By Don Douloff, April 17, 2008
On April 10, a good-sized crowd gathered at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to mark National Meetings Industry Day
National Meetings Industry Day events held April 10 at MPI chapters across the country addressed a number of key industry issues.
At the Toronto chapter luncheon, held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, keynote speaker Anthony Watanabe, president and CEO of Innovolve Group, discussed how businesses can make sustainability practices relevant to their organization.
“It’s important to bring the industry together to focus on a common goal of green meetings, and it’s important to give recognition that the meetings industry is viable and plays a role in environment change,” says Robert Kawamoto, Toronto Chapter president.
Rounding out the Toronto event was the presentation of the Influence Award to Meetings & Incentive Travel.
In Halifax, the Atlantic Canada chapter event, held at Pier 21, “was a tremendous success,” according to president Kristi Wenaus, who says the chapter announced its partnership in the Green Meetings Initiative Vertigo, a handbook that outlines the path to more sustainable meetings and events. “Our speaker, Mark Stoiber, did a wonderful job of sharing the brand advantages of being an environmentally sustainable organization,” says Weinaus.
At the B.C. chapter event, hosted by The Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue and moderated by CTV reporter Chris Olsen, a panel concluded that hosting key industry events in Vancouver and Victoria will give those destinations exposure to potential meeting groups who have never met in Canada or in British Columbia, says Debbie Reynolds, past president and director of strategic alliances and sponsorship.
The Ottawa chapter event, held at the Brookstreet Hotel, featured two concurrent breakout sessions, hosted by Tom Price, of Ottawa Tourism and David Berman, of David Berman Communications, which “offered dozens of concrete ideas on greening meetings from both technological and logistical viewpoints,” according to Kathryn Cyr, of the MPI Ottawa Secretariat.
Convened at the Fairmont Winnipeg, the Manitoba chapter event featured a “fantastic presentation” by Sandra Wood, CMP, from the Canadian Medical Association and Gavin McCaffrey, CMP, from The Fairmont Winnipeg, on Partnering for Sustainability. The panel pointed out that it takes a team of professionals to deliver a green meeting, and it’s up to the planner and the hotel’s CSM to engage everyone in the process.