7 Super Things All Conference Planners can Learn from Montreal’s C2MTL Experience
Feb 19, 2014 by DeDe Mulligan

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When Daniel Lamarre, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cirque du Soleil, came to the SID LEE agency in 2010, he wanted a corporate event where business leaders could instill creativity and innovation into their organizations. And out of this collaboration, C2MTL was born – an intensive three-day event now into its fourth year. With 75% of the event sold out with three months to go, no wonder BizBash upholds it as a "must-attend conference" model.

Here are seven takeaway items you can put into your conference planning process:

  1. Take risks with your budget.

    60% of C2MTL's budget is dedicated toward the tried and true items, while the remaining 40% is available for testing of new ideas. "They expect to make mistakes and feel that to innovate you have to be wrong," stated Emmanuelle Legault, Vice-President of Marketing for Tourisme Montréal. Mickey Drexler, CEO of J. Crew said it best, "Every good idea started out as a bad idea." 
     

  2. Engage your attendees before and after the event. 

    Here are the things an attendee can do once they register for the conference: 

    –  Access C2MTL's networking platform, up to eight weeks before and after the conference, to create an online profile, plan one-on-one meetings with other participants and define their meeting demands;

    – A designated Concierge helps tailor the experience to meet the attendee's business priorities

    – Participate in discussion forums with other meeting participants, event organizers and speakers

    – Access to the conference videos, photos and reports after it is over
     

  3. Attendees crowdsource the agenda.

    C2MTL created an app where attendees could suggest speakers and topics. "The delegates felt they were part of the process and they became engineers of the conference," stated Legault. 
     

  4. Speakers are expected to deliver original content. 

    As you already know, many presenters like to give the same presentation over and over again. C2MTL mandates that all approved speakers create original content only for their event. And with the ability to search the speakers website, YouTube account and talk to peers in the industry, it is easy for determine if the content is original or not.  
     

  5. Hire a storyteller to deliver introductions.

    Rather than having boring intros, C2MTL makes it personal by having someone deliver a story from the speaker's life that is relevant to the audience. 
     

  6. Music makes the conference fun. 

    The event organizers hire local musicians instead of piping in background music. "It wasn't that expensive and wasn't hard to find," stated Legault. Hiring local suppliers, including when renting audio visual equipment, will save you money on transportation, storage and/or accommodations. Local companies support the local economy, grow the tax base and are considered to be a "greener" alternative. 
     

  7. Give your guests air. 

    Having areas where attendees can retreat outside just take in the scenery or providing inside living room spaces where they can recharge themselves and their mobile devices, helps keep the conference fresh in their minds. 

SmartSource Rentals is your event planning partner and has LCD projector and screen rentals, sound and lighting rentals and Wi-Fi network arrays available for your next conference. Don't delay, contact Smart Source today!

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