Free Idea Fridays!

Dana’s Annual End of the Year Brain Dump of Ideas
First we highlighted our team's favourites from our 2019 events. Below is a showcase of my favourites from a wonderful year.

In-Expo Lounges
The lounge for the Women in Mortgage Industry (WIMI) was fun and flirty with tones of pink, mixed in with pink and brown leopard prints.

The Blues Brothers
You can't do Chicago without including the Blues Brothers.

Cold Brew Coffee
This draught cold brew station was a refreshing alternative to regular coffee breaks.

Performance Art
At an event this fall in Tremblant, we had a local artist at the Welcome Reception paint a landscape from the area, which was auctioned off at the end of the evening.

Have Fun With Your Centrepieces
The small animal figurines in our forest centrepieces added a whimsical touch.

Send a Special Message
Delegates were able to send a special message to say thank you or tell someone special how much they mean to their lives. This was a breakout hit with our delegates at the Fairmont in Tremblant.

I Wear My Sunglasses at Night…
Maui Jim sunglasses were a huge hit this year for the President's Club we did in Hawaii.


Hotel Branding
Don't forget to ask your hotel or venue what branding opportunities there are for your group to take advantage of through the space.  Your Sponsors can also benefit from these options.

These are photos from our CARSTAR program at the Hilton Chicago.

Custom Cakes
One of the most challenging events I put on this year was the 50th Birthday Party for my little bro Philip. It was made extra special with this custom beer can cake made by our very own Sandra DaMota, who has many hidden creative talents!


The Gin Bar
We did 2 Gin themed Bars this year, one at the Fairmont in Tremblant and the other here in Toronto at the MTCC.

Gin is in, - featuring some great Canadian brands:

Empress 1908 – Victoria, British Columbia
Spirit of York – Toronto, Ontario 
Eau Claire Distillery Parlour Gin  – Turner Valley, Alberta
Radoune Gin – Gaspé, Québec
Steinhart Dry Gin – Arisaig, Nova Scotia
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The aNd Team’s Favourites From 2019
Continuing our yearly tradition, our gift to you this holiday season is our team’s favourite ideas from this year’s conferences.

The Picasso Dessert Table by Sandra
The Picasso table was a huge hit at two of our events this year. Each table was unique to the venue and client, creating great exposure for the sponsor while also highlighting the chef’s creativity. The chef at the Fairmont Mount Tremblant utilized room lighting and various tiers to highlight their display, while the chef at the Sheraton Centre Toronto created a colourful experience by using colored dry ice. These tables created buzz in the audience and were the centre of conversation. Definitely a memorable experience for all in attendance.


Feathery Centrepieces by Clare
This year we decided to add a feather flair to the Fundex National Business Conference centerpiece. Our client fell in love with our initial concept, but the supplier was unable to recreate it for them. We looked everywhere for black feathers (Even checking fly fishing websites) to re-create the same charm as the initial concept. Our hard work paid off, and we ended up designing a centerpiece that looked even better.


Roadshow Donut Centrepieces by Megan
This year we arranged the Shoppers Drug Mart Cosmetics Roadshow in 10 cities across Canada. Instead of packing up and shipping centerpieces for each location, we opted to get creative and incorporate them with the attendees’ desserts. A whimsical donut pyramid display was arranged in each city for guests to ooh and aah over, as well as to eat!

Night Circus Balloons by Lexie
The theme of the National Mortgage Conference’s Industry Networking Event was a ‘Night Circus’. What goes best with a circus? Balloons, of course! The top of the escalators & entrances into the ballroom were wrapped in beautiful balloon artwork, welcoming guests to an incredible evening event, the Night Circus.

Wrigley Field by Matthew & Madi
This July, we helped CARSTAR throw their best conference yet, in the heart of downtown Chicago. The star of this conference was the Welcome Reception, which was held at the historic Wrigley Field. Our planning team, combined with Wrigley Field’s welcoming staff, made the attendees feel just as important as the baseball players that took their stadium back over a few days later.

The franchisees, office staff, & vendors were welcomed by the iconic Marquee Sign in front of the building, the large screen behind the Gallagher Way Picnic Area, and the outfield signs when everyone filed into the bleachers.

In addition to this, the attendees were made to feel right at home with exclusive tours of the press box & the ‘W Club’ private lounge, meet & greet with Chicago Cubs alumni, the World Series Trophy from 2017, and batting cage access.

Superhero Event Theme by Silvana
The majority of conference badges are made with a simple design, only meant to identify the attendee and is stamped with the conference logo. The badges from The Mobile Shop Sales Rally were much more eye-catching, with their comic book design and creative tie-in to the event’s Superhero theme. Upon their arrival at the sales rally, all attendees were very excited to find out which Superhero they would be proudly representing for the duration of the conference.

Here's to an even greater 2020!
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The Life of the Party
Let me begin by saying that anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I do drink. I’m Italian, so of course I had my first sip of wine at the age of 4. My brothers are big wigs in the beer industry (love my Krombacher) and I can personally account for a rise in sales of Hendrick's Gin.
One can easily say that I love to drink, but I love my job even more, and the two just don’t mix. My job revolves around “the party”, but I should never be “the life of the party”.
As event professionals, our job is to produce the party, not partake in the party. We have a long list of responsibilities, which include: to our team, our suppliers, the venue, our clients, and their guests.
I need to stay clear, focussed and diligent. And let’s not forget, I need to get up really early the next morning and do it all over again.
So, let’s talk about the Mad-Men era of liquid lunches that changed drastically in the 90’s. This was when mixing business with entertainment became a no longer acceptable expense for income tax purposes by the government. I remember the former owner of a renowned restaurant here in Toronto recounting stories of business tycoons and government officials spending long lunch hours ordering very expensive wines. Believe it or not, this all changed practically overnight as a result of the regulation change, and a move to a much more conservative attitude towards drinking and business. Today, the Disrupters Era is seeing a gradual acceptance to “entertainment at work”, with beer fridges and ping pong tables becoming more common place in many communal work spaces.
So where does the Event Industry fit in all this?
In my early days in special events, my love of drinking flaunted that I was “one of the boys” which made networking in a male-dominated industry much easier. When I became a business owner, my attitudes matured because I want to be remembered as a professional who is always appropriate and contributing. I wanted to lead my team and set an example. For my business, drinking on the job wasn’t a winning strategy.
Our industry is bravely built by the hard work of so many small businesses. Unfortunately, many of these small businesses don’t have HR departments to deal with drinking policies and regulating disciplinary action for drinking on the job. Here we are again back to a reoccurring theme in my blogs this year – self regulation.
Drinking before, during, or after an event won’t let you keep your job for very long, especially if you have to be on the job and on your toes the next day.
Event Professionals (planners, venue managers, decorators, florists, entertainers and yes even those audio-visual techs) everywhere take note: If the next event you produce starts feeling like your own private party, with a drink in hand, it may be time to consider a change in career.
Blog post by: Dana Zita

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Growth 500: Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies
They say you are known by the company you keep and judging by this prestigious list, we are certainly in good company – Canada’s top 500 growing companies!
Check out who made the list at 492!   YES - aNd Logistix Inc. cracked the top 500 growing companies in Canada!
Canadian Business and Maclean’s ranked aNd Logistix Inc. No. 492 on the annual Growth 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. The winners of the 31st annual Growth 500 ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies are the most ambitious, innovative and successful businesses in Canada.
Produced by Canada’s premier business and current affairs media brands, the Growth 500 ranks Canadian businesses on five-year revenue growth. Growth 500 winners are profiled in a special print issue of Canadian Business published with Maclean’s magazine and is now available online at and
“The companies on the 2019 Growth 500 are truly remarkable. Demonstrating foresight, innovation and smart management, their stories serve as a primer for how to build a successful entrepreneurial business today,” says Beth Fraser, Growth 500 Program Manager. “As we celebrate over 30 years of the Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies program, it’s encouraging to see that entrepreneurship is healthier than ever in this country.”
aNd Logistix is proud to be on the Growth 500 ranking,” says CEO Dana Zita, CSEP, CMP. “This achievement reflects the strength of our nimble but mighty team. To be recognized for our steady and continuous growth on our 25th anniversary year is especially momentous.”
Happy Free Idea Friday!
Blog post by: Dana Zita
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Where have all the “GOOD” people gone?
With all the ethical questions surrounding the SNC-Lavalin affair here in Canada, news stories are full of references to the roles of ethical committees/commissions/boards.
I started thinking about how much an ethical committee really can do. Can they differentiante and weed out the BAD from the GOOD? Within the events/meeting industry, we follow a code of ethics. Or do we?
Do we really? Even in this era of instant news and social media commentary, the worst scandals seem to be swept under the rug.
We can’t ensure ethical behavior. It is near impossible to enforce it. We can only encourage it and educate others to be better professionals. I urge all my peers in the event and meeting planning field to encourage your industry association to find better ways to promote ethical behavior.
It comes down to self regulated personal principles.
Here are links to a few codes of ethical conduct that we should all re-read...
Just doing my part to educate on this Labour Day weekend!
Hope my “Free Idea” makes your Friday!
To learn more, please visit

Blog post by: Dana Zita
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Supplier Spotlight
Way back in 2000 to celebrate the new millennium, Dana reached out to several of our suppliers to create a NEW IDEAS document to share with clients. To celebrate our 25th anniversary, we asked our suppliers once more for fresh ideas to share with all of you.

Get Connected Lanyard:
Now you can provide attendees with a lanyard that does much more than just hang around! This one not only connects event-goers to your vivid four-colour brand imprint, but also connects your phone to your computer, car, anything with a USB port for its necessary charging. It’s a great way to double up the duty of your lanyards by also making them a fantastic give-away.


Stack a Ribbon Fun Packs:
Add some fun to your next meeting with these assorted ribbons for badges. These packs feature popular stack-a-ribbon event themes.  From Hipster Fun Packs to Warning Label Fun Packs, your attendees will love finding ribbons that represent themselves and their fellow attendees.

The Pillar Lanyard:
The Pillar's brushed silver design offers a sleek transition from lanyard to name badge; the satin polyester fabric and dye-sublimated, full-color process create "vivid" imprinting with intricate detailing of your logo. Certainly not an obtrusive "bauble" that overpowers the all-important name tag, but a subtle segue that allows the name, data and design on the tag to shine.

Eco Friendly Options:
Going green for your next meeting?  Consider fully biodegradable name badges and Lanyards.
The lanyards are 100% organic cotton, exceptionally soft and 100% biodegradable. They come in a variety of attachments and can be customized with a sponsor or company logo. Our Bio PVC Holder has a special additive in the PVC that makes the entire holder fully biodegradable with zero toxic residue. ASTM tested safe for commercial and home compost so there's less landfill impact with every meeting!

Best Journal Ever!
Hold cellphone (any size), business card holder, pen loop, envelope in back for receipts, notes, etc.
Walk into a meeting with this journal and you have all you need.


2-in-1 Sports Bottle
Single-walled Tritan sports water bottle with Frost white screw-on PP top cap and spray lid. A trigger produces a fine mist to help you cool down. Perfect for the conference floor or golf course! Stay hydrated and keep cool.


Stainless Steel Straw Kits
Save our planet, one straw at a time with this 18/8 food grade stainless steel straw. The 5-piece set includes two straight straws, two bent straws, and one cleaning brush, packed in a drawstring cotton bag.

Mobile Office Commuter Sleeve
Keep your mobile office up and running with a padded
sleeve to keep you organized when on the road!


Next Level Cool Conference Tote
Tired of the same boring giveaway tote bags? This stylish foldable tote is the world’s best all everything tote, and it comes in a plethora of fashion colours and patterns.

What an exciting year as colour is back.
We were thrilled to be able to incorporate a wonderful grouping of the new yellow canvas
styling for a conference recently.
Our fashion forward setting truly brought the sunshine as yellow is one of the biggest hits of
the season.
We have all been suspended in a grey zone for
quite some time, but working closely with
aNd logistics we wanted to push the envelope

The drapery as well as custom pillows in a pineapple print was greeted with such a complimentary vibe that attendees gathered and enjoyed our lounge with their down time in between sessions.


Another new and exciting trend this year is the new neutrals.
Organic styles like green and beige are being welcomed into the market as they have been missing for so long.
Green reminds us of regrowth and creates a perfect base for any design.
Beige or a biscotti shade seems to relax our clients and bring that natural organic feeling back.


CCR used elaborate laser lighting and intelligent lighting to create the atmosphere for a performance/entertainment driven industry gala night.


This centre stage showcased the creative use of a custom designed set, projection mapping, and intelligent lighting to create a high-impact sales-kick off in an arena.

This Loblaws event involved the usage of a very large wide format screen (about 120’) with multiple projectors and screen blending. It included custom produced content as well as various types of lighting, including LEDs and Movers to create the desired effect.


This Sunlife event involved using a customized and blended semi-circle screen that was driven by custom produced content as the backdrop. It also included outboard screens for content, as well as intelligent lighting to create the desired look and effect.


Signage is key to so many elements of events and conference.  Saman Design shared these ideas that enhance the directional flow of guests.


Registration is the usually the first point of contact and we love making it a great first impression.



Large decals that look like museum displays make a great impact and establishes a distinctive vibe.



Don’t forget things like staircase. It’s a fanastic way to help brand the entire space creating a customized atmospher




Centrepieces don’t have to be flowers. This unique silouette of cityscapes worked great with the theme of the event and the sponsor branding was a bonus feature.


Floor to Ceiling is an impactful look to grab attention

And don’t forget the floor – these neon effect floor decals indicated the way to all the events taking place in the venue.

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2019 Canadian Event Industry Awards Nominees

The aNd Logistix team is delighted to have qualified as finalists for the 2019 Canadian Event Industry Awards! Our dedication to planning and delivering high-quality events has awarded us nominations in three different categories: Best Conference, Best Trade Show or Exposition and one we are extremely proud of – team member Sandra DaMota has been nominated for Emerging Industry Leader.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who collaborated with us to create such incredible events, and our amazing staff who consistently work to craft the best events possible!

Our Partners
Stronco Show Services
CCR Solutions
Saman Designs
Divine Furniture Rental
Susan Murray International

Metro Toronto Convention Centre
Palais des congrès de Montréal
Sheraton Centre Hotel Toronto
Sophia the Humanoid
The Lost Fingers
Rick Mercer
Steven Page
Barista Brian
Barbra Lica Quintet

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In Honour of J. Charles Grieco
This week’s Free Idea Friday is dedicated to J. Charles Grieco, a distinqued member of Toronto’s hospitality community who passed away this week.
To call him a pioneer is an understatement since his own mind set was so forward thinking – a maverick is definitely more like it!  Hospitality was not a job, it was a vocation.
During his highly successful 35-year career as owner of the renown La Scala Restaurant, he and the Grieco family set a new standard for fine dining and fine wines in Toronto.
His accomplishments later on in life are what resonate most for me, with his leadership of the Ontario Hostelry Institute in 1977 and subsequently becoming managing director at the Canadian Hospitality Foundation, which helped raise millions for student awards and support.
We can all learn from his own words:  “Great hospitality is taking however we felt before we came to the table, and making us feel a little better when we leave.”  For Mr. Grieco it wasn’t about what you did exactly or how timely the service was or the food you plated or what wine you offered -  but how you made people feel around the table.
Saluti to you Sir – your inspiration will live on through our memories of sharing many a table with you.  It was my privilege.

Blog Post by: Dana Zita
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Celebrating 25 Years!

With a new year comes a fresh mindset, letting new ideas flow and embracing motivation at an all-time high!  Most of us begin the new year with resolutions of promises to achieve a certain goal or to stop a nagging habit. As a corporate team, our New Year’s resolution is the continuation of exceptional work ethics and the drive to exceed last year’s achievements.

This year, aNd Logistix is celebrating its 25th anniversary! Time flies when you love what you do! aNd Logistix was established in December 1993 and has experienced lots of change since then. We are proud to continuously organize and execute successful events year after year. We have had the pleasure of forming strong relationships with both clients and team members, that have played such an important role in helping us grow and improve. aNd Logistix is proud to have introduced policies and prompted discussion in the workplace concerning the promotion of inclusion, diversity and an overall safe, enjoyable work environment throughout the past 25 years. This positive open-mindedness has enabled us to work with people from different professional backgrounds and lifestyles. It’s helped us learn and expand our horizons to create a professional organization with a genuine, personal touch.

We enter 2019 with the same commitment and enthusiasm that has defined our corporation since the very beginning, and we would like to thank all of those who have been a part of this journey with us. 


A Special Thank You to Our Clients: Achieving 25 incredible years in business has only been made possible through having the opportunity to work with clients that have established such committed relationships as ours have, and that have always provided belief and support in our projects. We are very thankful to all our clients for helping us improve, overcome challenges and ultimately learn as a company. We hope to continue building our knowledge, share experiences and overall enjoying the advice, collaboration and friendship that our clients have demonstrated throughout these 25 years. The team at aNd Logistix thanks you again and wishes all of you Happy New Year!


A Special Thank You to Our Team Members: The projects we undertake at aNd Logistix require dedication, attention to detail, positivity and an unwavering work ethic. We are extremely fortunate to have a team that is so devoted to doing their jobs with the utmost effort. It has been an absolute pleasure working with every member of the aNd Logistix team that brings a different and unique perspective to each project. We are looking forward to another year of such unbelievable teamwork!

2019 marks such a major milestone for aNd Logistix, we are welcoming it with a renewed sense of vigor and purpose! We cannot wait to see what the new year has in store for us!

Don't forget to check out our instagram @andlogistix - we'll be sharing fun memories throughout the year!

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