FAM(iliarization) trips are opportunities for meeting planners to see what we have to offer overall and to visit some potential meeting and activity sites. Delegates on our FAM tours are prequalified, meaning that they have or soon will have business they can take to the Island. FAM delegates are taken to M&CPEI member sites which are pre-determined to be able to provide the service needed. We typically host two FAMs a year.
In June, in a three-day span, we took nine delegates to 17 sites located from Fortune to New London. That’s a whole lot of Island shown off in a short time. The hospitality shown by the sites was exceptional.
We are now planning for our next FAM which will take place September 3-5. The FAM capacity is already half-full. Any members that want to be qualified as a potential service provider should contact Kevin Jay, Client Services Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 902-368-3688
While FAM trips bring potential meeting planners to PEI, our business development experts also “bring PEI” to others by bringing sales activities to expos, conventions and other relevant events. Whenever it is appropriate, M&CPEI members participate in these activities.
Business Development Manager Treena MacLeod attended the World Education Congress (WEC), a signature event held by Meeting Professionals International in June. The event delivers premier education, business and networking opportunities for 2,500 meeting and event planners. In September, Treena will be heading out to Ottawa for three days of sales calls. She will also be attending the Canadian Society of Association Executives annual conference and showcase in October, accompanied by M&CPEI members Delta Prince Edward by Marriott, BLP Logistics, and the City of Charlottetown. This event is an excellent opportunity to learn about what associations look for in meeting destinations and to interact with meeting planners from across the country.
One of the topics that rang true for participants at the World Education Conference and is of concern to M&CPEI as well relates to supplier response to RFPs issued by meeting planners. Organizers are finding that suppliers in general are slow to respond to RFPs or even general questions, slowing down the planning process and heightening frustration levels. The more follow up phone calls and emails needed, the less attractive the destination becomes to the meeting planner who is working toward a deadline. For sure RFP responses and other correspondence take time, but the effort is sure worth it if getting a piece of a meeting’s business is the result.
In August, Executive Director Susan Freeman and Business Development Manager Margaret Wilton will be attending the 2019 Canadian Meetings + Events Expo in Toronto. This event is the largest and longest-running tradeshow and conference for meeting and event professionals. M&CPEI members Rodd Hotels & Resorts, Delta Prince Edward by Marriott, and DP Murphy Group will also be attending.
Easier to get here
An Air Canada announcement on July 4 about increased capacity to Charlottetown was music to our ears. As of December 16, 2019, there will be two daily Air Rouge Charlottetown-Toronto flights year-round – a service that has only been available in the summer. Because lift travel is always a concern for meeting planners, the additional 320 seats available on a daily basis will make PEI more attractive as a year-round meeting destination. Welcome news, indeed!
We are always excited to introduce our new members from the past quarter:
Take a bow
A number of our member organizations were recognized over the past few months for their accomplishments. Not surprisingly, given our abundance of riches from land and sea, many of those accomplishments relate to food and drink.
Charlottetown’s PEI Brewing Company earned a bronze medal at the Canadian Brewing Awards in early May, for its After Hours Raspberry Sour brew.
Delta Prince Edward by Marriott restaurant chef Justin Ford competed against senior chefs from across Canada and won first place at the 56thannual Culinary Federation competition held in Niagara Falls.
There have been a few changes around the office in recent months, as we have said good-bye to familiar faces and hello to a new one. We were sorry to say good-bye to Executive Director Ann Worth as she has moved on to other activities. We are now under the capable leadership of former Business Development Manager Susan Freeman. Margaret Wilton has moved from being Client Services Manager into the vacated Business Development Manager position and we welcome Kevin Jay as our new Client Services Manager. There are more changes to come as Marketing + Membership Manager Rose Dennis moves on to Explore Summerside as Executive Director. We have begun our search for a replacement. Congratulations to one and all as you begin new challenges. And hearty thanks and best wishes to Ann and Rose for your many contributions to M&CPEI.
2019 Pace Year-to-date
Membership partnering opportunities are now available