SPRING has SPRUNG!
Susan Freeman, Executive Director
M&C PEI eNews April 2020
We are starting to see the signs of spring on PEI, warmer temperatures, the ice and snow disappearing from our beaches and you get that feeling of excitement for a new season to begin. We normally would see so much activity from our partners at Meeting and Conventions PEI with everyone starting to hire summer staff and open the windows and doors of seasonal operations in anticipation of welcoming visitors to PEI for yet another banner year. The 2020 season is now looking a little different from what was expected this year. In spite of all the hard work our team and our partners put into booking conferences on PEI over the next few months those conferences are now postponed. Our partners are now in a situation we have not ever faced before.
Many of the Meeting and Convention groups that were scheduled for the next four months have moved booking dates. The great news is that a large percentage of these conferences have booked for future years and will experience our wonderful Island hospitality in 2021, 2022 and 2023. They cannot join us on PEI for their expected dates in 2020 but this does not mean they are not coming to PEI at all. We have been speaking to many of our partners and meeting planners and they will bring their conference delegates to PEI on future dates.
They are looking forward to delegates experiencing the special feeling of what we have to offer delegates from their arrival on PEI to their departure and the fantastic adventures, food and fun they have arranged while they are here.
The team at Meetings and Conventions PEI are continuing to reach out to meeting planners that we know have potential business for us on PEI, this has not changed. We know what we have to offer on PEI is unique and authentic. Our tourism industry community on PEI is vibrant and we all work together in good times and in difficult times. We know working together makes us strong and it will make us stronger during our time of recovery.
Our marketing and sales committee and our product and professional development committee are working with the team on new initiatives we can launch for our meeting planners and partners over the next couple of months.
The team at Meetings and Conventions PEI is here to work with our partners and our clients, as we look to recover and rebound our industry in the coming months. We are essential to the visitor economy of PEI and the recovery of our sector on PEI.
We will meet again and celebrate our Island hospitality and strong industry on PEI.
MY NEW NORMAL
Nicole Soucy, Membership Manager
Truth be told, I’m a person who loves routine so at first this pandemic caused me much stress. I had to learn to create a “new normal” and know that I was doing my part by staying home. I decided not to let fear take over. Instead, I charted my new daily life…. It starts by enjoying my morning coffee with my dog Rocky on my lap and chatting with my husband. Then the long commute to my office, lol!! (less than 10 steps) which is my spare room, where I start my work day.
My day consists of updating our CRM database (the stuff you say you will always do but you don’t-no excuse now) and my favorite thing is the wellness check in calls I make to our members. I’m fortunate to be able to listen, and share what our members are doing during these uncertain times. Many have quickly adjusted to a “new normal” whether that’s food deliveries, online shops, or even retooling their manufacturing to create new products (like hand sanitizer). I’m amazed daily at the resilience of our members and how people are working together.
Of course, let’s not forget watching the daily 1:30 pm live stream with Dr. Morrison. I watch it daily with my quarantine buddy Rocky. PEI Strong!!
We will meet again and until then, stay safe and healthy.
THE DINING ROOM…MY NEW OFFICE
Treena MacLeod, Business Development Manager
How my life has changed since working from home?
Well I do my video calls from the living room and work in the dining room on my files and computer. Spend a lot of time on webinars and video calls. Reaching out to clients and working on new prospects for future meeting business.
I am surprised that the time seems to go by quite quickly.
The cats love when I work from the living room because I am their patio door person to go in and out all day long. I almost always break up my day with a baking or cooking mental health reset; today is bacon corn chowder and fluffy white biscuits. Be well everyone!
MY LIFE in PJ’S
I can’t believe it’s been over a month since we started working from home.
The type of work hasn’t changed much but the atmosphere at my desk is certainly different. I sit down with a coffee, in my PJs in the AM and work beside my partner (who works from home too).
We are very aware when the other is having a morning meeting. It’s when the pants go on, and the hairbrush makes an appearance. The desk is abuzz with the chimes and dings from our iPhones as our staff chat groups talk back and forth about work and life in this weird world of COVID19.
I am a textbook extroverted introvert and therefore find the days of seclusion easier than most. I enjoy being able to focus intently on something (like updates to our website) for hours, but then I need a break and a chat with my deskmate… or one of my cats. Daily walks are very important and make me feel better about eating the entire contents of one’s fridge (*Bridget Jones reference). I am thankful to still be working, and look forward to that time in the near future that the meetings industry gets back to some normality.
2020 CANADIAN SPORT HOSTING INDEX
CHARLOTTETOWN 1st | SUMMERSIDE 3rd!
For the third straight year, Charlottetown maintained its ranking as the top city in Canada with populations under 50,000 for hosting sports events. Charlottetown has also once again ranked sixth overall in the country, topped only by major metropolitan centres Montreal, Quebec City, Edmonton, Toronto, and Ottawa.
Summerside ranked 3rd in cities in Canada with populations under 50,000 for hosting sports events and 22nd out of 122 cities for national events!
“The Canadian Sport Hosting Index ranks cities hosting national sports championships and international sports events in Canada through a data-driven assessment” said Rick Traer, CEO, Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance. “Our goal, in developing this tool for our members, is to enable host cities to better understand the impact they are delivering through their sport hosting strategies.”
Based on the input provided, each host city receives a score and ranking within its respective CSTA membership category on an annual basis. There were 122 cities that participated, with 561 national championships and 429 international events included in the compilation of the Canadian Sport Hosting Index.
CSH Index: Population under 50,000
- Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
- Collingwood, Ontario
- Summerside, Prince Edward Island
CREATIVE MEMBERS. UNIQUE OFFERS
Some of our members have creatively changed some offers to adjust to demand including brewers and distillers creating hand sanitizers, virtual meeting help and even a Local Goods Guide showcasing businesses who are still offering services, food and merchandise. (expand each for more information)
Hand Sanitizer Makers
Deep Roots Distillery started selling their Hand Sanitizer in March in 4oz bottles. They are being sold at various locations including Princess Auto in Charlottetown, North Rustico Home Hardware, Buy-Rite Charlottetown, Bob’s Pharmacy Tignish, and Tignish Home Hardware. For large orders or businesses please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upstreet’s first run of Do Gooder Hand Sanitizer will be available very soon. $1 from every bottle sold in their retail locations and online store will be used to provide hand sanitizer to those non-profit and community organizations who need it most. It will be available in 330ml glass bottles online and in their retail locations starting next week.
Virtual Meeting Services
Ashton Rodenhiser, founder of Mind’s Eye Creative believes that visuals are a powerful tool that can be used to facilitate team learning, communication, and engagement, inspiring people to produce their best work. Ashton can provide digital graphic recording through video conference programs (like zoom).
MRSB Group has prepared a short summary of governance and compliance considerations to help not-for-profit organizations that are taking board meetings or and AGM online. https://www.mrsbgroup.com/covid-19-support
Local Goods Guide
Discover Charlottetown – Offering a “Local Goods Guide” where you can find many local businesses who will do Delivery, Curbside pickup or Shipping. https://www.discovercharlottetown.com/local-goods-guide/
NATIONAL TAKE OUT DAY
Over the past several weeks, it’s been a challenging time for the foodservice industry as most restaurants have been forced to close their doors due to COVID-19 restrictions. Now Canadians everywhere are encouraged to show their support for restaurants by ordering takeout from their favourite local restaurants every Wednesday, starting April 15th, which has been billed as #NationalTakeoutDay and continues until restaurants welcome us back! Do your part to support this amazing industry.
These members are making efforts to keep their customers fed and happy by offering take-out and delivery options:
STILL DOING BUSINESS
Even more Meetings & Conventions PEI members who are still selling virtually:
We might not be meeting face to face right now, but many events are still being put on.
The first-ever PEI Stay-At-Home Online Gala
April 24th from 6:00-9:00pm.
Social distancing at its finest, the first-of-its-kind event will host all the familiar elements: dinner (take-out, delivered or home-made by you), performances by musicians and entertainers, and special guest appearances from some well-known Island athletes and personalities.
Music PEI is producing The Tiny Island Concert Series .
Weekly artists are announced.
The concerts are free to watch, while donations are now being accepted to the Music PEI Crisis Relief Fund for PEI music industry professionals and artists. Those funds will be distributed to PEI artists not performing and industry professionals in need.
Hear from thought leaders in the industry on how they have learned and shifted their tactics during COVID-19 in the Meetings, Hospitality and Tourism Spaces. Meetings Today have lists of live and on-demand webinars.
Canada’s Smartest Kitchen’s proprietary SMART Process for innovative food and beverage product development supports startups and multinationals alike. Our team combines expertise in food science, culinary arts, and market insight to provide creative solutions to your food business challenges. Offering state of the art boardroom facilities in downtown Charlottetown, in addition to demonstration and research & development kitchens and sensory lab, our customizable event space can be utilized for your business meetings or roving feast receptions. “We Know Food” and want to share Tastes of PEI and the hospitality of the Island with you.
When you catch your dad, mid selfie, using the phrase, ‘oh hey’ to make himself smile, the saying becomes a great family memory and a store by his two daughters.
Local artisans and photography inspired and created locally. The perfect stop for gifts!
Stationery, Photography, Art and Small Gifts Boutique created by sisters, Rachel Peters and Kim Roach, located at Founders Food Hall & Market