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M&C PEI Meeting Inspire – Q1 2019

Sean White

/ 8 min read

Happy New Year 2019!

What’s Trending in 2019?

As meeting planners and Destination Marketing Organizations well know, our industry is never stagnant.  We also know how important it is to keep up with the trends from year to year.

Let’s have a look at some trends for 2019.

Location, location, unique location

Expect to see a surge in creativity for meeting venues. More and more meeting planners are seeking to book non-traditional venues.  Options range from wineries to museums, creative studios, and restaurants available for after-hours use.

As a result, more traditional meeting venues are now bringing in new set-ups and amenities by focusing on being more industry trend-led based.

Delegate Experience

“Festivalization is a real trend: it is the idea of gathering internal or external stakeholders around a central theme with the possibility of offering an immersive journey rich in experience, emotion, and sharing. Everyone does not live the same experience and that’s what’s interesting.”– Vincent Schlegel, Marketing & Strategy Director, France, CWT Meetings & Events

By designing an immersive meeting that echoes some of the best parts of a consumer festival planners are focusing on making meetings fun and memorable by:

  • Embracing local food & beverages
  • Using alternative seating plans
  • Accessing non-traditional meeting areas either within a traditional venue or a unique venue outside the host accommodations
  • Unconventional keynote speakers

Safe & Secure

Also top of mind is the safety and security of meeting delegates. The general advice is to communicate clearly about any security issues with delegates both before and during the meeting. There should also be rigorous risk assessment and emergency action plans put in place well before the meeting or event, with clear lines of responsibility for who will do what in an emergency.

Cybersecurity is also an issue at events – particularly when the venue is offering a free wi-fi service, which may not be on an unsecured network. Travellers may be accustomed to using their organization’s secure internet networks for sending confidential information when at an airport or hotel but is this still the case when accessing wi-fi at a venue? These are key areas of awareness for organizers to be aware of to communicate informed online security tips to their delegates.


The strong advances in event technology are allowing planners to use technology to increase engagement, capture valuable data, and cut time and cost. Virtual attendance, live video, mobile meeting apps, onsite tracking of session participation and food and beverage use, and smartphone-based customer relationship marketing are all increasing in popularity.

Bot technology and chat interfaces are expected to boom. Bot messaging could be used to handle attendee registration, providing a more instant experience that mirrors smartphone use in daily life. Virtual hosts are another example of AI in the events sphere – the host can handle workshops, communication, and even guide game sessions.

Active Team Building

According to the Destination Hotels survey, nearly 60 percent of planners are most interested in adventure and/or active team building exercises; another 37 percent expressed interest in community service.  This trend away from the traditional meeting formula is especially important for millennial participants.  Clever meeting planners find ways to combine both ideas; e.g. beach cleanups, school refurbishments or landscaping projects.


While presentations, panel discussions and Qs and As are all valuable components of conventions, the opportunity to network with industry peers, senior executives and potential customers ranks as high or even higher.  A 2014 research study – entitled Cutting Edge: A Networking Approach to Mixing Delegates at Meetings — found that stimulating audiences to meet new peers and matching experts with non-experts leads to more effective and satisfactory meeting experiences.  Unique approaches to networking, such as spinoff on speed dating, are becoming even more essential to improving networking experiences at events.

Goody Bag

While convention goody bags had fallen out of favour for a period, they are now coming back in vogue – with a modern twist.  Pens, notebooks and paperweights are so yesterday.  According to online resource Event MB, goody bags containing items such as travels charters, adult colouring books, smartphone screen magnifiers, up-cycled items and even alcohol-flavoured lollipops are sure to keep attendees talking after they have returned home.

At Meetings & Conventions PEI, we make it our business to keep up with industry trends, enabling us to work with meeting planners to create unique, inspiring, productive and memorable events.  Let’s get talking!

Cited from: CWT Meetings & Events “2019 Meeting & Events Trend Report – Keeping Things Current”: https://www.cwt-meetings-events.com/global/en/get-inspired/2019-meetings-events-forecast/

January is Local Champion Month!

Don’t go off-Island for your next meeting, be a LOCAL CHAMPION and host it on PEI. 50% of meetings on PEI are as a result of Local Champions like you who step forward and bring your organizations national convention, board meeting or training to Prince Edward Island.

Meetings & Conventions PEI is here to help you host your next great meeting with valuable, relevant and complementary programs like:

“This is the first time the Buddhist community has ever worked with the local community. We’ve had retreats and events the past two years and we’ve always used our own buses, used our own drivers and worked with our own volunteers.This year is the first year where we’re reaching out to Tourism P.E.I., reaching out to Meetings and Conventions P.E.I. and all these people. The amount of support and help we’ve received from them is incredible.’’

Molly Chang
, Retreat Organizer
Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society (GEBIS, monks) (500 delegates)
Great Wisdom Buddhist Institute (GWBI, nuns) (600 delegates)

A meeting hosted on PEI contributes to our local economy and helps to promote what we do best; our coastal, culinary, cultural experiences and local identity. Interest is all you need, Meetings & Conventions PEI can help to make a meeting a reality by providing complementary services and advice to ensure the planning and execution of your meeting is flawless.

PEI offers the best of the Canadian convention experience. We often hear “it was our best meeting ever”. Contact Meetings & Conventions today or fill out a request for information.

New Members

In the past three months, Membership has increased and we welcome these new members to Meetings & Conventions PEI:

Gateway Wellness Leadership DevelopmentTreeTop Haven


November was a big month for Meetings & Conventions PEI, hosting both a successful Local Supplier Showcase as well as an Insight Event & Annual General Meeting

Insight Event & Annual General Meeting

On November 6th Meetings & Conventions PEI welcomed industry professionals to an Insight Event at the  College of Piping & Performing Arts in Summerside. This interactive half-day was jam-packed with new learning and networking starting with a presentation from Virginie De Visscher with Business Events Canada / Destination Canada on The Effective Marketing and Selling of Canada as a Business Events Destination.

Other presentations and panels included a presentation on National Tourism Trends – How Prince Edward Island Stacks Up  by Cheryl Paynter, Chief Executive Officer, Tourism PEI, a 2018 Update and Future Outlook: The Charlottetown Airport from Doug Newson, Chief Executive Officer, Charlottetown Airport Authority and two panels Shared Experience Panel Discussion: The Guest Experience – Exceeding Guest Expectations and Cannabis Experience in Tourism – Market Readiness and Opportunity: Innovation in Responsible Cannabis Tourism: Shared perspectives on marketing and business development in the Cannabis tourism space.

This enlightening event was followed by Meetings & Conventions PEI’s Annual General Meeting and a networking session.

Annual Suppliers Showcase

Each Fall Meetings & Conventions Prince Edward Island hosts the Island’s only tradeshow for the convention and special events industries. For 17 years, local planners have made this a must-attend show and average attendance is 150 – 200.

Our showcase this year was another big hit. Check out our wrap-up from this year’s Supplier Showcase


Thank you to all the members who participated, and planners who attended, this year's SUPPLIER SHOWCASE! What a great event!

Posted by Meetings & Conventions Prince Edward Island on Wednesday, November 28, 2018


Out and About – Selling our Island

We were very proud to be selling the Island as THE best place to have meetings at Destination Direct in the Nations Capital. In late January, we will be actively participating in Destination Direct, a popular industry event during which we will engage with qualified buyers through 20 15-minute one-on-one strategic exchange sessions. We will also participate in an educational luncheon with local and hosted buyers, networking reception and dinner, and group meals – optimizing opportunities to connect with meeting and event planners.

On January 30, we will be attending Tête-à-Tête, which brings people together to connect, discover, and build partnerships. As an exhibitor, we will take advantage of this prime networking environment to grow our business. This essential event is presented by the Ottawa-Gatineau chapter of the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE), Canada’s foremost provider of association leadership resources, advocacy, and education.

As in previous years, Meetings & Conventions PEI will be hosting receptions in both Ottawa and Toronto. These events continue to be popular and well attended so this year we will be including an event in Mississauga to capture the attention of planners outside of Toronto.

We are anticipating a great turnout at our March 26 events in Mississauga and Toronto including a reception at Rodney’s Oyster House followed by an Ottawa reception at The Lowertown Brewery in Ottawa. Do you want to join us for one or both of these receptions? If so, get in touch. We still have space.

Our Business Development Manager Susan Freeman will be busy in the next few months on Atlantic Canada sales calls in February followed by her attendance at the Sport Events Congress from March 19-21 at the Westin Ottawa.The largest annual gathering of everyone connected to the over $6.8 billion sport tourism industry in Canada.

Member Accolades

In the past quarter, there were a lot of awards and recognition to our fabulous members!

Congratulations to our friend and amazing PEI ambassador
Ian Cheverie with The Great George Hotel for being awarded
Employee of the Year award from the Tourism Industry Association of Canada!

Believe it or not Maritime Fun Group has done it again!
Congratulations on being awarded for
Franchise of the Year for Ripley’s Believe It or Not! for the second year in a row!!!

Congratulations to our amazing members
for being recognized by their peers at the
Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce
Excellence Awards.
Their contributions to our community and tourism make PEI an
amazing place to meet and do business!
The Customer Service Excellence Award was awarded to The Great George Hotel
Workplace Excellence Award recipient was Target Tours Atlantic

Congratulations to our members for being recognized by their peers at the
Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island Awards Gala!

Thank you for your tireless contributions for growing tourism on Prince Edward.
Perry Gotell – Tranquility Cove Adventures: Parks Canada Sustainable Tourism Award
Mitch Cobb – Upstreet Craft Brewing: Emerging Entrepreneur Award
Derrick Hoare – The Table Culinary Studio: Canada’s Food Island Leadership Award
Tim Arnold – Rodd Brudenell River Resort: Dr. Kent Ellis Quality of Excellence Award
Chef Ilona Daniel – Holland College/Culinary Institute of Canada: Tourism Trailblazer Award
Carl Nicholson – New Glasgow Lobster Suppers: Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Tourism

2018 Year End Pace



MCPEI & TIAPEI are partnering on a member-based networking event to offer our combined members a forum to meet with one another and discuss partnerships, cross-marketing and business opportunities in a structured and efficient format.  Any business that is interested in offering their products or services to PEI visitors is invited to participate in this series of brief one-on-one meetings with other members.

Two sessions of this speed networking opportunity will run throughout the day so you can join us for the session that best suits your schedule or spend the whole day with us!

Session 1
8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Session 2
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

$50/member per session
$75/non-member per session

Stay tuned for an official invitation coming to your inbox soon.