CANADIAN SPECIAL EVENTS “Spring Fling” at METRO TORONTO CONVENTION CTR.

It’s always great to catch up with events industry friends and business colleagues, so yesterday I was ready to walk the aisles at this year’s CANADIAN SPECIAL EVENTS showcase down at the MTCC and it didn’t disappoint.

20140326_112949This year’s event featured a lot of amazing stilt-walkers, courtesy of ZERO GRAVITY CIRCUS [ http://www.zgcircus.com]. The gentleman pictured above was soooo tall, I had to ask him to stoop down in order to capture him with my camera!

First off, I made a b-line straight for my friend Crystal Leochko of BRASH AVENUES  [ http://www.brashavenues.com ] – pictured below (R).

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I’ve followed Crystal for a number of years as she’s grown her incentives and logowear business located in Burlington, ON, and I always recommend Brash Avenues to all my clients for their wide selection of quality items, fast turn-around and speedy delivery. This year, I really liked the cool kitchen utensils that can be logo’d with your corporate i.d., great for all the foodies out there.

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Just along the aisle from Crystal was the EMS group [ http://www.eracademy.com ] – many large event planners forget how important it is to have the EMS team on hand for any medical emergencies. These folks are all certified paramedics and provide customized emergency response plans so if you’re presenting a major sports event or rock concert this year, these are the guys you want on hand.

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The most exciting connection I made was with the iBID representatives Tim and Brandon [www.ibid-events.com ]. iBid is an interactive bidding system using touchscreen & tablet technology that significantly increases the amount of $s raised at fundraising events as guests interact with this fun and exciting online program. This new e-program is really leading edge and I recommend ALL fundraisers check out iBid’s site.

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iBid effectively replaces those old school paper bid sheets and pencils (that always get lost halfway thru a silent auction!) and after watching the demonstration I definitely recommend a personal demonstration from the Toronto rep, Brandon.

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The fun folks at LaROUGE [ http://www.larougeentertainment.com ] showcased some of their cheery entertainers (above).  And I loved the Victorian “steam punk” vibe in the FOS Décor Centre booth (below) [www.fosdecor.com ]

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Every year, I pick up my copy of the TSEvents Guide – the “bible” for special events folks that lists all the venues, caterers, suppliers, A/V companies…all the industry consultants you could ever want. [ http://www.tsevents.com ]

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Woohoo, I met the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit down the next aisle – I want these two at my next party!

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It’s always nice to meet fellow chocolate lovers and the ladies of TIFIDIN (below) offered yummy treats that carried inspirational thoughts and messages, great for sales and marketing meetings, brightening up your employees’ days or distributing to customers. [ http://www.tifidin.com ]

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A good, clean H2O drinking supply is always important at large outdoor events and the folks at WATER-ON-WHEELS deliver the best. [ http://www.wateronwheels.ca ] I’ve used them myself and can recommend them for all your sports, music or other outdoor festivals.

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Nice to run into old friend Terry Holdershaw pictured below of SCOTIA ENTERTAINMENT [www.ScotiaEntertainment.com] whose string quartet entertained on the main stage. Beautiful music and a lovely soothing respite from the hustle and bustle of the busy exhibitor aisles.

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The food samples from PER SE Catering & Events were deelish! And the chef was kinda cute, too…LOL!  [www.persecatering.com]

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Met a couple of wild’n’crazy ladies from THE AGENCY GROUP [www.TheAgencyGroup.com] who shared stories from the trenches of Canadian showbiz with me. Aaaah, memories from my old days working the big rock tours and concerts in the 80’s and 90’s. Big shout out to Soniya (l) and Stefanie (r) – if you want to book great high profile speakers and the greatest bands and musicians in the country – call these ladies!

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I was quite embarrassed that I had not visited the uber cool restaurant JOEY EATON CENTRE [ http://www.joeyrestaurants.com] located on the Dundas St side of the Eaton Centre. The venue looks pretty awesome so I’m hoping to organize a FAM visit with some PR colleagues in the next month or so. The knowledgeable young chef certainly knew his stuff so I can’t wait to try the menu.

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Saw this beautiful floral display (below) set up by DECOR AND MORE [www.decorandmore.com]

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Groove is in the heart…..STARDUST EVENTS presented a fabulous display booth with a hippy dippy vibe. [www.stardustevents.com]

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When you gotta go, you gotta go…and how better to take care of business than with the Royal Flush mobile loo from IT’S MY POTTY [www.itsmypotty.com]. Check out their mobile facilities below…mention my name, get a good seat!

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I had a “Jimmy Buffett” moment when I stepped into THE CANVAS NURSERY booth [www.thecanvasnursery.com] , a Florida-based company offering full-sized artificial palms and tablescapes. Made me want to do a tiki bar themed event….and they even gave me a Pina Colada flavoured lollipop! Yum…

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What a fabulous afternoon spent with innovators and visionaries in the special events industry. Thanks to http://www.canadianspecialevents.com for hosting another fab event.  And thank you to the man in the mirrors who allowed me to touch up my lipstick and hair on the way out!

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