Free Idea Fridays!

Malta and Gozo- a Meeting Planner's Dream
In Malta the saying goes that there is something magnetic in the rocks that keep you coming back time and time again.  
Here are some pics to prove that Malta/Gozo is worth having on your radar.
Through some collegues from the Protocol & Diplomacy International – Protocol Officers Association (PDI-POA), we were able to have an audience with the President of the Republic of Malta - Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca.
Through some collegues from the Protocol & Diplomacy International – Protocol Officers Association (PDI-POA), we were able to have an audience with the President of the Republic of Malta - Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca.

The Edge of the world in Gozo

Pretty and delicious food

Hospitality on every corner

History, Religion and Culture

Water Activities and Beautiful Beaches

Did I mention food?

Mdina Glass – an artful tradition

Hope my “Free Idea” makes your Friday!
at 10:28AM
Canadian Talent SHINES!
We're very excited to share the news that Stacey Kay will be on America's Got Talent on Tuesday, June 16th.
The show airs on City TV locally in Toronto at 8:00 pm, and all NBC stations and affiliates across North America, which will provide a ton of exposure for Stacey and her talents.  
We have been a big supporter of Stacey and we knew she was the girl to watch!
Tune in to see Stacey audition for the judges Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howard Stern, and make sure you are following Stacey on Twitter @StaceyKayMusic as she will be sending out live tweets throughout the show with the hashtag #AGT.
Check out this cover of Meaghan Trainer’s All about that Bas:

Check out more of Stacey on her website:
Hope my “Free Idea” makes your Friday!
at 03:03PM
Those who have read my blog regularly know that I have a sort of love/hate relationship with technology, but with OCE’s Discovery just around the corner I am getting pumped up by the enormous and awe inspiring display of invention and ingenuity the show has to offer, from wearable technology, to smart home appliances, 3D printers, robots, drones, smart cars and advancing tech including such issues as artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.

One thing is abundantly clear to me; innovators, no matter what sector, continue to dream big, creating products and services that push beyond what we once thought imaginable.
While some of us are still getting used to the technology from last year, others are moving recklessly into a world where everything you wear, drive and touch in your home, hotels and shops is connected via the Internet.

So why do I feel uncomfortable with the pace of innovation?  I guess the analytical side of me wants to test it, make it prove itself to me as a long running contender; make it show me that I can trust it.  But after all the kinks have been worked out – am I too late?  When it becomes commonplace then is it not just another dusty old relic?

Add in the vast number of new technologies out there for the event industry and my uneasiness jolts to science fiction level horror.  Everyone claims to have the latest and greatest and taking that leap of faith is as daunting as Frankenstein taking his first step.

I am not sure I can lead you out of this black hole of mayhem, but as with any predicament I revert back to simple non-tech decision making with good old sensible research:  
  • Take every opportunity to learn about anything that is new that can help your business and your clients
  • What do you or your client or event really need from technology?  …seriously - maybe your client’s conference is not ready for beacon tracking their attendees
  • What is your budget?  … realistically
  • What device, app, system gives you the most bang for the buck? …and will actually be used by attendees
  • Learn from your suppliers reaching out to audio visual partners and special effects professionals.

So for right now I am TECHish – loving technology with a skittish caution.  

Come back in a few weeks and the aNd team will give you their picks for latest and greatest apps, gadgets and dongles.


Hope my “Free Idea” makes your Friday!

at 04:29PM
Peddling for Pennies…lots and lots of pennies

One of the most common and frequent questions I get from clients is ``What’s NEW in sponsorship?``
Money doesn’t grow on trees and raising funds through sponsorships demands attention- grabbing stuff.

Here are a few ideas we have recently added to our idea bank which offer uniqueness and great exposure.


Good old tap water


Water-on-Wheels is a Canadian-owned business provides mobile water refill stations to festivals, concerts, conventions, charity events, sporting events, runs, and races in Ontario and across Canada.
Great & Green visibility

Breakfast of Champions


Custom Cereal Boxes provide a fun and cheerful way to greet attendees for those early morning meetings.
Ideavation did this one for us last year.


Tea for Two, or three or 400


Teabot – this robotic kiosk allows busy conference attendees to order a custom cup of loose-leaf tea and share their blends at the touch of a button to create a healthy on-the-go experience and gives your sponsor a unique branding opportunity.


Hope my “Free Idea” makes your Friday!

at 03:31PM
Summer is coming.....we think....we hope

I know that the April rain has been dreary but with summer just around the corner, I am sharing a few quick ideas on how to make your corporate summer picnic fresh this year.

  1. Add some color...

    Art Factory in Toronto does custom painting events
  2. Add some heat…

    Have a celebrity chef (someone like Rob Rainford who is local here in Toronto) judge a contest of the best BBQ sauce produced by your own employees. No better way to heat things up than with company cooking teams over a hot grill (include some of your executives in head chef roles)
  3. Add some hype

    Set a Guinness World Record - nothing builds excitement like having Guinness at your event to break a world record. A great way to share on various social media avenues
    1. Largest 3 legged race
    2. Largest balloon toss
    3. Most coins tossed in one place – (coins donated to charity)
at 05:33PM
Star Award - Nominations Announced
I am in Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-lake for several site inspections for upcoming summer and fall events. I promise to share all the good happenings in the area on a future post.

I also want to send out a huge CHEERS and THANK YOU to the aNd team and all the venues and suppliers from our nominated events - we have 4 events nominated this year!

The team at aNd Logistix would like to acknowledge the great teamwork we had with:
  • The Royal York Hotel
  • The Metro Toronto Convention Centre
  • Fox Harb’r Resort
  • The Art of Leadership
  • Speaker Spotlight
  • Telav Audio Visual
  • Frischkorn Audio Visual
  • Stronco Show Services
  • PSAV
  • devan
  • WOW factor
  • Christopher J Designs
  • inOrbital
  • Live Media
Check out all the nominations here:

Good luck to all the talented event industry professionals across Canada.
at 01:46PM
Flag Follies at Cilly Hall
I can excuse many things when it comes to politicians and I have never been one to judge people on their “recreational activities”. However last week’s flag follies at City Hall were ridiculous.

The flag debate erupted last Friday, when the mayor found out that a rainbow-coloured flag had replaced a City of Toronto flag on a courtesy flagpole used to display the flags and banners of a range of organizations. Councilors started to chime in - some in support and others on what they thought should take its place.

Here are a few WRONG things I heard and saw:
  • Let’s fly the Canadian flag in its place
    • The ceremonial courtesy flagpole never flies the Canadian Flag. The Pride flag replaced a City of Toronto flag that normally flies on the city’s courtesy flagpole when a specific flag, requested by non-profit or charitable organizations for example, is not up on that flagpole. In fact, there are several Canadian flags prominently displayed in Nathan Phillips Square
  • Let’s fly it along with the Canadian flag
    • Wrong - the National flag should always be flown on its own mast - it is improper to fly two or more flags on the same flag post
  • Let’s fly the Olympic Flag
    • Wrong – the Olympic brand is the Fort Knox of licensing - you need permission from the IOC (International Olympic Committee)
  • Let’s hang a Canadian flag in the window of the mayor’s office
    • This frat house maneuver just didn’t work mainly because it was not displayed correctly. It should have be suspended vertically with the stem on the right when viewing it from the street I love this shot from the National Post Good thing the mayor and councilors don’t have the “power” when it comes to flying flags – Protocol at City Hall is strong and holding firm to preserve the dignity our national flag deserves.
I love this shot from the National Post

Go Canada Go
Lucky for us here in Canada, we have been seeing quite a bit of our flag at the Winter Olympics. So what better time for event planners everywhere to review some flag etiquette and keep our flag flying with pride.

Here is the best link for protocol rules for the Canadian flag:

Check out this site for Olympic branding rules:
at 12:29PM
Pomp and Pageantry at the Opening Ceremonies
The final firework has fizzled, and the show is over!

The aNd team watch it together and though it wasn’t as long as you would imagine when the ceremony consisted of 18 chapters covering 1,000 years of Russian history with 3000 performances. Here are a few of our highlights.

My favorite - the shear engineering of "The Building"
The $600 million building designed to house it all is Fisht Stadium. Though Fisht is the primary stadium for the games themselves, its designers—the US-based sports venue architects at Populous and structural engineers at Buro Happold—designed it so that it could offer "studio conditions" for the opening ceremonies. That means the translucent polycarbonate roof will not only give the building an appearance of snowy peaks, ensuring it sits in harmony with the landscape of the Imeretinskaya Valley and the Caucasus Mountains, but this roof can be used as a screen for projections, as well as massive hangars at each end that will be used as staging areas for the thousands of athletes and tons of equipment that must be moved quickly into the arena.

From Shawna...
Opening ceremony - the pyro technicians have been rehearsing the fireworks for days.

Fireworks over the Fisht Olympic Stadium at the Olympic Park during a rehearsal of the opening ceremony in Sochi, on Feb. 4, 2014.

Lyne shows her French Canadian pride...
Solotech (a production company in Montreal) lands in Sochi with one of the biggest projection systems in the world. They are handling the video projections for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. Does anyone see any snow? This is the 2014 Winter Games! Known as the Russian Riviera, the Black Sea resort of Sochi is the warmest city ever to host the Winter Olympics.

Canada’s presence at the 2014 also includes Quebec’s world-famous circus act Les 7 Doigts de la Main, a troupe with previous Olympic experience, was involved in a 10-minute performance immediately after the athletes’ entrance into the Stadium.

From Charmaine...
Our eagle eyes noticed that one snowboard sculpture refused to light up.

From Rachel...
wow-worthy special effects – here is her favorite scene

From Esther...
I loved the constellation of Olympians, and how it represents their stories being written in the stars. (I know, its uber cheesy)

What a great way to exit into the games with the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron into the Musical Firework finale with Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker.

The Olympic stadium grounds were built with great thought and care, that filmed from a bird’s eye view, Sochi looks like an Olympic Nation.

(Screen shot from CBC’s Live Stream Olympic Ceremony Opening)
at 03:56PM
Thawing out from the polar vortex
It's cold out there and while temperatures are plummeting, I thought I would share some ideas on how to thaw the ice and get your own office staff or meeting attendees to warm up to each other.

From time to time clients and colleagues have asked me for suggestions for games to refresh attendees, get them energized, ready to work and into a collaborative mind set.

Here is a list of easy Ice Breakers and team activities that I have collected over the years that may work for your next meeting:

The common pursuit of trivial knowledge

This one is very simple and works well for drop in hospitality rooms or casual settings where attendees are arriving at different times. Put out the playing cards of a Trivial Pursuit game where guests will easily see them. People will automatically start reading the questions to one another instantly and naturally engage in conversations with one another.

Who am I?

Tape a piece of paper with the name of a person, place or thing on the back of each participant, but don't let them know what the paper says. Have attendees mingle around asking each other questions about the word on their back. They can’t directly ask what the word is – they can only ask for hints. This is a great game to refresh people and get them talking to each other.

Penny for your thoughts

Break people into small groups at a volunteer meeting or first gathering of a volunteer board and give each person a penny. Ask them to introduce themselves to the group and talk about what they were doing during the year on their coin.

Pick Pocket

This activity is a mini scavenger hunt which doesn’t require a great deal of space or preparation. Participants hunt through their pockets, purses, wallets and briefcases.

Organize attendees into groups of five to ten.
  • Give each participant a Pick Pocket List of 10 items (items listed should be things that are normally found in a wallet or handbag like a nickel, a points card, photograph of children, a mobile device, mints or gum)
  • Tell groups they have 2 minutes to come up with as many items from the list as they can. Tell them that each item is worth
    2-5 points.
  • Explain that they may make a reasonable substitution, but if they do, that item will be worth less. For example, someone may have an Aeroplan card rather than an Air Miles card.
  • After 2 minutes, ask groups to count their points.
  • Ask groups to share what items they got from the list and which substitutions they made.

Cocktails and Dreams

A la Tom Cruise, teams mix up their own cocktails, collaborating to win the tastiest and most attractive concoction from a range of identical ingredients. (Think reality shows like the Cocktail Chronicles or Battle Mixology). Make fruity virgin versions for meetings where alcohol may not set the right tone.
at 04:00PM
Do the Hustle…
If this week’s Golden Globe nod and Oscar nomination are any indication of success then it looks like AMERICAN HUSTLE is the movie to watch and transform into your next great event.

As you know I find it irresistible to use movies as an inspiration for event themes, décor and music ideas.

AMERICAN HUSTLE is an enhanced return to a popular 70’s theme event. From the fashion to the furniture to the funky music the movie offers some bright ideas for event elements.
Here are a few concepts to help you create the ultimate throwback to the 1970s:
  • For lounge furniture – white, white and more white but try paten white – this glossy option adds a fresh twist.
  • Embellish your table settings with a luminescent glow using golden-threaded organza linens then add sequins, chrome lamps, embossed menus and even faux fur.
  • The 70’s may evoke images of harvest gold and chocolate brown but strong vibrant colours like turquoise also play into the mix. Be brash; be bold, and over-the-top!
  • For music options, start the reception with classic rock cuts from ELO, Elton John and Chicago then elevate the energy at the after party with some Donna Summer dance classics at a Studio 54 re-enactment.
  • Food inspiration - any Italian menu would connect to the plot of this crime drama set in New Jersey and for a little fun don’t forget to add a simulated pill popping candy bar for dessert.

Looking for other movies that offer creative themes? Look at the films that are nominated for best cinematography or animation. These stunning motion pictures offer plenty of substance for creating out-of-this-world environments.

GRAVITY - an AV manager's greatest fantasy creating a 360-degree outer space atmosphere. You can go starry-night elegant or retro sci-fi. Plus an icy luge of Russian Vodka is the perfect feature for your Bar.

Check out this YouTube clip of Lighticles an audio visual animation using particle effects HD -

Don’t want to commit to an entire theme then try using it as a conference opener to grab the audience’s attention – check out this visual eye opener -

FROZEN - a fantasy landscape of sparkling ice, shimmery fabrics and glittery lights. Crystals, icy blue fabrics, and snowflake patterned gobos are just some of the templates that can be used to create this FROZEN theme event. Use these elements to layer the look as much as you can. And if you don’t want to commit yourself to the whole theme try just a frozen dessert station featuring liquid nitrogen frozen drinks and ice cream bars.

This weekend – watch a few movies!

at 01:30PM
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