Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador and the road to the convention!!

I always look forward to this time of year for many reasons, like winter soon ending, St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and in February, the HNL Conference and Trade Show.

The road to the conference begins with a little preparation, booking rooms and registering etc, but this year we decided to kick it up a notch and place a booth in the Trade Show this weekend. Bay Roberts and the entire Baccalieu Trail region have an amazing story to tell. The region is one of the most unsung destinations in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. We took the step to tell our story; our booth is very descriptive and shows the many reasons why visitors to our province need to plan a portion of their trip in our region. We worked with Margaret Ayad of Baccalieu Consulting to design the booth and I have to admit I am very proud of the end result; we are getting positive comments from the tourism industry.

Bay Roberts at HNL Conference and Trade Show

Bay Roberts at HNL Conference and Trade Show

The Role of Social Media – A Focus of the HNL Conference and Trade Show

The conference is already shaping up to be worth the planning and expense. There have been great presenters with positive messages on the need for innovation, partnerships and my favorite topic, social media. Social media has changed the way we learn about things and most of all react to experiences. We are being held accountable for everything we do. A picture, unpleasant experience or something that was said can be posted on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube in seconds. The impact is far reaching and can have a negative or positive effect on your business. Case in point would be with our keynote speaker Dave Carroll told us of his experience with United Airlines and them breaking his guitar. After months of getting nowhere with representatives of the company he decided to write a song and make a video of the experience. He posted it to youtube and it now has over 11 million views and he received much media attention all over the world. This is an example of making social media work, and for Dave it seems he is now making a career out of his experience, good for him. Check out his video at

Paying It Forward!

As good as the conference is shaping up to be, the “road” to getting here was a little rough.  We broke down about 35 kms from Gander. A little upsetting, but Lois’ laughter kind of lightened the mood. One thing I have to mention is that small acts of kindness are still present every day it seems. While we were stranded on the TCH, three vehicles stopped to ask if we needed assistance.  One of those called a wrecker for us. The gentleman who rescued us was also very helpful in finding us a good mechanic in Gander who in turn was very helpful.

How We Arrived at the Trade Show

How We Arrived at the Trade Show

So I tip my hat to those who are kind enough to stop and those who helped me get the car back on the road.

I will indeed pay it forward.

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Valentine’s Day (Then and Now)

Valentine's DayWell, another observance is upon us, that day of love… of telling your significant other how much you adore them… a day to do something nice for the one you care for. Does there need to be a specific day positioned on the calendar to do so? I am sure we all try to make our love ones feel special throughout the year, but it is not all hugs and kisses.  We all have a spat now and then. I think that is human. It is part of our nature, living together under the one roof…leaving the toilet seat up…not changing the toilet paper roll or not putting the cap back on the tooth paste…can make for a minor annoyance or an outright confrontation.  Such is life. I guess a reminder is a good thing, and Valentine’s Day comes at a time when it is nice to have something to look forward to during the winter season.

I have fond memories of mom bringing home the large Valentine’s book, having to cut them out and ponder who was going to get the “mushy” ones, the friendly ones and of course, the biggest one, the girl on a swing, that one was reserved for someone special in the class. Most times, that one, for me, was reserved for the teacher (if she was nice). I have searched the internet and can’t find that old book, but there are plenty out there that you may remember.

Cake Pops with Icing

Cake Pops with Icing

Today Lisa and I get to see the excitement of Valentine’s Day through our children; they love to dress up with plenty of hearts and red on for school today. Maggie takes it to the next level and prepares cake pops with delicious icing for her class mates (with a little help from mom). They were tasty and very well designed. I took a pick and posted it on my Twitter and Facebook.  The reaction had her smiling all evening, especially when Todd Perrin posted on Twitter that she did a great job.  Comments like that go a long way with a 11 yr old who adores baking and is a fan of Chef Todd.

Maggie and Kaegan ready for Valentine’s Day @ School

Maggie and Kaegan ready for Valentine’s Day @ School

On a final note, as fun and romantic Feb 14th can be, there are plenty of women out there who face a world filled with some sort of abuse or lack of respect. In most cases, this is something that is taught from youth. It is wrong and immoral to treat someone with disrespect, especially those who should be your loved ones. The provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador has an ad campaign that addresses this issue and I applaud them for taking the lead in this serious issue. If you have not had the opportunity to visit their website on this social and emotional problem please visit http://www.respectwomen.ca/ and join the purple ribbon campaign and “Respect Women”.

Valentine's BearI would like to wish everyone a happy Valentine’s Day filled with happiness and to remember to live for today.