Meetings & Conventions PEI recently met with Georgetown Conference 2.0 organizers to talk (pre-conference) about how they planned a convention of 150 people in a town of under 1000. Georgetown is approximately 50kms from Charlottetown, on the eastern side of Prince Edward Island.
“One of the great things about holding a conference in a rural area is the fact that people will come out of it with more than just the conference itself.” Says Nadine Duguay, Georgetown Conference Co-Chair.
“People are staying at…different hotels on Inns. That enhances the experience and everybody will have a different take-away”
Accommodation providers like the Georgetown Historic Inn housed meeting goers just a few steps away from the event. Additional rooms were secured a few minutes down the road at Rodd Brudenell Resort, a 131 room resort and conference centre, who were the largest accommodation provider for the conference.
“…it’s people that stick together and make a community event, we truly see this in Georgetown” says Duguay.
Another occasion where people came together was in the coordination of catering. Local restaurants and off-site locations hosted attendees and group dinners were coordinated with help from local restaurants The Georgetown Inn, Eden’s Gate, and The Maroon Pig.
“There is no doubt for me that the space that you are in has an impact upon what takes place” says Tim Merry, Georgetown Conference Co-chair. “Anyone can turn anything into a conference space, it just takes a vision and the time and the effort to do it”. Along with the Three Rivers Sportsplex which housed not only plenaries but a evening lobster dinner, the Keynote (Chef Michael Smith) and Registration were held across the park at the 287 seat King’s Playhouse and an off-site event at the Montague Curling Club.
Organizers wanted to have a truly Atlantic Conference and once again launched Air Georgetown, a Dash 8 chartered from Provincial Airlines, with ground transportation from the Airport provided by Coach Atlantic, who also looked after delegate transportation from Brudenell to the conference.
With so much local support, organizers with vision and unique venues. The Georgetown Conference 2.0 has demonstrated why choosing a smaller town for your next conference is a great decision.