Current News

Check out the latest news from around the world by the industry's movers and shakers.

Current News

May 21, 2019
PRA and Tour East Form Strategic Partnership

Strategic Market Expansion for Leading Business Event Company

Chicago—PRA, Inc., a leader in the Business Events industry, with the broadest owned network of offices in the Americas, and Tour East, a leading destination management company in the highly sought-after Asia-Pacific region, are pleased to announce the companies have entered into a strategic partnership as part of their respective growth plans.  

According to a recent study by PCMA and the Melbourne Convention Bureau:

  • The Asia Pacific (APAC) business events sector is currently worth more than US $200 billion and growing rapidly.
  • According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the broader APAC travel sector will double in the coming decade, reaching almost $1.2 trillion in 2026 from its current $650 billion.
  • By 2025, 32% of all world airline traffic is expected to originate from Asia.

This burgeoning sector is creating opportunities for business event professionals who are increasingly delivering meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions across the region. Through this partnership, PRA’s clients will have ready and informed access to expanded solutions in the Asia Pacific region, further enhancing the global reach of the PRA and Tour East brands.   

Established in 1972, Tour East Group, part of JTB Group, is a full-service Destination Management Company operating exclusively B2B destination services from 18 countries across the Asia Pacific region. Tour East destinations include Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Australia, and New Zealand.

PRA, with its 28 offices across North America, is growing significant relationships with global brands across its system organically and through an expanding list of acquisitions and strategic partnerships on a local, national and global basis.

Shigeyuki Suzuki, President & CEO of Tour East, shared: “We are proud to announce our strategic partnership with PRA. As a leading DMC across Asia Pacific, and with more than 40 years of expertise, we are eager to deliver our quality services to fulfill PRA’s customer expectations. Meeting and event needs are rapidly growing in our region and through our strategic partnership with PRA we look forward to creating great client experiences and to support market expansion.”

Tony Lorenz, CEO of PRA, added: “As industry leaders our role is to align with best in class solutions, and provide recommendations on how our clients can benefit from them. In Tour East, we have a progressive partner in which we share core values and a high caliber approach to our respective business and services in our markets. Tour East is the right partner for our business at the right time in our growth story. We are thrilled to launch our partnership with this incredible team.”

Tour East (
Tour East Group, part of JTB Group, is a leading provider of destination management services within Asia Pacific for the global travel industry. The company provides experience-based tour and travel programs and inspired meeting, incentive, convention, and exhibition events for visitors to the region, blending these award-winning activities with advanced technology tools to also deliver business and commercial efficiency for our industry partners. Tour East is committed to sustainable travel programming and management and delivers this from its 18 operating destinations in Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Australia, and New Zealand.  

Headquartered in Chicago with 28 offices throughout North America, PRA is a leading business event management firm,

creating experiences which move hearts, minds, and businesses forward. Through its ownership of events and communication agency One Smooth Stone, PRA offers end-to-end integrated creative, production and communication solutions aligned with business events.

PRA blends Passion, Reach and Authenticity to consistently deliver incomparable experiences that engage participants and exceed business goals.

PRA’s reach runs deep, delivering value to millions of participants over nearly 40 years in every major destination across North America and beyond.  For information on our complete portfolio of services, please visit or email:

May 21, 2019
WestJet gives Calgary more Dreamliner

Dreamliner flights to Maui available now

Calgary/CNW/—WestJet today revealed its winter 787-9 Dreamliner schedule, announcing the state-of-the-art aircraft will now fly between Calgary and Maui and will operate an additional day to London (Gatwick) this winter.  

As part of the schedule release, WestJet also announced the 787-9 Dreamliner will be operate daily service between Toronto and London (Gatwick) starting October 23, 2019.

"Flying on the WestJet Dreamliner is a game changer in travel; guest feedback on the experience has been phenomenal," said Brian Znotins, WestJet Vice-President Network Planning and Alliances. "The Dreamliner was built for transoceanic routes with technology that reduces jetlag and leaves travellers feeling more refreshed upon arrival. With our custom cabins and award-winning service, guests are going to love the journey as much as the destination."

"Our guests love travelling to Hawaii, and now their trip to Maui will be even more memorable with WestJet's Dreamliner service to the island," said Bob Sartor, President and CEO, The Calgary Airport Authority. "Thank you to WestJet for another significant commitment to your Boeing 787-9 hub at YYC."

"Our connection to the top destinations in the world for both business and pleasure is one of the many reasons Calgary is such a dynamic, global city," said Mary Moran, President and CEO, Calgary Economic Development. "WestJet's investment in its 787-9 Dreamliner fleet, and maintaining the aircraft in Calgary, is an economic driver for the city and we applaud the commitment to growing passenger routes for Calgary and the region."

WestJet flies between Calgary and Maui up to six times weekly, or up to four times weekly on the Dreamliner, with service launching October 31, 2019. In addition, WestJet's Dreamliner will operate between Calgary and London (Gatwick) four times weekly starting October 27, 2019. WestJet currently flies daily between Calgary and Gatwick. WestJet already serves more destinations with more flights from Calgary than any other airline, and these additions augment WestJet's continued investment growth in the Calgary and Alberta economies.  

The WestJet Dreamliner features 320 seats in three cabins: business, premium and economy, all of which contain a high-level of comfort and WestJet's award-winning guest service. The Dreamliner's Business cabin features all-aisle-access, lie-flat seats with on-demand dining and entertainment. The upscale Premium cabin is the ideal combination of comfort, value and guest service including a separate cabin, elevated meal service and signature welcome perks featuring champagne and amenity case. WestJet's improved Economy cabin features on-demand inflight entertainment, blankets and pillows and complimentary food and beverages with a select number of extra legroom seats available for purchase.

For more information on new routes and increased frequencies in WestJet's 787-9 winter schedule, please visit

About WestJet
Together with WestJet's regional airline, WestJet Encore, we offer scheduled service to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe and to more than 175 destinations in over 20 countries through our airline partnerships. WestJet Vacations offers affordable, flexible vacations to more than 60 destinations and the choice of more than 800 hotels, resorts, condos and villas.  Members of the WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of flights and vacations packages to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods, and have access to Member Exclusive fares offering deals to WestJet destinations throughout our network and those of our partner airlines.

WestJet is proud to be recognized for three consecutive years as Best Airline in Canada (2017-19) and awarded among travellers' favourite Mid-Sized Airlines in North America (2019). From 2017-2018, WestJet was also awarded among travellers' favorite Mid-Sized and Low-Cost Airlines in North America. The airline was also recognized among the Economy Class winners in North America, 2018. All awards are based on authentic reviews from the travelling public on TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site. We are one of very few airlines globally that does not commercially overbook.

WestJet is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol WJA. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit

May 09, 2019
Two Canadians among 12 new Certified Special Events Professionals (CSEP) recognized by ILEA

The International Live Events Association (ILEA) proudly recognizes the following event professionals who recently earned the Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) designation in the January 2019 testing window.

Nina Bauer, CSEP, Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, Fenwick, Ontario

Jessica Broz, CSEP, Boom Goes the Drum, Calgary, Alberta

Vicki Bowman, CSEP, Motor Coach Industries, Des Plaines, Illinois*

Paige Branam, CSEP, A Fare Extraordinaire, Houston, Texas*

Merry Coder, CSEP, California State University Bakersfield, Bakersfield, California

Breen Halley, CSEP, Black Flower Agency, New York, New York

Erin Halley Reddy, CSEP, Colin Cowie Lifestyle, New York, New York

Monika Heppe, CSEP, A Great Adventure Events & Tablescapes Event Rentals, Chicago,Illinois*

Megan Johnston, CSEP, Accent Indy, a DMC Network Company, Indianapolis, Indiana*

Carissa Merritt, CSEP, Chesapeake Health Education Program Inc., Perryville, Maryland

Marie Mitchell, CSEP, Maple Ridge Events, Nashville, Tennessee*

Lotoya Vongrechin, CSEP, V Agency, Detroit, Michigan*

ILEA endorses and manages the voluntary CSEP program for those who meet established standards. The CSEP continues a remarkable progression as worldwide recognition of the live events industry continues to evolve. Now more than ever, professionals within the industry recognize the CSEP as an influential designation for the education and the promotion of professional ethics and standards. Earning the CSEP designation demonstrates a continuous dedication to enhance individual and professional performance, and ILEA is honored to recognize each of these new recipients on earning this distinguished credential.

“The Certified Special Events Professional designation recognizes event professionals who have demonstrated the knowledge, skills and ability essential to perform all components of a special event. It raises the bar of professionalism and expertise in the live events industry,” said Sara Grauf, CSEP, ILEA President. “I am proud to welcome these twelve individuals into the global CSEP community.”

The next exam window is 15-30 July. Applications and payment are due 1 June


About the Certified Special Events Professional Credential

The Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) designation recognizes event professionals who have successfully demonstrated the essential knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform all components of a special event. The International Live Events Association (ILEA) endorses and manages the voluntary CSEP program for those who meet established standards. Learn more about the CSEP at

About the International Live Events Association (ILEA)

The International Live Events Association (ILEA) is a global community of thousands of creative event professionals whose skills, expertise and experience power some of the most recognized and respected live events around the world. For creative events professionals who seek deeper connections with like-minded individuals, ILEA provides the education and collaborative networking opportunities that achieve creative experiences. For more information, visit


May 03, 2019
Delta Hotels by Marriott Thunder Bay Opens Offering Premium Waterfront Experience in Prince Arthurs Landing

The much-anticipated Delta Hotels by Marriott Thunder Bay opens its doors today, featuring 149 premium guest rooms and suites – many with sweeping views of the city’s famed Sleeping Giant.  Located waterfront in Prince Arthur’s Landing, Delta Hotels by Marriott Thunder Bay is the first 4-star hotel in the area.

Delta Hotels by Marriott Thunder Bay is a full-service property designed by MacKay Wong, boasting simple lines and contemporary design. The guest rooms are fully equipped with pillowtop mattresses, oversized chairs with work desks, complimentary high-speed wireless internet and 49-inch Smart TVs.   Additionally, most rooms offer floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Entertainment District or Lake Superior.

The hotel’s onsite restaurant, Anchor and Ore pays homage to Thunder Bay’s long history of shipping and natural mining.  Under the direction of Executive Chef Winni Tsang, Anchor and Ore offers local twists on classic North American cuisine.  The 140-seat restaurant also features an expansive outdoor terrace with stunning waterfront views and will be a welcome refuge after a long work day or concert at Festival Area.

With over 6,500 square feet of flexible event space, Delta Hotels by Marriott Thunder Bay is the ideal location for corporate meetings, weddings or social gatherings.  Divisible into four separate sections, the Superior Ballroom is one of the city’s largest event spaces at 5,541 square feet and features a light-filled pre-function area.  For smaller meetings or intimate events, the Kakabeka and Cascades boardrooms feature state of the art A/V equipment, complimentary wireless internet and unimpeded lake views.

Only steps from the hotel or a short drive away, guests will find some of the city’s most popular attractions and landmarks.  Whether it’s sailing Lake Superior, hiking in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, discovering hidden gems at the Amethyst Mine Panorama or enjoying the exhilarating adventures of Eagle Canyon, Delta Hotels by Marriott Thunder Bay is the perfect vantage point from which to explore the biggest city on the biggest lake.

For reservations or to book a stay, visit or call +1-807-344-0777.

About Delta Hotels and Resorts
One of North America’s leading four-star brands, Delta Hotels, with over 60 locations in gateway cities across the US, Canada, China, and Germany was acquired by Marriott International in 2015. Delta’s distinct style of simple made perfect provides guests with exactly what they need for a seamless travel experience. The brand’s invitingly familiar rooms, free Wi-Fi and convenient dining options, offer travelers a comfortable and stylish place to stay. For more information or reservations, visit Stay connected to Delta Hotels on Facebook, @DeltaHotelsLtd on Twitter and @deltahotels on Instagram. Delta Hotels and Resorts is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy, the new name of Marriott’s travel program replacing Marriott Rewards®, The Ritz- Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG). The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments and unparalleled benefits including earning points toward free hotel stays and nights toward Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit

May 02, 2019
Club Med continues its commitment to environmental sustainability at Club Med Québec Charlevoix

Club Med leads the charge in sustainable tourism

Toronto—Club Med, the pioneer of the all-inclusive concept, is committed to fostering environmental sustainability through a variety of initiatives. Club Med supports the eco-friendly movement and recognizes that globetrotters are also increasingly considering this factor in their travel decisions. With over 70 sought-after resort destinations around the world, Club Med continues to implement a variety of environmental sustainability initiatives including seeking Green Globe certification for its resorts.

Those seeking sustainable travel options are looking to brands and resorts that maintain the ecological integrity and natural beauty of the landscape, while also respecting the local culture and environment. By 2021, Club Med seeks to have 100 per cent of its eligible resorts Green Globe Certified. The Green Globe certification is merit earned when day-to-day operations meet the highest standards of sustainability. Criteria categories to achieve this standard include sustainable management, community development, incorporation of culture and resource conservation. As part of this commitment, Club Med resorts in the Americas are working to be single-use-plastic free by 2020, and the brand is seeking to remove plastic straws from all of its resorts globally by 2020 through its Bye Bye Single-Use-Plastics initiative.

When making decisions, travellers are looking for brands that consider their impact on the environment, support local businesses, and respect the people and culture of the regions they inhabit,” says Carolyne Doyon, Senior Vice President of Club Med Canada and Mexico. “With almost 80 per cent of Club Med’s resorts already Green Globe certified, it makes it easy for earth-conscious travellers to pick destinations that they can feel good about staying at. Having access to these breathtaking locations around the world comes with a responsibility and Club Med is committed to its role in protecting the environment and contributing to local development.

The company's highly anticipated launch of Club Med Québec Charlevoix will aim for Green Globe certification. To reduce its environmental footprint, the resort will partner with Solucycle, a food waste management company, to implement a sustainable system that turns waste into green energy or compost/fertilizer.

Club Med Québec Charlevoix will further represent the brand’s dedication to minimizing its ecological impact by aiming to achieve a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) construction certificate, and the resort’s buildings are designed to use as little energy as possible.  BREEAM is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for new infrastructure and master planning projects. BREEAM-rated developments are deemed sustainable environments that help protect environmental resources and enhance the well being of the people who live and work in these developments.

Set to open in December 2020, Québec Charlevoix will be the first Club Med in Canada and the only Club Med mountain resort with waterfront views. Nestled between mountains and the St. Lawrence River, Club Med Québec Charlevoix will preserve the pristine scenery of the site in Québec’s ever-changing landscape. Sustainability continues to be an important factor when booking among travellers and Club Med remains a global leader in the pursuit of a more environmentally conscious tourism industry.

About Club Med
Club Med, founded in 1950, is recognized as the pioneer of the all-inclusive market, offering more than 70 premium resorts in stunning locations around the world including North and South America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean. Established in 26 countries across five continents, the group employs more than 23,000 employees comprised of 110 varied nationalities. Club Med has had a corporate presence in Canada for over 40 years and employs a staff of more than 50 team members in their Montreal head office.

In December 2020, the brand will launch Club Med Quebec Charlevoix, its first-ever Canadian resort and four-season mountain resort.

For more information, visit or contact a preferred travel professional. For an inside look at Club Med, follow Club Med on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

For more information please contact:
Sheri Clish, rock-it promotions, inc., 416.656.0707 X 122
Dillon Shaver, rock-it promotions, inc., 416.656.0707 X 117

May 02, 2019
Building The Next Generation Of Event Services

Mississauga, ONStronco is excited to announce the launch of SIP - Stronco Internship Program. Through partnerships with various schools, colleges and shows, a number of initiatives are planned to be rolled out under the SIP banner over the next few years, including a SIP Certification program. The premise of SIP is to showcase different industry stakeholder perspectives and create opportunities and awareness of the industry amongst upcoming generations.

SIP will allow for students from a variety of disciplines to complete internships with a focus on various areas and perspectives of the industry. It is a multi-tiered opportunity for experiential learning. From connecting pre-event pieces to behind the scenes of a show floor, to providing experiences from both the contractor and show management perspectives, SIP is all about highlighting the many areas of opportunities that this industry has to offer.

We are thrilled to introduce one of the most dynamic and energetic industries to the next generation entering the workforce”, states Saira Beig, Stronco’s General Manager/VP, Sales & Marketing. “We are an industry about introductions and connections — we connect industries, people, business, products and services. The root of our industry is about opening the door to possibilities. It just seemed so logical to package all that up and create a program to connect the next generation to the world of possibilities that exist for them in our industry.”

Look for updates on upcoming SIP initiatives.

About Stronco
Stronco is Canada’s largest privately owned full service General Service Contractor. Founded in 1952, Stronco services many of Canada’s most established and prominent events.

For more information contact:
Karen Maki
Director of Communications & Client Experience
Building The Next Generation Of Event Services

April 18, 2019
Kelowna and Saskatoon airports receive federal funding to promote international connections

Kelowna, BC/CNW/Saskatoon and Kelowna airports are important destinations for both tourists and business travelers. Maintaining international flights into both centres, and promoting new flights, is essential for increasing economic development and tourism opportunities.

Today, Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced $840,000 in funding for the Saskatoon Airport Authority, in partnership with the Kelowna International Airport, to promote tourism and trade through developing and sustaining trans-border air routes for Saskatoon and Kelowna airports.

Through this investment, the Saskatoon and Kelowna airports will work to develop strategies and marketing campaigns to increase trans-border air passenger traffic in their two regions. The initiatives will target airlines, while also marketing Saskatoon and Kelowna as tourist destinations in major U.S. cities. Tourism employs 15,000 people in the Kelowna area, and another 16,500 in Saskatoon. Additionally, a number of large, international companies based in each of these centres rely on trans-border air travel for their own employees and those seeking to do business with them.

Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan aims to build an economy in which Canadians have access to high-quality jobs and Canadian businesses are well-placed to participate in a rapidly evolving and competitive global marketplace.


"Our government is laying the foundation for Canadians to become more competitive and succeed in the global economy. Today's investment in the Saskatoon Airport Authority, partnered with the Kelowna International Airport, builds on our competitive advantages and will result in better access for international travelers to Kelowna and Saskatoon, boosting economic growth and creating good, middle-class jobs for Canadians."
     -       The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

"The Okanagan Valley sustains successful diverse communities and outstanding recreational opportunities in Kelowna and the corridor. Kelowna is the largest community and is also often recognized for its innovative entrepreneurs as well as large corporations. The Government of Canada supports the efforts of Kelowna and Saskatoon airports, as they strive to serve the needs of tourism and business sectors effectively."
     -       Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country

 "We continue to hear from our community about the importance of enhancing our air service connections for economic development, tourism and business. The funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada will support our efforts to sustainably grow connectivity through air service options that are valued by the province of Saskatchewan. We are proud to partner with Kelowna International Airport and would like to thank Western Economic Diversification Canada and the federal Government for supporting Canadian airports in attracting essential air services to our communities."
     -       Stephen Maybury, President and CEO, Saskatoon Airport Authority

"We're excited to partner with Western Economic Diversification Canada and Saskatoon Airport to enhance connections for leisure and business travel. Providing access to the United States is a key component of a resilient economy and the investment will give YLW the opportunity to enhance its air service for the benefit of the region and Kelowna residents."
     -       Mayor Colin Basran, City of Kelowna elown

April 15, 2019
The Idea Hunter Welcomes New General Manager Adrienne Giroux

The Idea Hunter is delighted to announce the appointment of Adrienne Giroux as the company’s General Manager.

With over 15 years experience in the events industry, Adrienne Giroux has created over 300 events, including some of Toronto’s most iconic galas (Fashion Cares, TIFF’s Opening Night Party and annual fundraiser BOOMBOX). Giroux is a highly respected industry professional who has also been recognized as an outstanding team leader with an award from TIFF where she has spent the last 9 years of her career. 

“We are thrilled that Adrienne will be joining our team at The Idea Hunter. Her experience and leadership will play a vital role in the strategic business directions of the company,” said Janice Cardinale, CEO, The Idea Hunter.

With a long-standing reputation for building corporate partnerships with brands, agencies, vendors and clients, she excels at fostering new and existing relationships. Giroux is a highly strategic, analytical, creative and passionate person that excels in producing innovative and award winning results. She is driven to create experiences that build community and have a cultural impact.

"It is with great pleasure that I join the dynamic team at The Idea Hunter. Janice and Hailey are industry leaders in their field, and I look forward to working with the team to grow the business and propel it to the next level." said Adrienne Giroux, General Manager, The Idea Hunter.

The Idea Hunter is a Corporate Entertainment Company that is invested in creating the latest trends in live entertainment experiences. While our foundation was established in Toronto, our ideas travel across Canada, the United States and beyond.

April 12, 2019
IACC’s Americas Connect explores radical changes in the meetings industry

The 38th edition of the IACC Americas Connect conference took place this week (10 – 11 April) at Vantage Venues and The Globe and Mail Centre, Toronto, with more than 230 delegates attending over the two days.

Over 20 meeting planners from the US, Canada, Europe and Australia joined the two-day conference - themed ‘Radical Innovation – Change Everything!’ – to participate in a full schedule of education, networking and discovery.

The conference delivered a 100% new speaker line-up and put a ban on PowerPoint presentations with slides that included more than one-word. The mission for the event was to turn the stereotypical conference on its head and shake things up to create an environment where delegates could think differently.

The tone for the event was set by opening keynote speaker Pablos Holman, former computer hacker turned inventor and innovator, who delivered a session that encouraged attendees to be the disruptors of the events industry in the next five-years with their innovative venues, services and solutions to some of the industry’s biggest problems.

Toronto’s meeting planning community also joined a lively debate on culinary trends. The panel of experts, including Mariela McIlwraith of Events Industry Council, Tracy Stuckrath of Thrive Meetings, Alan Booth of Deloitte University and Brian Stapleton of Aramark Conferencing, led a discussion on how the industry can best embrace the fast pace of change, covering topics from allergens and dietary preferences, to new foods, managing wastage and sustainable practices. 

This year, for the first time, IACC directly involved the meeting planner and university student communities. Students from Ryerson University and Seneca College attended to gain experience in the industry. 

In a fast-paced competition focused on innovations, IACC members and suppliers were invited to deliver a four-minute-long elevator pitch for their innovation to a panel of global senior press judges. IACC announced Janice Cardinale and Richard Emmanuel of The Idea Hunter as the winner of the competition at the IACC Opening Awards Ceremony. Delegates were also treated to a mystery culinary tour around the city, where they visited three number of venues which all approach food and beverage differently.

Nancy Lindemer, IACC Americas President commented: “We felt it was time that Connect returned to Canada after 15 years in the US. Our members in the region embraced the opportunity in a truly incredible way, and the ideas and creativity from the team tasked with designing this year’s event was immense.”

The Global Copper Skillet competition took place on day two of the event where the Americas, European and Australian finalists competed for the title of Global Copper Skillet Champion. Celebrity chef Michael Smith, regular on the Food Network Canada, presented a workshop and joined the line-up of judges for the Copper Skillet final. Sebastian Layen of Deloitte University | Benchmark, a Global Hospitality Company was named Senior Chef Champion and Niclas Jansson of Sigtunahöjden was named Junior Chef Champion. 

Chef Michael Smith commented after the competition “I am truly impressed with the creativity from all of the chefs today. The ability to think on your feet and execute a dish from what’s on hand is what we do every day but once that clock starts ticking you never know what can happen!”

The winning dishes from the chefs were –

Sebastian Layen, Senior Chef Champion – Crusted Canadian bison medallion, fig and maple syrup gastrique, roasted fig, artichoke and root vegetables barigoule.

Niclas Jansson, Junior Chef Champion – Beef with brown buttered tempeh, roasted cauliflower, stewed cauliflower with apple and maple syrup, vinegar and lemon poached asparagus, onion, red wine, maple syrup and browned butter.

IACC’s next annual European conference ‘Knowledge Festival’ will be taking place in Brussels on 4 – 6 October 2019.

-End –

Images from the event can be downloaded here.

PR contacts: Davies Tanner Tel: +44 (0) 1892 619100

Becca Krug | Hollie Luxford | Andra Miclaus

About IACC

Founded in 1981, IACC is dedicated to representing the best meeting venues globally and is, by definition, the future of the meetings industry realised. The association brings together the brightest, most innovative minds from around the globe.  IACC elevates the meeting experience by creating a unique point of entry that is inclusive of the best-in-class meeting venues internationally.  IACC membership is a symbol of meeting excellence and exceptional connections amongst the best in the meeting industry.  This exclusiveness makes IACC’s members part of an elite group representing the most innovative, forward-thinking and results-driven meeting venues globally.

All members meet a set of stringent Quality Standards and agree to a Code of Ethics.  IACC includes over 400 member conference venues from Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Wales, Canada, Costa Rica and the United States. 

The IACC Mission Statement: "To bring together the brightest industry minds to promote the best meeting venues, which deliver exceptional meeting experiences.  There are meetings... And then there are IACC Meetings".

The IACC Vision: “IACC is a global community of passionate people and organisations delivering innovative and exceptional meeting experiences.

April 11, 2019
Event Industry Trends & Forecast with David Merrell

On April 24, 2019 at Hotel X, located at 111 Princes' Boulevard, ILEA Toronto - in partnership with Senik Events and Hotel X Toronto by Library Collection brings you Event Industry Trends and Forecast with David Merrell. 

No matter what your role is in the event industry; caterer, planner, venue, designer, or client - it's imperative that as an event professional, you know what trends are on the horizon. It can be arduous to keep up with all the different elements. Here is your chance to get a forecast of the industry on many fronts. 

As Creative Director of LA based AOO Events, David Merrell has his finger on the pulse of what's happening in social and corporate events, globally.  For over 25 years, David has been one of the most sought-after producers globally; with a growing list of Fortune 500 and international corporations for product launches, corporate events, celebrity-attended fundraisers, and intimate weddings. Most recently, David capped off another successful Oscar season as Lead Designer for Alfre Woodards' coveted Sistah's Soiree which is an annual dinner for African American women, and women of colour in film.

David has served as President of the ILEA Greater Los Angeles Chapter, and sits on the Advisory Board for top industry publications BizBash, and Catersource, as well as The Global Event Forum. He has been named "Event Designer of the Year" by Event Solutions Magazine, and awarded the prestigious Crystal CITE Award from the Society of Incentive and Travel Executives, the 2017 ILEA Klaus Inkamp Lifetime Achievement award, and the 2019 Steve Kemble Leadership Award awarded at The Special Event 2019 global conference.

International Live Events Association (ILEA), is the premier association for live event professionals; building and supporting an engaged community through educational content, and creating environments for business opportunities.


For more information, please visit