Ignite November December 2016

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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November | December 2016 | Ignitemag.ca | 3 Debbie van der Beek Co-Publisher debbie@ignitemag.ca Richard Elliott Co-Publisher richard@ignitemag.ca just sayin' Meeting & Learning Many of you may be aware of the More to Meetings event Ignite and MPI hosted back in September at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. We learned a lot from that experience and we wanted to share it with you since it's a good example of how communication and collaboration can create good things. The event came out of conversations with Susan Prophet, director of business development for MPI in Canada. She shared MPI's desire to grow their membership with untitled or accidental planners, those executive assistants and human resources professionals who don't have event planner in their title but plan meetings nonetheless. At Ignite, we've long recognized this type of planner and have many on our subscription list. That's when the idea of an event with an education component came up. We invited planners who we thought would find the event useful and worked with the Four Seasons and Speakers' Spotlight to round out the program. The afternoon included a great meal and an incredibly inspiring presentation from Zahra Al-Harazi. A survivor of two civil wars, Al-Harazi came to Canada 18 years ago with her husband and three children. She had no higher education, connections or confidence. But she discovered her love of design and eventually founded Foundry Communications. She was named Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year by Chatelaine magazine (2011) and she has received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for contributions to Canada (2012). Her story of finding her voice, pursuing her dreams and ignoring the naysayers is a true inspiration for anyone looking to advance in their career and take on new challenges. While hardly on the same scale as Al-Harazi's experience, we couldn't help but see how her message was reflected in the process we just undertook to put on the event. If you stay positive and put your mind to something, you can succeed. And if you don't, then, as Debbie says to her sons after hockey games: "Did you win or did you learn?" However, you can do both at the same time. From all accounts, many attendees expressed interest in joining MPI and we learned the power of collaboration and finding common synergies. One final note: if you are an untitled or accidental event planner, know that in our world, you are an event planner. And Ignite can help you be successful. So be sure to stay in touch with us on our website and social media as we are always adding valuable information and inspiration. Debbie and Zahra Al-Harazi at the More to Meetings event

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