Ignite

Special Mini Edition May 2020

A fresh resource for people who plan and manage meetings, events, business travel, promotions and incentive programs. Providing you with inspiration, guidance and great ideas.

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The president of Canadian Association of Exposition Management (CAEM) and marketing and operations manager for Master Promotions in Halifax shares her perspective There is not an industry, business or organization that will not be impacted from the effects of COVID-19, and the Exhibition Industry is no exception. In fact, MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) have been devastated by the cancellation or postponement of an entire event season without certainty of rebooking. For organizations and individuals whose stock in trade is planning every last detail, this represents unprecedented pain and anguish. For those in the MICE sector, one way to respond is by being as proactive as possible. Collectively, if we throw our resources into initiatives that offer some level of a positive result, there is value there. Many industry associations have begun by lobbying to be considered for a portion of federal funding. Others have organized live events via Zoom or other video conferencing platforms. Redstone Agency, CAEM's association management company, has taken a lead on producing digital round tables on topics ranging from force majeure, managing employees and venue contracts. During this time, there has been an increasing need for organizations involved in exhibitions and events to exchange information with one another. While not every company will respond in the same way in the aftermath of cancelled events, there is value in understanding response trends. CAEM has just launched an online member exchange forum which we hope will allow members to learn from each other, as the industry works toward recovery. CAEM has also established a portal on our website to allows members to resource information from other members, partners and like-minded parties. Communications to our members have also included links to government funding, and links to Meetings Mean Business Canada's COVID-19 resources and toolkit. CAEM also supported the MMBC supported endeavor for a virtual version of Global Meetings Industry Day. As an industry, we are all making hard decisions that we never dreamed would be on the table, and there is no doubt there will be losses, however we will rebuild. What I have observed within our industry is nothing short of astounding. The entire community has been innovative in fi nding ways to stay connected and relevant. We have tapped into resources and partnerships that we have in turn shared with each other. We have found ways to take action and have done that together. I look forward to a time when we can once again meet face-to-face but in the meantime, I look forward to joining the exhibition community virtually. caem.ca Catherine MacNutt PEP TALK with… Ignitemag.ca | 9

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