqued the web sites of willing participants, providing tips for transformation from mediocre to first-class.
- Building a focused social media strategy: So many platforms, so little time. Andy Ebon provided his take on where we should be devoting our efforts in building a social media strategy.
- Sustainovation: Big word…bigger message. International Centre’s Trevor Lui delivered an eye-opening wake-up call to planners and suppliers alike about the bad eco-habits we continue to follow in our personal and business practices.
Of course what would a conference be without networking and food? Rendezvous Fredericto and its partners set a new standard for creativity in hosting this event. From a cocktail reception at the home of the Lieutenant-Governor, to a live-stream cooking demonstration by the staff at the Delta. And how do you top the finale at the Fredericton Convention Centre?
And so, now that you are exhausted from hearing about the 2013 conference, rest up and be prepared to do it all over again – and for first timers get your game on! 2014 is being hosted by Tourism Ottawa and Brookstreet Hotel. Watch for more details to come!
In other CanSPEP developments, we have a new vision statement which we believe tells our story. We also have a new website at www.canspep.ca and have brought a social media ambassador, Mariella Irivarren, to lead us into the social media world which allows us to reach many more people in our profession.
Finally, CanSPEP has always believed in giving back and this year, for the first time, we are aligning ourselves with a single charity – Starlight Children’s Foundation. In the past we have given to a variety of well-deserving associations. This year, we are highlighting a single one at each of our events. For more information, visit www.canspep.ca.