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Ten Ways MPI Has Changed My Life - Elodie Lortal

Ten Ways MPI Has Changed My Life

By: Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | Jul 20, 2022

Name and Designations: Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES, WPICC
Position: Meetings and Events Coordinator
Employer: National Arts Centre
Joined MPI: February 2021

Contact Information:
Linked In: Elodie LORTAL, CMP, DES, WPICC | LinkedIn


Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Elodie Lortal, I am a meetings and events coordinator at National Arts Centre | Centre national des Arts in Ottawa. I am proud to work for this unique venue. I help coordinate in person or hybrid meetings but also unforgettable weddings. I am a member of MPI Ottawa Chapter. I am the Chair of Chapter News & Views which is our MPI online magazine. I am also volunteering at the global level on the Meeting Professionals International Foundation Canadian Council and am honoured to be part of a group of amazing people such as Erin Bellwood (She/Her/Hers) and Jennifer Beatty.

WPICC logo

How did you join the industry? Was it a straight path or a more circuitous route?

I come from the hospitality world where I used to work in the Food and Beverage Industry…My heart has always been in ‘sales’. I had an opportunity to switch to a sales coordinator role in March 2020. Finally, my dream job but…two weeks into my new role the pandemic started, and the world stopped. Like all of us, I got scared, I was afraid to lose my new job, but I quickly shifted my mindset and decided to use my time wisely. I started to look for professional certifications: I’ve passed my CMP certification and then my DES certification. After that, I wanted to connect with industry peers since I couldn’t network in person. In Feb. 2021, I joined the MPI Ottawa Chapter. Since the very beginning I have volunteered with the marketing committee. A role that I deeply enjoy thanks to my two wonderful mentors Erin Bellwood (She/Her/Hers) and Disa Cameron. Continuing education is important to me. This year is all about Social Events and weddings, so I signed up for a wedding coordinator certification by the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada and I received my WPICC certification April 15, 2022.

What does MPI Ottawa Chapter means to you?

I joined the MPI Ottawa Chapter in February 2021. It is best (career) decision I’ve made. It has helped me both professionally and personally. Volunteering has transformed me.

Here is my top 10 list of ways on how I have benefitted from my MPI membership:


1. Education
Originally, I joined MPI because I was preparing for my CMP. I needed the clock hours and the education. Unfortunately, there was no CMP study group available at the time, so an MPI volunteer helped me and sent me the study guide, PowerPoint presentations and videos recorded by MPI volunteers.

MPI 1 year Anniversary

2. Business
Originally, when I joined MPI in 2021, the goal was to get my CMP certification and to increase the visibility of the National Arts Centre. One year later, I have made a name from myself, and I’ve help raise the profile of the National Arts Centre on the Ottawa Social Scene.
As a supplier, I have the pleasure to work with planners to make their dreamed events come to life.

CC organigram

3. Experience/Expertise

I have learned skills through my involvement with MPI Ottawa Chapter. Being Chair of Chapter News & Views has taught me how to professionally write articles. Helping on various committees has allowed me to make new connections. Through my involvement in the Canada Council, I have made cross-Canada connections, and I have learned how to do fundraising.

News Around Town MPI50

4. Volunteering

Since day one I have always volunteered with the marketing committee. I love to write, and I previously wrote articles for a local newspaper. It was a natural progression to contribute articles for Chapter News & Views, our MPI Ottawa online magazine. We have increased from a couple articles posted per month to five articles posted each month featuring: member’s spotlight, getting to know member, insider event, insider experience and the signature News Around Town.

Canada Council

5. Talent

I had the pleasure to meet and collaborate with very talented people such as Jennifer Beatty, Global Board of Trustees, Erin Bellwood, Director of Marketing Ottawa Chapter, Disa Cameron, VP of Communications Ottawa Chapter, Karen Wiersma, incoming Ottawa Chapter President. I learned from their experiences and expertise.

I also want to recognize my dearest New & Views editor, coach and mentor Darlene Kelly-Stewart. She edits my articles, and we serve together on the Canada Council. (ed. Thanks Elodie!)


6. Growth

I finally had the opportunity to start my career in the sales field just before the pandemic, funny thing - timing. When business came to a halt, I wanted to use this time wisely and considered a strategy to get the academic knowledge first (2020-2021) then apply it when events will resume (2021-2022). Putting strategy into action, I received my CMP certification followed by my DES certification. So far, my strategy has been working and as a bonus I’ve made many new friends along the journey.

JKA & Elo

7. Recognition

I had the nice surprise to have been nominated for two Prix Prestige Awards for 2021. I was nominated in the supplier category and in the volunteer category. It felt very special particularly because it was my first year as an MPI member.

Charity Auction DinnerThe Event Group

8. Conferences

During my first year as a member (2021-2021) all events were virtual, I remember the first online event I attended was June Summer Bash. It was a very nice surprise when I received an email from our then President, Nancy Bradshaw offering me a free ticket to attend to thank me for being a volunteer.

In my second year as a member (2021-2022) I attended THE EVENT, an annual conference created and hosted by three Canadian chapters Montreal/Québec, Ottawa and Toronto.

Now my dream is to, one day, participate to the World Education Congress (WEC). I hear that it is a game changer!

DIY Networking

9. Networking

I’ve met wonderful people through MPI and the “Do It Yourself” Networking (DIY), a virtual zoom networking hour. More than just business relationships, I have made true friends. MPI is more than just an association, to me it feels like family.

Disa, Zaman & Elo

10. Fun and friends

I have had lots of fun recently as we return to in person events such as the MPI Ottawa Charity Auction Dinner at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa or at conferences such as THE EVENT held at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Toronto. I’ve met colleagues and friends with whom I share the same passion for the meetings and events industry.  

Last Words

Business levels are ramping up, we are preparing for a busy summer with weddings and the fall with conferences. The pandemic has taught me to think differently, to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. I don’t know the future however; I am excited for the next chapter.

Darlene HeadshotArticle 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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