Ignite a Sp@rk of inspiration. September 16, 2010 Issue

SEPTEMBER 16, 2010
Ignite - a spark of inspiration

If a regular part of your job means hitting the road to conduct site inspections and negotiations, meet clients or put on conferences, you may sometimes feel like you live out of your luggage. We spoke to planners who pack with purpose, and take a systematic approach to make business travel more comfortable.

What goes in the fit kit
Multi-purpose balm. April Taylor, president of Taylor & Associates, a conference management firm in Gloucester, Ontario, has been a road warrior for 35 years. When she travels—a total of about three months per year—she never forgets a tube of Carmex lip balm, a moisturizer and cure-all for cuts and burns.
Bandages. Taylor likes gel brands because they also cushion blisters, a common work-related injury during conferences and tradeshows. If you get a blister, don’t ignore it. Read treatment tips on the Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine’s Foot Health Education site.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Look for 60% alcohol to prevent the spread of germs. The Mayo clinic recommends wetting hands completely and rubbing well for 25 seconds or until dry.
Wardrobe survival staples
Shoes. Shoes. Shoes. Take a cue from Alice Parnis, president of Toronto-based Event Fusion Inc., who travels about four times a year. She packs three pairs of footwear for three purposes, all in black for easy coordination: 1) The Start-up/Take-down Shoes—comfortable loafers or runners; 2) The Event Shoes—low-heel pumps or wedges, “No killer heels,” she warns; 3) The Back-up Shoes—typically a supportive pair of flats.
Pashmina. A must for women: stave off the chill on the plane and at the registration desk, or fling it around your neck to add red-carpet flair to an evening outfit.
Black coordinates. You can’t go wrong with black slacks with mix-and-match coordinates. “Think small and smart,” says Parnis.
Miscellaneous but not minor
Not just name cards. Taylor packs different sizes of name cards and always finds a use. “I once used the larger ones for thank you cards because we didn’t have any. It worked beautifully,” she recalls.
Duct tape on duty. A quick fix for hanging a sign, mending a ripped backdrop or taping down loose electrical cords. Need more ideas? Read Don’t Forget Duct Tape.
Pop a cork. “Pack a corkscrew (in your checked luggage) because the ones at hotels are often useless,” Taylor says.

Find more corporate event planning  ideas and resources at ignitemag.ca


Whether you’re planning your next business meeting, conference, celebration or retreat, Blue Mountain is the perfect setting. Our picturesque natural landscape features 850 acres nestled between the shores of Georgian Bay and the enchanting Niagara Escarpment and our unique pedestrian Village creates a Resort experience unmatched anywhere in Ontario.

The Responsible Travel and Tourism Forum

When: Oct. 14, 2010
Where: The Old Mill, Toronto
Why go:
Sort the green from the in-between in this event on sustainable travel and put social responsibility on your corporate agenda. Hosted by the publishers of The Responsible Travel and Tourism Forum website.
What’s in it for you: Take a cue from the event’s own environmental statement for tips for your own greener meetings, and a hands-on Green Meetings and Event workshop.

More industry events at Ignitemag.ca

good to know
Canines to canoes: 3 great takes on coffee breaks
We raise our cup to a few twists on the conventional meeting break theme, shared in a recent release from Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. Our faves: At Boston’s Fairmont Copley Plaza, Dog Day Afternoons includes bone-shaped cookies and an appearance by Catie, the hotel’s Canine Ambassador; closer to home, The Fairmont Winnipeg honours the finest creatures of Canada’s north with The Polar Bear Break where, for every 100 meeting guests served, the hotel will adopt a Polar Bear on the group’s behalf; and, not to be outdone, conference guests at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise can enjoy a Canoeing Coffee Break, with snacks and a refreshing paddle on the majestic lake.
Safety training not a priority for global travel managers
“Business travellers do not get enough travel health and security training,” concluded a recent study conducted by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) in advance of its recent annual Asia-Pacific education conference in Singapore. Of the 161 corporate members ACTE surveyed in Asia and the Pacific Rim, a full third did not have a strong security policy or any program at all. The report recommends evaluating security plans, including realistic budgeting for unexpected security contingencies, such as this year’s Icelandic volcanic eruptions which blew many travel budgets. For more on corporate travel security, find resources on the ACTE website, or read these tips on How to Manage Your Company’s Travel Risks, from Ignite magazine.

Stressed-out workers crave recognition
While headlines talk of economic recovery, about 30% of workers are feeling more stress than last year, according to an annual Desjardins Financial Security National Health Survey on stress in the workplace. When prompted, Canadians surveyed said that their top stressors were an insufficient salary (30%), work overload (27%), a lack of recognition (22%) and a negative work environment (22%). Even though a vast majority of people were generally satisfied with their jobs (76%), only a third felt that employers helped them better manage their stress at work. The company, which is a provider of employee benefits, has produced this guide to help managers recognize and Manage Workplace Stress.

Share your event news, case studies or story ideas with us here at ignitemag.ca.
Incentive Travel Guru to Plan Winning Events
If you’ve been researching and planning proposals for Wow!-inducing incentive travel programs for at least seven years, including large scale meetings, and conferences, Toronto’s Wynford Group is looking for a key player in pre-sales development. Look for full details on the MPI Career Development  portal, where applicants are asked to email a resume and cover letter to jobs@wynfordmotivates.com with the subject line of Incentive Travel Product Buyer.
An EA to Keep Things Organized Under the Sun
Sun Life Financial is looking for an Executive Assistant in Toronto who has what it takes to coordinate and organize key activities of the Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer and VP Leadership and Talent Development. Administrative support ranges from monitoring expenses to assisting with in-house training events. Look for position OFF01433 here at the Sun Life Career Portal.


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