Ignite a Sp@rk of inspiration. October 2009 Issue

OCTOBER 2009
Ignite - a spark of inspiration
Whether it’s webcasting, online presentations or full-on videoconferencing, today’s meeting planner toolkit includes these now-embraced technologies
Videoconferencing. For small, C-suite gatherings, it’s next best thing to being there. In the past year, Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. installed nine TelePresence locations to connect executives in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Houston and Wisconsin. The high-definition system creates an illusion of togetherness: “It really almost does feel like the people on the screens are in the same room together,” says Brent Poohkay, chief information officer. “I can recall one case where an individual on the remote end of a conference in Edmonton knocked over their bottle of juice, and the person on the near end of the conference in Calgary instinctively reached for it to stop it from tipping over. True story!” Installations range from about $40,000 to upwards of $350,000.
Virtual presentations. Viewing a slide show or presentation via the web is becoming an everyday way to exchange ideas. For networking organization and event producer the Women’s Executive Network, it offered a way to complement live seminars and award shows. “The face of networking is changing, and many women don’t have time to go out to events all the time,” says Sara Falconer, online strategy manager, who moderates a web conference series, broadcast through the WebEx meetings service. “We have an enormous audience of people who make a bit of time in their lunch hour to plug in for their professional development.” Register for the next Wednesdays with WXN or view sample presentations of recent sessions.
Webcasting. As your message gains importance, so should the production values of web or video events, whether public or internal, live or pre-recorded.We look to engage the audience as best we can, so we treat webcasts more like corporate business television,” says Mark Attard, president of Livewire, a communications strategist who produces content for live events, print and video for companies like Magna International, HBC and Grand and Toy. To avoid the talking head syndrome of bosses staring doe-eyed into a camera, he’ll often recommend a moderated format, with executives interviewed by a professional host. “They look much more comfortable and real in their delivery,” he says.
A last word. Meeting planners have more to gain than to fear from expanding their reach of live events through the web, says Matt  Ley, co-founder of the  The Streaming Network, an independent provider of webcasting and IP video conferencing services to event organizers, such as last year’s Toronto Web 2.0 Summit. 
 

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When: Nov. 8 to 10, 2009
ACTE Canada Education Conference
Where: The Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto
Why go:
This “who’s who” national gathering of corporate travel experts takes you into the nitty gritty details of managing business travel, from the ground up.
What’s in it for you: Find practical ways to lead your organization’s travel policies into 2010 and beyond, and refresh supplier relationships.

More industry events at Ignitemag.ca

good to know
CORPORATE TRAVEL MANAGEMENT
Business travel to rebound for 2010
A pent-up need for business travellers to get on the road again, and reduced capacity from airlines and other suppliers are likely to put rates on the rise for many travel categories by the end of next year, suggests the 2010 American Express Global Business Travel Forecast. The forecast by eXpert insights, the company’s newly created travel research practice, predicts that business class airfares in particular are expected to increase as demand inches up for international travel. In North America, overall business travel growth is predicted to go up 1% in the U.S. and 15% in Canada in 2010. Recent airline route and capacity reductions are expected to force prices higher than most other regions, but hotel rates should remain on the decline as hoteliers appeal to win back business and consumer travellers.
INCENTIVES + MEETINGS
CMP to boost more global cred
The Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) designation will get a boost of global recognition, with a move by Meeting Professionals International (MPI) to expand the program with the Convention Industry Council (CIC). The organizations are upgrading the certification to focus on meeting effectiveness and ROI. Last month, it was announced that Toronto’s Ryerson University would be the newest location for an MPI Global Training Center – one of a dozen or more anticipated new educational facilities for business event professionals. CMP is widely recognized, with 14,000 meeting professionals carrying the designation. Access to the program will grow across Europe, Middle-East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.
CORPORATE GIFTS + REWARDS
Tree kit lets recipients join global cause
This month’s Editor's choice is a breath of fresh air: a promo item that gives as it grows. The Clean Air Tree Kit is an engaging way to join an environmental cause – a goal to plant 9.1 billion trees –  and can be branded to demonstrate good corporate citizenship. “Usually when we talk about eco-friendly promotional products, it’s about products less harmful to the environment. This is something with a net positive impact on the environment,” says Aaron Moscoe, CEO of TPS The Promotional Specialists. TPS leads corporate sales for an international team headed by UK-based World Clean Air Forest Initiative. A unique PIN allows recipients to see online where a matching tree is planted. Recent orders include the Canadian Institute of Forestry and The Toronto International Film Festival.

The Olympiad has landed.
Serving Olympic sponsors such as NBC, BC Hydro and others, UK-based hospitality and corporate event specialist  iLuka Ltd. is beefing up its presence in Vancouver and Whistler and looking to snap up local talent as VIP delegations prepare to move into town. As the company staffs up for the new year, jobs range from a number of Event Managers to a Hotel and Guest Services Manager.

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