Ignite a Sp@rk of inspiration. July 2010 Issue

JULY 2010
Ignite - a spark of inspiration

July’s the month to come out swinging! Peak season for company golf days, charitable fundraisers and out-of-town tourneys, it’s a perfect time for us to gather a few ideas to help keep your eye on the ball.

Name that tourney. Why just settle for “Fifth annual such-and-such”, when a creative name can brand your event and say something about your cause. Among our recent faves: the “Masters of Disasters” charity golf tournament, which took place last week to raise money for the volunteer arm of the Calgary Police Service Victim Assistance Unit, the Mustard Seed.
Be silly if you can. For golf events more about fun and fundraising than competitive edge, sponsored holes needn’t be so serious. Think of a longest drive contest using squeaky pet toys instead of golf balls, a giant bulls-eye laid out on the fairway, or a “backhand hole” where participants tee off the opposite way.
Tap into star power. Whether you hire a Canadian PGA pro or use six-degrees-of-separation to pin down a celebrity, star power is gold for charity events. Just look at the lineup for the second-ever Mike Weir Charity Classic kicking off the RBC Canadian Open to raise funds for children’s charities: actor Samuel L. Jackson, talk show host George Lopez, Entourage star Kevin Dillon, Olympic gold medalists Rick Nash, Martin Brodeur and Jon Montgomery and more. For title sponsor RBC, “[the event] enables us to provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience for golf fans and clients while making a meaningful investment to the local community,” says Jim Little, chief brand and communications officer.
Think tech. You may think of golf as an old-fashioned kind of sport, but some courses are investing in cool technology to make it more fun and interactive for groups. At Cobble Beach, a golf course and community on the shores of Ontario’s Georgian Bay, carts are equipped with GPS and a leaderboard so teams can keep track of how they’re doing against their corporate competiton.  “After each hole, players put their score into the system; It’s a great way to bring the whole group into the game,” says golf pro Warren Thomas. More fab features: The system can generate sponsorship messages at each hole, or be used to place food and beverage orders.
Tally the score. Make sure you secure goodwill for next year’s event by taking time to send out thank-you notes to participants. If you gather and report on feedback, provide sponsors a summary to keep them in the loop and feel good about your cause.

Share your own favourite event idea with Ignite! Email eSpark

Find more ideas and resources at ignitemag.ca



Summer is sizzling at the Sheraton Fallsview Hotel with complete meeting packages starting at only $199 per person. With over 40,000 square feet of meeting space, this 4-diamond hotel is only steps away from the Niagara Convention Centre, famous attractions and the Fallsview Casino.


NBTA International Convention & Exhibition
When: August 8-11, 2010
Where: George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX
Why go:
Attendees of this travel management event report average T&E savings of 11% through hands-on wisdom.
What’s in it for you: Spend time in a fine Texas city where you’ll get to mix and mingle with powerhouse speakers including Richard Branson, Condoleezza Rice and Lance Armstrong.

More industry events at Ignitemag.ca

good to know
Procurement takes a seat in meeting rooms: CWT survey
The same techniques and practices used to manage business travel have helped some companies save 10% to 25% over three years when applied to the management of meetings and events, suggests global research conducted by CarlsonWagonlit. Like their corporate travel cousins, meeting planners are being challenged to address clear business objectives and track return on investment—not just cost savings or attendee satisfaction. Find the full report, Meetings and Events: Where Savings Meet Success, at CarlsonWagonlit.com, or download this PDF summary which includes eight steps to optimize meetings and events management.
Dry cleaning and mini-bar: Last perks standing?
It’s still the norm for corporate HR policies to provide business travellers benefits to make up for costs and inconvenience of being away from home — meal per diems, frequent flyer points, and hotel loyalty programs remain at the top of the list, according to a recent survey of human resources professionals. But with companies squeezed by the recession, more travellers are now on the hook to cover their own incidentals on the road such as dry cleaning, mini-bar snacks and calls home, shows findings of the 2010 SHRM Employee Benefits Survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Other less commonly offered benefits include paid travel for a spouse (6% of companies surveyed), paid pay-per-view movies (5%) and paid pet care (1%).
Rewards seen to give competitive edge in downturn
A survey taking the pulse on incentive reward trends seen by 154 Canadian executives from marketing organizations, incentive firms and corporations found a majority (86%) felt they gained a competitive edge though the economic downturn as a result of incentive programs. About the same percentage (83%) said 2010 incentive budgets either remained the same or increased, according to the survey by Berkeley Payment Solutions, which runs Visa prepaid corporate incentive programs. Choices believed to be most valued by recipients were prepaid cards (74%), retail gift certificates (55%), individual travel (51%), and experiential events such concerts and special events (42%).
Share your event news, case studies or story ideas with us here at ignitemag.ca.

Help connect the brains of the knowledge economy
A non-profit agency to advance all things mathematical, MITACS is seeking a Manager, Events Planning in Vancouver to lead a team that that coordinates more than 200 meetings, workshops and conferences between academics, advanced researchers and entrepreneurs around the world. See the full posting here before July 9, 2010.

Promote loyalty, from the inside out
LoyaltyOne, owners of the international Air Miles loyalty program, has the word out for a Senior Events Coordinator in Toronto to manage all internal events, develop the annual event plans, and take charge of a budget of more than $800K. Look for job ID 8952 on the AirMiles Career site.


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