Special Events & Conferences

  • Get High: CN Tower’s renovated observation deck now open

    Event planners take note: After nearly a year, the CN Tower’s $16 million renovation of its main observation deck is open to the public and for private events. Toronto-based — and appropriately-named, given the venue — Cumulus Architects revamped the space, modernizing it, making it more accessible and Toronto’s cityscape more visible. To that end, massive, 448 kg floor-to-ceiling windows were installed along the length of the deck, giving those with mobility issues or disabilities unhindered access to the view…

  • Building the right team can make – or break – your event

    You’ve gone through the request for proposal process, won it (congratulations), and inherited the conference management team. It’s probably made up of the conference chair and organizing committee from the organization – or organizations — that hired you. You’re stuck with this team for better or worse, but the event day team is yours to build from the ground up. You get to recruit and train the event novices and conference pros that will make the big day a success…

  • How nature can boost your attendees’ experience

    It’s official – spring is here! With the warmer weather approaching, I am dreaming about those long walks in the park, fresh air and sunlight, and I am completely overcome with positive emotions. It’s little wonder why I am crushing hard for nature. Its health benefits are as old as time and with wellness being the most talked-about trend in the meeting industry, I wanted to explore how integrating nature into meetings and events can boost the overall attendee experience.…

  • Ramadan is coming – Are you prepared?

    Experienced meeting professionals know to check the calendar very carefully when choosing event dates. Statutory and religious holidays are simple – we need to just avoid them altogether! Examples of some dates that are completely off limits: Christmas, Easter, Yom Kippur and Passover. One of the religious holidays that causes some confusion among event planners is Ramadan. Ramadan is observed by Muslims worldwide, it falls in May/June and it lasts for about a month. The timing is different every year.…

  • Four ways to optimize your networking opportunities

    By Jennifer Beale In the meetings and events industry, one of the key predictors of your success is your ability to build relationships with influential people who connect powerfully and create high-trust relationships fast. And just like them, you can learn to effortlessly create profitable, winning relationships with anyone you want. While industry events are ideal places to find potential customers and partners, often the results are disappointing. You do everything the experts say: shake hands confidently, look people in…

  • How mutual respect, inclusion and open-mindedness provoke positive experiences at your corporate event

    What are you hiding from? On a recent flight, I was immersed in the story of Hidden Figures, which follows the colored women who were part of the collaborative team behind NASA’s manned space flight program. This movie sparked several thoughts. First, diversity and inclusion start at the top of an organization (or home), and require every single person to have respect for every other person. We must not base our assumptions on skin tone, spiritual belief, educational background, hometown…

  • Four ways event planners can get ready for the spring conference season

    If you’re like many meeting planners that work in conference and professional development event management, your peak season is the spring. During this time you’ll see many multi-day conferences, award shows, annual general meetings, etc. While the timing of these events are convenient for attendees since they occur outside of other peak seasons such as summer holidays and year-end, this also means that as a planner, you can expect things to pick up well in advance. Part of the nature…

  • Great events start with great engagement – even on a volunteer committee

    The typical experience of a volunteer committee unfolds as predictably as if scripted. A table is filled with enthusiastic committee members. A gung-ho committee chair. Possibly cupcakes. Then just as predictably, members drop off one by one. Other priorities, apathy and life take over. With event day looming, the few remaining end up with lion’s share of work. Sadly, a once enthusiastic crew can succumb to dysfunction and under-performance. Thankfully, there are volunteer committees that are getting it right. They…

  • Dangerous assumptions: The faulty reasoning behind many conference education programs

    By Jeff Hurt It’s a very dangerous assumption: We assume that if our speakers are talking, our attendees must be learning. We equate telling from the stage with audience education. Telling does not equal learning. We’ve placed a value on experts talking instead of a value on attendees’ learning. It’s backwards thinking and it’s one of our conference’s most dangerous assumptions. Mimicking the wrong model Most of our conference education mimics our traditional higher education model. Attendees listen to experts…

  • Three tips for a successful trade show or event

    By Geoff Martin In a marketing world dominated by technology and online engagement, trade shows still prove to be a successful marketing technique for most organizations. Nothing compares to being face-to-face with your target market and encouraging engagement with your brand. Planning a trade show exhibit or event display can be overwhelming, but keeping the following three tips in mind will not only help to simplify the process, but will also help ensure a successful event. 1. Plan ahead: Define…

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