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Insider Experience – MPI Ottawa Charity Auction Dinner

_Insider Experience MPI50

By: Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | May 19, 2022

Elodie Lortal 
Interviewer: Elodie Lortal

Lira headshot 
Interviewee: Lira Buschman

nancy bradshaw 
I was invited to join St John’s table by Nancy Bradshaw

Charity Auction Logo 2022 PNG

Basic details of the event
Title: Charity Auction Dinner   
Date: Thursday, April 7, 2022 
City, Country: Ottawa, Canada


Host Venue: Trillium Ballroom at the Shaw Centre 
Number of Attendees: 340 people / 10 per table

Partners Charity Auction


  • Edmonton Business Events
  • Mississauga tourism
  • Tourism Calgary
  • Canadian Special Events
  • AV Canada
  • Avant-garde design
  • Ignite
  • D.E. System
  • Centre Shaw Centre

Specific Event Questions:

Was this the first large in-person event you had attended since the pandemic? How did it feel?

I had participated at most of the events during Ottawa meet week, but the Charity Auction Dinner was the first industry dinner I’d attended in two years. I was looking forward to seeing everybody and the chance to reconnect, however; I was also a little nervous because of the number of people catching the Omicron variant was increasing. You don’t want to be ‘that person’ who brings it home.

What was the main objective of the Charity Auction dinner?

The main objective is to raise funds for four charities:

Ottawa Food Bank
Ottawa Food Bank
Moissons Outaouais
Moisson Outaouais 
Hopewell Center
The ONFE School Breakfast Program

This year we raised approximately $24,000 dollars. It was impressive because we have raised a similar amount in the past, but with double amount of people.


What was your favourite moment?

One of my favourite moments was walking into the room once the set-up was done. The décor was perfect. All of it was beautiful.

The other, was seeing friends I haven’t seen in two years. It felt special to be in the same room with everyone and not waiting for my zoom to connect.

What were the safety measures put in place before & during the event?

Even though it was no longer mandated by the government, people were encouraged to wear a mask. Attendees were also encouraged to do self-screening. Some attendees were not feeling well, so they took the hard decision to not show up, which impacted the attendance levels, but it was the right thing to do.

With Covid measures being lifted we did not have much to monitor other than keeping and implementing a color-coded sticker system:

Color code

  • Green meant I’m ok with approaching
  • Yellow meant ask me first / I’m being cautious
  • Red meant I’d rather just wave from a distance

Trilium Table Trilium Chair

What was your biggest fear prior to the dinner?

My biggest fear was after not being out in a large group environment for two years, I was wondering how people would respect the recommendations and concerned about the potential of catching Covid19.

What are your expectations for future conferences in 2022?

I think the color-coding will become more of a norm as we come out of this.

I expect that attendees will want to receive more health information prior to attending an event.

Last Words

I think our industry has been hit hard. I think there is an opportunity for our industry to become a leader in how we do business. Covid19 has helped re-define a different way to meet. I don’t think it will be the last time that we’ll see something of this magnitude, so we must be prepared.

Darlene Headshot Article edited by: Darlene Kelly Stewart, Stonehouse Sales & Marketing Services



EL Headshot
Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES
Catering Coordinator at National Arts Centre

📢 I am a bilingual meetings and events coordinator who helps clients and organizations to plan their events in one of our five unique meeting spaces. The National Arts Centre is an ideal Ottawa venue for virtual, hybrid, or in-person events.


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