Ignite

Autumn 2021

A fresh resource for people who plan and manage meetings, events, business travel, promotions and incentive programs. Providing you with inspiration, guidance and great ideas.

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j u st say i n ' Little did I know that on January 31, 2020, when I boarded my flight home after experiencing an outstanding incentive trip in beautiful St. Martin, it would be my last flight for over 22 months. When mid-March hit, I cried as I had to cancel booked flights for future travel to Edmonton, Arizona, Mexico and British Columbia. Fast forward to last month, when I boarded a plane to Newfoundland to participate in a FAM put together by our friends at Destination St. John's (read about all the planning that went into executing a safe FAM in the midst of an ongoing pandemic on page 35). As I packed for the trip, I was overcome with emotion on many levels, with nervous excitement leading the way. I found the simple task of packing to be a challenge, having not looked at half of my closet contents for the past 20 months. Walking through the doors of the Toronto airport, I couldn't help but smile: Life was happening again, and the airport was packed, suitcases and people everywhere, just like it was 22 months ago. As I approached the screening line, I could feel my blood pressure rising slightly, due to the number of people in a line that clearly had no social distancing in place. Deep breath, I said to myself, we are all in masks, so I am good. As I finally Cleared for Takeoff arrived at my seat onboard, I was shocked to learn the flight was full, which meant no social distancing was possible here either, which left me feeling uneasy for a few minutes. However, I quickly began to smile again. This is wonderful, the world is moving again, people are travelling and this means that my beloved business events industry will begin to rise and flourish again. And with that, I put my headset on, turned on the entertainment unit and had one of the most relaxing flights ever. We are all going to be faced with so many emotions as we start to travel again. My advice is to recognize each emotion, let it percolate, take a deep breath and smile, knowing that you just took the first step towards our industry's road to recovery. Debbie van der Beek Publisher debbie@ignitemag.ca M e, m a k i n g f ri e nd s i n N e w f o un d la n d . If you receive the print version of Ignite, you may notice this issue feels a little different. It seems COVID-19 has messed with the paper industry too! Our regular paper stock was unavailable at press time, so we've had to go with a different process and paper in order to bring you this issue. Autumn 2021 | Ignitemag.ca | 3

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