If we had a million overnight stays ….
Oh wait, we did! In 2017 Prince Edward Island hit the overnight stays night (roofed accommodations plus campsites) milestone. That’s a pretty impressive feat for a small Island. Record spending levels and visitations secure our reputation as a wonderful meetings & convention and vacation destination and add up to great economic news.
Bringing in the delegates
How did M&CPEI contribute to the record-setting 2017? Our small but mighty team pulled out all the stops to make 2017 a very successful year, including:
• Trade shows (Halifax, Charlottetown, Moncton, Toronto, Ottawa and St. John’s
• Events and networking (Toronto, Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Montreal, Charlottetown, Halifax, Summerside, Montague, Moncton)
• One-stop shop for assisting meeting planners with tradeshow set-up, transportation, speakers and entertainment
• Focus on delegates to increase attendance and engage them while here
• Comprehensive marketing activity, including Google AdWords, bus advertising, drone use and media and sports partnerships
• Airport greetings for delegates through our operation of the Big Fish Small Pond program
• 120 meetings (up 10% from 2016)
• 18,282 delegates (up 15% from 2016)
• 27,737 room nights (up 10% from 2016)
• $20.8 million in economic impact
• most Big Fish Small Pond (400+ participants) groups ever
These impressive results would not be possible without our amazing members who do their utmost to showcase PEI to its best advantage – always. We were pleased to see astounding growth in our ranks with 45 new members, bringing our grand total to 214 (the highest on record).
A warm welcome to the following members who have joined us since September:
Silver Fox Entertainment Complex
Inn at St. Peter’s
Sydney Boutique Inn and Suites
Murchison Event Centre
Harmony House Theatre
Pauley Charter and Adventure Tours
Beaumont & Co
BLP Global Show Logistics
Robert Pendergast Chef Services
Jamie Currie & Associates
Mike Stratton Piano Entertainment
Kent Street Market
York Point Community Centre
Grand Senses Spa
Did you know?
If you lament missing one of our conferences, meetings or sessions, have no fear. We’ve got you covered! Just visit the helpful and easy-to-navigate Learning for Members page on our website to find handouts, presentations and other relevant documents.
LEARNING FOR MEMBERS
Passport to sourcing suppliers
On November 1st, 150 meeting or conference planners attended our annual Meeting Planner Showcase featuring suppliers booths arranged along themed routes, namely:
Participants talked to 25 suppliers to gain information and get passport stamps. The names of those with at least five passport stickers by the end of the event were entered in a draw for Google Home voice-activated speakers. Congratulations to the winners:
• Margie Misener – Government of PEI, Health and Wellness
• Karen Morse – Canadian Association of College & University Student Services
• Christine MacKinnon – 4-H Canada
AGM and Conference highlights
On November 7, more than 100 attendees joined us for a jam-packed day highlighted by atmosphere, nutrition, exhibitor interaction, and lots of fun. Speakers focused on topics such as digital marketing, pushing the innovation agenda, the shared economy, and how knowledge of customers leads to higher revenue.
Thanks to our sponsors and to the following members who contributed to event success:
• Luka Hall, lively fiddler and step dancer
• Dan MacKinnon, talented photographer
• Robert Pendergast Chef Services, entertainer and oyster shucker extraordinaire
• COWS, ice cream supplier
• Hearts and Flowers, flower arranger
• Freeman Audio Visual and Pater Audio, tech experts
• PEI Brewing Company, host with the most
Oh, and did we mention that we unveiled our nifty new Virtual Delegate Bag – the first of its kind in Canada! This online tool provides delegates with everything they need to plan their visit to PEI, prepare for and attend their meeting or convention, and lighten their load going home. At the same time, it allows suppliers to connect with delegates and meeting planners in advance and during the event.
You can download the app today through iTunes or Google Play.
Approximately fifty percent of meetings held on PEI are thanks to local champions who invite and “bring it home.” November was Local Champion Month, featuring a radio ad campaign with partner Ocean 100 (kicked off with an interview with Ann Worth), videotaped interviews with two Island planners (Rose Fitzpatrick and Patricia Doucette) who shared their reasons for reaching out to M&CPEI, Trius Transit bus advertising, and a Smart Screens campaign.
Writing winning proposals
On October 12, we hosted an educational program – Plan Propose Partake – an interactive day with 57 members in attendance. Participants learned from presenters and panelists during the morning, while the afternoon was dedicated to an interactive session on proposal writing, a critical skill in business today.
Take a bow (or curtsy)!
Fall is a busy awards season and M&CPEI members and staff took home their share of the hardware.
A few notable recognitions include:
Ernst and Young Atlantic Business
2017 Entrepreneur of the Year Award:
Mike Cassidy and Adam Doiron from
Coach Atlantic Group.
This year at the 2017 PEI International Shellfish Festival,
the Restaurants Canada Shellfish Excellence Award went to
New Glasgow Lobster Suppers.
Believe It Or Not
Franchise of the Year Award (international):
Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce
President’s Excellence Awards:
Tourism Industry Association of PEI’s
Annual Awards Gala:
Our very own Rebecca Alexander received the
Jeremy Tyrell Memorial Award from the
PCMA – Professional Convention Management Association,
recognizing her commitment to improving the industry as well as the community at large.
Congratulations to Ian Cheverie, Guest Experience Manager and Concierge at The Great George Hotel, the first Les Clefs d’Or recipient on Prince Edward Island.
This highly-coveted honour, also known as The Golden Keys, is bestowed by a society of Hotel Concierges in recognition of guest service excellence. Kudos as well to M&CPEI member Murphy Hospitality Group, Ian’s employer, for supporting this pursuit of excellence.
Report from Ontario
We were pleased to participate in Meeting Professional International’s inaugural Plan Your Meetings event, attracting more than 30 qualified planners, many of whom we met through individual five-minute appointments. Post-event sales calls expanded on opportunities identified through the event.
Through relationships with both MPI and the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence, we are sitting at the table with key meeting and convention decision makers and are optimistic about increased business in this lucrative niche market.
On December 13, we hosted an afternoon tea with Kingston’s Events & Management Plus, which has brought numerous conferences to PEI in the past and which has multiple prospects for future events. We have also presented to corporate planners in the Montreal region (HRG, HMI and Revlon).
M&CPEI is grateful to staffers Michelle McAulay and Jennifer Keenan for their immense contributions to the organization and the Island during their tenure here and wish them well in their next endeavours.
After 12 productive years with us, focusing primarily on the national association market, Michelle is returning to Rodd Hotels and Resorts, assuming the role of Nova Scotia Sales Manager.
Jennifer has added a lot to our organization in her two years here, working the government and regional corporate market. She is the new Conference and Banquet Services Coordinator at the Culinary Institute of Canada.
As we move forward, we welcome some new changes and faces to M&CPEI:
Treena MacLeod will move from her role of Client Services/Membership Manager to become the
National Accounts Business Development Manager. Treena MacLeod has been involved in the hospitality industry for over 30 years. Having started her career in the foodservice industry, eventually moving into event planning and then on to a career within the meeting industry in 2009.
Having worked within the hotel and restaurant business for over 25 years; Treena’s curiosity and inquisitiveness spurred her desire to learn more then just the back of house kitchen. True passion for outstanding customer and client satisfaction, creativity, and authenticity are what have ensured Treena’s success within the tourism industry. Treena is looking forward to working more closely with the meeting planners from across the country she has worked closely with over the years. As well as forging and developing new relationships within the industry. Stating the obvious, Treena absolutely loves to cook and has a passion for travel. An explorer in a previous life for sure.
Susan Freeman will join us in the role of Maritime Accounts Business Development Manager.
Susan has over 20 years of hospitality experience in both Sales and Conference Services. At Mount Saint Vincent University, she earned a degree in Tourism & Hospitality Management. For 15 years Susan honed her skills as a Conference Services Manager with the Delta Prince Edward. Since then she has worked as an instructor at the Holland College Tourism and Culinary Centre where she taught 1st year restaurant and event management and most recently was a Director of Sales with DP Murphy Hotels and Resorts for just over 8 years. She is a member of the Discover Charlottetown Board and is very proud of the work she has accomplished the hospitality industry on PEI. She is looking forward to working with the membership and team at Meetings and Conventions PEI. Outside of work Susan enjoys watching her two daughters play soccer and softball and enjoys cheering them on from the sidelines with her husband.
Margaret Wilton will fulfill the role of Client Services/Membership Manager.
Margaret Wilton, has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry with meetings, conferences and event planning. Margaret holds a diploma in Hospitality Services from Holland College. Her experience has been gained with Canadian Pacific Hotels and Resorts, Delta and Rodd Hotels & Resorts in three provinces and as owner and operator of a successful festivals and events planning business. Her commitment is to present the highest level of creativity, personal service, efficiency and professionalism. By combining old fashioned values, attention to detail, innovative solutions and exceptional customer service, Margaret will ensure your expectations are met every time. Margaret is an avid sailor and cyclist – when she isn’t taking care of your needs you will find her on the water or the trails!
Winter is a prime time to entice meeting and convention planners to consider our Island as an excellent and inviting destination which is sure to be a hit with their delegates. Therefore, we largely devote this period to drumming up business.
In the nation’s 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. We are pleased to sponsor the REVEAL Social 2018, the wrap-up to Destination Direct.
On January 31, we will be making a big splash at 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. We still have space for members interested in attending this essential Ottawa event, 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.
Facing off at the Winter Summit
On February 8 and 9, the CSAE Trillium Chapter is hosting its 8th annual Winter Summit at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls. This is the must attend event for association leaders looking for valuable education and networking in a relaxed atmosphere. We will join our main east coast competitors for two days of intensive networking with senior association executives from this largest CSAE chapter.
As in previous years, we will be hosting receptions in both Ottawa and Toronto. These events continue to be popular and well attended.
We are anticipating a full house at our March 6 post-dinner reception held at The Whalesbone.
We are looking forward to our reception being held in Toronto on March 7 at Hotel X, billed as a luxurious urban lakeside resort, the only hotel of its kind in downtown Toronto.
Do you want to join us for one or both of these receptions? If so, get in touch. We still have space.
Digital Marketing Innovation
Consistent with our commitment to lead with enhanced digital marketing, M&CPEI, will enhance our on-line sales and marketing presence with the inclusion of weekly webisodes and podcasts. This production will interview industry experts on everything from “the benefits of using a DMO when planning your meeting” to “my most creative gala dinner”.
Objectives: Expand to new audiences online, growing followers, increasing engagement and driving more qualified traffic to our website to increase conference new business.
Target Audience: Meeting professionals who are not yet following or engaged. Community champions; those who may not identify as a “meeting planner” but may be able to host a meeting on PEI or influence those who will.
Welcome Skål PEI
We are happy to welcome Skål, the world’s largest organization of professional travel and tourism leaders, to Prince Edward Island. Skål PEI will officially launch with a Charter night on January 10, giving the organization a presence in every province. Members will be travelling from across Canada to celebrate the launch.
Promoted as a trusted voice in travel and tourism, members network on a local and regional basis and attend conferences hosted annually worldwide.
Skål also supports socially important initiatives including sustainability, the environment, peace through tourism, and the protection of children from sex tourism.