6 Tips for a Smash-Hit Corporate Event

Corporate event

Hosting a corporate event is a great way to reward current customers, attract potential client, and build a buzz around your business. There are a lot of moving parts involved in pulling an event together, but the rewards are worth the work. These six tips will help make your corporate event a smash hit:


Get Your Timing Right

Timing is crucial to the success of your event. You need to consider key dates in the community that might compete with yours. Make sure you give your attendees enough time in order to plan and give yourself and your team enough time to prepare.


Define Your Scope

Will you have refreshments, entertainment, workshops, or speakers? Scale the event’s scope to your level of experience. If you’ve never planned an event before, you should try hosting a small one-hour workshop at your office before planning a day-long event. The St. Elias Centre can handle corporate events, large and small.


Define Roles

Who will be in charge of the event? You need one person to take ownership and manage all the details, then others to help with the rest of the moving parts. Make responsibilities clear-cut so you don’t end up without chairs at your conference or no speaker in the second hour. Consider how much manpower you’ll need at the event itself, what could possibly go wrong, and what you’ll need to have on-hand to handle issues that arise.


Get the Word Out Digitally

Use social media to get your target audience excited about the event. You can tease the event well in advance, post pictures of your preparations, and invite customers to the event through social sites. Keep the social media energy high during the event by having an employee live tweet and post pictures and video from the event as it’s going on.


Develop Promotions

Market yourself or your business to potential clients when they’re at your event. You can use business cards, brochures, discount coupons, gift cards, or even product giveaways and contests. Be sure to capture attendees’ contact information by having them put their business cards in a fishbowl for a prize drawing. The St. Elias Centre can help you with your promotional needs at your corporate events.


Stay Positive

On the day of the event, be ready to accept that you probably haven’t planned for every possibility. If you stay positive, keep your sense of humour and make your customers feel welcome and happy they came, it won’t matter so much that something went wrong.

Follow these tips, and your corporate event is sure to be a success.

The 5 Hottest Summer Wedding Trends of 2015

Summer wedding

Summer is the most popular time for weddings, so why not embrace the warmth and fun of the season to make it one people will remember forever? Here are five fun new ideas for your summer celebration:


Create Natural Centerpieces

Making natural centerpieces consisting of fruit is a fun fresh summer idea that will turn heads. Have your florist use hollowed-out watermelons as a centerpiece container for a casual look that’s fun and seasonal. Another way to incorporate natural elements in your centerpieces is to go green with your containers. Use wooden vases or pedestals with grass or moss to give centerpieces a natural feel.


Get Creative with Desserts

Get inspired by the summer pastimes and flavours you loved as a kid. For a nostalgic snack, hire an ice cream truck to arrive out front of your venue and serve some childhood favourites. If you are dead-set on having a cake, how about getting one that is infused with summertime fruit flavours like lemon, key lime, or orange vanilla? You could use a strawberry shortcake-style wedding cake topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries.


Incorporate Summertime Music

To really embrace the summer season, think about alternative music styles. Create a laid-back vibe during your cocktail hour and dinner with a singer accompanied with a ukulele. For the reception, heat up the evening with the sultry sounds of a classic swing band. The St. Elias Centre is capable of hosting any kind of musical request for your cocktail hour, reception, or ceremony.


Send Unexpected Invitations

Break free from the normal, boring invite by getting them fabric-printed, along with your programs and escort cards. This would create a laid-back feel perfect for the summertime. You could also try reversing the usual invitation colour scheme. Think of a great background and print colour combination, like fuchsia and cream, and switch them around. This is a great way to grab your guests’ attention while they open their invitation.


Serve Wine Smoothies

A wine smoothie consists of a fruity wine, like rosé, blended with ice and fruits of your choice. They are garnished with a couple of berries or fruit slices. They are cold, frosty and pack less of an alcoholic punch than margaritas. Wine smoothies are perfect for your cocktail hour and as a signature drink for the evening. They make for a refreshing and unexpected signature sip.

Stay ahead of the curve with these amazing summer wedding trends of 2015.

5 Elements of a Flawless Summer Wedding


Summer lovin’ is in the air and wedding season has arrived! The summer is a lovely time for a wedding. There are many elements that can help you orchestrate your flawless day, but we have narrowed it down to five key elements.


A summertime wedding gives you the opportunity to use colours that are much bolder and brighter than you would use in a fall or winter wedding. It is a time to experiment with different colour schemes. Depending on how bold you want to be, consider some of the following pairings for wedding ideas:

Adding bright bursts to a mix of the colours that Mother Nature has to offer is a great way to take advantage of the season’s lush hues. Think different shades of green and pink for a natural, romantic look. Blood orange, sea blues, and yellows combine all of the hues of a sunset on the beach, and will give your wedding venue a nautical look. Silver, cream, and pinks are a perfect look if you’re looking for something more classic. Add pinkish tones (think peach and blush) as an accent to your neutral colours. Combine several different pastel colours (yes, more than one!) to add a whimsical element to your wedding.

Embrace the Outdoors

Lush trees and grass and late sunsets provide the perfect scenery for your wedding photos. Choose a wedding venue that is near natural settings for your photos. The St. Elias Centre is conveniently located near ideal outdoor locations such as Hog’s Back Park, the Rideau River, and Mooney’s Bay.


When the humidity picks up, it can be hard to keep a centrepiece looking fresh throughout the entire day. Terrarium centrepieces are a great way to prevent your centrepieces from looking sad and wilted in the summer heat.


Keep the beverages light and seasonal. Refreshing cocktail drinks with mint, lime, and frozen fruit are bound to impress your guests. Think mojitos, margaritas, lemonade mixes, and punch. Any of these cocktails can be made as virgin drinks if you’re looking to save money on the alcohol. If you’re looking for something within a budget, consider offering wine and beer instead. Sangria with fruit slices and frozen berries also makes for a great fruity alternative.


Be creative with your food options. After a night of dancing, your guests will appreciate a summer themed snack: ice cream, gelato, and frozen yogurt are all great options that everyone will love. The St. Elias Centre also has incredible food, and is prepared to assist with the catering of your wedding.

Play close attention to these key elements, and you can have a flawless and unforgettable summer wedding.

How to Keep a Team-Building Event on Track

Team building

If you’re planning a corporate event such as a team building retreat, there are many things to think about to ensure that your event is successful and appreciated by all attendees. Make sure to keep the following things in mind when planning your event:

Manage Expectations

Before getting to the actual event, make sure that you consider what each employee would like to achieve through the exercises of the day. Discuss the goals of the event, and find out what everyone would like to see as part of the corporate event. Managing these expectations is an important part of team building success.

Schedule a Convenient Time

Participants will be more receptive to team building exercises if they do not interfere too much with their regular routines and schedules. If you can, schedule the activity during the workday.

Go Offsite

Getting out of your usual office setting will promote more collaboration between employees. The St. Elias Centre is the perfect location for your corporate event. The Centre hosts many corporate events/functions, providing ample conference and meeting space for conference events of all sizes.

Create an Agenda

Distribute an agenda to attendees beforehand. This will give the participants a sense of purpose and they will be able to know what to expect.

Set Group Norms

Making sure that everyone gets a chance to speak their mind can be hard when there are so many different types of personalities in a work group. By setting guidelines as to when people are allowed to speak, you will be able to manage the group discussions with ease.

Everyone Leads

Select a leader for smaller group sessions, and allow each participant to take a turn leading a session.

Collaboration > Competition

Games and activities can be a fun way to foster team building at your corporate event. If not managed properly, they can adversely lead to negative competition. Make sure that the games you choose encourage collaboration between employees, rather than each person competing against each other.

Consult a professional

Consider hiring a guest speaker or a training company. Choosing a good leader can really change the dynamic and excite colleagues into participating.

Feed Everyone

Provide a snack or a lunch for employees halfway through the training session. It may seem simple, but people can be motivated to have better ideas on a full stomach.

Get Feedback

The only way to find out if everyone enjoyed the event that you planned is to ask the people who attended! Use this feedback constructively to help you plan your next corporate event.

Remember – teamwork makes the dream work!

Planning an Elegant Wedding Reception

Wedding reception

An elegant Ottawa wedding reception is perfect for any season. Touches of white lace and white lights, along with timeless décor can make your guests feel as though they spent their evening dancing on a cloud. Planning a wedding reception can seem like a lot of work, but the St. Elias Centre is here to help you tackle the task and make your day as enchanting as possible. There are many important things to consider when planning an elegant wedding reception.


Certainly, the décor plays a significant role in adding the right amount of charm to your reception, but booking the venue is the first big task to check off your list of things to do. If you’re looking to book an Ottawa wedding reception, the St. Elias Centre will simply captivate your guests with our high ceilings, large shimmering chandeliers, and great open space.


White lights or candles are a picture-perfect touch for your reception. You can use strings of lights on tables, hang curtain string lights to add a romantic feel, or even place lights inside of vases as table centrepieces. There is nothing more elegant and romantic than a dimly lit room.


Have fun with flowers and think outside of the box. Tall centrepieces are the perfect touch in a high ceiling room. Make sure that your centrepieces are tall enough that they don’t block your guests from being able to see each other across the table. When selecting your flowers, embrace simplicity. Think: the calla lily, the oriental lily, and carnations. If you’re on a budget, consider flowers that are in season in your region.


Silk ribbon is an easy way to add a delicate touch to any room. Tie bows on the backs of chairs or on flower vases. If you appreciate a more antique look, consider using lace on your tables.


Guests will always remember how excellent the food and drinks were for your reception. Start off the night with crudités and fine cheese displays. This is a simple way of keeping your guests content before the main course, while also using your food displays as a décor opportunity. The St. Elias Centre would be pleased to offer our catering services. Our centre boasts its very own executive chef and staff, who serve high quality meals and snacks to your guests throughout the evening.


Before dancing the night away to wedding reception classics, consider hiring a live band to play more classical and contemporary music while your guests arrive and eat their main courses.

Enjoy your elegant Ottawa wedding with all of the charming touches! It will be a magical night to remember.

Why You Should Choose St. Elias Centre for Your Trade Show

Choosing St. Elias for your next trade show

Trade shows are a great way for different companies to showcase their accomplishments, interact with prospective clients, and create brand awareness. Not only are trade shows an opportunity for companies to demonstrate new products and services to customers, but they are also a great way to network with other businesses in the industry. Meeting face-to-face with existing and potential clients, customers, and business contacts is the best way to establish meaningful relationships. If you are looking to plan an Ottawa trade show, the St. Elias Centre is the perfect location!

No matter the size of your event, the St. Elias Centre will be able to help you prepare and host a trade show that will be rewarding both for you and all of the exhibitors. Our first-class newly renovated facility is guaranteed to impress your guests. Here are some reasons why the St. Elias Centre is perfect for your upcoming trade show:


The St. Elias Centre is easy to get to, as it is centrally located just off Riverside Drive across from Mooney’s Bay. Exhibitors and guests from out of town will have no trouble navigating their way to our facility. The convenient location also makes it perfect for people living in the area to attend an Ottawa trade show for a morning or an afternoon.


The centre boasts an elegant hall with over 11,500 square-feet that can be partitioned into smaller rooms at your request. This amount of square footage provides plenty of space for you and other exciting exhibitors to promote your business activities.


An important component of your trade show checklist is ensuring that you have the equipment that you need for a successful event. You can choose to provide your own computers, projectors, screens and other equipment, or you can request the St. Elias Centre to alleviate some of the trade show stress and rent the equipment on your behalf. The St. Elias Centre also provides high-speed Internet access with wireless access if required. Our professional services are here to assist you in making your trade show run smoothly!


Hosting an Ottawa trade show can require attendees to visit from out of town. The St. Elias Centre provides 400 onsite free parking spots for attendees, saving you the hassle of booking parking spaces for your visitors.

Food & Beverage

Who can resist delicious food and cocktails? Feed exhibitors’ appetites by adding catering to your event. The St. Elias Centre offers in-house catering with our own executive chef, facilities, and customer service, all delivered on time and on budget.

When you consider location, size, equipment, amenities, and catering, it is clear that the St. Elias Centre is the perfect venue for Ottawa trade shows.


How to Plan a Gorgeous Spring Wedding

wedding venues ottawa

What could be a more hopeful time for a lovely wedding then the spring? The skies are blue, the birds are singing and fresh flowers are finally pushing their blooms up through the thawing earth. Planning a gorgeous spring wedding allows you to use softer colours, beautiful, less common flowers and even makes it easier to find an outstanding wedding venue.

Spring Flowers

Spring flowers are perhaps the most delicate and prettiest of wedding flowers for your floral bouquets and arrangements. Your wedding venue can become a lovely garden complete with the blooms of April and May. Of course tulips offer a sense of sophistication especially when chosen in white. What could be prettier than a simple collection of pink tulips with a touch of lacy baby’s breath or sweet peas? You can also use tulips for pops of colour in bright yellows and reds. Peonies smell heavenly and are delicate yet large and hydrangeas are ideal for beautiful table arrangements. For more casual, country weddings, the Gerbera daisy looks delightful. For a touch of spark use lovely lilacs.

Spring Food

Spring is also the time of year for lighter fare or meats grilled to perfection such as lamb. You can do elegant asparagus appetizers and salads. Baby veggies are always sophisticated and sweeter at this time of year. Your wedding venue can offer ideas for cocktail party hors d’oeuvres and you can also serve refreshing marinades with a zing of citrus.

Pretty Wedding Venue

You can dress up your wedding venue to look like a spring garden complete with branches of cherry blossoms and trellises. Use plenty of candlelight and a welcoming décor that includes chandeliers graced with crowns of spring flowers to add a light and airy feel. Your venue should be welcoming with natural light for day receptions and have a warm glow and elegance for your evening reception.

Spring Colours

Popular spring colours for 2015 include delicate blues verging on lilac hues and light and lovely, purpley orchid. A punch of yellow adds vivacity whereas aquas bring in a touch of beachy casualness. Leaf green is elegant and sweet especially when paired with the lightest of pinks. Turquoise is vibrant and alive and pistachio is retro and nostalgic.

Planning a gorgeous spring wedding requires delicate touches of unexpected colour, fresh and romantic flowers and lighter foods that delight and refresh. It is also an easier time to book your ideal wedding venue.

5 Perfect DIY Touches for an Unforgettable Wedding

ottawa wedding venues

The modern bride has taken to adding personal touches to her wedding as a way to save money and add some personality. If you are considering adding some DIY touches to your wedding, try these five unforgettable ideas:

Wedding Bouquets

Wedding bouquets can cost a fortune for something you are literally going to toss away. The key to a beautiful wedding bouquet is simplicity. Go with a single type of flower. The larger the flower, the easier it will be to arrange. Look at clusters of three or five and use flowers such as peonies, hydrangeas or even lilacs still on their pretty gray stems. You can then add a touch of greenery and secure them with a rubber band. Finish your bouquet off with a pretty ribbon.


You can create a lovely arbour affordably and relatively easily. You can either rent an arbour or if your guy is particularly handy, have him build one using lattice and wood from your local lumber shop. You can then decorate using dollar store flowers which will look just as pretty as fresh flowers from far away. Other lovely choices for decorating are branches of deep red dogwood, birch, or the same fresh flowers used in your bouquet.

Program Fans

Combining your program with a practical fan is a great idea for those summer weddings when things can really heat up. Have fun using items such as popsicle sticks and doilies to create whimsical fans. You can then tie each with a ribbon in your wedding colours.

Mason Jars

Mason jars can be used for a number of DIY ideas from centrepieces to candle holders for tea lights. You can hang mason jars from chairs or pews filled with fresh flowers for your Ottawa wedding venue, use them to create lovely patio lanterns, or even fill them with the ingredients for a favourite drink or cookie recipe as gifts.

Place Cards

Get creative and design place cards for your Ottawa wedding venue that tie into your theme. Consider cutting rounds from pretty birch branches with a slit sawed in the top to hold the place cards or use thimbles of thread in your wedding colours and put name tags on lollipop sticks and slip them in the hole.

It just takes a little creativity to bring DIY touches into your Ottawa wedding venue or to add some personality to your ceremony.

5 Tips for a Successful Team-Building Event

ottawa event centres

Corporate events can be a great way to build team camaraderie, incorporate new staff members into the fold, and help with training and education. Without proper planning, however, team-building events can stray off-course. Fortunately, these five tips should help you plan a successful team-building event:

Create & Reinforce Theme

When planning a team-building event, you should have a theme and goal in mind and be sure to remember these aims at every stage of the planning process. If your goal is to get staff members from different branches to meet each other, then plan activities that get people interacting rather than staying in small, close-knit groups. If your goal is to introduce a new policy, then make sure that is woven into the event in an educational but entertaining way.

Location that Suits Your Needs

Once you have set out your goals, it is important to find the right location to help achieve these objectives. Ottawa corporate event venues such as the St. Elias Centre are well-suited to host team-building events of any size, providing you with exceptional facilities and attendant service to help make your event a success.

Organization and Planning

Every possible detail should be arranged in advance. This way you can avoid as many last-second headaches as possible and make sure the event runs smoothly. You can work with your Ottawa corporate event venue to make sure the venue and food are planned to perfection for the big day. If you need to purchase decorations or make any special orders, make sure you do so well in advance. When you are organized and have the details planned, your team-building event is sure to be a success.


It is important to schedule your team-building event at a time that makes sense for all of your employees. If your industry has a busy season, schedule the event after this rush is over. If employees from out of town will need to travel in for the event, make sure you plan the event far ahead, so they are given plenty of notice. You can save money on hotel rooms and other required purchases by planning well in advance.


Your team-building event should definitely have plenty of fun activities if you wish to boost morale. You can improve communication, promote bonding, and build trust through many fun activities, from karaoke to scavenger hunts. Lessons will be better absorbed when they are taught in a fun way rather than through stale PowerPoint presentations. Use the opportunity to be creative and boost morale.

Make your team-building event a success with these organization and planning tips.

Planning an Amazing Spring Wedding

ottawa wedding venues

Spring time is a beautiful time to hold a wedding. It represents the new beginnings, and has an amazing symbolic connection as you set off on a new journey with the love of your life. Have an incredible Ottawa wedding this spring with these suggestions:


One of the best parts about having a spring wedding is the amazing bounty of flowers. When it comes to designing your floral bouquet, gorgeous tulips, daisies, peonies, lilacs, and orchids are all stunning flower choices that provide their own unique look and scent. If you can’t choose, don’t worry – simply design table centrepieces or bouquets with any and all of your favourite spring flowers.


Spring is all about freshness. Take advantage of the amazing fresh produce with local lettuces and baby greens, crisp cucumber, juicy cherry tomatoes, and vibrant beets. Whatever meat you choose for your main entrée, marinate and garnish with fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme. Finish the spring theme with delectable chocolate and berry combinations, or even serve edible flowers.


Continue the spring theme in your drink selection. Use fresh orange, lemon, and lime for a citrusy Sangria. Mint Julep is a classic spring drink, made all the better with fresh local mint. For a non-alcoholic beverage, blueberry lemonade is amazing for spring, or you can offer zesty lemon water.


You want to select a venue that evokes the natural beauty of spring yet has all the resources and facilities of a proper event centre. St. Elias Centre is a first-class facility makes the perfect venue for Ottawa weddings because it is located right next to the picturesque Hog’s Back Park and Mooney’s Bay for pictures. When you’ve finished creating memories, you can return to the large yet intimate St. Elias Centre and continue the celebrations.


There are many attractive colour combinations that perfectly suit spring Ottawa weddings. Crisp and traditional white looks amazing with light green and soft pink, evoking spring flowers. Pastel colours like purple and blue add some vibrancy to your spring wedding. Mint, peach, and pale yellow are also very beautiful options. Your spring wedding can be enhanced by soft, fresh, and natural colour combinations. Still, don’t be afraid to surprise and impress your guests with unexpected colour choices. Let your personality shine no matter the season.

Enjoy your amazing Ottawa wedding with some of these trendy spring wedding ideas.

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