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Overall Excellence Chapter Award



Insider Experience – theEVENT 2022

_Insider Experience MPI50

By: Angelita Aboukassam | Jul 11, 2022

Basic details of the event:
Title: the EVENT 2022
Date: April 28-30, 2022
City, Country: Toronto, Canada
Host Venue: Pan Pacific Toronto
Trailer: Watch the EVENT 2022 recap video, courtesy AV-Canada.

Angelita headshot

  • Angelita Aboukassam, MPI Ottawa Co-Chair, Strategic Innovation Fund, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, Government of Canada

Geoff Mak

  • Geoff Mak, MPI Toronto Co-Chair, Exhibition Place

MC Thibault

Event Designers:

  • Lucia Al-Zaiatova, MPI Toronto, Virtual Assistant
  • Garim Bang, MPI Montréal/Québec, Consultant
  • Margaret Binns, MPI Toronto, Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association
  • Dionne Bishop, MPI Toronto, Events by Dionne Inc
  • Tammy Bradley, MPI Toronto, AV-CANADA
  • Nancy Bradshaw, MPI Ottawa, Destination St John's
  • Brenda Carter, MPI Toronto, aNd Logistix
  • Natalia Cinquemani, MPI Toronto, Springhill Suites by Marriott Vaughan
  • Léah Cournoyer, MPI Toronto, Communiqué
  • Melissa Daneau, MPI Montréal/Québec, DX Mobilier evenementiel
  • Jenny Dao, MPI Ottawa, Tourism Saskatoon
  • Aracelly Delgadillo, MPI Toronto, Exhibition Place
  • David Dugas, MPI Ottawa, D.E. Systems
  • Kristina Hall, MPI Toronto, Metro Toronto Convention Centre
  • Steven Lacelle, MPI Ottawa, Encore Global
  • Karine Laferriere, MPI Montréal/Québec, Tourisme Montréal
  • Janet Maslin, MPI Ottawa, Hannover Fairs (Canada) Inc.
  • Emily McKay, MPI Ottawa, Invest
  • Sandra Moniz, MPI Toronto, Tourism Calgary
  • Alison Owers-Graham, MPI Toronto, Destination Toronto
  • Zeny Red, MPI Toronto, Alithya
  • Poonam Ruparelia, MPI Toronto, Law Society of Ontario
  • Patricia Simpson, MPI Ottawa, Council of Motor Transport Administrators
  • Marie-France Watson, MPI Montréal/Québec, Concordia University
  • Tim Whalen, MPI Toronto, Fallsview Casino Resort
  • Ryan Young, MPI Ottawa, Ottawa Marriott Hotel

Number of Attendees (in person & virtual)

  • In-person attendees: 250+

Specific Event Questions:

Was it the first large in-person event you’ve attended since the pandemic? How did it feel?
This was one of the first large in-person events that I have attended since the pandemic. It felt AMAZING to be back at an in-person event! I loved meeting new people face-to-face, learning new tips and tricks, feeding off of everyone’s creative energy during sessions, and feeling inspired by seeing speakers up close and personal again. It was truly refreshing to experience an in-person event again – I’m ready to say, “bye!” to virtual events.

What were the safety measures put in place before & during the event?
The EVENT 2022 Event Designers put a lot of thought into implementing and enforcing safety measures before and during the event.

  1. The EVENT 2022 website, social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, monthly e-bulletins, and registration form all advised attendees that proof of vaccination was required in order to attend the EVENT 2022.
  2. On our social media platforms, e-bulletins, and during the opening remarks we advised attendees that they were strongly encouraged to wear masks throughout the EVENT 2022.
  3. D.E. Systems included colour coded name badge indicators that were printed on each name badge. Red, yellow, or green bars were printed to indicate each attendee’s comfort level in terms of their interactions with other attendees.
  4. Lysol wipes were available and supplied by AV-Canada to wipe down microphones before and after each use.
  5. Sanitizer stations were available at registration provided by Fletcher Wright Associates Inc and the food stations by the Pan Pacific Toronto.

Know before you go

What was your biggest fear prior to attend the conference?
As Co-Chairs, MC, Geoff, and myself had fears that the EVENT 2022 would have to be virtual – again. In November 2021, when the Omicron Covid-19 variant was announcement, we had doubts that the EVENT in April 2022 would move forward as an in-person event but we remained optimistic and continued to plan for an in-person event despite the announcement. Thankfully, we were able to have a safe in-person event with over 250 meeting professionals in attendance!  

Who participated to the conference?
We had over 250 meeting professionals in attendance from three MPI Chapters: Ottawa, Montréal/Quebec, and Toronto. We also had attendees from nine out of the ten Canadian provinces, one Canadian territory, as well as attendees from the United States and United Kingdom. We had 35 speakers, 24 sessions, eight clock hours and an amazing opening reception.


What was the main objective of the event?
The main objective of the EVENT 2022 is to bring together three MPI Chapters: Ottawa, Montréal/Quebec, and Toronto to learn, networking, live new experience and do things differently! Since the EVENT’s inception in 2018, the EVENT has united the partnership between the three chapters to offer their memberships something bigger and better, giving event participants the chance to expand network circles while strengthening existing ones.

Co Chairs PJOpening

What was your favourite moment?
My favourite moment was stepping onto the EVENT 2022 stage for the first time and introducing myself as one of the Co-Chairs and the MPI Ottawa Chapter Representative. I felt a rush of excitement, happiness and adrenaline, standing up on the stage and welcoming everyone to what turned out to be an amazing 3-day event full of education, networking, collaborating, and doing things differently!

Pamela BarnumPamela Presenting

Who was your favourite speaker/session? Why?
My favourite speaker and session was the Embrace Keynote – Empowered Empathy by Pamela Barnum. Her talk was fun, interesting, interactive and informative. I learned a lot about reading body language and how to adapt reading those types of queues into my everyday life. 

What is one key takeaway you will remember from this event?
The one takeaway that I will remember from this event is the power of social media. As the Co-Chair responsible for overseeing Communications for the EVENT 2022, I was extremely proud of my sub-committee for pushing the boundaries in terms of our social media strategy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. There were a record number of posts disseminated on all four platforms leading up to the event, during the event, and post-event.

Our sub-committee also implemented a couple of new initiatives this year:

  1. We worked hard to disseminate 99% bilingual messaging on all four social media platforms.
  2. We did live “social media takeovers” which provided extensive coverage for the 3-day event on our ‘the EVENT’ Twitter feed, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, Facebook stories, and Instagram stories.

What are your expectations for future events in 2022?
I have high expectations for future events in 2022! I hope that meeting professionals step out of their comfort zones and push the boundaries when designing their upcoming events. We cannot design events the same way that we used to pre-pandemic, now is the time to change the way we do events – evolve, innovate, and don’t be afraid to try new things!

Co Chairs

Last Words:
I loved my experience overall and the experience as the Co-Chair representative for the MPI Ottawa Chapter. It was truly an honour to plan the EVENT 2022 alongside so many amazing meeting professionals. All of the Event Designers and my fellow Co-Chairs, MC and Geoff deserve a round of applause. Thanks for everything – until next time!

Darlene HeadshotArticle edited by Darlene Kelly-Stewart, Stonehouse Sales & Marketing Services



Angelita headshot
Angelita Aboukassam
MPI Ottawa Co-Chair for the EVENT, Strategic Innovation Fund, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada at Government of Canada


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