Halifax, Nova Scotia to Host 2009 Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners Conference

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Halifax's collaborative approach to conferences and caliber of Halifax events key to the city's selection

It is increasingly important to experience and understand a destination

Event planning takes on a Nova Scotian flavour next November when influential event planners from across Canada arrive in Halifax, Nova Scotia for the 2009 Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners (CANSPEP) conference. The national organization recently announced that Halifax was the successful bidder for the annual conference. The location was a natural fit for the evolving industry of event planning, says Rita Plaskett CMP, CMM and Chair of the 2009 CANSPEP conference. "At the 2009 conference, we're focusing on local talent, local food, using the skills and expertise at the destination rather than bringing in people from outside", she says. "Halifax happens to have a tremendous amount of all of the above."

In a changing economy, says Plaskett, the goal of the conference will be to provide event planners with new tools to re-invent the way they do business and to rethink the way they plan events. "It is increasingly important to experience and understand a destination," she says. "The city has a warmth that embraces hospitality partners looking to host Halifax events."

"Hosting CanSPEP's conference is a huge opportunity to showcase the Halifax, Nova Scotia experience," says Hélène Moberg, Executive Director of Sales, Destination Halifax and chair of the local host committee for the conference. "Working with this organization means exposure to representatives from so many markets across Canada. This is a great way to strengthen the ongoing partnership between CANSPEP and Halifax."

The local host committee, comprised of staff from various Halifax hotels and venues, are working together to highlight all that Halifax has to offer to event planners. People from competing organizations working together isn't the norm in most places, says Elizabeth Newman, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, RCR Hospitality Group, CMM - but it is the norm in Halifax. "We work together," says Newman. "It's not unusual for industry to come together as a team in Halifax. We always put the best interests of the client's first. The caliber of Halifax events - from the Tall Ships Festival to the IIHF World Hockey Championships - are a testament to the Halifax approach."

Plaskett says this team approach was a factor in the decision to bring the 2009 conference to Halifax. "There is such enthusiasm and passion - a 'can-do' attitude in Halifax," says Plaskett. "There is also a tremendous amount of knowledge and pride in local product." Having planned more than 100 national meetings and conventions during her 20-year career as an event planner, Plaskett says working with partners to plan this Halifax conference has been outstanding. "On a scale of one to ten, I'd say the Halifax team is easily 15," she says.

For more information about Halifax meeting and convention services, visit the Halifax tourism organization Destination Halifax at http://www.destinationhalifax.com.

Destination Halifax is a partnership of the Province of Nova Scotia, the Halifax Regional Municipality, the Hotel Association of Nova Scotia, the World Trade and Convention Centre, and participating industry members. Since its inception in 2002, Destination Halifax has operated with a goal of promoting the Halifax Regional Municipality as a year-round destination of choice for business and leisure travelers.

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Emily Kimber
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