“I hope you learned your lesson.”

These were dreaded words in my household growing up. This phrase spoken by either one of my parents elicited feelings of shame and deep regret.

So, when I was asked to take part in a Canadian study entitled: COVID-19 : CHRONICLING THE LESSONS LEARNED in the Canadian Meetings Industry, I had mixed feelings of trepidation and excitement.

Trepidation because I knew that sharing my story of dismantling a March 2020 event for 450+ people that was less than 10 days from going live would possibly open me up to criticism on how we handled it.

Excitement because I was eager to share my story. I thought it would be somewhat of a cathartic experience to put it all out there – like confessing a deep dark secret to a therapist.

As it turns out, I was not alone.

The report chronicles case-studies from myself and 35 other event professionals from across Canada who had to deal with upcoming events that could not be held due to the restrictions caused by COVID-19. It also includes some observations, reflections and information that can be used to develop best practices for the future.

The professionalism, courage, intelligence and fortitude shown by the contributors is exemplary. In my case, I am pretty proud of how our little team came together to get sh*t done after the initial shock of the cancellations wore off.

My experience over the last year puts that once dreaded statement – ‘I hope you learned your lesson’ in a whole new light.

As we close the door on this memorable year, I encourage you to take a moment to think about how much worse it could’ve been, be thankful for what we still do have in our lives, and to send positive vibes for what still faces us in 2021.

Happy holidays!


2020 has been  rough on the events industry – so we’ve decided to celebrate all of our industry little wins and share them with our newsletter subscribers!

Here is this month’s story submitted by Sylvie Bigras, a member of the planning team for Ottawa’s Great Canadian Kitchen Party event:

Great Canadian Kitchen Party Win! 

“This fall, instead of our usual gala Chef competition, we pivoted to a drive around format for the six competing restaurants. At the time, in-house dining was barred so each of the competing restaurants set up an outside dining area for our two judges to sit and evaluate their competing dish. It worked very very well and we were able to name a regional Culinary Champion for 2020. What was very cool is that each restaurant was very creative in putting together an outside dining nook for our two judges and our two media representatives.”

Full story

Congrats from the whole iSPARK team on pivoting to this new format. Plus adding a new exciting element that made the competition even more unique!

If you, a business that you support, a family member or friend has a little win that you want to share with us please send us an email and help us #SPARKsomeJoy!