5 Things to Know If You are Planning a Corporate Event in Ottawa

5 Things to Know If You are Planning a Corporate Event in Ottawa

Planning a company event is a big deal – especially when you’re left in charge of ensuring it’s well received and goes off without a hitch. Winging it or leaving plans to the last minute is never the way to go. Wedding planners take months to organize, research and plan to make sure that every detail is taken care of thoroughly before the day finally arrives. And you should do the same too. To help you, we’ve tallied up this list of things to know if you are planning a corporate event in Ottawa this year.

Who Is Your Target Audience?

To begin, you need to nail down some important info to build your corporate event from. The first question to focus on is who is the event for? Is it clients, employees or maybe a networking event with various companies? Knowing who your guests are is an important first step for planning a corporate event in Ottawa.

What Is The Purpose?

You’ll need to determine the actual purpose of the event once you’re crystal clear on who it will be tailored to.  Whether it’s a client appreciation dinner, a fundraising gala, team building for employees, or to heighten your company’s publicity, be very clear about what type of event you’re in charge of organizing and what’s expected.

When Will You Host It?

When planning the time frame of your event, there are three things to consider: your timeline, your audience and the time of year. It can take several months to properly plan and organize events on average, and scrambling to get everything done last minute can lead to disaster. So consider your timeline, along with your audience and what timeframe – mid-week, weekend – will work best for your audience. And remember to steer clear of other popular holidays and occasions. Planning around busy times like graduation ceremonies, long weekends or special holidays can prevent your guests from attending.

Where Will You Host It?

Once you have those important details locked in, it’s time to search around for the right venue that can accommodate your type of event and budget. If you require a large amount of space, onsite parking, catering and access to audio/visual equipment, then a designated banquet and event space is ideal since they’ll have everything you need in one place. Alternatively, if your occasion is small and intimate, then hosting a luncheon at a restaurant or hotel are also popular alternative options to consider.

How Will You Pull It Off?

Finally, you’ll need to think about how you’re going to manage to research, organize, plan, and execute everything on time, on budget and preferably, stress-free.
At St. Elias Centre, we’ve been Ottawa’s leading choice for hosting events of every size and type in our flexible, modern venue. We offer in-house corporate catering from our award-winning culinary team, along with client and guest services, audio/visual equipment, ample onsite parking and much more. Get in touch to learn more about our services and how we can help you plan a successful corporate event in Ottawa.

How to Host the Best Wedding in Ottawa

How to Host the Best Wedding in Ottawa

Although your wedding day is meant to celebrate your love as a couple, it’s also about hosting an epic party that your friends, family and guests will look back on with memories of a night well spent. And with a plethora of other weddings that your guests will be attending, going the extra mile can make yours really stand out from the crowd. The best part is, it doesn’t really take a lot to throw down a memorable and exciting evening. The key is to think of your wedding day an experience that should be catered to your guests as well as your own preferences.

Learn more about how to host the best wedding in Ottawa this year with our expert tips below.

Make Your Ceremony Short and Sweet

There’s really no need to have a ceremony that stretches over an hour long. And even though your family and guests are all there to celebrate your happy day, sitting for such an extended length of time with a drawn-out ceremony is a sure way to lose their attention fast. Try to keep it snappy and brief, aiming under 20 minutes so you can capture the moment perfectly and then get the day moving so everyone can enjoy the celebrations.

Create Welcome Baskets for Out-of-Town Guests

If you have family or friends travelling from overseas, they’ll be spending a lot out of pocket just to attend your wedding. One way to thank them and show your appreciation for making an effort to be there is by making up a welcome basket to greet them. This could include some simple items to make their stay more convenient and enjoyable, like snacks, fruit, a bottle of wine, water, cheese and any other staples you think might be necessary. It’s a simple gesture that will mean a lot to them.

Plan Your Seating Chart Carefully

Another important tip to consider is your seating chart. This is an integral part of hosting an enjoyable evening for you and your guests. Make sure to give careful thought when determining table groups and who will sit beside each other. Focus on placing people with similarities – backgrounds, career points, interests, age, lifestyles – together so they can enjoy the company they’re with and have a good conversation (which is a vital part of hosting a great reception!).

Personally Greet All Guests

Remember, your guests are there to celebrate and spend time with you, not just simply observe and watch. That’s why we always recommend personally greeting each of your guests. This can be done as everyone leaves the ceremony, as they enter the dinner reception or you can mix and mingle with them all on the dance floor. Just be sure to make the time to say hello, have a chat and show your gratitude for them being there.

Keep Speeches Short

Like with the ceremony, speeches are also best kept short, sweet and under a few minutes. Drawing them out will also lose the attention of guests and even dampen the mood of the evening if it’s drawn out. So ask friends and family to keep it under 5 minutes and get your DJ situation so they can queue in some music if needed to politely keep it the ball rolling.

Find the Perfect Venue

Once you know how many guests will be attending, spend time sussing out local venues to host your wedding. The venue is, of course, one of the most important elements of the day as it sets the stage. So look for reputable venues that can provide the services you’ll need, like professional in-house catering, modern décor, ample space and onsite parking, and professional guest services to help make your day as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.

At St. Elias Centre, we’ll help you host the best wedding in Ottawa! With our award-winning team, professional catering by our in-house Executive Chef, and all of the amenities you’ll need to host your special day, we’ll help to ensure your wedding leaves the right impression with your family and guests. Contact us today to learn more or to set up a tour.

7 Ways to Host an Impressive Embassy or Corporate Function

7 Ways to Host an Impressive Embassy or Corporate Function

Whether you’re putting together a large-scale embassy gala or small-scale corporate event, St. Elias Centre offers the first-class venue and white-glove services that you’re looking for. As one of Ottawa’s most elegant and modern venues with an award-winning team, your distinguished guests will leave feeling inspired, impressed and well taken care of. Make your event the highlight of their trip with these 7 tips on how to host an impressive embassy or corporate function.

Arrange For a Respected Key Note Speaker

You want your attendees to remember your event and really feel inspired by it. A keynote speaker can do just that. Just be sure to find the right person for the theme of your event. You’ll need an industry expert who can provide insight, motivate your audience, and deliver your message with ease.  

Set Up a Notable Stage

Consider more than just the pedestal and microphone when setting up the stage for your event. Lighting, sound, and audio equipment are also important features that should be considered and planned for. Make sure to choose the right venue that includes AV equipment, or has the ability to outsource anything you may need.

Delegate Responsibilities

Organizing a big embassy or corporate event on your own can be a lot to handle. If you’re short on time or don’t have the resources, it’s best to delegate the various responsibilities out to others. Put together a team who can handle different tasks like registration, transport, and design. Then host weekly meetings to follow up on the progress.

Provide Excellent Service

From the minute your guests walk into the venue until they leave, they need to be treated like royalty. That’s why it’s crucial to have experienced and professional staff, including coat check, catering services, and an impressive spread that will wow your attendees.


If you want to ensure that your event goes smoothly, it’s helpful to run two dress rehearsals before the big day. The first should involve sitting with your team and running through the entire event from beginning to end to determine if there are any areas that need improvement.  The second rehearsal should involve the venue’s event planner to make sure that everything is in order well before the event.

Have a Program Available

A program is a necessity. Guests always want to know what time the events are happening during your gala or dinner. The program should outline the schedule, the mission and objectives of your event as well as who will be speaking and why.

Hand Out Favours

Leave your guests with something to end off the evening on a positive note. Even if it’s a notepad and pen with your logo on it, little gestures like this can leave a good lasting impression while also promoting your brand.

St. Elias Centre has everything you need to host the perfect embassy or corporate event. Professionally trained staff, event planners, a stunning flexible venue, AV setup, ample parking, and top-notch onsite catering can all be found under our roof! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help!

Planning a Banquet in Ottawa? We Can Help!

Planning a Banquet in Ottawa? We Can Help!

Planning a banquet can make even the most organized person feel overwhelmed and stressed out. There are many unique challenges that you can expect to face when hosting and organizing an event – especially if it’s your first time coordinating. But with the right venue and team by your side, you can pull off a spectacular and memorable evening without breaking a sweat. Learn how the St. Elias Centre can help you throw the ultimate event of the year with our modern venue and expert service

Our Venue

St. Elias Centre is a modern, multi-purpose event centre in Ottawa offering all of the services you need to host an incredible banquet event. Our venue spans over 11,000 square feet and can accommodate parties of 50 to as many as 1000.  After undergoing recent upgrades to our facilities, we offer one of the most elegant banquet halls in the city, featuring a spacious lobby, full-size theatre stage, soaring high ceilings, and contemporary décor throughout. Simply put – our event centre will make a glowing first impression with your guests.

Our In-House Catering

Anyone who has organized or attended an event knows just how integral the food is for the success of a hosted occasion. And rather than spending time searching and sourcing different caterers to find one that can suit your needs, St. Elias Centre can take care of this all for you. We provide in-house, premium catering services with delectable culinary creations offered by our Executive Chef and award-winning culinary team. Our team will plan the ultimate dining experience for you and your guests using the freshest ingredients with a selection of mouth-watering menus to choose from. This includes our popular Canadian and Lebanese specialty menus. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, buffet-style or grab-and-go items – we have you covered!

On-site Professional Client & Guest Services

If you need assistance with the planning process, our on-site professional client and guest staff are here to be of service. They can help you determine the best package that will suit your budget and catering needs. They can coordinate external services, in case you need any special equipment or entertainment for your special occasion. And, when you need an appointed person to handle guest inquiries and related tasks, we’re can handle that too.

Convenient Location & Ample Parking

At St. Elias Centre, we always have convenience in mind when it comes to our clients and guests. That’s why we’re centrally located across from Mooney’s Bay just off of Riverside Drive. So accessing our venue by transit or vehicle is easy and straightforward. You’ll also find over 400 on-site parking spots available to accommodate your guests so they won’t have to search around for a spot.

If premium quality service is what you have in mind when planning a banquet in Ottawa, St. Elias Centre is the ideal venue for you. Come see for yourself why we’re one of the most reputable banquet halls in the city. Whether it’s a wedding, anniversary, corporate event, or if you’re hosting foreign dignitaries for a special evening – you can depend on our expert team to plan and execute your event seamlessly for a memorable evening.
Contact us today to get started!

The 6 Details to Advertise About Your Event 

The 6 Details to Advertise About Your Event 

If you want to get a big turnout for your event, you need to advertise. And with all the different social media platforms out there today, advertising has never been easier. But even with all the social platforms available, if you don’t include the most important details, then your event will still fall short. If you have an up and coming function, be sure that you don’t forget to include these 6 details to advertise about your event.

The Date and Time

Of course, the date and time should be included when promoting an event, but you’d be surprised at how often people forget this. It’s the most basic and most crucial event detail that you need to advertise. These details should be included on the invite and all marketing materials as well.

The Dress Code

This is an extremely important detail to include when advertising an event. People should know exactly how to dress appropriately for the occasion. The dress code should also be concise yet clear. Whether it’s a black tie or semi-casual, be clear, so there’s no confusion when it comes to the acceptable types of clothing to wear.

The Venue’s Location

This is another basic detail that should never be left out. If possible, comprehensive directions should be included, such as how to access the venue from the closest highway, or  airport. Mention if there’s parking on site or where guests can park surrounding the venue. If it’s not easily accessible, be sure to include any pictures that may help people locate the venue.

The Agenda

Most people will also want to know what’s going to happen at the event before they accept your invitation. Giving the slightest hint or a quick teaser of the event’s agenda can pique the interest and get people excited about attending. In some cases, including the complete agenda might be a necessity in order to get people excited.

The Guest Speakers

For academic or fundraising events, including the name of the guest speakers can greatly increase interest. If you have a well-known presenter or celebrity as your keynote, be sure to advertise this in all the materials and online as it will help to get people talking about your event well ahead of time.

An Attention-grabbing Headline

Creating a witty and engaging headline about the event is an effective way to advertise it. It doesn’t have to be long; it just needs to be captivating enough to grab attention – especially if the event will be advertised through social media sites.

Promoting an event might seem like an easy feat, but it actually requires a significant amount of skill in planning, organizing, and advertising. Leaving out the smallest detail can have a huge impact on the event’s success. It’s important to assess what your event advertising needs are, and then provide correct and clear details on all the marketing and social media sites. Need more event tips? Our planners at St. Elias can provide you with all the details you need when planning out your next event at our award-winning convention centre. Contact us to learn more!

Five Mistakes Event Planners Make

Five Mistakes Event Planners Make

Planning and organizing an event can be a stressful job if you don’t have the perseverance, creativity, people skills, and team coordination. But sometimes, even when you have all those things, one small mistake can lead to bigger problems and even disappointment among your guests. Steer clear of these top mistakes that event planners make to learn from the pros and organize a successful event.

Exceeding The Budget

There’s a reason why clients set a budget for an event. It’s often the amount they’ve been allocated to spend by their company. Disregarding the client’s budget can create a whole slew of problems – for them and for the event planners, too. Presenting numbers that are different than what they had agreed upon after the event is complete can tarnish your reputation and also lead to legal ramifications if a contract was signed. So be sure to stick to the budget and make sure any changes are signed off on before they are made.

Choosing The Wrong Location

Rule number one as an event planner is to pick the right venue. The location can truly make or break an event. If the event planner chooses a location that does not fit with the event’s objective or theme, it can lead to a disappointing event.

Hiring Unimpressive Hosts or Entertainers

Hiring a competent host is crucial for any event. They set the mood and create an atmosphere for the entire evening. If the host is accommodating, smart and funny, it will instantly make the occasion more enjoyable and memorable for the guests. On the other hand, if the host doesn’t really care and isn’t good at creating an energizing atmosphere for the guests, you can bet the overall mood will be greatly affected. Entertainers make a huge impact on the guests’ experience, so be sure to pick an appropriate one for your event.

Failing To Schedule A Walkthrough

Showing up to the venue on the day of the event to do your walkthrough will only be setting yourself up for uncertainty, possible disappointment, last-minute scrambling, and even a disaster if it’s not what you were expecting. It’s crucial to check out the venue personally, try the food and understand any equipment setup requirements well in advance. That way, if there is anything that needs to be changed, repaired, ordered or altered, there is plenty of time to get it done.   

Failing To Come Up With Plan B

Of course, not everything will unfold exactly as intended. Unexpected factors like rain during an outdoor event, or a vendor who cancels at the last minute, or broken equipment can happen at the worst times.  That’s why it’s best to have a contingency plan in place just in case you need to use it.Preparing for an event is not always easy. There are lots of details to consider and so many crucial decisions to make, which is why it’s important to choose a venue that has event planners onsite. They can help guide you with your plans and make sure everything goes as smooth as possible. When you’re looking for the perfect venue for your event, consider St. Elias Centre. We have everything you need right on-site for hosting any special, elegant and memorable occasion.

How to Determine the Dress Code for Your Event

How to Determine the Dress Code for Your Event

When you’re organizing an event, it’s important to take the guesswork out of what your attendees should wear. Whether you plan to host a black-tie, semi-casual, or informal setup, being clear about the dress code is essential for avoiding any confusion or misunderstandings. If you’re unsure about how to determine the dress code for your event, we have the tips you need to help figure out which style is best suited for your occasion.

Where Will It Be Located?

The location of your venue will play a major role in determining the dress code of your event. So think about where it will be held. Is it a convention hall, a casual restaurant, or a hotel? The venue can tell you a lot about what’s appropriate to set as the dress code once you can see the space and figure out what’s standard for the establishment. If you decide to go with a casual bar or restaurant, then semi-casual or business-casual are usually most common, whereas a fine dining wine bar or a convention hall would require more formal wear.

What’s the Occasion?

Next up, think about the occasion for your event. Certain gatherings, like fundraisers or galas, are typically considered formal with a strict dress code. On the other hand, if you’re hosting a birthday, anniversary, or family reunion, then formal wear might not make as much sense. So consider the type of event that you’re organizing and determine the appropriate attire based on this, too.

Consult With a Coordinator

If you’re hosting your gathering at a convention centre or hall, many of these have on-site coordinators who are there to assist you. So don’t be shy to ask for their opinion on what they feel is best suited for your event. Remember, they’re experts at what they do, and they’ve seen and assisted with many other events that are similar to yours. So their opinion can be very valuable and helpful when you feel unsure. This also goes for any other location where the event is hosted. Don’t be afraid to ask!
At the St. Elias Centre, our friendly team can cater to your every need. With a large, modern, and flexible venue, we have everything needed to host a successful occasion. From full onsite catering from our Executive chef to a full-size theatre stage to our spacious and modern décor, to our professional and courteous staff — we can assist you from beginning to end. Contact us today to learn more.

5 Clear Benefits of Choosing St. Elias Centre

5 Clear Benefits of Choosing St Elias Centre

Are you in charge of organizing an upcoming event? Not sure how to determine which venue is the best choice for it? Planning and executing an event can be challenging, especially when you’re unsure of what’s really needed to make sure your gathering goes off smoothly and successfully. At St. Elias Centre, we know exactly what it takes, which is why we’re one of Ottawa’s top-rated venues. From our onsite catering to our multi-functional space, to our professional, stellar staff — learn more about the benefits of choosing St. Elias Centre and why we’re the best choice for your upcoming occasion.

Professional Staff & First-Class Service

Staffing an event is just as important as the location of it. From the coat check to the bartenders, to the waiters — the staff will be on the ground serving and interacting with your guests. That’s why having a team that is courteous, friendly, and professional is essential. Whether it’s a wedding, corporate event, birthday, gala, or more, every guest will be treated with first-class service.

Convenient Onsite Catering from Our Executive Chef

At St. Elias, we know there are a lot of moving parts that are involved in organizing an event. And the food is always an important one. That’s why we make it extra simple and convenient by providing everything you need, right in our venue. This includes onsite catering creating by our award-winning culinary team and Executive Chef. We offer a diverse range of menus for breakfast, lunch, breaks, and dinner. We also specialize in both Canadian and Lebanese cuisine and use fresh ingredients only.

Flexible Rooms

Offering over 11,000 square feet of multi-purpose space, our venue is flexible, providing the right amount of space for your size event. With the ability to alter the floor space, we can accommodate your needs, whether you have 50 or 100 guests attending.

Modern Updated Decor

We also understand that the venue you select reflects the image of you and your company. And with our commitment to deliver the best service in Ottawa, we’ve undergone recent renovations to modernize our decor and provide an elegant and sophisticated space that our clients can feel proud to utilize. This includes ample lighting, Wif-Fi, a full-size theatre stage, plenty of parking, and an inviting lobby with soaring high ceilings to greet and wow your guests.

Event Planning

Our goal is to help make your dream even as smooth, simple, and stress-free as possible. So if you need assistance juggling it all, our event planner can help. Our staff is always ready to assist you in organizing any occasion, whether it’s a big birthday bash or a corporate gala.
St. Elias Centre has everything you need to host your event without a hitch. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we help make your upcoming event a hit!

The 4 Things Everyone Remembers at a Party

The 4 Things Everyone Remembers at a Party

Event planners don’t always understand that there’s an art to choosing the right “ingredients” that can really make or break any celebration. So if you’re hosting an event this year, be sure to focus on these four things that are crucial to throwing a successful party.


The venue that you select can make a positive or negative lasting impression on all your guests. That’s why it’s important to use a venue that understands how to impress its attendees with updated décor, lighting, and some finer touches. People will notice how things make them feel, even when it comes to types of plates and glasses that are used during an event.


Attendees may not necessarily remember what speakers say years down the road, but they’ll remember whether they were entertaining, inspiring, or downright boring. Even though you may want to keep it easy and choose your cousin to MC your wedding or get your boss to speak at your corporate event, they may not be the best choice if they don’t know to speak in public and work the crowd.


The food is always a big deal when it comes to any event. If the food you choose isn’t up to par, your guests will remember it and share their negative experience with others. Everything needs to be perfect in this category in order for your event to be a success. When choosing your menu, make sure that the food is fresh and up to your standards.


What you leave for your guests to take home can also create lasting memories. So plan to leave a souvenir that will leave a good lasting impression. It doesn’t have to be expensive either, just something that represents the event and shows your appreciation for attending.

Whether you’re throwing a work party, wedding, or special ceremony, you want to make your party memorable for the right reasons. Years from now, people won’t remember the ceremony, invitations, or what was said, but they will remember whether the day was enjoyable or not. The finer details really matter and add up as a whole, so remember to plan them all out carefully and choose a venue that can deliver the level of service you expect. When you’re looking to throw an event to remember, contact us at the St.Elias Centre!

Don’t Forget to Practice these 5 Presentation Skills Before Your Big Day

Don’t Forget to Practice these 5 Presentation Skills Before Your Big Day

You’ve put together the best presentation of your life and you feel ready to show it to the world, but are you really ready? When it comes to presenting and public speaking, there’s a lot more to it than putting together the information, crafting your message, and using eye-catching graphics. So whatever you do, don’t forget to practice these five presentation skills before your big day arrives.

Talking Loudly, Clearly, and Enthusiastically

No one wants to sit through an hour presentation given by a monotone speaker. You need to deliver something exciting and inspiring if you want people to pay attention and remember your message. Start by practicing talking loudly, slowly, enthusiastically, and clearly. Don’t be afraid to add some variety to your speech to display particular emotions — this will help keep people engaged.


When talking through a variety of topics, you need to know how to properly transition from one idea to the next. The best way to do this is to establish a primary message and build upon each idea. This will help people follow your presentation and connect the points as you transition from one topic to the next. Just be sure to keep your topics short and concise, and then circle back as you go.

Responding to Questions

If you’re the keynote speaker or on a panel, it’s likely you’re going to need to answer questions at some point. To avoid stumbling over your words, practice thinking on your feet and improvising through some of the tough questions that you would ask a similar speaker on the topics being covered.

Reacting to Mishaps

Ask any professional speaker, and they’ll have a few horror stories to tell. They’ll also tell you to be ready for anything. The best way to do that is by practicing how to react to problem scenarios, like when the mic cuts out, the presentation screen freezes, or there’s a medical emergency.

Practise Using the Technology

Whether it’s the mic, the clicker, or your presentation software, you need to know how to download it, fix errors, and play it on a variety of devices. If you’re using the latest tech for your presentations to make a lasting impression, you should bring some handouts and a backup plan in case something breaks, fails to open, or refuses to work.

St. Elias Centre has all of the state-of-the-art equipment you need, helpful event staff, plus a number of flexible rooms to suit your event size requirements. We can also provide onsite catering and ample parking to impress and accommodate your audience. When you’re ready to take your presentation game to the next level, contact us at St. Elias.

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