Q&A: MPI's Atlantic Canada Chapter on Building Confidence with Inclusion

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Q&A: MPI's Atlantic Canada Chapter on Building Confidence with Inclusion

By Johnalee Johnston | Jan 24, 2020

We spoke with Frankie Mason, president of MPI's Atlantic Canada Chapter, on the trends and social issues making their way through his region. Here's what he had to say.

What current social issue is most relevant or of concern to your chapter or destination and why?

I believe one of the most relevant social concerns we are encountering would be inclusion. It has become more and more difficult to get people to feel comfortable and interact at various events. Some of this is driven by social anxiety along with other variables that impact people’s abilities to participate. Our main goal is to provide a welcoming atmosphere. We want people to be fully aware that when they attend one of our events inclusion is paramount. We do our absolute best to create a space to share, but to share in your own way with no pressure to talk. Our association prides itself on our networking and being able to build diverse relationships which, in turn, help everyone to grow. We work extremely hard to ensure everyone’s needs for inclusion are met at each event we produce. 

Is your chapter actively involved in helping to solve or bring awareness to this issue or activism in general?

The Atlantic Canada Chapter puts our members first. Before each event, a few of our board members will deliberate and list the new individuals who have signed up to attend the next event. We ensure that all new attendees are welcomed and our board members go the extra distance to strike up a conversation with these individuals. Our hope is to make them feel comfortable early-on in the event. Many newcomers are already nervous and anxious about stepping out of their comfort zone. Our role is to ensure we help wash that fear away while building confidence and comfort.

What is the biggest trend you are seeing or expecting this year? 

The biggest trend I am seeing this year would be technology assisting planners to exceed the expectations of their clients more than ever before. We are now capable of producing more intricate and complex events that tailor to the specific needs of our clients. Augmented reality experiences? Yes, we can. 3D interactive displays? Yes, we have them. Holograms displaying our keynote presenter who is actually on the other side of the world? Let’s do it! We live in a truly remarkable era and we will only continue to develop our processes even further to give meeting planners the opportunity to make these events truly spectacular for their clients.

What event or project organized by your chapter are you most looking forward to and why?

I am most looking forward to “Mental Health in the Workplace” which takes place next week on January 21st at the Courtyard by Marriott in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. During this event, Laura Smith from NS Health will explore communications strategies for both employees and employers/managers to have that all-important conversation about mental health issues, with the overall goal to help educate and increase awareness in the workplace. This event speaks for itself. This is an extremely important topic in our industry and I am looking forward to educating myself on new processes to approach this topic with employees.  

Are there any misconceptions about your destination that you'd like to clear up?

Many areas of Canada, along with other parts of the world, see Nova Scotia as Peggy’s Cove or Citadel Hill based on photos they have seen. We are so much more than this.  Although picturesque and breathtaking views are certainly a hit when you bring your event to this area, we are also leaders in global technology development, growth of new business and a social hub for the entire East Coast of the country. 

 

Author

Johnalee Johnston
Johnalee Johnston

Johnalee Johnston is a wildly creative and curious disruptor of the status quo and MPI’s digital editor.