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.

St. Elias Christmas Parties are the Best Christmas Parties

St. Elias Christmas Parties are the Best Christmas Parties

Did you know that St. Elias Christmas parties are some the best Christmas parties in all of Ottawa? It’s true! With thousands of celebrations held at our elegant event space over the years, we’ve gained a reputation for excellence. This season, why not host a holiday party that your guests will talk about well after it’s over? We can make your celebration the topic of conversation at the office or during your next family gathering. Here’s just a sneak peek at how we can help you throw the best party of the year!

Our Dynamic Venue Space

Our impressive venue space spans over 11,000 square feet with the capacity to accommodate gatherings both large and small, whether it’s a guest list as large as 1,000 or as small as 50. Our multi-purpose facility was designed to easily adjust to our clients’ needs with the ability to split up space into smaller sections or utilize our entire hall for a grand affair. So whatever layout you have in mind, we can accommodate.

Our Modern and Elegant Décor

We know that the décor is equally as important when it comes to choosing the right venue that will wow your guests. That’s why you won’t find anything outdated here. Our newly designed space features a modern and elegant interior, including our striking lobby that’s guaranteed to leave a good lasting impression with your guests upon arrival. With our chic furniture, dazzling chandeliers, and eye-catching architecture, you’ll have the perfect lavish setting to welcome your guests in style.

Top-Tiered Catering from Our Executive Chef

At St. Elias, there’s no need to worry about catering. Our Executive Chef and award-winning culinary team will deliver a sumptuous menu of your choice, featuring the finest and freshest fresh ingredients offered at competitive prices. With a wide assortment of options, including home-grown Canadian items as well as our specialized Lebanese menu, we can appease any palate.

Client Services to Assist You

We know that the holidays can be a hectic and stressful time of year, and organizing an event on top of everything can be challenging with so much going on. But you can take the stress out of planning and allow us to assist you in organizing your ideal Christmas party with our professional client services. Whatever you need, we’re here to help.

When you want to throw a holiday bash for the books, St. Elias Christmas parties are guaranteed to leave your guests more than impressed. Our team, venue, and culinary masters will provide everything you need to host your celebration in style and on budget, with all of the essential components that’ll make your dream party a reality. Contact us today to learn more!

5 Things that will Make Your Holiday Party Stand Out

5 Things that will Make Your Holiday Party Stand Out

The holidays are officially here which means calendars are filling up with office parties and family celebrations galore! And whether it’s your employees or extended family, you can delight your guests with the best night of the year using these tips that’ll make your holiday party stand out amongst the rest. Here’s how to make it one to remember this Christmas season.

Go Big on Décor

To get your guests in the festive spirit, go big on the décor throughout your venue. Forget the tinsel and instead focus on the lights. With the array of festive options out there, you can turn your venue into a magical winter wonderland that will wow your guests and make that big first impression a great one.

Serve Fresh, Quality Food

Whether you choose to have a sit-down meal, food stations or a buffet, having fresh, quality food is important for the success of any hosted event. So remember to choose a venue that offers in-house catering with a renowned culinary team to dazzle your guests with the food.

Hire the Right Entertainment

Don’t forget that your entertainment can also make or break your party. And holiday celebrations are meant to be fun, where everyone can mingle and let loose on the dance floor. That’s why we recommend hiring a DJ or even a local band to get the party going and encourage everyone to get onto the dance floor. Having a good mix of music to dance to is one of the best ways to make your holiday party stand out since it’ll get a majority of your guests up off their chairs and having fun.

Add a Signature Cocktail

Since it’s Christmas, why not get into the festive spirit with a signature cocktail made just for your guests? You can ask the bartender to get creative and play around with some festive flavours to add something fun and exciting to the cocktail menu.

Offer Some Festive Favours

Another way to spice up your holiday party is to offer some festive favours or giveaways during your event. This can be themed treats, decorative candles, or even something more elaborate like raffles to give away prizes.

Even with all of the excitement circling around this time of year, holiday parties can easily become a boring, routine event. But you can make your holiday party stand out with your attendees raving afterwards by using the above tips to guide you through your party planning. And when you’re in need of a venue that offers it all, St. Elias Centre has got you covered. With one of the most elegant venues in Ottawa, and with an award-winning culinary team, we can help you throw your dream event of the year.

Ways to Keep a Video Conference On Schedule and On Topic

Ways to Keep a Video Conference On Schedule and On Topic

Do you struggle to get through a video conference without interruption and distraction? Inefficient meetings can greatly impede your team’s productivity level, which is why it’s important to have ways to keep your video conference on schedule and on topic.

Prep an Agenda

If you don’t have a proper agenda that itemizes each topic or issue, people won’t know what is expected and will likely derail your meetings. You can nip derailment in the bud by outlining the purpose of the meeting and sending meeting notes ahead of time. That way, if anyone disagrees with the topics or wants to add something to the agenda, they can approach you before hand.

Close Each Subject Before Moving on

It’s not uncommon for meetings to go off track when people bounce from one topic to another without any flow. Avoid this from happening by letting everyone know you will get to each topic only once you have closed off the current one. If someone isn’t ready to move on, find out why and then schedule a time to discuss the subject with them at a separate time, or set up another meeting focused on this topic to keep the meeting moving swiftly.

Keep to Your Timing

Even if people are missing at the start time, go ahead without them. Don’t let people hold you back. Let them fall behind when they’re late and catch up afterwards on their own time. This will teach them to always show up on time and that the meeting doesn’t wait for them.  You should also keep to your timing. If you consistently run over the allotted timeframe, people will feel as if you’re wasting their valuable time. If you have to schedule another meeting to stay on time, do so.

Keep Meetings Short

If your video conference is scheduled for a full hour, it’s unlikely you’ll keep everyone engaged the entire time — they’ll start checking their phones, stare out the window, or even leave when they get bored. It’s also difficult to keep everyone on subject with that much time. Try to keep meetings short, between 15-30 minutes to keep everyone focused on accomplishing what needs to be done.

Invite Assistants

In a perfect world, managers inform their assistants about the key-takeaway points in their meetings. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. If you want the main topics of your video conference to be noted and addressed, you need to invite your assistants along. They will take notes and ensure follow up, which will guarantee that all the crucial takeaway points get addressed.

Use the Right Setting

Allowing people to sit at their desk to participate in the video conference is a recipe for disaster. They will only get distracted, so it’s important to host the meeting in the right setting. If you don’t have a well-equipped boardroom that is quiet or offers privacy, you should rent out a meeting space. The right setting will keep everyone focused and on schedule and topic.

When you need an off-site location for your meetings and video conferences, schedule a room at the St. Elias Centre. We have everything you need – from video conferencing equipment, A/V equipment, flexible meeting space, and even on-site catering! Contact us today to learn more about our facility and services.

How to Knock Your Product Launch Out of the Park

How to Knock Your Product Launch Out of the Park

Got a brilliant product that you think will make you the next millionaire? If so, you need to make sure that your product gets seen by all the right people when you launch, otherwise you can kiss your success goodbye. To knock your product launch out of the park, follow these five tips for ultimate success with your product.

Start a Rolling Launch

Before your launch date, you need to create some excitement over your product. To do this, you’ll need to start targeting people on social media 6-8 weeks before your official launch date to get them eager about your offering. Be sure to post something every couple of days to keep the news going and to entice new interested buyers. You should also approach influencers in your market who can encourage people to try your product once it launches and then write reviews once it has hit the market to attract more buyers.

Take Pre-Orders

Another way to get a buzz going is to take pre-orders. Offer an incredible deal that people can’t resist to get sales started before you even launch.

Contact Industry Analysts and Media

Don’t forget to contact industry analysts, radio stations, and local TV programs to set up a slot to launch your product through their channels. You’ll want to get airtime right after you launch your product, as well as every couple of weeks to stay top of mind and to attract new target customers who may not have yet heard about your product.

Set Goals

This is a big one. You need to set relevant goals and regularly measure to see how you’re performing. This will allow you to prepare in advance for any sudden spikes in sales, and unexpected performance issues while staying true to your brand.

Select the Right Venue for a Launch Party

Throwing a launch party is always a must. To throw a fun party that leads to more stales, be sure to start early by building up the anticipation of it by showcasing why people should attend. Do something a little unusual to get people intrigued and don’t forget to tell local media sources about it so you can pump even more life into your event.

Gather Feedback

Remember to gather customer feedback right after you launch your product. This can give you insights into the areas you need to improve to make your product a success and to boost sales.

Your launch party needs the right venue. One that has flexible space, a stunning design, professional staff, and onsite catering that will impress your guests. It’s also as equally import to set the right mood so that people can embrace your product and associate the brand with luxury and success. Come view our event space at St. Elias Conference Centre — we have everything you need to knock your product launch out of the park!

How Do You Decide Which Theme to Pick for Your Wedding?

How Do You Decide Which Theme to Pick for Your Wedding

Not sure what to do for your wedding theme? The word “theme” isn’t used as much as it was traditionally back in the day. Today, it mainly refers to the general concept of how you want your wedding to look like. Whatever you decide will tie in with your invitations, floral arrangements, decorations, and just about everything else to make it all look cohesive. So how do you choose which theme to pick for your wedding? Here are a few useful strategies to help you.

Where Will You Host Your Wedding?

The location is one of the most important factors when it comes to deciding which theme to pick for your wedding. You’re probably not going to have a rustic, country theme set on a tropical beach (unless that’s something you’re going for). The location needs to make sense for your theme. So determining where you want to host your wedding will help you narrow it down.

What Do You and Your Partner Enjoy?

Another simple way to narrow down your decision process is by thinking about what you both actually enjoy. Maybe it’s the idea of a beach wedding in the tropics that excites you or an intimate setting in a quaint, vintage-style venue. Try to come up with some points that describe you as a couple and what your preferences are. Then go from there.

Explore Pinterest

If you haven’t been scouring Pinterest yet, you’re missing out! This online platform is full of so many creative and inspiring ideas, especially when it comes to all things wedding-related. Hop online, set up an account and start exploring some of the pins that can help you figure out what you like and dislike.

Hire a Wedding Planner

If you have the budget for it, hire a wedding planner! If you’re already pressed for time with your busy schedule, a wedding planner can take that weight off of your shoulders. They can use their expertise to help you determine what you truly want, and then make it happen.

When you’re on the hunt for the perfect wedding venue, consider Ottawa premier’s venue at St. Elias Centre. Whether it’s a small, intimate wedding or a grand one, our elegant and flexible venue can accommodate your needs. We also offer in-house catering from our Executive Chef, on-site parking with over 400 spots, and professional guest-related services to help with your wedding plans. Contact us today to learn more or to arrange a tour!

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