Free Idea Fridays!

Call to Action -- Small businesses (like mine) need your support.
Take action now to extend wage and rent subsidies at current rates.

It is just too soon to phase out the programs. We need to urge our government to extend all programs for small businesses and keep all subsidies at current levels until the entire economy can reopen (including our borders) and all small businesses can once again serve customers in person. There is still a significate percentage of small businesses that will continue to struggle for months (years) to come.

We are celebrating 27 years in business - I will not let Covid take me down and we can ride the storm with some help.

Take a few seconds to sign this petition.

Let's make a difference.

Please and thank you!



at 09:00AM
Local Business Love is in the Air
It’s February, and love is in the air! With Valentine’s approaching, we wanted to send some love to our local favourites.
 

Pretty Bird - Dana
 


Inspired by nature, this local artist incorporates her own illustrations onto a variety of items for you to wear, use, and enjoy. 
 
Old Rose Farm - Dana

 








A unique venue for intimate gatherings in Hasting County, Ontario, The Old Rose Farm comprises of a Victorian Farmhouse, eclectic out-buildings, and courtyards. This venue is perfect for any memorable event. Contact jlevitin@hotmail.com for more information.
 

Eva’s Original - Sandra










 
Eva’s Original is the original home of Canada’s famous Chimney Cones. Founded in Toronto, Eva’s grandson started the business to bring their family treasured desserts to Canada. With several locations in the GTA you can stop by for some of their signature flavours and vegan options.
 

Charlie's Caribbean Cuisine – Sandra
 









 
Charlie’s Caribbean Cuisine serves some of the best Caribbean dishes in Mississauga. Located at Hurontario and Dundas, this restaurant offers a variety of dishes that can be ordered for delivery through SkipTheDishes and DoorDash.
 

May Flowers, Floral Co. - Megan

 





 
 
I stumbled upon this shop a couple of summers ago while taking a walk. May Flowers is a hidden gem on St. Clair and offers a wide selection of floral arrangements for various occasions. The best part is they have a coffee shop too!
 
 
Silver Creek Coffeehouse – Silvana & Megan
 
















Nestled in Georgetown, Silver Creek Coffeehouse is the perfect place to grab a coffee and enjoy the charm of downtown Georgetown. From espresso to flavoured creations there is no shortage of options at this café and the staff are always friendly when you stop by. During the pandemic, Silvercreek has even setup an online ordering system for groceries.
 

Audrey & Cole Skin Bar – Silvana












 
This mother and daughter duo create heavenly scented beauty items – made out of all-natural ingredients. This home-based company understands the need to heal and nourish yourself with the best products.
 

Harmony – Silvana
 












Based in Guelph, Harmony is an independent owned store that offers a variety of products sourced through other small businesses. The zen space is complete by their inventory of plants, incense, crystals, dainty jewelry, and unique clothing.
 

Keto4All – Madi
 








 
Ever since I started out a keto diet, I was a bit frustrated with the lack of keto-friendly foods. This Canadian owned subscription box delivers delicious keto snacks to your front door-step. This box helps me continue on my keto journey!
 

Hope our Free Idea Friday makes your day!
 

at 04:19PM
New Year - New Resolution
See you never 2020!
 
2020 has challenged us in ways we never thought possible.  We wish we could define 2021 ahead of seeing it all the way through giving concrete predictions. We may not be certain of too many things right now, but one thing is for sure we will continue to focus on the things that matter most to us – our family, friends, and ourselves.
 
With 2020 behind us, our team has set some big goals for themselves this year.
 
We asked our team to briefly outline some of their big plans for this year using the following categories:
  1. Professional Goals
  2. Financial Goals
  3. Wellness Goals
  4. Personal Goals
  5. A time when they failed at their set resolution.
  6. Any tips and tricks they have to achieve these goals and stick to their resolutions.
We hope some resonate with you!
 
Megan
  1. Professional Goal: Get my CMP!
  2. Financial Resolution: Save money for my wedding! (Go away COVID)
  3. Wellness Goal: Get outside more. 2020 has taught me to get creative with exercise and getting outside for even a 30-minute walk. The outdoors will do wonders for your mental health!
  4. Personal Resolution: Enjoy the moment. 2020 has really taught me to slow down and enjoy the little things like a hot bubble bath or reading a book.
  5. Resolution Tips & Tricks:
    1. Make a plan and write it down. Crossing things of a to-do list feels amazing, even if it’s just making your bed in the morning.
    2. Tell someone else your goals so that they can encourage you and help keep you on track.
    3. Don’t punish yourself for not being perfect and celebrate your small wins!
Madi
  1. Professional/Educational Goal: This year I hope to continue learning more about social media management. Last year I started a few courses that I hope to finish this year, expanding my knowledge as the aNd social media manager!
  2. Financial Goal: I have started 100 envelopes of savings. This TikTok trend instructs you to label 100 envelopes 1-100. You pull each envelope at your own pace and insert the equivalent dollar amount seal and save until you have completed all 100 envelopes. Once you have filled each envelope you will have $5000 saved. My goal is to pull 1-2 envelopes a week hoping to finish all envelopes by the end of the year. This is a fun and creative way to save without really focusing on it too much.
  3. Wellness Goal:  Last year I focused a lot on my health and fitness. COVID and the Ontario-wide shutdowns did put a bit of a wrench in some of my fitness goals as they relied on using gym equipment. This year I decided to start 300 days of workouts. My goal is to complete 300 workouts throughout the year. Some of my favourite apps for at-home workouts include Slay, Apple Fitness+, and Fitplan. There is a fee associated with all 3 but it still ends up being cheaper than a gym membership, but just as effective.
  4. Personal Goal: I used to love reading, but university took that love away after being forced to read textbook after textbook. I wanted to bring that small joy back into my life as there isn’t anything better than curling up on a cold January day with a tea in one hand and a book in the other. I have set a goal to read a book a month this year, of all different genres and authors.
  5. Resolution Tips & Tricks:
    1. Associate your goals with measurable actions that will help keep you accountable. These measurable actions and timelines can help you manage your goals and view your progress.
    2. Find others who have set the same goal as you, in the hopes you can keep each other accountable. To help me achieve my reading 12 books this year I have joined a book club to stay on track and also connect with people! Click here to see some of the books included in my book club!
Hanna
  1. Financial Goals: To save money and spend less.
  2. Wellness Goals: To exercise more – aerobics for 30 minutes 5 times per week, weights for 20 minutes every other day.
  3. Personal Goals: To give more to charity.
  4. A resolution you have tried and failed: Eating healthy.  Pizza and cheeseburgers always get in the way.
Silvana
  1. Educational/Professional Goals: I began taking courses for my Digital Event Strategist certificate last spring, which was soon on hold as we became busy with our own virtual events. Now that I put some real-life experience under my belt, I would like to focus on finishing the courses and completing the exam.
  2. Financial Resolution: My colleagues know very well that I love shopping. I have to admit that many of the clothes I bought last year still have the price tag on them. I would like to save the money I would otherwise use for my usual shopping sprees.
  3. Wellness Goal: For me, 2020 was full of Uber Eats orders and take out. I’d like to focus on eating home-cooked, cleaner meals. I enjoy cooking so I would like to get more into the groove of home cooking (and saving some money in the process).
  4. Personal Goal:  I am one of those people who always have an ‘organized mess’ surrounding me. Though I noticed it would negatively affect my productivity and mood. This year I’d like to keep up a more organized lifestyle and keep clutter away.
  5. A resolution you have tried and failed: I have tried many times to cut back on sweets, only to fail by the second or third day of the year. With my sweet tooth, trying out that resolution one more time will prove to be impossible.
  6. Resolution Tips & Tricks: Writing down your resolutions whether it is in a personal journal or posted up somewhere visible. Writing allows you to put your intent and energy into your goals, helping you achieve them.
Sandra
  1. Professional/Educational Goal: Participate in pandemic protocol courses to better prepare for when in-person meetings come back.
  2. Wellness Goals: My goal is to work on my body strength so I can do a handstand by the end of the year.
  3. Personal Goal: Purging items that just take up space and do not serve a purpose.
  4. A resolution you have tried and failed: Meal prepping. I attempt to plan out the week and try to meal prep in one day – usually only end up making a couple of meals.
  5. Resolution Tips & Tricks: Some goals you need to build up to. Take things step by step rather than going full force. It helps me to have an end goal that requires me to practice my resolution to get there.
Jan
  1. Professional/Educational Goal: When I retire, I will study for my CMP!!  Maybe I will pass – maybe not!
  2. Financial Goal: Trying to make sure I have enough money to see me through.  Failing that, I will be a financial burden to my two kids. I don’t see that as a problem – do you? :)
  3. Wellness Goal: Every hour, I get up and walk the halls of my condo that includes as many sets of stairs as my body can manage.
  4. Personal Goal: To get vaccinated a.s.a.p.   I am really tired of being stuck at home.
  5. A resolution you have tried and failed: To walk the halls every hour and do as many stairs as possible!
  6. Resolution Tips & Tricks: Have a friend or family member “nag” at you to keep exercising – even if it hurts.   “Lift up your feet Mum”  “There will be no falling”.
Dana
  1. Professional/Educational Goal: Support our clients by being even more CREATIVE than ever.  As resources are depleting all around us, I want to be that unwavering resource for my team, our clients and our professional colleagues and partners.
  2. Financial Goal: Dodge as many bullets as we can.
  3. Wellness Goal: I lost 20 pounds in 2020 and would like to lose 21 in 2021!
  4. Personal Goal: Accept that I CANNOT CONTROL everything
  5. A resolution you have tried and failed: Many attempts to stop cursing (my team will tell you – it doesn’t last long – holy cannoli / geez louise)
  6. Resolution Tips & Tricks: Self regulation is tough.  The only thing tougher is self forgiveness.
Hope our Free Idea Friday makes your day!

at 09:10AM
Happy Holidays From aNd Logistix
Following a year of firsts, uncertainty and transformation, this holiday season looks a lot different for many of us. Although we cannot get together and celebrate in person, we still cherish the relationships we have built over the past 25+ years and hold them dear to our hearts.
 
Our team takes pride in working hard to adapt to the ever-changing situation and this year was absolutely no exception. We feel very blessed to have been able to continue to do the work that we love. Although the world of live events may appear a little different, we are continuing to push forward and create new, more creative and innovative solutions for our clients, suppliers, friends and family.
 
As you know, the pandemic has affected many across the globe. This year more than ever, community has become viable in providing food, housing, and clothing as families face financial hardships and joblessness. Our team has donated to Community Food Centres Canada.  Be sure to check them out and the amazing work they do for people across country!
 
For close to a decade, Community Food Centres Canada has been working to re-imagine the role food can play in low-income communities. With more than 200 partners in 175 communities across the country, they’re building a new approach.
 
Community Food Centres respond at the grassroots level to food insecurity and social exclusion. At the same time, they fight at the national level for progressive income policy. This includes better wages and more stable jobs, stronger social assistance and benefits, and a range of other social supports while coming together around good food.
 
Our team at aNd Logistix like many others, relied on good food to get us through this challenging year and wanted to bring a little of our joy to your home. We are delighted to share our aNd Cookbook with you, and hope that it brings you a new favourite recipe or two to share with your loved ones.
 
The entire aNd Logistix team wishes you and your family a happy and healthy New Year and we look forward to connecting in person in 2021!

aNd-Holiday-Cookbook.pdf


at 09:30AM
CSEP – Four little letters in a four-part series of helpful hints
Part 4 – Those 4 little letters belong to you.   Now what?
Recertification is only a short 5 years away
  • Organize for the Future
    • Create a master folder for certification and sub folders with all the categories
      • CSEP Sustainability Contributions
      • Professional Experience
      • Continuing Education and Professional Development
      • Formal Education
      • Live Events Industry Membership
      • Live Events Industry Leadership & Volunteer Contributions
      • Industry Accolades and Other Professional Designations
      • Professional Industry Contributions
  • Every time you achieve a point save that documentation into the corresponding category folder
  • Keep a running tally counting your points with each activity you complete
  • Get Involved
    • Set some realistic goals each of the 5 years for example:
  • This year I will attend 3 ILEA Chapter meetings
  • This is the year I will enter the Esprit awards
  • This year I will be a CSEP ambassador
  • Continue Learning
    • Sign up to get various newsletters with educational opportunities (For me signing up for a weekly notice is better and less distracting than daily emails clogging my inbox) Here is one I get daily – it consistently has something I want to read
  • It doesn’t have to be an expense – many are free and if you are willing to wait for the playback you can take advantage of watching on demand to meet your busy schedule
  • Don’t forget learning opportunities like a first aid course or courses based on new safety protocols for returning to Live events 
  • Be Transparent, Be Good, Make Smart Decisions
Many of you who are regular followers of the blog will know that I struggle with the idea of ethics because it really comes down to self-regulation of the decisions you make.
  • Promote your CSEP
    • Shout it from the rooftop
    • Add to your signature line
    • Add the CSEP logo to your company website and explain what it is
    • Add to your social media (don’t forget to tag ILEA)
    • Add to your bio or cv (and make sure you add to wherever you have a bio posted)
    • Distribute it to key media, such as industry magazines, trade organizations and even your local newspapers
    • Send a notification to your alumni office
    • Connect with other CSEPs - reach out and say hello to other CSEPs in your community, your chapter, your region
    • Inspire others down the pipeline of certification

at 04:57PM
CSEP – Four little letters in a four-part series of helpful hints
Part 3 –practice, practice, practice and then practice some more.

The Blueprint
https://www.ileahub.com/CSEP/Become-a-CSEP/Exam-Blueprint

Download and keep it handy and I would suggest a print off for some on the sofa at home review.
 
While recently studying for the CMP exam – I tackled learning the skill set with 3 simple categories:

I know this competency inside out and just need a quick review

I do not feel confident with this competency and need to review

 This competency scares me, and I want to learn more and dive in deep
 
Reading List
https://www.ileahub.com/CSEP/Become-a-CSEP/Reading-List
I know – that is a long list.  In my opinion start with Glossary.  It is free and I love words!

Events Industry Council: Industry Glossary  https://insights.eventscouncil.org/Industry-glossary

The new exam has less of a focus on terms and more on practical experience, but I find that reviewing the glossary gives a quick reference on where your strengths lie and what you need to still learn.
 
Practice Exams
I was always on the fence about practice exams.  When I wrote my CSEP exam, I was still in an academic state of mind having graduated University five years earlier.  Writing the CMP exam at 55 was completely different and the practice exams became like an addictive game.
Here is how they helped me:
  • Helped me know where I was with understand the competencies
  • Help pinpoint gaps in my knowledge (then I used by markings above to help plan my study material for the next week)
  • Gave me sense of the format and types of questions you’ll be asked
  • Fostered confidence for the actual exam (well at least made me less anxious)
The only thing I don’t like about the practice exams ILEA offers is that you can only take them once, and I found that with the CMP practice quizzes, it was very beneficial to focus in on the answers I got WRONG.  Taking a practice exam will help you detect any weak points that you can address later.  I like to know my weaknesses.


at 04:42PM
CSEP – Four little letters in a four-part series of helpful hints
Part 2 – CSEP tips to get started
 
Congratulations!  You have decided to obtain your CSEP – NOW WHAT?
 
Make A Plan
Layout a simple timeline of your next steps and aim towards a goal date for writing the exam.
  • Review your competencies and determine how much ground you need to cover
  • Be realistic with the other commitments in your life and set achievable milestones
  • Save up your pennies. With the application fee, exam ($350 for application, $350 for exam) plus reading material and practice exams and attending education functions you could be looking at a minimum $1,500-$2,500 US
  • Have a weekly study plan (for example every Tuesday night for 2 hours and 1 hour on Thursday morning). You can gradually increase this as you get closer to the exam day
  • No Distraction – studying with your emails flashing up on your device screen won’t get you anywhere
  • Join an online community – share struggles and triumphs…and build a few business relationships along the way.  Try the ILEA FACEBOOK – for CSEP Candidates https://www.facebook.com/groups/717247635754951/
  • Apply to write the exam (the sooner you apply, the more options you will have for testing dates and times)
With the mentoring program I lead with my own team, everyone sets individual goals, checks in regularly and attending weekly study group is a must for anyone in the pipeline for certification.

Check out Part 3 of our series for helpful hints coming next week.

at 04:34PM
CSEP – Four little letters in a four-part series of helpful hints
CSEP – Four little letters in a four-part series of helpful hints

I am going to let you in on a little blunder that got missed in this crazy year of disruption.  2020 was the year for so many challenges and way down on my list of things to do was recertifying for my CSEP.  I had many points over the required number, but I lacked the points in one key area: CSEP Sustainability Contributions. (Having obtained by CSEP back in 1993 – there have been many modifications and this category threw me for a loop and this is my amends)
 
Part 1 – CSEP    What Why and How
 
Do you want to pursue a professional certification?  Do you need to?
  • A certification demonstrates your dedication, motivation and skill knowledge. 
I have never thought that it makes or breaks an event professional but for me having my CSEP and CMP show that I not only possess comprehensive knowledge of my craft but I also care enough about my own career to spend the time and money to get certified. Plus, I feel it demonstrates a greater dedication to my profession and the entire industry. 
  • Most importantly it shows your commitment to continued learning.
  • And finally, for the business owners out there a professional certification benefits your entire company adding credibility, commitment and longevity.
Do you qualify?
  • Check out the extensive list on the ILEA website:
https://www.ileahub.com/CSEP/Become-a-CSEP/CSEP-Qualifications
 
The CSEP program is unique to other industry designations as it offers several qualification pathways providing more flexibility (and let’s face it we are “special”, and this is perfect for our diverse industry)
 
Be in it for the long haul
  • Be patient experience can’t be rushed.  Even if the whole process takes 4 years – IT’S WORTH IT!

at 04:16PM
The Boys of Summer³
Who would have imagined the sheer happiness of this rainy August long weekend with so many sports to watch? 

With the love of live sports disrupted; we take to our televisions sets to indulge in one of our favourite past-times – cheering on our favorite team(s).

With the world of events fully engrossed in producing the best virtual meetings possible for their clients, I got to thinking about how our industry could mimic some of the best ideas from the new world of sports – broadcasting, sponsorship and fan engagement.
 
Sponsorship

The Canadiens-Penguins game netted an average of 1.5M viewers as the NHL restarted (2 million at peak for TV viewers).  The return of “the good old hockey game” afforded NBC the most-watched double-header in four years.  The primetime viewership was the highest ever on NBC for an NHL game featuring a Canadian team, not including Winter Classics and traditional playoff games.  NBC is the official US broadcaster – we’re not talking just Canadian hockey fans anymore -- the reach for advertisers has expanded.

This sparked a variety of new sponsorship opportunities made especially for the television screen. MLB is upping sponsorship inventory with a few new spots, including the once sacred pitchers’ mound. The small piece of screen real-estate hits it out of the park, giving top sponsors the bullseye recognition, they deserve.

Tip – find that sacred spot on your screen to highlight your top sponsors
 
Rink board advertisements all have a local flavour. For example, when the Carolina Hurricanes – who play in the Toronto hub – were the home team, the North Carolina-based “Harris Teeter” supermarket logo was featured by the blue line, while behind the net you could see signage for “Storm Brew,” a Raleigh, N.C. beer. The official coffee and donut chains representing both nations – Dunkin Donuts and Tim Hortons – can also be seen in the same rink (my godson lives in North Carolina, so I follow the Canes for him, but deep down I know he’s a die-hard Leafs fan like his dad).

Tip – Sponsorship reach is global

Fan Engagement

Familiarity is comforting
Every team has their “rally cry” (Goal Horn song). Even though the game was being played in Edmonton, I was so happy to hear the familiar horn and tune played after each Chicago Black Hawks goal the other night.  Have a listen (but I warn you, this little diddy will stick in your head for days)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCvvwoFsMzw

The song is "Chelsea Dagger" by the Fratelli’s and while making Chicagoans giddy, it definitely frays the nerves of opposing players and fans. 

During the Blue Jays “home opener” in Washington, DC, the players all got their usual walk up musical introductions, and in the Raptors “home game” against the Lakers on the weekend, their starting line-up was introduced by the familiar voice of Herbie Kuhn. 

Tip – Keeping things familiar is a great strategy for loyal fans – and for your own corporate team.
 
Fan Cut-outs
Many MLB teams (including the Toronto Blues Jays, once they get to Buffalo) are offering a cardboard cut-out program to their season ticket holders, in which fans can pay to have a cardboard likeness of themselves in the stands during home games, with proceeds going to the team’s favourite charities.  During the LA Dodgers opening weekend, there was Entertainment Tonight’s former host, Mary Hart, in the front row behind home plate.
 
Virtual Fan
The NBA is utilizing Microsoft Teams' new "Together Mode" to put fans on 17-foot-tall LED screens.  Check out ideas for sponsor contests driven by social media campaigns, like this one from Michelob: