Oddly enough, it was a relatively quiet month on the actual event execution front; however, I was fortunate to do some traveling on home turf.
I can tell you the highlight of July for me was the two short (but fruitful) business trips I made way out east to what we Canucks lovingly call The Maritimes Provinces:
Went to beautiful St. John’s, Newfoundland and then Saint John, New Brunswick, (PLEASE note the distinction) and let’s put it this way: I appreciate our SPECTACULAR country a lot more!!
You know folks we’ve got a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful country from coast to coast.
Truth be told I haven’t been to the West Coast yet … got as far west as Regina, Saskatchewan… so Vancouver and Victoria are still on my (and my client’s) travel wish list..
Please remember, part of the reason I’m traveling is to scope new locations for clients who always want new places to discover and yes I have that “burden” of discovering and executing these beautiful spots for them. OK, OK, enough about me… let’s get back to the Maritime Provinces…
As I mentioned my first stop was the BEAUTIFUL city St. John’s, Newfoundland and WONDERFULLY WOW is the best I can describe it. Just picture waking up to the Atlantic Ocean and going to sleep with it. Then I witnessed the spectacular icebergs making their appearances (yes folks, I said icebergs) and like that wasn’t enough, how about being escorted by the majestic Humpback Killer Whales back and forth throughout our boat excursion, what a privilege it was!! We then hiked to Cape Spear where I stood on the most eastern point of Canada. Of course we cannot forget to mention the culinary experience I had with one of the chefs that appeared on “Top Chef Canada” DELISH – it was abundance of fresh fish galore to this foodie’s delight! All I’m going to say about the night life is George Street; OMG do they KNOW how to P A R T Y (I think I’m still recovering …)
Second stop was the UBER quaint Saint John, New Brunswick and what a CHARMING city it was! This time I had the view of the Bay of Fundy – WOW everyone should experience the high and low tide. Talk about Mother Nature at her best! The thought of the Bay rising 28’ and then lowering 28’ in one day everyday is phe-nom-en-al!! (begs the question I kept asking: “where does all that water go??”). Learnt much about the geo-system and the enormous amount of history this beautiful city has. We were also spoiled with a lobster lunch that was mouth-watering delicious (also prepared by a local chef that also appeared on “Top Chef Canada”).
I’m telling you these beautiful cities in their respective provinces can definitely hold their own. My clients will have a difficult decision for their
upcoming 2015 Incentive trips.
Back in Montreal, reality hit, which for me it meant it was time to expose my Lasalle College Event Management students to some local properties:
The First place we visited was the UBER SEXY
W HOTEL Montreal. As usual Mr. Francois Patulli, Catering Sales Manager showed us around, and this time we were “privileged’ to get a first peek at something we were sworn not to reveal… (can’t divulge it, sorry);
On another occasion, it so happened I ended up with three speakers for my Negotiations Sales and Contract class, which turned out to be cool. What I did is turn it into a panel of vendors discussion:
(i) a Music Band: Ms. Randi Katz and Mr. Tony Picciuto Entertainers Extraordinaire from The Directors Showband
(ii) a Hotelier; Ms. Laurence Aflalo,Business Travel Sales Manager from Sheraton Montreal Airport Hotel
(iii) as the Meeting Planner; Myself aka Eventista from Montreal Event Planner
We had a great conversation and discussed many things about negotiations, contracts, what the protocol would/should be with vendors, and the overall dynamics of our industry;
Another week, the class did a site visit field trip where we got to see The Queen Elizabeth Hotel with the charming Ms. Anne Letourneau, Director of Sales as our guide for this historic Fairmount property. It was on the students’ wish list and was enjoyed thoroughly. They got to see the infamous “John Lennon suite” and learned all the historic components of this majestic property (ahh if those walls could talk).
Lastly and by no means the least, we had the privilege of Ms. Sybille Brault, CMP, Manager – Convention Services from Montreal Tourism to come speak to the class and elaborated the important role they play in relations to our industry. (shout-out to Sabrina for the connection)
Between all this I had time to have a lovely (overdue) lunch with the Hilton Montreal Bonaventure men, M. Nicolas Laflamme and his partner in crime M. Julien Dagenais-Côté, both in group sales.
I also spent the month catching up with old friends and other industry colleagues. Side Note: we all know relationships NEED to be constantly nurtured.
I did do much-needed business development with a few potential clients. Despite the fact that there was no meetings and social event executions for me this month, I still managed to close on two more Incentive Programs for clients, so I’m happy about that. That means I’ve done five so far for this year and the year isn’t over yet!
If all goes well … I’ll be away a lot more in August and can’t wait to tell you all about it then.
See you soon … Bonne Vacances!