Tag Archives: Metro Toronto Convention Centre

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Walk the aisles of INCENTIVEWORKS Trade Show with me!

Every  August, the Canadian meetings, events and hospitality industries get together for their “high holiday” known as INCENTIVEWORKS, hosted by Meetings Canada in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Each year, I find myself amongst sales and marketing folks from across the country and around the world, representing hotels, caterers, spas, airlines, resorts and meeting venues as well as incentives companies (these are the folks who create all those logo’d merchandise or give-aways companies use to spread their brand i.d.). And I must say, this year was THE best show in a number of years. Fabulous, super tasty food samples courtesy of celebrity chefs and chi-chi poo-poo caterers and restaurants were the star attractions this year – over the past several years, all we got were dessert samples or chocolates & candies so after a couple of hours of trade show floor-walking, you’d get one hell of a sugar headache. But this year…damn! we enjoyed menu samples of meat, seafood, more meat and crisp fresh salads. Bravo, Incentiveworks exhibitors…you listened to our pleas and hit it outta the park! (all available weblinks for exhibitors at end of blog)

Accompanied by my trusty social media safari guide and photographer, Gabriella Luchetta, I first stopped in on old friend Chef Massimo who oversees several leading kitchens in the Niagara region as well as being a best selling cookbook author (although I’m “domestically challenged” I’ve actually been able to make some of his awesome recipes). Yummmm, he served such deelish and healthful treats yesterday (below)

First on my tasting hit-list was Chef Massimo, who oversees several leading kitchens in the Niagara region, who served  up deelish and healthful treats

DSC09727Next stop, Halifax! So I’ve never been able to stomach scallops before…had them once many years ago and they made me so ill. Probably undercooked, I do remember they were quite slimey. So I was a bit nervous when I was offered fresh scallops from the always-cheery Halifax reps. But oh my, the fragrance coming up from the frypan..mmmm. I couldn’t resist and I am so pleased I indulged….they were amazing. (below)

DSC09776 DSC09803 DSC09801Across the aisle was Chef Events Culinary Entertainment (below) and their great big firetruck converted into a food truck – the food was spectacular. Even their vegetarian offering, stuffed mushroom caps, was awesome.

DSC09755 DSC09750Great to see Sheena Wood of Simply the Best catering and events (below) who also fed us well with tasty hors d’oeuvres.DSC09819Next, Modus Ristorante of Toronto offered delicate prosciutto wraps and salsa salad spoons. (I really wish these blogs offered “scratch and taste” links for you to enjoy this with me…LOL)

DSC09822Here’s Nota Bene, who teased my tastebuds with crunchy salmon sandwiches and risotto balls…

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DSC09883…and Oro spoiled us all with these artful nibblies (below). Is your mouth watering yet?

DSC09896 DSC09905My Yorkville neighbours, Mistura, caught my eye and my mouth, too, with these treats (below)

DSC09920 DSC09917I was suddenly attracted to a bright shiny thing across the aisle…..oooh, a man, a god even! Caesar’s Casino Windsor really knows how to attract attention and I was like a moth to a flame. After posing with my golden boy, I enjoyed their hospitality and Gabriella and I watched their mixologist craft a cocktail brew fit for an emperor.
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Photo 2015-08-19, 12 42 32 PM

DSC09943 DSC09960Belly dancing anyone? The Berber Lounge booth (below) looked lush and exotic…and so was the mint tea, thank you.

DSC09959 DSC09996Gabriella and I took some time out for a little wacky fun playing with some silly props (below) and Instagramming our pics out for the vendor. We both won selfie sticks for our efforts (poor Gabs got home to find hers didn’t work so I guess I owe her mine as a thank you for working so hard)

Photo 2015-08-19, 1 17 22 PMThen it was over to Ripley’s Aquarium booth for a quick dip where we became shark bait!

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Photo 2015-08-19, 2 07 11 PMOkay, back to business ladies! The Welcome to Regina booth served up sweet cupcake pops (below)….DSC00154….and a big howdy to the cowgirls from Tucson, AZ (below). Thanks for the packs of cactus jellies, too.DSC00248The charming Montreal booth hosts were distributing a custom cola so both Gabs and I now have old school bottles of the elixir du Montreal.

DSC00023We strolled past the stunning Barbados booth where the lady looked a bit lonely but oh so pretty sitting in front of that giant seaside mural. Then Gabs and I listened to some great contemporary violin courtesy of this pretty, talented musician (below).

DSC00276 DSC09708Here’s Mike D’Urzo! I love this guy, one of the most charming and talented magicians and corporate entertainers in da biz. He always has a smile for everyone and his illusions are quite unbelievable…I’ve given up trying to figure out all the tricks and prestidigitation (my BIG word of the day!!).

DSC00200You can tell by the ridiculous grin on my face how thrilled I was to personally meet one of my favourite Canadian artists – Andrew King. Andrew was the special guest of the Ottawa booth where he was painting live during the show. His work is imaginative, colourful and full of life and humour….check it his currently available work via this link: http://bit.ly/1K9PLS0

DSC00039While in Ottawa (!) we enjoyed some fresh brewed tea, courtesy of Andrew Horsfield of the Lord Elgin Hotel (below). Mr. H. gave Gabs and me shiny red thermos mugs with a tea infuser inside, too. Thanks…we both really needed these.

DSC00054Daniel and Nicole (below) from the Watermark Beach Resort in Osoyoos, BC were 2 of the friendliest reps we met. Guess that west coast vibe works even way up north, eh? Thank you for your hospitality and I definitely hope to drop in soon to see just how wonderful Osoyoos is for myself.

DSC00133Time for more food and drinkies…..

DSC00145 DSC00166…and even more drinkies over at the Shangri La Hotel booth, this time, tho, it was refreshing Morocan iced tea infused with mint and passionfruit. Aaaaaah.

DSC00158 DSC00160We met this cool guy, Stuart Brown of TSE – no, not the Toronto Stock Exchange – he’s actually from The Scotch Experience! He does special Scotch tastings and pairings…and he “paired” his samples here with dark chocolate truffles. Gabs and I left with our chubby little hands full of ’em, too. LOL!

DSC00184Sue Williamson (below) welcomed us to the Kempenfelt Conference Centre (Barrie, ON) booth. I can’t believe I haven’t visited this wonderful property yet. Gonna have to change that real soon.

DSC00002Alain Paquette and Alain Stoopen of Smash Events were offering samples of a very smooth Mexican liquor that I thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks, amigos, all hail the agave!

DSC00224 DSC00225I got the need…the need for speed! Woohoo, I got to hang with Maverick at the Top Swag/BrandBlvd. booth and even scored some aviator specs and dogtags. Remember those day back when Tom Cruise was such a stud? Here I am in the “danger zone” with my cardboard cut-out Tommy boy.

DSC00066 DSC00073OMG, it’s Shaun the Sheep…or not. Here we are at the Icebreaker booth (below), doing the feely-touchy with the stylish clothing made from NZ merino wool. I scored a pair of soft fuzzy socks for Gabs, too.

DSC00094 DSC00102Time for another chocolate break, this time courtesy of Succulent Chocolates and Sweets. Hand-painted custom chockies, giant logo’d bars, all sorts of sweeties and treats (below).

DSC00188 DSC00189Uncommon Canada had the cutest give-aways…blue, white or grey baby seal keychains with eyes that lit up when you pressed a wee button on their backs as well as making little seal bark sounds. Cute fluffy polar bears, too.

DSC00120Gabriella got into the selfie thing and tooks some great pics in this mirror. Photo 2015-08-19, 2 08 43 PMOkay, time for a nice rest so I sat down in the FOS Design Centre booth and enjoyed the stunning furniture and decorations. I felt like Joan Collins in Dynasty…gimme those damned padded shoulders! I was joined on the silver couch byAnna Rinomata, their event designer. Don’t we look simply maaahvelous?!DSC00202 DSC00209Almost time to say goodbye…just a few more snapshots of a great Incentiveworks. Hope you enjoyed this virtual tour. I encourage you to check out the websites listed below for information on these exhibitors.

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www.incentiveworksshow.com

Vendor weblinks:

www.massimocapra.com

www.chefevents.ca

www.simplythebestevents.ca

www.modusristorante.com

www.notabenerestaurant.com

www.orarestaurant.com

www.mistura.ca

www.lordelgin.ca

www.caesarswindsor.com

www.watermarkbeachresort.com

www.uncommoncanada.com

www.berberlounge.ca

www.thescotchexperience.com

www.kempenfelt.com

www.brandblvd.ca

www.fosdecor.com

http://www.succulentchocolates.com/

www.icebreaker.com

 

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IGNITE MAGAZINE / CANADIAN SPECIAL EVENTS TRADE SHOW INTRO’S LOTS OF COOL SERVICES AND …. STUFF!

Every year, several special events, meetings and incentives organizations host industry expos featuring speakers, workshops, panels and great trade show floors featuring lots of vendors with event venues, catering, nic-nacs and logowear, everything an event planner could wish for. This year, Ignite Magazine and the Canadian Special Events organizations combined forces and held a joint business expo at the Metropolitan Toronto Convention Centre and yesterday, I had a blast wandering the aisles discovering new businesses and products, so come walk the trade show floor with me….

20150415_112817I was greeted by the pretty showgirl working the Hart Entertainment booth http://www.hartentertainment.com/ – a lovely way to start things off with a great big smile, eh?

As I was one of the first people there, I was able to navigate the hall quickly and see how they set up the performance stage…then I turned around to be greeted by the “town crier”. Hear ye, hear ye!20150415_112945 20150415_113000Loved the aqua blue and white of the Iris Blu booth below http://irisblu.ca/ and I even won a prize by picking a rose so I now have a discount off their event services (okay clients, who wants to take advantage of this?).

20150415_113631 20150415_113800It was time for “breakfast” so I shuffled on over to the PAL Insurance sponsored candy bar to enjoy a Cinnabon…..flavoured vodka shot!!!! LOL (hic)…never do this on an empty tummy (hic)

20150415_113930 20150415_114032Thank you to the ladies of PAL Insurance Brokers (below) http://www.palcanada.com/en/

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The crazy folks at PartyPix (below) did a great job of entertaining everyone with their interactive customized photobooths. http://partypix.ca/

20150415_115324 20150415_115325I just loved the mystical space that Eclectic Events created …only wish I’d had enough time to enjoy a woodland massage. But I did meet the talented glass sculptor, John (bottom pic), who created lots of cute animals…and he kindly gave me a dragon!!  http://www.eclecticevents.com/

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20150415_120019 20150415_120029Always a favourite must-taste exhibitor was the Ninutik maple syrup food artisans (below) ..oh so sweet and deelish! Great for catering fancy-schmancy soirees and they even have gift packages.  http://www.ninutik.com/store/home2.php

20150415_120258 20150415_120303One of the nicest, funniest and coolest magicians working the corporate and party circuit, Mike D’urso. I highly recommend Mike for all your magical needs! http://www.megamagic.ca/

20150415_120337 20150415_120341The Snapshot Photobooth people intro’d their new “Hashtag printer station” enabling events to brand their guests’ Instagram photos. Great marketing opps.   http://snapshotphotobooth.com/

20150415_121009An old industry friend, Raviv Krikunets, has just joined another design and events mgm’t firm R5 Events, and I was blown away by his beautiful set-up…wow, check it out below.  http://www.r5e.ca/

20150415_121109 20150415_121222(0) 20150415_121229And here’s Denise and Anna of Lucky Strike Lanes ( below) who always make the trade show fun….http://www.bowlluckystrike.com/

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Here’s a new talent supplier – Genevieve Demerchant of You Will Love it Live! She brought in musicians & a magician to entertain the event planners (below)…and they did a great job.  http://www.youwillloveitlive.com/

20150415_123509Aussie Aussie Aussie…oy oy oy! That’s our “war cry” when Aussies meet each other and here I ran into Kristen Thomason, originally from Melbourne, who is Dir. of Sales for the exciting new iFLY – the indoor skydiving venue out in Oakville. I really wanna try this out – looks like so much fun. http://iflytoronto.com/

20150415_123946Knights and wenches and swords, oh my! Medieval Times was there, too, and I can never say no to a knight with such a big….sword! The saucy wench kept him in line, tho. http://www.medievaltimes.com/toronto.aspx

20150415_124243 20150415_124255Nice to run into Kris and Maria, the sales reps for the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (below). I enjoyed a nice cuppa coffee and a 20min. rest in their relaxation seating area. http://www.mtccc.com/?m=0&t=0&c=1

20150415_132355Have you ever been to Moncton? I have and I love it…the people are so friendly, great facilities, fantastic downtown waterfront. Nice rep. at the City of Moncton booth reminded me what a great place it is to visit either with a business group or on a personal adventure.  http://www.moncton.ca/page4.aspx

20150415_133555Clearwater and St. Pete’s are two of my favourite places for a quick vacay from the cruel (and long) Toronto winters, and the ladies at this booth certainly made me feel welcome.  http://meetamplified.com/

20150415_134656Michelle of Northwest Territories Tourism (below) welcomed me to her spectacular booth…think I may have to visit myself soon. I wanna see the northern lights before I croak so I’ve just added Michelle to my bucket-list!!  http://spectacularnwt.com/

20150415_135043Here’s a great idea for team-building fun – the Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts offers group candy & sweetie making events. Chef Michael J. Smith (pictured below with events coord. Esther) was doing whisky tastings and food infusions…yumm…hic!  http://bonniegordoncollege.com/

20150415_135739Lots more to see and do at the show…

20150415_133355 20150415_135942 20150415_113921…but I had the most fun at the Ripley’s Aquarium Canada booth where they fed me to the sharks! www.RipleysAquariumCanada.com

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Many thanks to the organizers for presenting a great trade show.

www.ignitemag.ca   &   www.canadianspecialevents.com