Five Rules of Event Planning

As some of you may know this year is our 75th Anniversary, and on February 27, 2016 we are holding an event to celebrate 75 years to the day of the laying of the cornerstone of the hotel.

It’s truly amazing how many people need to work together to host an event, the catering, the ice carvers, the gentleman who is writing the Lord Elgin Hotel’s story, the maintenance staff, the sponsors, the housekeepers, and so many others.

If you have ever planned an event, even if it’s not as large as this one, you will quickly learn the five rules of planning an event.

  1. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong: even if you think that you have every detail planned till the end, not everything will go as planned. Maybe not all your guests will show up, maybe there is a problem with the escalator. No matter how small it is something will happen and it’s okay, because your event will still be great, so relax and enjoy the smiles on your guests’ faces.
  2. Remember to delegate: you may want to have a hand in every aspect of the planning yourself, but you have to remember that you have a team of people surrounding you that want this to be a great event just as much as you do. Trust your team.
  3. Don’t confuse your run of show with a schedule: as much as everything needs to be on time so that the next thing can go on, don’t rush your speakers they are there for you, and they just want to thank everyone for the support and to show how much the event means to them.
  4. Not everything is a crisis: something might break, someone might get hurt, but that doesn’t mean that everything is wrong. Keep the guests calm, by keeping yourself calm, and show them that a broken tea cup or a little papercut is not the end of the world.
  5. Remember to breath: you have done the running around you have done the stressing have faith in your team and remember to take a moment and breath, take a moment talk to one of your guests, see how much they’re enjoying it, and most importantly take a moment to enjoy it yourself, before throwing yourself back into your work.

It takes each and every person involved working together to create a harmonious event, and I’m really looking forward to seeing it all come together on Saturday.

– The Intern

Service With a Smile

Do you ever meet those people where from the first time they speak you are just captivated by them, either because they are so passionate about what they are talking about, well that’s what Chantalle is like.

Chantalle is a banquet server at the Lord Elgin and is an incredibly dedicated and passionate person when it comes to every aspect of her life. She is the kind of person that knows someone needs her help before they even approach her. I had the pleasure of shadowing her recently and I can say that she really does love representing and being a part of the Lord Elgin family.

While I was shadowing her I learned just how complex being a banquet server is. Starting early in the morning there is the set-up, this is where everything from the meeting schedule is re-viewed and clarified to the actual banquet room being prepared for the guests.

First break of the day for the meeting is breakfast, where after ensuring that everything (i.e. food, drinks, cutlery, etc.) is in the room and ready. The server will wait in the room and ensure that the guests have everything they need, afterwards the server will proceed to clean up the plates and food, as well as preparing for the next break of the day. This occurs one to three more times a day when the guests have scheduled breaks and lunch. Throughout the servers must perform these tasks in silence as to not disturb the meetings.

Chantalle had an immense amount of patience while explaining all the different aspects to me. She is truly an example a hardworking person with a great personality and a brilliant smile. She knows all the ins and outs of the hotel, has worked with so many different people and has spent two years perfecting the skill of moving in and out of rooms, setting up food for meetings, silently.

Chantalle is a Psychology student at the University of Ottawa, which she says helps her when working with the guests it gives her an idea of how to be there when she’s needed without being in the way.

Her life aside from school and work Chantalle keeps herself busy with traveling, having visited Brazil and Ecuador she loves exploring new cultures, but makes sure she always has time to go home to her family in Toronto.

Chantalle is one of those exciting people who is always looking for the next big adventure, while still enjoying every single day.

– The Intern