ONLY IN PEI… Last month a select group of planners found themselves “Spudded In” as honorary Islanders with a freshly shucked oyster and a potato-filled shot of moonshine when Meetings & Conventions PEI played host to a group of meeting planners from across Canada for a Familiarization Tour.
Delegates spent 2 days in Charlottetown and a third travelling from the North Shore of Prince Edward Island to the beautiful eastern shores, visiting Bay Fortune, Souris, and the Brudenell River.
To their credit, the planning team focused on connecting guests with locally owned/operated companies, products, and experiences. Evening room drops featured locally sourced products whenever possible, including treats like COWS Inc. chocolate-covered potato chips, Prince Edward Island Preserve Co. jam and salsa, and work from local artisans such as Dunes Studio Gallery pottery and PEI photography prints.
They received a rooftop “Welcome Reception” overlooking Charlottetown at the penthouse of The Holman Grand Hotel, where guests had the opportunity to participate in a smudging ceremony with Jamie Thomas from Lennox Island First Nation.
The first day ended with a special welcome at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Prince Edward & PEI Convention Centre from comedian Patrick Ledwell. Patrick gave a crash course on PEI slang and etiquette, including essentials like how to identify “boat traffic” and the difference in the weather between a “corker” and a “humdinger” (Hint: a humdinger is just a bit hotter than a corker). Finally, he toasted to their new knowledge and “Spudded them in” as honorary Islanders.
The FAM delegates met the people behind the local businesses, with several getting to speak directly about what makes hosting events on PEI so unique, including local Businessman Kevin Murphy, owner of Murphy Hospitality Group. Kevin joined the group for dinner on their second night at his beautiful event venue overlooking the North Shore, The Rivershed.
Visits were made to several local breweries and distilleries, each with a unique story. Deep Roots Distillery explained how observing falling apples at their orchard turned into an entire business distilling and preparing craft liqueurs and alcohol.
There’s lots more to tell, but that will have to wait for the next post; stay tuned.
Author: Jason Koop is a writer, influencer, fan of Canadian event experiences, and VP of Business Development with Canadian Special Events. After more than 15 years in the apparel industry managing accounts for some of the world’s largest designers like Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Vanity Fair Corp, Jason was ready for a change. Combining his relationship-building skills with his marketing background and his new love for events, he has built the largest following of corporate event professionals in Canada for CSE and is helping to lead the brand to a new level of success.