Articles by Cheryl Mah

  • Industry Profile: Caitlin McElhone

      Edmonton event planner Caitlin McElhone is passionate about events. While studying clothing and textile design at the University of Alberta, she was introduced to the events industry and never looked back. “I hadn’t even considered event planning as a profession – nor did I understand that it could be a career option, but I was naturally suited for the work and loved the rush of set up and putting on something so special for someone,” says McElhone, who began…

  • Designing Impactful Event Spaces

      Event experience is everything at conferences and conventions. Impactful venue space design can create the right atmosphere and bring an event to life. Even prior to COVID-19’s impact on the meetings industry, the event experience was very important to conference attendees. With so much material available online, the in-person event experience is an opportunity to meet and network with new and existing colleagues and is one of the main reasons people attend events. According to Brian Tennyson, principal at…

  • Chef Q&A: Duff Lampard, MTCC

      When it comes to creating menus not typical of the North American convention scene, look no further than chef Duff Lampard. The executive chef of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) in Toronto has more than 20 years of experience in some of the most renowned hotels across Canada. He has also worked in London, England where he brought to life exciting menus for renowned clients such as Chanel Paris, The National Gallery and Sir Richard Branson. He took…

  • Airport Delays Impacting Return of Travel

      Strong demand for air travel by passengers after more than two years of being grounded by pandemic restrictions is causing long wait times at major airports in Canada. Security lineup delays at Canada’s biggest airports, including Toronto Pearson and Vancouver, is one of many challenges facing the travel and tourism industry as it starts on the road to recovery. Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) CEO Mike Saunders has apologized for the inconvenience to air travellers resulting from the…

  • Travel Tests Remain a Barrier to Recovery

      As COVID-19 cases continue to decline across Canada and restrictions are eased, the meetings and events industry is eager to see the restart of corporate meetings, conferences and conventions. But a major barrier remains to fully welcoming back visitors and attendees. While the federal government took a step in the right direction by allowing the use of rapid antigen tests for pre-departure as of Feb. 28, it is still not enough, according to travel and tourism leaders. Bridgitte Anderson,…

  • Profile: Alex Bickers

      The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on many businesses – forcing closures and layoffs around the world. The restrictions on our social interaction have been dramatic with stay-at-home orders, isolation, quarantine, and social distancing. Naturally, these restrictions have hit the events industry the hardest. But event planning businesses have found different and innovative ways to still bring people together to share experiences. The adoption of technology and the steady rise in the number of virtual events have…

  • Trends and Challenges for F&B Events

      As meetings and events continue to shift back to an in-person format again, what will food and beverage (F&B) look like? The pandemic and the changing health restrictions on events (large gatherings) have been a huge struggle for the industry. It has forced many companies out of the business and those left standing have had to adapt, change, and innovate. Corporate Meetings Network asked two industry experts — Kori Gorman, director of events and catering, Eatertainment Hospitality Inc. and Shannon…

  • BMO Centre Marks Key Construction Milestone

      The $500 million BMO Centre Expansion project is on track to open in 2024, providing Calgary with an event venue that will attract large international and national conventions and conferences. Work on the 560,000-square-foot expansion project marked a key milestone with the first piece of structural steel installed on site in December. “The start of the steel is a significant milestone as it means that the project is tracking on schedule, despite the challenges we’ve had over the last two…

  • Destination Vancouver: Outlook and Goals

      After thriving for decades, Vancouver’s tourism and hospitality industry has been predictably hit hard by the ongoing pandemic. According to the Vancouver Economic Commission, cruise and conference traffic is significant to the city, representing an estimated $2.2 billion in direct and indirect economic impact. Meanwhile, the meetings and conferences sector drives more than $1.6 billion in direct and indirect visitor spending. We ask Royce Chwin, president and CEO of Destination Vancouver, about what is happening and projections for how…

  • Mandatory PCR Test Hurting Travel Industry

      Businesses in Vancouver’s travel and tourism industry are bracing – yet again – for booking cancellations and delayed recovery this winter season. Vancouver welcomed more than 11 million overnight visitors in 2019, contributing $14 billion in total revenues to the Metro Vancouver economy and supporting over 104,000 full-time jobs. By comparison, revenues fell by 70 per cent in 2020. As the largest Canadian city located on the West Coast, Vancouver is Canada’s gateway to the Pacific and the Far East – a critical…