Monday, December 30, 2013

Event Design eh - Talking with Lars

The original Canadian Hudson's
Bay Blanket. Just wait to see
how we translate this icon!
I am very excited to be part of an interactive session taking place in just over a week at The Special Event in Nashville, Event Design 'eh where we will bring together a fabulous group of Canadian event designers to talk about our perspectives on design, collaboration and do this all with visual mediums that are designed to spark discussion.

Lars Erickson is the Director of Business Development for Special Event Rentals, a leader in the Alberta special event rental marketplace with facilities in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer, and a selection of product suiting each market and many thoughtful designers.  At last year's TSE I had the opportunity as a roving report for Meetings Podcast to have a great discussion with Lars on his philosophy, eye to partnership and Canadian design, which sparked this idea for a session. To hear this interview, click here.

I asked Lars to tell us a little about what this session will bring to those who choose to attend next week, and here is what he said.

Q1. Can you tell us briefly about your current role and involvement in the design process? 
LE :  As a rental company, Special Event Rentals provides the building blocks of event design. I work with planners to ensure we have the right inventory to create the designs they dream up.

Q2. Beyond our ubiquitous Mountie, what is one thing you consider “Canadian” when we talk about event design?LE: Maples, Mountains and Snow… but more important is our willingness to embrace our environment.

Q3. If you were giving special event participants one reason to attend our session, what would you say?LE: Collaboration is key with all events. Come and see how we work together in Canada.

Well, he said it!  All of us are pumped up and making sure you have an experience where you walk away with useful tips and ideas you can use the minute you return home, about design, collaboration and selling design. It is going to be great!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Chocolate Krave -d

Some of you may remember when I woke up earlier this year at 4am and joined MPI Brussels for a hybrid chocolate tasting session. While pretty neat to see it work from my event producer perspective, it was a bit odd to do this in the middle of my night.

I love time with friends, chocolate and learning, so when MPI BC Chapter had a silent auction in June with a Chocolate Tasting for 12 with Krave Chocolat I could not resist bidding and winning such an item and sharing it! 

So this week we gathered inside Xoxolat where their owner Hodi welcomed us into their fabulous chocolate filled spacious new locale in Yaletown and together we learned about chocolate.  With Carrie and Anya, master chocolatiers with their own fabulous stories, we started learning about how cocoa grows, its origins and what to look for in great chocolate, but of course the best part was tasting the chocolate. This ranged from delicious milk all the way up to an 85% dark chocolate which surprised us with its smoothness.  A little pairing, a few Christmas gifts purchased, time with friends, and a spark for how we can include chocolate in even more of our corporate programs... ta da, a fabulous experience all around!  If you need a great experiential gift for the someone who has it all - consider a chocolate tasting!