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Robbie Burns Supper Celebration

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Robbie Burns was born on January 25, 1759 in Ayreshire, Scotland.  Best known as the national Poet and lyricist of Scotland and  famously synonymous with “Auld Lang Syne” that can be heard on the last day of the year, every year since its inception.

Famous for his political views and his love for the lassies, Burns poems were also inspired by the beauty of Scotland. Although Burns only lived to the age of 37, he enjoyed a eventful life and produced an astonishing amount of great literary work during his career.

More than 200 years have passed since his death and Burns still remains one of the most celebrated figures in Scottish history and culture, demonstrated by the annual Burns Night Celebrations held on or near his birthday of January 25th.

A Burns Supper is a celebration of the life and poetry by Robert Burns.  Suppers may be formal or informal and a standard format is usually as follows;

1. Host Welcoming Speech
2. Parade of the Haggis
3. Supper
4. Immortal Memory
5. Appreciation
6. Toast to the lassies
7. Reply toast to the toast to the lassies
8. Other toasts and speeches
9. Works by Burns
10. Closing

The closing is where everyone is asked to stand and join hands to sing Auld Lang Syne bringing the evening to an end.

A Robbie Burns Supper Celebration is an evening of more then just Kilts, Haggis and Scotch, it’s a celebration of one’s life!

 



Are Meeting Delegates Expectations Changing?

  

Are meeting delegates expectations changing? This is a common question we hear from both meeting planners and meeting delegates.

Every meeting is different. Every market is different. Every client has unique expectations. A meeting planner has to juggle many balls at once, including managing budgets that may or may not be realistic.

Some key points to consider and to help understand the relevance of changing expectations are as follows;

The age of the audience and how you connect with them will dictate the delivery method of the content you want to convey. This can change quite dramatically depending on the age group attending.

Technology has and will continue to play an increasingly important role. This is not new news, as it is an ever changing technical environment. However, focusing on personable interaction during meetings will allow the meeting planner to “Communicate” the message with a more “human” element.

The line between personal and business is ever more blury. Timing of meetings; downtime during meetings; networking in meetings are all important points to consider when deciding what the ultimate goal is.

Now, more then ever,  there are increasing special menu requests for allergies and preferences. We are also asked quite frequently if the food & beverage is “Locally” produced? This seems to be an upward trend.

Of course the location and style of venue remains very important. You need to question how the setting; versatility and ambiance will play a role?

In conclusion, the venues who are more flexible and have a better understanding that change is a constant, will inevitably be more effective partners to the meeting planning industry.



Christmas Decor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you the everything has to be perfectly in sync with colour and shape, synonymous with the rest of your year round décor or are you the type that can never part with the sparkly popsicle picture frames and the ornament from 1969?

Every year I drag out the many boxes filled with décor dating back to my child’s first Christmas. My decorations are a real mixed bag of sentimental things I had growing up, new items I seem to pick up every year, and handmade ornaments from my little one who’s not so little now.

Out comes the painted Santa’s, the candle holders encrusted with sparkle dust that’s seems to get in every nook and cranny~ the stuffed reindeer and the all time favorite snowman dressed in a cross country ski outfit  complete with a set of skis…he stands beside the fireplace every year.

While I admire and sometimes desire the perfect tree with every cylindrical ornament sparkling away and matching the colour scheme of the year, I find myself reaching for the same ornaments and décor year after year, unable to part with them yet once again.

Christmas Décor is what ever brings you happiness, what ever fills your heart with Joy and makes your home feel festive for the holidays.

It’s a once a year thing where you get to show your sentimental side. So put that garland up the rail of the stairs and of course every decoration your children ever made must go on the tree or mantle or somewhere in the house. I think it’s not about following principals of design but more about giving in to the sentimental side of the season.

The Flower shop at The Old MIll has great festive seasonal decor and classic ornaments and with every gift ware purchase over $30 you will receive a mini Holiday arrangement or an ornament.

Happy decorating everyone!



Who Started the Tradition of Afternoon Tea

Sometimes all it takes is one contrarian action to change the course of the world. Such was the case with Anna Maria Stanhope, better known as the Duchess of Bedford and one of Queen Victoria’s Ladies-In-Waiting. Anna Maria is recognized in history for starting the delightful tradition of taking “afternoon tea” with all its accompaniments.

Back in the 17th century, dinner (the main meal of the day) was served between 11 am and 12 noon. It was a rich, heavy, alcoholic meal that could last up to 4 hours. During the 18th century, dinner was served gradually at a later and later time. In the early to mid 1800′s, the Industrial Revolution with its long working hours, pushed the dinner hour back to a very late time. Dinner was usually served between 7 to 9 p.m. and sometimes as late as 10 p.m. To fill the midday gap, an extra meal called luncheon was created. This new meal, however, was very light, and the long afternoon with no food or drink left people very hungry as they waited for their late dinner.

One afternoon, in 1840, the Duchess of Bedford experienced a sinking feeling in the middle of the afternoon so she asked her maid to bring her tea, bread and butter, cakes and biscuits with jam. This was considered a very strange request at the time so it was done in secret for fear of ridicule. The Duchess felt so revived after drinking tea and having an afternoon snack that she bucked tradition and bravely started inviting her friends to join her for afternoon tea. Her friends enjoyed this new “snack time” and the Duchess started making it into a social event. Her idea was a hit. Soon high society and the growing middle classes started imitating royalty and holding their own afternoon teas, or “Little Teas” as they were called (because of the small amount of food served).

Today, afternoon tea is not only a tradition, but is making a comeback in popularity. The Old Mill holds daily afternoon teas and special evening “Twilight Tea” events.



Resources for New Meeting Planners

 

Are you a new meeting planner? Has someone handed you a project that you  need help on?

Welcome to the world of Hospitality. This is a Great business with Great  people and Great mentors.

Industry memberships provide a solid base of general information while building your network and promoting a learning environment.  Memberships from organizations such as: MPI, CSAE, PCMA, CAEM, CansPep, etc are geared towards your specific type of industry whether your a trade show manager, corporate event manager, association planner or 3rd party  meeting planner. These organizations are also very cross-sectional, as you can use the  lessons learned in one membership and apply it to another project.

Remember that the venue(s) you are looking at can also provide you with  enormous help on producing an event. The sales and catering teams plus operations staff members provide their expertise every day and are able to  act as consultants on what may work and what may not.

Our profession has many suppliers, from many industries, that can also provide you with invaluable information on how to plan that next meeting, whether it be a Board Meeting for 10, a Sales Meeting for 100 or a Cocktail Reception for 1000.

Ask the questions, you will be surprised at how many answers you will get!

 



Planning Your Wedding, Simple or Complex?


Planning your wedding can be very simple or very complex. Many things need to be decided from the number of guests to invite to the location, food service, entertainment, invitations, decor, photographer & flowers.

As soon as you have a sense of your guest list this will help dictate what size room is required.  It’s always a good idea when possible to view the room while it’s set up for a wedding reception or similar event.  Then you can see how the room “flows” with a particular set up to determine the best location for your head table, dance floor, table set up etc.

Once you have selected your reception facility there are many questions to ask, however your facility probably has their own FAQ (frequently asked questions). Everything from what items do you need to rent or what do they provide, i.e. tables, chairs, chair covers, linens, special glass ware or plates, when can you set up the room, do they allow next day access for retrieving personal items? on and on…

Entertainment is a big decision! Do you have a live band or a D.J.? Should a jazz trio play during guest arrival? of course depending on your reception facility this may dictate what you can have. Is there a stage, how big is the area? Does the facility have a sound system? Is there a dance floor?

Do you have a buffet or a sit down service? If you choose a buffet option, it’s always a good idea to see where the buffet line can be placed in your room. Will the wait staff be able to serve from behind the buffet table? If your buffet is for 50 people or 250 people of course the set up structure of the buffet line will be very different.

Often one of the last things but not of least importance is the restrooms, changing, coat check, parking and security.  Where is the location of the restrooms to the reception hall? Do they provide bridal change rooms? Does the facility offer coat check services? Does the facility offer valet parking or self-parking? Is the parking lot patrolled? Does the reception hall have its own security staff?

Its a very exciting time for you and your family and with so many decisions to make from the all-important selection of your bridal gown and your bridal party, to the ultimate wedding ceremony and honeymoon. A wedding planner will help you make the planning of your wedding venue as simple as saying “I do”. However grand or intimate you want your wedding day to be an Old Mill Wedding planner can create a package to fit every bridal budget.

Achieve the idyllic day of your dreams with a romantic wedding at the Old Mill Toronto and enjoy a lifetime of memories.