Free Idea Fridays!

Before the Summer Ends
The cooler air this morning was a chilling reminder that autumn is just around the corner.

Here are a few hot things to check out before the summer ends:


We will be back with more Free Ideas in September with a new look and forma - stay tuned for more...
at 11:16AM
Springtime Poaching Season Begins...
I briefly touched on this topic back in March and many of you asked for more details and measures you can take to resolve the poaching.

Poaching? A hotel poacher is a housing company that well basically STEALS your delegate, sponsor and exhibitor lists looking for ways to contact people that may be looking to book rooms for your conference or tradeshow. Watch out for these companies that go fishing for your attendees and take action!

Here is how:
  • You have every right to warn your attendees in your publications, websites, e-newsletters, exhibitor manuals, email blitz, twitter and Facebook (any vehicle you use to communicate with your attendees)
  • Be clear and concise in your messaging – here are a few I have seen on various association websites -
    • Beware of solicitation from unauthorized hotels and housing agencies...
    • We encourage you to book your accommodation through our sanctioned supplier...
    • We would like to make you aware of a situation that has been brought to our attention from several of our attendees. There are companies (xxxxHousingxxxx) who have been contacting our exhibitors to assist with hotel reservations...
  • Include the links to your housing company or department or hotel in every piece of material you send out so that all attendees can book directly and have the information handy all the time and name your accommodation partner – so everyone is familiar with their respectability.
  • Ask your attendees to be the watchdog and report on any unauthorized solicitation
  • You can ask some of the attendees you know better (sponsors committee members, board members) to forward any emails they receive from these fraud organizations so that you can investigate further
  • Warn them about possible cancellation penalties and credit card fraud and advise them to take precautionary measures

Not only can these scammers cause havoc on your bedroom pick-up that could result in attrition penalties, it can also damage your contractual obligations to your hotel and your own housing partner. Most importantly it can ruin the conference experience for your attendees and we all want our attendees happy and coming back year after year.

Beware and don’t be afraid to call them out and fight back!
at 01:50PM
Luck be a lady tonight...
Not to worry, this blog entry will not join the heated debate about the proposed casino in Toronto – not yet anyway – we will save that thorny topic for future examination.

Today is all about celebration. CanadianSpecialEvents.com applauds Canada’s event professionals each year at its Annual Awards Gala, which is being held this evening in Toronto.



aNd Logistix is proud to be nominated in the following 4 categories:


Best Conference

Mortgage Forum 2012 – 3 day conference held at the Vancouver Convention Centre for the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals, featuring tradeshow, educational sessions, Hall of Fame Awards night, and Comedyfest.






Best Tradeshow 

Discovery 2012 - Hosted by the Ontario Centres of Excellence, this 2 day tradeshow showcased the hottest innovations and newest inventions from leading minds from Ontario. Our client attempted a Guinness World Record for World’s Largest Business Mentoring Event and achieved that title with over 320 participants! 





Best Fundraising

Shoppers Drug Mart Charity Classic – this annual golf tournament held at Angus Glen Golf Course, generated over $2 million in revenue through unique sponsorship opportunities for the Shoppers Drug Mart Life Foundation.






Outstanding Logistical Achievement

Cleantech Forum – held in San Francisco, this conference had an outdoor Eco tradeshow component with enormous exhibits including solar panels, wind mills and eco-friendly vehicles. Our team overcame logistical issues of load in, security, and rainy weather.

at 01:16PM
March Madness – the good, the bad and the ugly

The Good –

Rachel met with the team from the Québec Convention Centre last week and they had some great news to share. The Québec City Convention Centre is stepping into the lead as it becomes the first convention centre in Canada (and one of the only few in North America) to provide free, high-quality WiFi access to its clients.

http://convention.qc.ca/en/news/quebec-city-convention-centre-becomes-first-convention-centre-canada-offer-free-high-speed


The Bad –

There are a few travel companies who target large conferences and expos to pinch travel and hotel bookings away from you. Don’t fall victim to these vultures. They are relentless and if they get a hold of your database, will go after every one of your delegates. This can damage your relationship with your own travel suppliers and pilfer from your hotel room pick-up. You have every right to call them out on it. Notify your delegates, exhibitors, and sponsors that these companies are not endorsed by your organization, and to exercise caution when dealing with them. I would be more than happy to provide the names of the various companies I have encountered over the years – just send me an email.


The Ugly –

I don’t know about you, but I have never been able to find any St. Patrick’s Day décor that was - well let’s be honest – not ugly. Try some of these elements to make everyone green with envy:

Real Shamrocks - an oxalis plant


I love the simplicity of this cupcake from...yes Martha Stewart.com


This yummy concoction from CocktailTimes.com doesn't have a hint of green in it, just an abundance of Bailey’s Irish Cream


I Challenge all my décor colleagues to send me some “take away the ugly” ideas that I can post on a future blog.
at 12:16PM
Oscars really shine this year
It's all about sparkle at this year’s Oscars especially at the fête of all fêtes– the Governor’s Ball. This star studded event following the Academy Awards telecast will feature a 120-foot, six-tiered chandelier that was designed specifically for the occasion. The elliptical six-tiered chandelier has 18,000 LED points of light and is bigger than the largest chandelier in the book of Guinness World Records. It will change colors throughout the night. Here is the best photo I've been able find previewing the speculator design:


http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/oscars-2013-parties-at-academy-421712

Another party I always like to follow is the Elton John event that raises money for his AIDS foundation. The décor is often a trend setter for the season and this year’s colors including a bold mixing of pink, red and gold. Keep this palette in mind when choosing décor element for your upcoming event.
at 03:04PM
Music scene soars in Montreal
Snowed-in nights are no problem for Quebecers this winter. Guest Blogger Lyne Charbonneau, from our Montreal office, tells us all about it in this week’s Free Idea Friday. We have always been big supporters of home grown music and Lyne’s days at Sony Music helped us build our roster of up-and-coming performers. We had Carly Rae Jepsen on our roster years before her 2 Grammy nominations. Shows like this are a great resource. Check out my favorite at the very bottom. And for all of our readers in Quebec – pipe in with your favorites – we will post them on a future blog.

Over to Lyne...

THE VOICE has arrived in Quebec. Or rather, make that LA VOIX. LA VOIX, the Québécois version of the popular sing-off competition show THE VOICE is now airing on Quebec’s French language network TVA. Just like the American version, during the first few weeks, the four coaches will sit with their seats turned away from the performers to judge the singers based solely on their vocals and not their visuals.

LA VOIX drew 5,000 singers for auditions in Montreal and Quebec. Performers are allowed to sing in English, or any other language for that matter. However, much of the music will be in French and from reading various newspaper articles, 40% will be in English. LA VOIX will feature every style of music, from heavy metal to Top 40 to rock to opera.

The judges on LA VOIX are local singers Ariane Moffatt (the face of alternative music), Marie-Mai (the Queen of Quebec Rock – you may know her from Simple Plan), Jean-Pierre Ferland (one of Quebec’s great performer of all times) and Marc Dupré (multi-talented artist, comedian, imitator and singer-song-writer).

The talent and music scene in Québec is strong and well.

Watch LA VOIX on TVA on Sunday nights at 7:30pm or for those of you outside Quebec http://tva.canoe.ca/emissions/lavoix

Some of my personal favourites:

SORRY THERE ARE COMMERCIALS BEFORE THE VIDEOCLIP TV PERFORMANCE

Valerie Amyot - at only 21 yrs old – a future star
http://tva.canoe.ca/emissions/lavoix/personnages/candidat/valerie-amyot-675431/videos

Brian Tyler:
http://tva.canoe.ca/emissions/lavoix/personnages/candidat/brian-tyler-675551/videos/video-brian-tyler-un-bluesman-la-voix-677296

Sabrina & Stephanie Barabe (my husband BENOIT's FAVOURITES… I wonder why?)
http://tva.canoe.ca/emissions/lavoix/personnages/candidat/sabrina-et-stephanie-barabe-682246/videos

Jael Bird Joseph (Dana’s favorite – this guy can sing!)
http://tva.canoe.ca/emissions/lavoix/personnages/candidat/jael-bird-joseph-681431/videos
at 02:24PM
Vintage Vibe
Last year we featured some concepts inspired by the soon to be released Great Gatsby movie. As predicted, this vintage vibe continues to be popular and has been very prevalent in all the winter wedding shows. A few of our readers asked us for more specific details to help create a vintage setting.

Here are a few more ideas to help you create the ultimate throwback to the 1920s.

  • For lounge furniture replace modern sofas and ottomans with antique wicker chairs.
  • For flowers, Daisies of course seem the obvious choice. Instead try using heirloom Dahlias which create vibrant rainbow-hued arrangements that are just as long-lasting and are versatile because they can be fun or elegant.
  • Embellish your table settings with Ostrich feathers, brooches, feather boas and pearl necklaces.
  • The era may evoke images of soft pastels – but strong vibrant colours like yellow were also all the rage. (I love this color palette from fellow ISES member La Tavola, fine linen rentals out of Californiahttp://blog.latavolalinen.com/2011/08/04/color-inspiration-yellow/
  • For a unique entertainment option, why not try a harpist? A harp adds a distinctive feel and look to a reception. There is a harpist based in Hamilton who is fantastic and versatile. Check out Lori’s website for photos and a sample of her music. www.lorilshannik.com.


BTW – speaking of ISES, make sure to check out the Toronto Chapter meeting this month featuring Richard Aaron, President of BiZBash NYC (an ultimate guru of creative thinking) http://www.isestoronto.com/Feb132013.aspx
at 01:04PM
Does Silly = Success?
During a recent trip to Vietnam, I scanned the local paper during breakfast and was pleasantly surprised to find a story about Toronto, but was stumped when I discovered that it focussed solely on the silly antics of the now infamous "Ikea Monkey"

Frivolous news stories in the media have always been around, but YouTube has brought sharing these quirky stories to a new level of sharing – going viral. So I started thinking, "How did this story about a shearling coat-wearing Monkey running around a Toronto Ikea parking lot, which made it all the way to a local paper in Vietnam, affect Ikea?"

Did this high level of amusement inadvertently generate the right type of advertisement for Ikea?

If you search links about going viral, you get a variety of tips and tools on how to improve your chances to join the viral epidemic. There are also several market researching studies availability. To help share the lowdown on the download, here are two articles that are sure to provoke your creative thinking.

Jonah Peretti is the founder and CEO of BuzzFeed.
http://www.facebookstories.com/stories/1942/essay-13-ways-to-make-something-go-viral

Neetzan Zimmerman is Senior Editor at Gawker
http://gawker.com/5912376/this-is-how-you-make-something-go-viral-an-impractical-guide

Coincidentally the last time I came across an article about Toronto in a foreign newspaper was last summer in Chicago reading a New York Times story about the antics of Mayor Rob Ford at Toronto’s Silly Hall (oops, I meant City Hall). I will leave it to you to spot the parallels.
at 11:32AM
January Blahs - no way
Forget about the January blahs - January is a great month to rejuvenate and check out the great learning opportunities from our many worthwhile industry associations.

Shawna "best of" PCMA webinars - Masters Series: When "Free" is No Longer an Option: Navigating New Pricing Realities at Convention Centers
Take away – giving something away free devalues the product. I think this can be applied to any service. Instead, give added bonus features or an additional service instead of giving your service or product for free or at an under-valued fee.

Lyne passes on a good read - from CSAE (Canadian Society of Association Executives)
Whether in response to requests, as a new communications channel or to appeal to a younger demographic, this study is about exploring social media. The document speaks to research that shows many organizations are actively pursuing or exploring social media activities but not necessarily applying social media in the most effective manner. Interesting read on how to go about and its usage… be it on Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, LinkedIn or Pinterest. Click here to download

Rachel’s Pick
Invented just this past Monday by Lara McCulloch of Ready2Spark (https://www.facebook.com/ready2spark), with over 220 fans already, check out the EVENT MARKET - a place to buy and sell used event merchandise https://www.facebook.com/groups/590746874275233/?ref=ts&fref=ts

Lara started this group because a number of event friends expressed a desire to sell their items but didn't have the forum to do so. Here are some pointers from Lara :

What should I post?
  • Feel free to post linens, tents, audio visual merchandise or any other event-related products. This group is not open to 'rentals', only for sale items.
What should I include in my listing?
  • It would be helpful to include as much information as possible - like a description, the condition of the item, a picture, the location, quantity available, price including delivery charges (if applicable), contact information and forms of payment accepted.
Can I invite someone else to the group?
  • Of course! The more, the merrier. You can add someone by entering their name into the "+Add People to the Group" box.

Dana’s creative suggestion
Try incorporating the 2013 Pantone colour of the year – EMERALD – try these RGB colour settings (35, 165, 115)
at 02:03PM
How do you measure LOYALTY?
Thursday’s USA Today featured an article on how US airlines are reconsidering how they gauge frequent flyer value. Because statistics show that collecting frequent-flyer points is the most popular perk to flyers, the debate is still up in the air about how best to reward loyalty – miles vs. fare.

Air Canada has worked on a tiered based loyalty structure for a few years now, the more you pay the more miles you get as your reward. I wonder how many complaints they recieved when the first introduced the change - I'm guessing there was a bit of an uproar.

Coincidentally I was on a flight from New York to Hong Kong yesterday, so I had lots of time to think about the changing face of loyalty.

If the airlines go ahead and make changes to what is a highly touted program should we consider changing how we recognize clients, suppliers and even staff for their loyalty? Will we look for longevity, continued support or how much money a contract, client or team member bring us? We have always believed in building our fan base - so how do we reward fans who support us via word of mouth referrals to colleagues they know even though they may not bring us any direct business? Will how we reward our most valuable partners change?

Send me your opinions or comments – I’m interested in what you think.

To read the whole USA today article - http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/2012/12/12/rewarding-frequent-fliers/1765313/

BTW – A big THANK YOU for all the wonderful people who bought turkeys from us last week for Second Harvest. The aNd team sold 97 turkeys in 4 hours. The turkeys are distributed to local meal programs and food banks so thousands of hungry families will receive a nutritious meal this holiday season.

 
at 02:57PM
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