Ignite Convention Centre

Convention Centre Report 2016

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2 | IGNITE CONVENTION CENTRE REPORT form follows function With several new and newly renovated convention centres opening across the country, meeting planners have a vested interest in just how well form follows function in the spaces they will be working in for years to come. In what seems to be an enlightened trend, convention centre man- agement has invited planners to sit at the table in the planning stages for at least two convention centres on the East coast. Krista Cameron, director of sales for Destination St. John's, says the thought process was in place as early as 2009 when the decision was made to renovate and double the size of St. John's Convention Cen- tre (SJCC). "Of course it's a very long process, but by 2011, we invited four planners to come to St. John's and held a full-day workshop in an open format." The planners were free to contribute their ideas and comments, to interject and educate the architect about how meeting planners actually use a convention centre. "Our old building was really just a big box that didn't divide. When the chance came to remodel, we wanted to get a planner's insight on the ways they use our building," says Cameron. Jessica Ward, director, Canadian conferences and events for Otta- wa-based Hannover Fairs Canada, remembers sitting beside Cameron that day. "It was almost like we were watching an episode of Love it or List it, pouring over the plans and o'ering our suggestions and feed- back," she says. "I remember that the original plans had a stairway right in the middle of prime networking space and we all suggested that it be moved. I had never sat down with an architect in my life, but it helped that they wanted to sit down and have the end-users contribute. I know I'm not an architect and I don't know how a building goes together, but I do know how people move through a room." w BY SANDRA EAGLE St. John's Convention Centre Planners weigh in on the design and function of new convention centres IGNITE CONVENTION CENTRE REPORT planners actually use a convention centre. Krista Cameron, director of sales for Destination St. John's, says the thought process was in place as early as 2009 when the decision was made to renovate and double the size of St. John's Convention Cen tre (SJCC). "Of course it's a very long process, but by 2011, we invited four planners to come to St. John's and held a full-day workshop in an open format." The planners were free to contribute their ideas and comments, to interject and educate the architect about how meeting planners actually use a convention centre. Halifax Convention Centre

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