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Corporate events can widely benefit from incorporating new trends in order to keep attendees engaged and excited to participate. When planning any type of event it’s essential to know what’s in and new in the event planning world.

Looking for ways to spice up your next event? Look no further! We’ve put together a list of the hottest trends sweeping the corporate event planning industry:

1. High tech events

Event technology has transformed far beyond a simple PowerPoint presentation or video displays. Some of the popular pieces of tech that we are currently seeing at corporate events include:

Event apps

- For events that are large in scale and occurring over a few days, there’s a rise in event apps being created to share materials, pictures/videos, maps, and other interactive tools

Social media networking

- Such as event hashtags and live social media feeds

On the spot surveys or contests

- Surveys that are made to be answered right then and there, often through your phone or mobile device

Push notifications

- Such as meeting agendas or announcements that are sent to your attendees mobile devices

Video feeds

2. Focus on attendee engagement

This is a trend that has been more prevalent the last few years and is important to keep in mind when event planning. Gone are the days of sitting and listening to presentations and speakers for hours on end. Now event planners are working on incorporating the attendees more than ever! Hands on workshops, live demonstrations or small breakout groups are just a few of the ways event planners are making this happen.

3. Unique venues

Instead of a conference room in hotels or business facilities, there is a shift towards finding unique venues to host your corporate event. Event planners are using rooftops, sports venues or lofts, just to name a few!

4. Exercise breaks and healthy snacks

Research has shown that the most productive people work for 52 minutes and then break for 17 minutes. Event planners are scheduling more frequent breaks in which attendees are offered healthy snacks and a chance to get up and get some exercise.

Happy event planning!

Statistics show that one in every 13 or approximately 2.5 million Canadians suffer from a significant food allergy. With such a substantial portion of the population suffering from allergies, it is especially important that we take this into consideration when planning events.

To ensure a safe and enjoyable time for all guests at an event, there must be clear communication between event staff and catering staff, as well as diligent pre-event safety planning. Follow these five tips to make sure your next event minimizes the impact of food allergies:

1. Improve your registration process so you know guests needs and their food allergies

When planning the event, make sure to send communication to your attendees indicating menu options and be sure to include a section for guests to indicate any food allergies. Ask guests about allergies ahead of time so that alternate options and arrangements can be made.

2. Communicate the needs of your guests to the food and beverage company well in advance

As soon as you are aware of any food allergies make sure that your catering company is aware. The sooner they know, the more prepared they can be to provide safe and healthy options for any allergy restrictions.

3. Make sure all buffets or menus are labelled well

Include labels such as “May contain nuts” or other items if caterers are not 100% sure if food items are allergen free. Labelled items make it easier for guests to determine what they can and cannot eat.

4. Communicate with the chef and the servers beforehand to make sure that the whole team understands what allergies are present and what ingredients are being served.

Guests will often ask servers about what ingredients make up each dish. To ensure that guests are safe from accidentally eating something that they shouldn’t, make sure that your staff are well informed about what food is being served.

5. Work with event staff to practice medical emergency protocols to respond just in case a serious allergic reaction does occur with one of your guests.

As event planners, you are reliable for making sure guests remain safe during the duration of the event. Food allergies are very important to consider to make sure your event is safe and enjoyable for everyone!

Enhancing care - Changing lives

Happy Paramedic Services Week! This week we celebrate the outstanding paramedics at Spectrum Patient Services and Spectrum Event Medical Services. Surveys have shown that paramedics are some of the most trusted health care professionals, and we are very thankful for all the support they provide our clients and community.

To celebrate Paramedic Services Week, we are sharing safety tips and fact sheets on a variety of different health topics. Check out these resources to help keep yourself and those around you safe from common injuries and accidents:

From Paramedic Chiefs of Canada:

  • Heat Related Illness – as temperatures warm up, use this resource to help keep you safe from heat stroke and exhaustion
  • Burns and Scalds – learn about prevention and first aid for burns
  • Bicycle helmet safety- head injuries are a leading cause of serious injuries, use these tips to find the right helmet for you

From American College of Emergency Physicians:

Throughout the week, there are a variety of events and activities that you can join across the country to celebrate Paramedic Services Week. Remember to take the time this week to thank paramedics who have helped you or your loved ones. Show your appreciation to the dedicated paramedics who support our communities!

If you’re on social media, be sure to follow the hashtag #psweek2016 to share any other safety resources you have. Also remember to follow Spectrum Patient Services and Spectrum Event Medical Services’ Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles (EMS, SPS) to learn more interesting and relevant information throughout the week, including Did You Know facts about paramedics.

For those who aren’t in the event planning industry, executing an event is far more complex than it seems. Details such as venue planning, guest list, food, transportation, décor and entertainment all demand large amounts of energy and focus. In the midst of event planning excitement, there is also the responsibility of safety. Did you know that as a planner, a large part of event safety falls on your shoulders? Often, event safety can be pushed to the bottom of the list when 100 other details are fighting for your attention. Don’t worry, we have you covered. Eventmarketer.com understands how important event safety is, and how it can easily become overlooked. Not to worry, here’s some great event advice from eventmarketer.com:

 

1. Enlist Expert Advice

Hire experts who know how to cope with large numbers of people and handle any situation or threat with a professional response that does not cause a scene. Ask for references and make sure they are properly insured. Many individuals state they have an event security company but don’t have insurance or experience.

2. Assess Your Event

Before requesting the number of event security guards you think you need, let the security expert assess your event based on capacity, attendees, venue and nature of your event to determine whether it is “high” or “low” profile experience.

“The organizer may describe the event as a product launch, but it could be for a sensitive product that may not be liked by certain people or groups. The same for charity events and fundraisers with corporate CEO’s and wealthy people in attendance,” Stone says. “Someone with a grudge against the company or the executive could try to come in and protest, disrupt or do harm.”

3. Prepare for Protest

Always be clear with the event security expert if the client sponsoring the event may draw hatred or negative feedback toward their mission. People may launch an attack against a company they feel discriminates against its workers, doesn’t pay them enough, mismanaged their retirement portfolios or any other reason they feel is justified.

Have the event security experts liaise with the local police department and let them know who and what is happening.

4. Screen Guests and Staff

Make sure all guests are properly screened and checked in with proper credentials. “Are you trying to prevent party crashers from sneaking in and having a few shrimp or bashing for a free beer, or are you trying to prevent a more serious disruption?” says Stone. The event security staff will familiarize themselves with the guest list and turn away those who have not been formally invited.

Additionally, have your event security partner screen all vendors and their employees supplying services, to see if they are biased towards the event.

5. Skip the Surprise Searches

Invitations should disclose that “all persons and property are subject to search” and proper ID is required. That way there will be no surprises at the door. Some events are no-cell phone zones. “We take their cell phones away so they can’t photograph what is going on, or post it to a social media site,” Stone says. “We check them with a coat-check ticket and they get it back on their way out.”

6. Budget for Safety

In today’s world climate of terrorism, for high-profile events save your money on the shrimp and lobster and direct it towards event security, walk-through metal detectors, K-9 sweeps and more. “If you shop by price, you will get your unwanted guests and sleeping guards,” Stone says. “Budget is very important. People need to know what they are getting themselves into and what the scope of their event is.”

A red-carpet affair with top-level security normally requires “platinum” level event security from a top-level provider with mostly off-duty police officers on hand. A middle-level package involves licensed security guards, perhaps someone who works as a janitor during the day and moonlights as a security guard by night. The lowest level provides fire guards, which are required by law and varies from state-to-state.

7. Have Medical Support

For large capacity events always have an emergency medical crew onsite for first response and to handle the unexpected food allergy, medical condition, heart attack or slip and fall head injury.

8. Create Clear Credentials

Always make sure that staff is clearly identified as staff, and not guests, with clear description of credentials.

As an event planner, safety will often start with you. That’s why it’s so important to equip yourself with the right tools. Be proactive and be prepared.

Source: eventmarketer.com

 

Traditionally, dessert has always been a treat saved for the last course. Cakes, cookies, breads, cheese, sweet wines, just to name a few of the delectable things our tongues crave. When planning an event, it’s important be as thoughtful when pairing the dessert as you should be with the presentation of it; because it is so often the last lingering taste in the mouths of your guests. We have come across some very unique and delicious ways to showcase your most prized course.

Ouu and ahhh your guests with these ideas:

1. Nutella buffet table

2. S’mores dessert bar

3. Donut table

4. Frozen yogurt dessert bar

5. Make your own smoothie table

6. Parfait table

7. Pie sticks

8. Gourmet sandwich bar

When planning a dessert experience, first, try and think of your favorite sweet. Then, think of your favorite or unique activity.

Can the two be combined?

For example, if you love peanut butter and have a passion for painting, why not create an art inspired display with various types of peanut treats? Or have a unique take on PB&J’s?

Don’t be afraid to step out of the box to create a memorable experience.

Need some more inspiration? Watch the video above about creating the perfect dessert bar. Let it get your creative juices flowing and realize the endless opportunities.

Have a unique idea you want to share? Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

 

Enjoy the last few summer nights at a free concert:

Andy Earle Duo at Village of Yorkville Park on Friday, September 11 from 11:30 am - 2:30 pm
Raz Hilland Quartet at the Village of Yorkville Park on Saturday, September 12 from 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Grassy Roads, Wandering Feet at the Toronto Music Garden, 475 Queens Quay West on Sunday September 13 at 4:00 pm

Get Cultured at TIFF!
Toronto International Film Festival from September 10-20, 2015. Click here to view schedule and venue.
Price varies - $18-$48 per individual film.

Feeling active? Check out these Runs and Walks
Wipeout Run 5k obstacle course at Woodbine Racetrack, 555 Rexdale Blvd, on Saturday September 12 starting at 7:30 am.
Price varies $69 -$109 per participant.
Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk for Hope/ Walk for Her at Woodbine Park on Sunday September 13th. Registration begins at 9:30 am .
Cruisin' for a Cure Canada, 9th Annual at the Powerade Centre in Brampton on Saturday September 13. Show starts at 10am.

Have your last “cheat day” of summer at these festivals

Veg Food Fest at the Habourfront Centre from September 11-13, 2015.
Cabbagetown Festival by Carlton street and Parliament street Toronto on Saturday September 12, 2015 from 12 pm – 11pm and Sunday September 13,2015 from 12 pm to 7 pm.

The winter is for hibernating; don’t let these great events keep you in the house!

It’s time for another edition of Tuesday Tips for Planning Safe Events!

People who host/plan events will often do so on more than one occasion. It’s helpful to learn from previous mistakes in order to make future events safer and more successful, which is why today’s tip is to evaluate, revise and improve event safety plans for future events!

Practice Makes Perfect!

The more you plan and host events, the more familiar you will become with the types of risks, hazards, incidents, and challenges to expect. In order to avoid similar mishaps from occurring during future events, it is helpful to take some time to evaluate, revise and improve your event safety plan.

Step 1: Evaluate
Here are some questions to ask yourself when evaluating the effectiveness of your event safety plan:
- Were any risks identified during the event that were not considered as potential risks in the event safety plan?
- Did I have enough staff/volunteers to run my event?
- Were my staff/volunteers properly trained and effective at handling their responsibilities?
- Did I have the equipment and tools necessary to run my event safely?
- Was the crowd disruptive? What kind of problems did they create?
- Was the venue suitable for the type/size of event I was hosting?
- How many people were injured at my event? Were their injuries preventable?
- Did I have medics on site that were able to respond quickly to any incidents?

Step 2: Revise and Improve
Once you’ve evaluated your safety plans effectiveness, you will have a better understanding of what you need to revise and improve. Some of your revisions/improvements may include:
- Adding newly identified risks to your event safety plan
- Hiring more staff/volunteers if needed
- Creating new training programs to better train your staff/volunteers on areas where they underperformed
- Purchasing new equipment/tools that will ensure better safety
- Identifying better methods of crowd management
- If necessary, considering other possible venues to use in the future that may be better suited
- Creating strategies for better avoiding preventable injuries
- Hiring a qualified event medical services team such as Spectrum Event Medical Services. Advanced Care Paramedics can be added to an existing event medical team if an event/venue requires a medical team with additional training.

It’s time for another edition of Tuesday Tips for Planning Safe Events!

Today’s tip is to have a safe evacuation plan in place in case of emergency.

Regardless of how prepared you are for your event, emergencies can happen at any time, for any reason. When an emergency occurs, it is often necessary to evacuate all guests, volunteers, and staff immediately in order to prevent injury or harm. Therefore, having a detailed evacuation plan prepared in advance is extremely helpful.

When might guests/volunteers/staff need to be evacuated from an event?

There are a number of situations where your guests/volunteers/staff should be evacuated. These include:
• When a potentially dangerous/unidentified individual is on site
• When an individual on site poses a physical threat to themselves/others
• When the venue itself presents a safety concern
• When someone is ill or injured

What should be considered when creating an evacuation plan?

When creating a plan for the safe evacuation of your guests, there are a number of things to consider:

• The number of people at your event—Knowing the population size of your event will help you determine a realistic plan to safely evacuate everyone from the premises. Depending on the size of your event, you may wish to do test-runs to determine how quickly you can expect to have everyone evacuated.
• The number of and location of all exits—Knowing how many exits you have available and where they are located is important when determining where people should exit. It may be a good idea to equip your event leaders and staff with a map outlining all exits so that they can direct guests to the nearest exit available.
• How many people will require special assistance when exiting—It is important to consider the number of people who may need assistance during an evacuation and have a plan in place to help them. Be sure that wheelchair accessible exits are clearly marked as well.
If an emergency situation does arise, remember to instruct your staff/volunteers/guests to remain calm and proceed as quickly and safely as possible to their nearest exit. Ensuring your exits are clearly marked will help your guests identify where they are supposed to go.

When creating a plan for the safe evacuation of your guests, there are a number of things to consider:

• The number of people at your event—Knowing the population size of your event will help you determine a realistic plan to safely evacuate everyone from the premises. Depending on the size of your event, you may wish to do test-runs to determine how quickly you can expect to have everyone evacuated.
• The number of and location of all exits—Knowing how many exits you have available and where they are located is important when determining where people should exit. It may be a good idea to equip your event leaders and staff with a map outlining all exits so that they can direct guests to the nearest exit available.
• How many people will require special assistance when exiting—It is important to consider the number of people who may need assistance during an evacuation and have a plan in place to help them. Be sure that wheelchair accessible exits are clearly marked as well.

If an emergency situation does arise, remember to instruct your staff/volunteers/guests to remain calm and proceed as quickly and safely as possible to their nearest exit. Ensuring your exits are clearly marked will help your guests identify where they are supposed to go.

It’s time for another edition of Tuesday Tips for Planning Safe Events!

Today’s tip is plan appropriately for crowd management.

In order to plan for a safe event it is important to consider how you will manage your guests. Any crowd has the potential to present hazards if not managed effectively. These hazards can include:

  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Dangerous behaviour
  • Trampling underfoot
  • Pushing, shoving, etc.
  • Collapse of a structure

Crowd management is needed in order to assure a safe and comfortable environment for your event attendees. Here are some important things to consider when planning for effective crowd management:

  • Type of event— the type of event you are hosting can tell you a lot about the crowd you will likely attract. Being aware of the characteristics of your suspected audience will allow you to make useful predictions about how your guests will behave based on their age, gender, interests, etc., which will help you plan effectively for crowd management.
  • Characteristics of facility—an effective crowd management plan will require you to have a good understanding of your facility. This includes:

                       - Understanding the maximum crowd capacity the venue can
                          accommodate

                       - Identifying any objects that could obstruct movement and 
                         cause congestion during busy periods.

                       - Determining what, if any, possible weather conditions
                          could affect the safety of your attendees

                       - Identifying any safety hazards associated with the venue
                         or facility

                       - Planning methods of entrance and exit for all guests 
                         (both regular and in case of emergency)

  • Size of crowd—your crowd management plan should include a maximum crowd size that can safely be accommodated. Devise a plan for effectively turning additional people away in order to avoid exceeding your maximum capacity.
  • Demeanor of crowd—it is important to consider the demeanor of your expected crowd in order to plan for effectively managing their behaviour.
  • Controlling the crowd—your crowd management strategy will also require you to have personnel in place to monitor the crowd for disruptions and control any unwanted behaviour that could affect the safety of your guests. Depending on the size and nature of your event, this may include security guards or police officers. Having an Event Medical Service team on site can also be of benefit as it ensures the safety of your guests should any incidents occur.

It’s time for another edition of Tuesday Tips for Planning Safe Events!

Today’s tip is to have the right insurance. We discuss what type of insurance is needed, what it will cover, and how you can get it.

 What is event insurance?

Event insurance is a necessary safeguard for planners looking to keep themselves and their clients out of legal disputes. According to BizBash, a publication for event planning news, ideas and resources, insurance associated with events covers and protects planners in several specific areas. Here are some types of insurance you may need to consider for your event:

  • General Liability Insurance—this protects a company and all parties involved in the event of losses due to bodily injury or property damage caused by the insured’s employees or agents.
  • Liquor Liability Insurance—this protects a company from losses arising from the intoxication of a person; the accidental furnishing of alcoholic beverages to a person under the legal drinking age, or any statute, ordinance, or regulation relating to the sale, distribution, or use of alcoholic beverages.
  • Cancellation Insurance—this protects a company if an event must be cancelled for unforeseen circumstances such as weather or damaged venue.
  • Third-party Damage Insurance—this covers damages to a location while it us under your control, protecting you from having to pay for repairs.
  • Hired/Non-owned Auto Liability Insurance—this provides liability coverage for vehicles rented specifically for the event, and auto-related injury to third parties or damage to their property.

Choosing the Best Insurance Policy

Choosing an insurance policy that makes the most sense for you will depend largely on the type of event you are hosting.  Most planners purchase general liability insurance for their event, which provides broad coverage for both personal injury and property damages. After purchasing general liability insurance you can then consider the importance of including other coverage at an additional cost, depending on the nature of your event.

How do I get event insurance?

There are several steps you should take when determining how to insure your event:

  • Do your research—Look at a variety of insurance companies that offer coverage for Special Events and compare them based on cost and what they will cover
  • Speak to an expert—Speak to an insurance expert to determine what type of insurance you are required to have by law. For example, Liquor Liability coverage is often a requirement if you are serving alcoholic beverages at your event.
  • Select your insurance provider carefully—Be sure the insurance carrier you choose is financially stable and has a well-defined program for special events insurance.
  • Obtain a copy of the Insurance Policy—once you have chosen an Insurance company and decided which policy to purchase, obtain a copy in advance to verify that all coverage is taken care of before the event takes place. It is also a good idea to have a copy of the insurance policy on hand during the event.

No matter the size of your event or how well prepared you are, unforeseen incidents do occur. Having the proper insurance can make a huge difference when it comes to protecting you and your client’s from legal dispute over accidents that may occur during your event.

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Spectrum Advantage

When you choose Spectrum Event Medical Services you get the Spectrum Advantage. With over 30 years of experience providing clients with event medical services, we can develop a customized event medical services plan that is tailored to the needs, attendees and location of your event or venue.

Contact Us

For more information about our services contact us by phone at 1-866-527-9191 or fill out our Contact Form  or Get a Quote form and a Spectrum Event Medical Services representative will contact you as soon as possible.

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