Prevue September/October 2012 - (Page 92)

Montreal Hosts Green Meetings Industry Council Event [ON LOCATION] DANIELLE ADAMS, CMP T wo important events took place in Montreal on Earth Day in April, just after the release of the new APEX/ ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Event Standards. First, over 250,000 people gathered in downtown to form a giant tree to show their solidarity with Mother Nature. Second, the Green Meetings Industry Council kicked off their annual GMIC Sustainable Meetings Conference at the 395-room Hilton Montreal Bonaventure. The purpose of the conference is to bring together leaders in the sustainability sector and likeminded planners to discuss innovations in green meetings. As a founding member of the GMIC Florida/Caribbean Chapter, I participated as a speaker and toured Montreal to learn about some amazing group venues and experiences here in North America’s most European city. A popular part of the event is our new Bl!nk Presentation, which is similar to a TED talk, except you only have 2-5 minutes to convey your message. My topic, “A Sustainable You,” focuses on a harmonious union of mind, body and spirit. I asked the audience to sit up straight in their chairs, turn their palms up and focus on their breath only. Each day we have over 60,000 thoughts running through our minds. Even when we sleep our mind is active. By simply calming the mind and focusing on one simple, essential life sustaining force, we can give our minds a well-deserved break. The vision of 200+ people peacefully smiling as I guided them through this short exercise in conscious breathing was euphoric. Adding mind breaks throughout a conference is a key element when thinking of your attendees’ health and well-being. In another session, GMIC board members Michael Luehrs, sustainable business advisor at MeetGreen, and Jan Peter Bergkvist, sustainability advisor for SleepWell AB, discussed the need to readdress the definition of sustainability. They said it’s necessary to go beyond the triple bottom line of “People, Planet, Profit” because environmental concerns, like increasing drought in the U.S., are hampering economic development. Bergkvist suggests that we are a society dependent on our biosphere first and foremost, but we as a community are not seeing the big picture. Luehrs made the analogy: “When we want to cross the street, we will have better results if we consider the whole situation around us rather than just the little white ‘Walk’ sign exclusively.” This reminded me of Buckminster Fuller’s words that we are all on one spaceship. Fuller designed the unique architectural symbol of Montreal’s Expo 67, The Biosphere, located on the Saint Lawrence River. It’s a great offsite venue for dinners, receptions, and tours of the innovative exhibit space. BIG TOP CITY As an experiential conference session, we visited La TOHU. This outrageously fun facility is one of the world’s largest training sites for circus arts, production and performance, founded by the National Circus School and the world famous Cirque du Soleil, which was founded in Montreal. Valérie Beaulieu gave us a tour of the sustainable facility which is built on the largest reclaimed site in North America. Afterward, 90 | prevue magazine

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue September/October 2012

Planner's Pick: Bermuda
Planner's Pick: Disney California
Fresh Meets: Sonesta Hotels
Bureau Buzz: Raleigh
Good Business: South Africa
Congrats: Visionary Awards
Sea Shores: Norwegian Cruise Line
Fifty Shades of Green
Checkn' In: westin Resorts, West USA
The West: Green by Nature
On Location: Santa Fe
On Location: La Costa Resort, CA
On Location: City of Napa
Mexico + The Caribbean
On Location: Hard Rock Hotel Cancun
On Location: St. Regis Punta Mita
Puerto Rico
On Location: Montreal
Check Out: The Orbit Tower, London

Prevue September/October 2012