Free Idea Fridays!

Out with the Old, in with the New!
Our team’s gift to you this holiday season is our team’s favourite ideas from this year’s conferences.

Creations by Bar Chef from Minah
What’s better than a tasty cocktail at the end of a long day? What about a colourful cocktail that bubbles, fizzes and even smokes! Inciting all your senses—taste, touch, sound, smell and sight. Guests buzzed around this molecular-inspired bar all night, as bartenders conducted the perfect science experiment before their eyes by creating an array of mystical cocktails. Working with Bar Chef was a smooth-sailing experience by customizing their menu to cater to your theme and providing options for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Barista Brian from Shawn
Everyone always appreciates a good coffee between conference seminars and sessions. We were fortunate to secure Barista Brian, an internationally recognized latte artist for The Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships conference. By combining caffeine and his artistic skills, he boosted everyone’s energy and productivity. We thank him for being the crowd-pleaser we didn’t know we needed!

Surf set Yoga from Jess
During meals and session breaks, attendees had the opportunity to try the new yoga craze- traditional Yoga but on an elevated surfboard (Surfset Yoga). From downward dog to headstands to simply standing on their feet, attendees were rushing to get themselves surfing between sessions.

Therapy Dogs from Matt
Therapy Dogs were a hit at both our 2018 Shoppers Pharmacy Conferences in Toronto and Calgary. Rescue dog non-profit organizations were very generous in sending many dogs and their owners to help give the pharmacists a well-deserved break during a busy conference. Attendees are very impressed by the multitude of breeds and sizes of therapy dogs, making their conference an even more enjoyable experience.

Mindful Yoga Lounge- from Megan
We swapped out traditional lounge seating with multicolour yoga balls, creating a calming break environment in between the busy conference atmosphere. Allowing pharmacists to take a balanced break at the Shoppers Drug Mart Pharmacy Conference.

Curling from Candace
SWEEP! A great way to get your conference attendees to socialize and get active at the same time is indoor curling. The game is played with a long mat and 8 rocks (on wheels). This year we incorporated the idea into our activity breaks during general session and a Canadian themed networking lounge. Have two people play against each other or encourage attendees to find new friends by building teams of 4.

Sugar boost from Katie
Falling into that mid-day slump, but can’t stomach another cup of coffee?  Why not let your sweet tooth be your guide!  This year at the CCPPP conference, the international café featured a Candy Bar, where delegates could grab a quick treat, or fill a bag for later.  The candy acted as part of the décor by matching the candy colours to the room theme and as a conversation starter, showcasing Canadian candies and favourites from childhood.  What a treat!

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What the CMP Exam Doesn't Give You
Dana recently wrote her CMP exam and PASSED!  We sat down with her to ask her how she felt about the process and here is what we learned
What was the best thing about the CMP process for you this past year?
I really enjoyed our weekly CMP study group at the office with the aNd team – We’d do it over lunch, and it was a great team bonding experience.  We had some laughs while learning and it was helpful in seeing our different strengths and weaknesses.  

What was the worst thing about the CMP process for you this past year?
I love that our industry is constantly growing, and from early in my career I’ve advocated for the standards we now practise.  However, I found some of the principles a bit unrealistic in real planning scenarios -- a few times I caught myself saying “REALLY – seriously that can’t be the correct answer?”

What can’t the CMP give you?
Patience!  Being patient is something that needs to be constant and I practise patience every single day.
Creativity!  You really need to work at creativity and staying in tune with what is new DAILY is so important to keep creative juices flowing.  I try to look up something new and exciting every single day.
Hands on Experience!  Theory is worthy, but practise makes perfect. Every challenge I faced and solved has stayed with me and I pass that experience on directly to the team, colleagues and our clients.  You need a lot of practise beyond those 3 little letters.
Any closing thoughts?
I am most proud of Sandra – not just for passing but for simply trying and giving it her all. 
We look forward to meeting our goal of 6 CMPs by 2020!
Hope my “Free Idea” makes your Friday!
To learn more, please visit
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Fireworks Friday- Looking Back at Celebrating Canada's 150th Anniversary
With clients and attendees coming from near and far we always strive to add a Canadian touch to our events. But last year had to be bigger and better than any others, because we celebrated Canada’s 150th Birthday!

For 2018 we thought we would look back at some of our favourite moments celebrating the place we call home.

Firstly, Toronto hosted the 10th Annual SEUS-CP Conference and showcased a youth group from the Native Canadian Centre for a traditional dance performance.

IIROC hosted a camp themed Reception sponsored by BMO where Canada’s favourite drink was featured.  Attendees were able to add their favorite fix-ins to this Canadian staple. I’ll take mine extra spicy with a celery stick, please!


IBAO chose the perfect spot for Canada’s 150th Anniversary, overlooking the capital’s parliament buildings. All bases were covered from location, convention logo, staff uniforms and James Cunningham's Mountie costume during MC duties.


The Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP) celebrated Canada throughout the conference. Attendees came from all around the world, so it was quite special to display our Canadian spirit throughout the Conference. As this conference took place around Remembrance Day, CCPPP made a donation to the Royal Canadian Legion so we could supply attendees with poppies. Other details at the CCPPP Conference included: a reception with “streets of Toronto” food stations and a memory mile to incorporate important moment’s in Canada’s and CCPPP’s history.


Lastly, when in doubt… invite the Prime Minister and sneak a photo.


There were so many amazing moments to look back on, but these were a few of my favourite! Hope everyone had an amazing Canada Day Celebration this year!

Guest Blogger: Jessica Goncalves
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Event’s Unplugged: Experiencing Yondr
I recently attended a concert, but I don’t have any proof of it. That is because I attended a Jack White concert and if you haven’t heard yet, he has “banned” cellphones. For the Boarding House Reach tour (Check out one of my favourite songs off the album here) Jack White has paired up with a company named “Yondr”. they provide pouches for attendees that make cellphones inaccessible once in the venue. I imagine most attendees became anxious when they discovered they would not have access to their phones for what could be hours, but I was excited for an unplugged experience!


Jack White has gained an “old fashioned” reputation and I imagine the use of Yondr reinforced that reputation for many. When talking about his decisions in music he is open to say what works for him is not what everyone needs to be doing. However, when it came to people connecting through their screens or connecting authentically he put his foot down. These same pouches have been used by comedians to help prevent leaking of their new material online, but I think any advocate will agree that a major benefit is the real human connection and awareness that comes along with leaving your phone out of the mix.

A look at the logistics: The pouches themselves are made of a durable fabric with a locking mechanism at the top that works like a security tag that a retailer would use. As you enter the venue you are given the pouch and are asked to turn your phone to silent. For those that have a mobile ticket staff will print out a hard copy for you! Once you insert your phone the pouch is then locked for you and you keep your phone secured in this pouch with you. One of the important things to note is there are designated areas where you can unlock your phone for emergencies (or withdrawal). Upon exiting the concert grounds an associate will unlock and collect the pouch, which I will describe in more detail later on.


 “I want people to live in the moment, and it’s funny that the easiest way to rebel is to tell people to turn off their phone.” says White about banning cellphones at his Boarding House Reach tour during an interview with the Toronto Star. The idea behind the decision is simple: Get people to engage in the real world without distraction. My experience was enhanced by having the freedom to just enjoy every moment of the concert. From a business stand point this could provide a professional photographer or a reporter/journalist with a much more important topic to share as they have been the only people granted permission to capture the event. What is normally special, and energizing took on a whole new level of uniqueness when you realize that moment was only being lived by us there.

Live concert photos are posted on the Jack White Live Instagram page. 

The one logistical error: leaving the concert. I was dreading the lineup for the exit but was hopeful the Yondr team had it down smooth, unfortunately the execution was as I expected. Having to unlock each attendees phone at the same time was a long and disorderly wait. People became understandably impatient and frustrated waiting to have their phones unlocked. Others who could not survive the concert without their phone ripped open their pouches and littered them throughout the venue. It is sad that such a unique experience could be tainted so abruptly by impatience. Perhaps Yondr can offer more unlocking stations and associates to man them to help deter the only negative part of my experience.

Though I wish I had photos to spread throughout this post, I am happy to say my full attention was given to someone who very much deserved it. We are always connected but there are times when we can all benefit from being unplugged. Networking and sharing special moments is a beautiful part of any event but we need balance: when a speaker is talking, a demo is being given or an entertainer is working to connect with an audience maybe it’s best to not to allow people the option to turn their attention away.

Guest Blogger: Taylor St. Amour

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Look Who's Talking
Think you’ve seen and heard it all?  Well here is a new one for you.
Throughout my 25+ year career, I have had the privilege of greeting many prominent keynote speakers including US retired four-star general Colin Powell, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, actor Alan Alda, music legend Randy Bachman, football great Joe Theismann and news anchor and author Amanda Lang… to name just a few.
But this past week Discovery 18 provided me with one of the most unique experiences to date!
Sophia the Robot, a social humanoid powered by artificial intelligence (AI), gave the opening keynote address along with creator Dr. David Hanson who joined via hologram.
Sophia is the latest "genius machine" from Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics, a company that produces robots designed to mimic human behaviour. Created using artificial intelligence technologies and breakthrough robotics developed by Dr. Hanson and his team, Sophia has garnered worldwide media attention and is the first robot to be granted citizenship.
This was her first ever appearance in Canada!
Take a look at the highlight video here.

Sophia meeting with her fans

Hope my “Free Idea” makes your Friday!

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Axe'llent Team Building
As a post conference thank you one of our clients treated us to an evening at Stryke Toronto. There we became expert archers, axe throwers, and knife throwers. There are many reasons why it is very important to like who you work with, and the occasional team-building activity is a great way to build-up inter-office friendships. 


In this office, competition is always welcome and everyone had a great time improving and then showing off their skills next to their coworkers. We competed in a “Tour de Stryke” where we faced off, one-on-one in an archery lane. Having someone next to you and knowing that an attendant from Stryke was keeping score got the competitive juices flowing inside of everyone. Competing as an individual is fun, but the next two events were where teamwork became crucial.


Axe throwing and knife throwing are not as easy as they look. Simply throwing them as hard as you can will not get them to stick into the wall, as your distance from the wall and angle of the throw are much more vital. After practicing, we were split into two teams, going one-by-one, attempting to accomplish different objectives before the other team. Giving your teammates advice when they were on a cold streak, getting out of the lane as quickly as possible to set up your next teammate, and the thrill of winning brought each team closer together.


The activity that the group participates in is not the most important aspect in a team-building event. The key was placing us in a new surrounding and having us work together, teach each other and take a breather together to celebrate our success of the fall season. In my opinion, having a group outing at least bi-annually is necessary to keep comradery among colleagues high, and stress levels low. Whether the team-building activities are done by a whole company or simply a division of a larger one, it’s importance cannot be understated. Lucky for us we share office lunches, go on walks for ice-cream, and keep each other’s morale up in the office on a daily basis, but this outing was “spot on” and we were thankful to our client for the treat!


Guest Blogger: Matthew Genova
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2018 Canadian Event Industry Awards Gala- We Won!
DISCOVERY a big winner at  21st Annual Canadian Event Industry Awards this past Wednesday, March 21st!

Check out OCE's Facebook post here
Mortgage Professionals Canada took home the prize for BEST CONFERENCE

Check out all the brilliant Canadian talent nominated at the awards here.  
Work with people who love what they do!


Hope my "Free Idea" Friday makes your day!

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Promo Innovation
Many of us can agree that getting free stuff can be so exciting… but so much of what we receive we already have. So how are companies refreshing the promo world? Recently I got the chance to check out the Interior Design Show in Toronto. I left with knowledge of 2018 trends, major home envy and one of the most innovative giveaways ever. Then this past week we took a work fieldtrip to the Promotional Product Show to see what’s new and exciting in the promo world and I have to say I was continually surprised. In a world where every company seems to be trying to win your attention it’s so important to think of interesting, new and maybe even subtle ways to gain it.

Free “Swag” isn’t the only thing these two very different shows had in common. The trends I saw for interior design were also present in the promo world. I couldn’t ignore the recurrence of marble: from counter tops, tiling and décor accents to water bottles, notepads and pens. It’s a beautiful, mature yet fun pattern and can be used minimally or go large! Another important trend is an effort to “go green”. Sustainability is becoming more important to people, whether it’s by shopping local, using spaces for multiple things or printing on reusable paper and having a reusable water bottle. 

As for the fun promo ideas, let me start with the obvious setting: The Promotional Product Show. Two things that jumped out to me were compressed t-shits: t-shirts made into fun shapes relating to the company/product or logo. As well Branded board games really caught my attention. Being able to fully customize a familiar game with a company’s branding seems like a great way to create a positive and effortless connection with consumers.



What I didn’t expect from the Interior Design Show was to get my most prized freebie to date! There was a paint company at the show and not only did they have this trendy yurt-like structure complete with paint chip shingles for a roof. They were also giving away nail polish. The nail polish colour was created from their colour of the year. This item is innovative because you can still see it every day, but it doesn’t have to be in your face with their company name plastered on it.


Giving the usual promo products a new spin is really great way of breathing freshness into something so overdone!

Guest Blogger: Taylor St. Amour
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Supporting the #MeToo Movement

Guest Blogger: Olivia Moore 
Olivia is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in English at Ryerson University. She works with aNd Logistix on a part-time basis and as an in-office and on-site support member. She was thrilled to have an opportunity to be our guest blogger for the month. Enjoy!


Many of us have had to deal with unwelcome workplace situations at some point in our lives. There is a slew of factors that can contribute to making a work environment uncomfortable. Unfortunately, some of these factors include much more serious offences that can drive both employers and employees to severe levels of discomfort and feeling threatened while at work.

As of late, a large discussion has developed pertaining to sexual misconduct in the workplace. This led to the aNd team having an open discussion on the subject during one of our morning meetings. Although we have all seen the headlines, it was relieving to have an open discussion concerning sexual harassment so that all employees were assured that our office is a safe environment where these issues can be brought to the attention of management, and that management would protect us and not stand for it. Through discussing different company policies regarding sexual harassment and talking about a few cases that have come to light, the immediate response was the importance of understanding that everyone (staff, attendees and all other parties) have the right to be respected and feel comfortable at work (and of course, in life). There is zero tolerance for this kind of behaviour at aNd. Having this conversation reinforced the bond of our staff as we all agreed and understood why establishing a zero-tolerance policy is such an essential part of ensuring a safe office environment. Although most companies have policies condemning sexual harassment and assault, I found it beneficial to have an open discussion concerning the issue as it helps coworkers to better understand one another. It also reduces the negative stigma surrounding the conversation in addition to encouraging those who have been victims of this kind of treatment to come forward, or know that their workplace puts measures in place in hopes that this never happens on their watch.

Overall, everyone wants to feel safe and comfortable within their workplace. Ensuring a positive atmosphere requires issues such as sexual assault and harassment to be addressed openly so that everybody sharing the workplace knows that their voice will be heard. Sexual harassment and assault are extremely serious offences that can have devastating impacts not only on the victim’s life, but also on the integrity of the company. It is our responsibility to ensure that preventative steps are taken to condemn this behaviour and so that the workplace becomes a more enjoyable space for everyone to share.


Below are links that help define sexual assault and harassment, and provide options towards the steps that can be taken to prevent this issue, in addition to providing information on how to handle the situation if this does occur.


Ontario Human Rights Commission:

Ontario Human Rights Commission:
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