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MPI Ottawa Virtual Round Tables

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By: April Haggart | Jun 25, 2020

What does the future of events look like post COVID? MPI Ottawa Chapter presented our Virtual Round Tables on May 27th to help provide some insight into the future of events.

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We had four thought leaders from our own Meetings and Events industry join us and provide four different round tables that we could choose from. Chef Joshua Renderos Cruz with the Infinity Centre hosted “Post-Pandemic Food Services”, Josh Coulas from FMAV hosted “Virtual Events 101”, Lori Wagner from Meeting Encore hosted “Negotiating Contracts in a Post-Pandemic Landscape” and Holistic Nutritionist Amy Longard hosted “Greener Ways to Meet”.  I virtually “sat in” on the virtual round tables presented by Josh and Amy; both were popular topics of interest with over 20 attendees in each session.

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Thank you to DE Systems and Ignite Magazine for sponsoring our event. This webinar was done on a $0 budget. We engaged in our local Chapter resources and DE Systems did a special setup for our event microsite to make all those virtual rooms possible.

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It is now becoming common knowledge that there will be changes in how we do events. Starting right at the beginning stages of planning, from what clauses are put into contracts to the number of people allowed at in-person events.

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In Josh Coulas’ round table, he reported an increase in virtual events since COVID started. People in the session had a lively Q&A while they were wondering about various virtual and hybrid event solutions such as tradeshow experiences and methods that can be offered for events in order to limit the number of attendees in-person. All great questions and it will clearly be a learning curve for everyone in terms of planning for the “how to” in producing hybrid and true virtual events on various scales.

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Amy Longard shared about having plant-based menus once we are allowed in-person events again. The sustainability benefits of having a plant-based menu and the positive impact it would have on the event itself. Of course, there is the burning question on how food will be served, but we will have to wait and see what guidelines are in place to follow in the coming months.


Following the two round tables sessions I participated in, I can see the future of the event industry changing. I can see event planners offering more virtual events, as well as limiting the number of attendees.  We will have to make changes and adapt, but by starting to familiarize ourselves with changes we can make now can make a difference once in-person events are allowed.

April Headshot Article written by: April Haggart, Little Co.

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



April Headshot
April Haggart


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