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MPI Toronto Chapter E-Newsletter: February 2017
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Are You Going?

Thursday, March 9, 2017 – MPI Toronto Chapter Awards Gala

We are off to an exciting start this New Year! 2017 looks promising as we bring to you more lively activities and exhilarating news in honour of this year’s Awards Gala theme! Speaking of themes, the #MPITO Awards Gala Committee would like to congratulate Vanessa Dubay of @eventvanessa for guessing this year’s theme: "Wonders of MPI," an analogy based on "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland." This is truly an intriguing theme full of surprises, and we are enjoying every moment of planning the best MPI Toronto Awards Gala ever! The MPI Toronto Chapter Awards Gala Committee thanks all the participants for their best-guess submissions. Your participation is and will continue to be greatly appreciated as we move closer to the magical evening on Thursday, March 9. "Curiouser and curiouser?" Stay tuned as we turn a new page and welcome 2017 with enthusiasm and anticipation of more news and updates to come.

Thursday, April 6, 2017 – Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID)

On Thursday, April 6, leaders from across the meetings and events industry around the world will come together to support the second annual Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID). Be sure to mark your calendar to join MPI Toronto Chapter on this important day for our industry. Details surrounding times and locations will be sent to our members shortly. We are also excited about the return of our Mentor Café, directly following our GMID event. Should you be interested in signing up in being a mentor or mentee, contact the office today at!

Host a Conference Worthy of Happy Face Emojis
Edmonton Tourism
We’ll take your vision and turn it into ‘Unforgettable’ for delegates. How? With creative solutions and a roll-up-your-sleeves attitude. You’ll be happy to learn we don’t understand the word no. It’s this attitude that makes Edmonton, Edmonton. Let’s talk.
Thursday, April 13, 2017 – CMP Study Group

Our very first CMP Study Group session will be held at the Chelsea Hotel, Toronto. Watch out for more information on registration opening soon! If you’re looking to write, please check out the requirements from the Convention Industry Council.

Sunday, May 7-Tuesday, May 9, 2017 – Toronto Education Conference

Early bird registration will open soon for the 2017 Toronto Education Conference, happening at JW Marriot The Rosseau Muskoka. This year’s theme is "Learning with a View," where attendees will escape the hustle and bustle of the city and embrace the tranquility of their surroundings in Muskoka. Opening Keynote (sponsored by Speakers’ Spotlight) Bruce Kirkby, award-winning explorer, writer and photographer, will kick off our 2017 conference and will set the stage for attendees to expand their minds on a number of hot industry topics and leave the conference feeling renewed with fresh, exciting ideas they can put into practice. Don’t miss out on this amazing education and networking event, and look for registration information coming soon!

Your favourite meeting venue will be Vintage Hotels
Vintage Hotels
With a perfect balance of historic charm and modern amenities our event spaces always impress. Our 3 Niagara-on-the-Lake properties have over 30,000 square feet of unique meeting space that offer the latest in business technology as well as top-rated spas, incredible amenities and award-winning restaurants. Focus on your big picture while we take care of the rest!
Caesars Windsor
Were You There?
The Signature Series (our first chapter event of 2017) was a resounding success! On January 11, 30 members gathered at the Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts to sharpen their skills and compete in Pizza Wars! Chef Matt-Sam led us through some useful, safe knife handling techniques and then showed us how to easily make and manage pizza dough. Teams were challenged to create a pizza with assigned ingredients with prizes awarded to the teams who produced the Best Overall, Most Professional (Looking), Most Creative and Best-Tasting pizzas. Everyone who attended found the event to be fun, engaging and interactive, and thoroughly enjoyed working with a team to learn new skills while enjoying the fruits of their labour. A big shout-out to our newest chapter member, Kathryn Kowal of Strewn Winery, who joined and attended her first chapter event in the same week!
Thank you to our event sponsors:
Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts – An amazing venue and host for this interactive event. Our attendees had a wonderful time!
Peller Estates Winery – Wine for the reception, which was a welcome addition.
PSAV – Audio visual requirements and technicians for the event (who even joined in on the pizza making!). 
The Image Commission – Capturing the event with great photography
D.E. Systems – Professional online event registration.
The February 1 Professional Development session was yet another big success! We had a great group of people that took in the highly interactive Event Design Canvas by Event Model Generation at a unique Toronto venue, the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library. The participants not only left with new knowledge on who their event stakeholders might be, but how to effect change in behavior to better address true stakeholder needs. We had a chance to take part in a real-life case study for a company that was making a last ditch attempt at getting their brand managers engaged in one of their weaker brands. It was a lot of fun to put the training in motion to plan the event, using this real-life example and we also got to hear what actually happened in the end, how they planned the event and the ultimate results. This helped show the true value of the tool and how to put it to work in real life. In light of technology and keeping things ahead of the curve, our content sponsor, FMAV, robotized-in the founders of the tool from Switzerland to take part in the session and answer our questions. There were a lot of laughs, a lot of creativity and attendees walked away as a bonus with eight clock hours and level one certification on using this fantastic tool!
Thank you to our event sponsors:
Bram and Bluma Appel Salon – A superb venue and generous host of both our full-day Professional Development Workshop and the evening Signature Series that followed.
FMAV – Content for the Professional Development Workshop and the audio visual equipment and technicians to support it.
The MPI Foundation – The grant to bring in the Event Design workshop.
The Image Commission – Capturing the event with great photography.
D.E. Systems – Professional online event registration.
The CMP Information Night took place on February 9 at the Radisson Admiral Hotel – Toronto Harbourfront. Meeting and event industry colleagues came together to learn all they needed to know about becoming a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), including who qualifies to write, what the process entails, what the exam covers, exam best practices, and even strategies for recertification. Attendees also received a sneak peek of our remote program and what the Spring 2017 Study Group will look like.
Thank you to our event sponsors:
Meetings Conventions Calgary – Partial registration funding for applicable members of the CMP Study Group.
Radisson Admiral Hotel Toronto-Harbourfront – Meeting space host at this scenic and central downtown location!
D.E. Systems – Professional online event registration.
Have You Heard?

Buy MPI and Support our Sponsors

We encourage you to think of our sponsors when looking for suppliers to provide services to your event. MPI Toronto Chapter buys MPI as much as possible. You have the first opportunity to be part of our success. Let us know how we can partner with you to provide value to our members and to showcase your organization. Contact Vicki Zeppa at or Leslie Wright at

Exciting New Content on the Blog!

Have you visited the MPI Toronto Chapter blog lately? Don’t miss hearing from your fellow industry members on topics such as "sponsortainment" and "how to be the best trade show exhibitor possible." Check the blog regularly to see what’s new! If you would like to contribute to the blog, Communications Committee members Carly Silberstein and Arianna McLaughlin would love to hear from you!

Tweet Your Compliments!
Like something you see in meeting magazine? If so, be sure to share your thoughts and comments via Twitter @MPIToronto. Your Tweet may be featured in the March/April issue, themed "NEXT LEVEL!"
Millcroft Inn & Spa
Perfect Meeting Place North of the City
Casino Rama
With nearly 16,000 square-feet of flexible event space equipped with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment, a variety of dining and catering options and luxury hotel with spa on-site, Casino Rama Resort located just 90 minutes North of Toronto, can accommodate all your event needs from your next business meeting or event, conference, trade show or corporate retreat.

Oh Snap!

2017 marks a new year and a new way to interact at MPI Toronto Chapter events! With the addition of Snapchat filters to our growing list of social media options, you will now be able to customize your photos with an event filter. Be sure to try it out at the upcoming Awards Gala on March 9. Happy Snapping

Accelerate Your Business and Network!  

Have you ever heard the phrase, "It’s all about who you know?" At some point, everyone in our industry will feel the effects of the economy (for-profit and non-profit organizations alike), so having solid relationships and creating new ones can accelerate your network and business. Bringing new, potential MPI members to our events will not only build our chapter’s membership, but also lend to building your network and business – regardless of whether you’re a planner, supplier, entrepreneur or student. With uncertainty in the marketplace and tightening budgets, key relationships in your networks are becoming more and more important to professional success. There are several ways to boost that success by being engaged and involved within our MPI Toronto Chapter. By meeting and working with other members, not only are you establishing relationships with industry colleagues, but you’re also showing them your skills and knowledge. This may leverage a future referral, a career move and help keep your business alive. Are you ready to accelerate your 2017 business and build your professional network? Visit for more information on how you can get involved today!

Movers and Shakers

Bespoke Audio Visual Acquires AV Projects
AV Projects is an experienced leader in the event staging and audio visual business. Led by Ken Morris for more than 25 years, AV Projects is known for their unrivaled customer focus and boutique business for some of Canada’s largest companies and event planners, making it a perfect fit for Bespoke AV. For more information, contact Kyle Brooks, Principal, Bespoke AV, 416-830-4312 or

Freeman Audio Visual Canada Appoints Chris Siedel to Regional Director, Strategic Partnerships for Eastern Canada
Steve Bury, Senior Vice President Sales, Freeman Audio Visual Canada, is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Siedel to Regional Director, Strategic Partnerships for Eastern Canada, based in its Toronto office. "In this role, Chris will develop new business partnerships for us with hotels, convention centres and alternative meeting venues," said Bury. Chris’s mandate will cover Eastern Canada, with particular focus on Ontario and Quebec." For more information, contact Heidi Welker, 905-366-9232.

The Metro Toronto Convention Centre Begins $23 Million South Building Modification
The Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Canada’s leading convention and trade show facility, announced today that its South Building is undergoing a $23 million renovation and modification. The modification will create 10 new meeting rooms, offering events 13,000 square feet of additional contemporary and flexible space in the South Building. Designed to enhance event experiences, the project will provide meetings with redesigned registration areas, an impressive digital experience, a new escalator and service elevator to improve the vertical movement of attendees and exhibitors, updated lighting, a revamped café space, and modern interior design finishes consistent with the recently updated North Building. For further information, contact Christine Tse, Marketing Manager, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 416-585-8106 or
AV-CANADA Inc. Transitions within the Ownership Group
We would like to take this time to thank J. Ralph Strachan, Past President of AV-CANADA Inc., and wish him continued success with the STRONCO Group of Companies. Strachan’s leadership and valued guidance over the past 24 years was instrumental in the positioning AV-CANADA as a leader in our industry and marketplace. For more information, contact Danny Dobriansky, 905-566-5500, ext. 222 or