Articles by author: sforsey

  • Blog 8: Thoughts I had While Attending the CUCCOA Central Regional Meeting

    Written by Jessica Petrella

    In February, our team attended the annual CUCCOA Central Region meetingWhile we attend this meeting every year, this time was different as it was a virtual event. CUCCOA stands for the Canadian University and Colleges Conference Organizers Association. This is a mini conference of all the conference coordinators and managersConfused yet? You’d be right in thinking “a conference for conference organizers?” …yes, that is a thing! 

    During this year’s virtual event, my mind wandered to a far-off place, which to be honest isn’t that strange considering this past year and everything COVID has thrown at us. 

    My first thought was, “Am I the only one wearing track pants?”  I guess I will never knowThe wonderful thing about virtual events is that you can attend in comfortable attireDressy on top, cozy on the bottom…that’s the way it is for most and I am not complaining at all 

    I was also thinking “is this the way our conference will be each year?”  Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone has a real answer to thatI would like to think that this is temporary, and we will all be faceto-face in the near futureBut how soon will that beThis conference is a terrific way for all of us professionals to connect and network, share our ideas, and brainstorm new ones. I am longing for a day when we can all meet in person again. 

    The last thought that ran through my racing mind was how grateful I wasGrateful that we have the technology to be able to still conduct business virtually20 years ago, there would have been a vastly different outcome. I am grateful that I work in an industry with such awesome people who share the same passion that our team does and who understand the struggles that we are all facing right nowAnd most importantly grateful that I am still able to be a part of this annual event no matter how different it may look this year. 

    Maybe the 2022 conference will look the same or differentWhatever it looks like, I can’t wait to be a part of it again! 



  • Blog 7: A Day in the Life of a Conference Coordinator 

    We’re all longing for the days of onsite events to return. While the coordination of virtual events means little movement from place to place onsite, the oversight requires the same exceptional customer service you expect from our team and attention to detail. 

    Here’s a reminder of the hustle and bustle of the coordination of in-person events.  Our coordinators truly love providing exceptional conferences and events at Brock University and look forward to hosting you on campus in the future. We are currently accepting inquiries for spring and summer 2021 – Book with us today!

    5: 00 a.m. – Wake up, work out and drink coffee – we like to start and finish each day with enthusiasm and energy!

    6:20 a.m. – Check texts and emails while eating breakfast. 

    7:00 a.m. – Arrive at work and check-in at the 24-hour Service Desk in residence to ensure that all went smoothly overnight.

    7:30 a.m. – Meet the carefully selected student staff team and ensure that they have all information and materials required to ensure that the conference and events progress smoothly throughout the day. 

    8:00 a.m. – Arrive at the dining hall and check in on breakfast service. Greet the conference organizers and go over the schedules for the day. Take careful note of any requested changes or additions. 

    8:30 a.m. – Return the office. Greet your colleagues and share updates about your conferences.  

    8:45 a.m. – Reach out to on-campus partners (dining services, residences, custodial, facilities management, etc.) to communicate any additions for the day. Communication is key ensuring that groups have the best experience possible on campus.

    9:00 a.m. – Respond to emails and voicemails regarding upcoming conferences. 

    10:00 a.m. – Update logistics documents for upcoming conferences and events. Share with on-campus partners who help to provide an excellent experience at Brock.

    11:00 a.m. Take a walk through the areas where your guests are. Ensure everything is running smoothly. Grab a coffee on the way back to office. 

    12:00 p.m. – Visit the conference organizer while they eat a delicious lunch in the dining hall to ensure that they have everything they need for the afternoon. 

    1:00 p.m. – Brock is an outstanding location to host a conference or event. Detail the state-of-the-art meeting spaces, classrooms and facilities, over 2000 comfortable beds in residence for onsite accommodations, and delectable dining services  available while creating proposals for future potential clients.  

    3:00 p.m. – Complete administrative work for groups that have just departed the conference center. Carefully craft a thank you card for the conference organizer as we sincerely appreciate that they have chosen to host their event at Brock.

    3:30 p.m. – Meet with the afternoon student staff team and discuss the plans for the evening programming. 

    4:00 p.m. – Connect with the conference organizer to let them know that you will be leaving campus within the half an hour.  Provide the contact number for the team member onsite that will available to answer and questions they may have throughout the evening. Remind them that you are just a phone call or text away if needed.


  • Blog 6: 2021 Event Trends

    2021 Event Trends – What Can We Expect in the World of Events?

    Written by: Jessica Petrella 

    Last year has made us all think creatively about different ways to move forward with business. The way that we’re used to hosting and attending events is currently off the table. And while we are all optimistic that the old way of doing things will return, it will be a while before industry trends go back to “normal.” 

    So, what can we expect in the event world for 2021? Well, it’s safe to say that planning and creating events will still happen, but it will be done a little different this year. 

    Staying Closer to Home: You can expect travelers and groups to stay closer to where they live and avoid air travel. Destinations within driving distance are a safer bet. 

    Revised capacities and seating arrangements: Banquet spaces and meeting rooms with large capacities and close seating will be outdated. These spaces will need to be transformed with less seating and more room between chairs. 

    Hybrid Events: Although it’s expected that inperson events will resume, some delegates may still have hesitation to be in attendance. Offering an event that is both in person and virtual will be beneficial for all delegates to get the opportunity to attend. 

    More Outdoor Events: If the weather permits, outdoor events will be preferred. Open air space gives event goers more peace of mind instead of being in a confined space. 

    Increased Sanitation Procedures: It will be expected that extra cleaning will be taking place in any event space that is used. Hand washing and sanitizer stations are also necessary throughout the event space. 

    Pre-Event Testing: While rapid testing is not available at every location, this may be something we will see sooner rather than later. You can expect event attendees to have a rapid test on site or have a test done prior to arrival.  

    Limited-Service Events: We can expect that events will be simplified with little person to person contact.  

    Swag Bags: Delegates will want to avoid bringing anything home that may be a germ collector.”  Some event planners will send e-cards or mail a gift to your house.  

    Reach out to Brock University Conference and Event Services to help you with event planning. We can help you navigate the new normal by creating and executing exceptional events.