Canadian Connections

Posted on July 23, 2008 by LCT Magazine

By Jim A. Luff

As a member of the show committee for LCT Canada, it was very exciting to be part of this first ever show.  We began the planning for this event months ago.  The show committee started as a small group of three or four people in a single teleconference call.
LCT's Conference Manager, Adriana Michaels, asked how we should best plan a conference devoted to issues facing Canadian operators.  We all agreed, we needed to add Canadian operators to the committee.  With that, we set out to connect with our contacts in Canada and gradually developed a comprehensive team of experts both in and out of the industry including members of the Tourism Council, Canadian wedding and event planners and other people closely connected with our industry.  We held teleconferences every single Tuesday leading up to the event to plan every hour.
The LCT crew arrived on Saturday in preparation for the kick-off on Sunday evening.  We meticulously went over every detail, outlining each team member's roles and responsibility.  Well, you know what they say, even the best laid plans sometimes fall apart.  Not that anything major fell apart.  Just little surprises along the way.
We opened the event with a nice cocktail party followed by the Operator of the Year Award's Ceremony.  It was indeed a special, magical night with an excellent keynote speaker, fabulous food and a night of memories.  Following dinner, LCT hosted a fabulous post-dinner party on the 32nd floor in a penthouse suite.  The suite was called the Panoramic Suite and it truly delivered up the name with a sweeping view of the Toronto skyline.  The best part was my assignment to go up to the room immediately following dinner to greet guests as they arrived.  Of course I had a great time telling everyone it was  "my suite" as it did have a bedroom that was the size of a small apartment.  It was a fun charade and people actually believed it was my suite as they asked in the morning what time I finally got everyone out of "my room."
The next day begin with a piercing alarm throughout the hotel that roused everyone in the building from their sleep at 5:00 a.m.  Turns out someone left their shoes in the sauna and eventually they got hot enough to catch on fire.  A small fire with a big effect as people stood in the hallways of the hotel in their pajamas.  There are some colleagues you just don't want to see in their peejays and their hair askew.  Needless to say, this incident was the topic of the morning during our breakfast session. 
Next up, my duty was to introduce a speaker from the Canadian Tourism Bureau.  A minor task but it began to become major when the session was about to begin and the speaker had not arrived.  I was told I "might have to wing it through" if she didn't show.  I began to get jitters about presenting information relative to human resources and tourism in Canada.  I am not exactly versed on the subject.  Fortunately, the speaker arrived on time and all went well.
The next session I was to introduce was the wedding and prom program.  My only job was to introduce the moderator.  Just before this session, we learned there was a gas leak at a building across the street and all streets in the area had been shut down.  Uh oh!  Two of our panel members were stuck in traffic trying to get to the hotel.  This left one panel member and a moderator.  I was asked by the moderator if I could sit on the panel and answer questions.  Sure, why not?  I certainly was not prepared for this either but the show must go on.  Fortunately for me, three minutes after starting, our panel members arrived and I was once again relieved.
Overall, I will proclaim the show a great success.  I spoke with many people who attended the show who loved that we brought a show to them.  They loved their own Operator of the Year Awards program and seemed to love the content of the show as well.  Many new friends were made and I can't wait to return to Canada next year.
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