Meetings + Events

The power of gathering people

room space calculator

Find out how many people will fit in your room or what size room you need for your number of attendees.

Step 1
Choose a Room Layout type:

Step 2
Enter one of the following to determine the other:

Room Size:

sq.ft.

Capacity:

NOTE: This is a starting guideline only. Accuracy for your particular event cannot be guaranteed.

look_for_new_issue
deals.pinnaclehotels.ca

Animal Ambassadors

A furry friend with a wagging tail is a welcome pick-me-up for tapped-out business travellers and conference goers

By Angela Kryhul

Imagine arriving at your hotel lobby after a stressful trip, only to find a businessman on all fours giving tummy rubs to one of the hotel customer service reps.

It’s a sight that wouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with hotels that keep a resident pet and the extraordinary soothing effect they can have on frazzled business travellers. Petting, snuggles, walks and playing catch are all in a day’s work for Santol, canine ambassador at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City. Lisa Ramsay, CMP, director of meetings and incentives for Protective Life Insurance, Birmingham, Ala., says a group of 300 she brought to the hotel last fall fell in love with him and, behind the scenes, Santol helped lighten the mood of her hardworking meetings team. “Just having the dog come into your workroom for a few minutes helps everyone to chill out.”

Hotel pets—usually cats or dogs—can be very therapeutic for anyone spending long periods on the road. They’re non-judgmental companions that help people feel more at home, says Mark Grant, director of team leaders for Therapeutic Paws of Canada, a volunteer organization that takes dogs and cats anywhere there’s a need for comfort therapy including nursing homes, schools and hospitals.

More than just mascots, resident pets are working animals that have set daily hours and time off. Dogs, like the Frontenac’s Santol, often attend site inspections and can be booked to greet conference attendees, says Geneviève Parent, director of public relations with the Frontenac. Many hotels also use their pets in such promotional materials as websites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, email, postcards and holiday cards.

Phyllis Stephenson, general manager of the Best Western Plus Chocolate Lake Halifax, says the hotel decided to run with the whole chocolate branding theme by adding Cocoa, a Chocolate Labrador, as its welcome ambassador. “Business travellers love the fact that they can have a pet on the road. One of our regular guests even asks that Cocoa sleep in his room at night.”

Jeanne Miller, Canadian radiation and explosives manager for Calgary-based Schlumberger Canada, has booked groups into the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire for two-week training sessions. Ben, a Chocolate Labrador, “came to the meeting rooms during the breaks, he made people laugh,” Miller says.

“We identified this program as creating a genuine emotional connection with our guests,” explains Erin Richter, CTE, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing, and Ben’s owner. “Besides, how can you take yourself too seriously with a dog that wants a tummy rub.”

House Rules
Here are some questions to ask before your group arrives:
• Is the hotel pet leashed? If permitted to roam freely, which rooms are off-limits?
• Are guests required to sign a waiver before taking the pet for walks?
• When is the animal ambassador available to greet arriving guests, or to visit during conference breaks?
• Attendees with severe allergies or who are afraid of animals should be advised of the hotel pet well in advance.

Celebrity Pets
Resident pets are local celebrities, but they never let fame go to their heads. Ben of the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire for example, has been featured on CNN and the Jay Leno Show. Santol and canine pal Catie Copley, who “works” at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston, are the stars of Catie Copley’s Great Escape, a children’s book by Deborah Kovacs.

other articles in this section

Words of Wisdom

Copyright Knowledge

The Power of Hindsight

Liquid Assets

Grape Escapes

Icebreakers!

Geofencing Technology

Social Media Smarts

Online Registration

Master your MC Smarts

Demographic Shift

Ignite your Hiring Skills

Responsible Food Management

Save your Event from Disaster with Forward Thinking

You’re Virtually There

Event Music

Taking a Constructive View of Negative Feedback

Boosting Numbers for Less-attended Events

Team Mentality

Beyond the RSVP

Langdon Hall, Cambridge, ON

Site Selection Smarts

A Green Seal of Approval

Get to know Natalie Wilson, CMM, CMP

Swamped by short RFP turnaround times?

Meeting Room Design

Embracing Hybrid Meetings

Beyond the Schmooze

Learning by Experience

E-clutter Management

Ignite Your Power of Persuasion

Animal Ambassadors

The Lanyard Problem

Is it time to beef up breaky?

Green Key Meetings

Ignite your Budget Carving Skills

Industry Ethics

Planning Accessible Meetings

Google+ for Event Planning

Short Lead Times

Pinterest your Event Ideas

Guidelines for Ont. Business Event Planners

A Reason to Smile: Developing Guidelines with TICO

TICO, As I See It

Identity Crisis! Ontario Planners as Travel Agents?

Armchair Site Inspections

Planners as travel agents?

Hybrid Meetings

Green Meeting Venues

Virtual Familiarization Trips: FAMTripTV

Independent Meeting Planners

Certification in Meetings Management

Ignite your Delegating Skills

Green Meetings

Event Planning: Lessons Learned

Planning a Low-Budget Event

Boost your Event Attendance

Familiarization Trip Etiquette

Meeting Planner Entrepreneurs

Career Recognition

Tips for Successful Meetings

That's Entertainment!

Recipes for Teambuilding Success

Cover Up!

Got the Social Media Blues?

Online Event Registration

The Wi-Fi Movement

Ignite Your Inner Entrepreneur

A 10-Step Plan for your Best Corporate Holiday Party Ever!

Speaker ROI

An Event to Remember

Green + Lean Meetings

Cool Ways to Promote Teamwork

Site Selection Considerations for the Meeting Event Planner

Bullet-proof your Meeting Planning Budget

Conference Organization

Sample RFP

8 Ways to Wow Meeting Attendees

Going 'pro' as a meeting planner