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  • Space case: Three principles for guiding spatial design for meetings and events

    By Sheri Moore Today’s meetings and events planners face pressure on many fronts. That’s why our job is consistently ranked amongst top five most stressful jobs by Forbes. This trend is likely to continue as the industry is disrupted by technology, industry trends and market demands. For a long time, we have been expected to be magicians that can create unique experiences and affect spatial design that’s tailored to guests’ expectations, regardless of group size, profile or diversity of thought, and all while exceeding…

  • Venue contract wisdom is often woefully insufficient

    By Heather Reid A side-by-side examination of 12 signed and negotiated contracts for booking events into unconventional venues unveiled disturbing discrepancies to me. The “unconventional venue” contracts included the following Canadian locations: cultural centre, city-owned sport facility, entertainment complex, music hall, high-risk recreational facility, heritage facility, aquarium, brewery, two recreational/amusement facilities and museums in three different cities. A wide variety of unconventional venues for sure! Here are a few of the disturbing findings of my side-by-side review: Indemnification Clause: 6…

  • What you need to know about shipping event materials

    By John Santini Like most people shipping to a trade show or conference, once your shipment leaves your premises you likely give little thought to its journey to your booth space in Canada. We’re just happy to see it there when we arrive! It is important, however, to understand what happens between points A and B to ensure your material makes it there, on time and during the move-in hours. Move-in day and labelling You would be surprised how many…

  • The insider’s guide to internal meeting spaces

    There are times when corporate planners are tasked with planning events in an internal meeting space. Usually, this means planning meetings in office buildings while managing client expectations – and what they expect is the same standard as if the meeting was held in a purpose-built venue. Perceived convenience and cost savings become the deciding factors for internal meetings, however there can be hidden costs and inconveniences that should be considered. Moving meetings into the office are rarely as simple…

  • Wish list of items for a perfect event space

    By Jessica Symons and Sarah Stockton Before determining what the perfect event space is, you first need to understand your client’s needs, their demographic, and their expectations: Do they prefer downtown locations versus the suburbs? Do they need to be close to transit or the airport? Do they need to have off-site social locations close by? Where is the majority of their membership coming from? How many people are expected to attend this event? Are they mostly women, mostly men,…

  • Will market disruption make room blocks the next casualty?

    By Anita Carlyle, CMP, CMM At a recent PCMA East Canada workshop in Ottawa, meeting professionals and business event suppliers came together to discuss room blocks. Consensus among the hotel sales representatives was that it is business as usual – if clients want the use of meeting space, they will be held to specific room blocks. These blocks will continue to be contracted with attrition clauses that mandate room and food & beverage revenue. Group business is the hotel’s base…

  • Marriott’s commission reduction: Don’t say you weren’t warned!

    By Shimon Avish Six months ago, in a prescient article by the GBTA Meetings Committee, the specter of a reduction or elimination of hotel commissions was explored. And as of last month, that possibility is now a reality, thanks to the folks at Marriott reducing commissions from 10 to seven per cent in North America. Do we believe this is the final reduction in commissions, or only the first step? Let the chaos begin! The only question that matters now…

  • Information – the most important tool of planning and executing events

    The one major tool we have is information. We get our information based on the questions we ask, how information is gathered and how information is distributed. Asking the right questions Whenever I am speaking to a new or previous client, I begin by: Gathering the basic information about the program or event; Asking the client to clearly define the objectives and parting message; Asking where the program or event has been held before (if applicable), what worked and what…

  • The impact of short lead times in meetings and event management

    By Maria da Cunha, CTC, CMP Organizations are often focused on short-term economic planning where commitments to a meeting or event are confirmed last minute, often within 30 days of the event date. The 2008 financial crisis was a major contributor to the short lead times applied to meetings and events when inventory was readily available throughout the meetings and events industry. Business operations have also changed or adjusted to different management strategies which have resulted in short lead times…

  • Planning accessible events for every body

    Chances are that if you are an event planner, you are able to move around quickly, you are agile and you are used to literally being on the run! It is a physically demanding job. This also means that because you are able-bodied, it might not occur to you to plan for people who are not as mobile. If this is not the case and you are always proactively planning for different abilities at your events, I congratulate you. This,…

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