Christian heads up an association active in environmental technology. The moment I met him, I was impressed by his sense of leadership and the energy he invested in his organization’s success. I said to myself, “This is the kind of client we want. His whole mission is perfectly aligned with ours.” Not to mention the fact that protecting the environment will be part of the public agenda for years to come. The promise of working with this client over the long term was clear. Christian was looking for a place to organize a gala for 400. I knew we could offer him a spectacular setting for his event with the Voltigeurs de Québec Armoury so I proposed a tour of the facility. To make sure we could answer all his questions, banquet coordinator Sophie Côté invited Véronique Hébert from George V and André Cauchon from Expert’ease to join us. Christian’s ask was clear: he wanted a knock-your-socks-off audiovisual production and a memorable musical performance. For the latter, the Painchaud family sprang right to mind. Led by Patrice Painchaud, they’re known for putting on shows that have wowed and delighted attendees by the thousands. The four members of the group are all multi-intrumentalists. We showed Christian some videos of their work. He loved it, and signed on the spot. On my end, I made sure he could have a block of rooms that would meet his needs, and I’ve stayed in touch with him both for this gala, which will take place in a few months, and for future ways that the hotel and our meeting space can be of service. What convinced him to work with us was our ability to understand and meet his needs and objectives.
In a previous post I wrote about the Québec effect—all the little things that make Québec City a premier destination. There’s the hospitality of the locals and the fact that it’s a safe and highly walkable city. And one of the most important reasons for Québec City’s success is the appeal it has not just for vacationers but also for business travelers. So many guests have told us that holding a convention or meeting in Québec City is a surefire way to boost attendance. That’s especially important for the associations market, which is my focus at Hôtel Château Laurier Québec.
I wrote in a previous post about the three key ingredients that make a business event a success: a unique destination with some star power, excellent accessibility, and high-quality services that deliver results.
I’d like to spend a little more time on this last item. Part of my job is to identify clients who are likely to value our conference and meeting offerings and introduce them to these offerings. Whether through trade missions or networking events or constantly following up with people by phone or email, I can and must take advantage of the opportunities presented by our destination and our hotel facilities, not to mention our partner as of last year, the Voltigeurs de Québec Armoury.
They say that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The success of a business event is truly a team effort, where each member plays a specific, essential role. And it’s because I know I have the support of a skilled and hard-working team of client-oriented people that I can do my job of convincing clients to choose Québec City and Hôtel Château Laurier Québec for their meetings and conferences.
This collaboration begins right here with the team at Hôtel Château Laurier Québec. I can count on Johanne Caron, my director of sales and marketing. Johanne has a great sense of our product and great strategies for marketing it. But more than anything I’d say she is a guide who knows how to support me in what I do.
And since financial aspects always play a big role in how we present ourselves, I also know I can rely on Brigitte Gauvin, our revenue manager. She finds us the right price to meet the needs of both the hotel and our clients.
Let me tell you about the experiences of two of our clients to illustrate the many contributions across our team. Several years ago, I met Julie during a sales engagement. She works at a professional association in the healthcare field and her duties include organizing the annual conference and training sessions for her association. The first time we spoke, she told me she was looking for a hotel to hold a training session with about 150 attendees. As the program for the event included multiple workshops, in addition to a large room for the plenary sessions, she needed a dozen rooms of varying sizes and capacities. However, a significant number of the attendees were from the Québec City area. So she only needed a block of about 70 rooms. Conversations with other hotels in the city with appropriate capacity had led to nothing. Apparently the small number of rooms required made it difficult to secure the meeting space she needed. I told her I could surely get back to her with a proposal that would meet her requirements.
We were able to offer her all the space and rooms she needed. But I also took note of her specifications and sat down with Mylène Bérubé, then banquet coordinator and now assistant director of banquets, to find the best vendors for her AV and exhibitor setup needs. Julie wanted an ambiance that would encourage people to connect during the opening reception, with a “wow” effect that would give the event that little something extra. We already knew we could count on the skills and expertise of the hotel’s George V banquet and catering service, which has long been known for their outstanding menu selections and coffee breaks, but also as excelling in the art of floating dinners that impress and delight the most demanding palates. Mylène worked up a complete specifications sheet to meet Julie’s other needs. She sent the specs to André Cauchon at Expert’ease, our official AV vendor, and to ABP for furniture and exhibitor booth rentals. For accompanying entertainment, she contacted Sabrina Ferland at Bellita, a custom production company that offered a musical performance that was perfect for Julie’s event. We brought it all together impeccably to make the conference a success, and she was thrilled. Ever since, Julie’s association has been a regular client. She knows she can count on our team and our partners to deliver the perfect event.
Christian est directeur général d’une association active dans le domaine des technologies au service de l’environnement. Dès ma première rencontre avec lui, j’ai été impressionnée par son leadership et l’énergie avec laquelle il était engagé dans le rayonnement de son association. Je me suis dit immédiatement « voici le genre de client qui nous intéresse et dont la mission colle parfaitement avec celle notre hôtel », sans compter que la protection de l’environnement fera partie de l’agenda public pour de nombreuses années.
Je voyais parfaitement les avantages d’une association à plus long terme avec ce client. Christian était à la recherche d’un lieu pour l’organisation d’un gala devant accueillir 400 personnes. Sachant que nous pouvions offrir, avec le Manège militaire Voltigeurs de Québec, un cadre spectaculaire pour son événement, je lui ai proposé une visite des installations. Pour m’assurer de répondre adéquatement à toutes ses questions, Sophie Côté, une autre collègue coordonnatrice aux banquets a convié Véronique Hébert du George V et André Cauchon d’Expert’ease.
La commande de Christian était claire, il voulait un déploiement audiovisuel spectaculaire et une animation musicale d’impact. Sur ce dernier point, un nom nous est venu immédiatement en tête, les Painchaud. Dirigés par Patrice Painchaud, ils sont reconnus pour leurs performances qui ont ébloui et réjoui des congressistes par milliers. Les quatre membres de ce groupe sont tous multi instrumentistes. Nous avons présenté à Christian des vidéos de ce spectacle. L’effet a été immédiat : il a aimé et il a acheté l’idée. Quant à moi, je me suis assurée qu’il puisse avoir accès à un bloc de chambres répondant à ses besoins et je demeure en contact avec lui pour ce gala qui se tiendra dans quelques mois et pour d’autres besoins futurs auxquels l’hôtel et ses salles de réunion sauront répondre. Ce qui l’a convaincu de poursuivre notre relation d’affaires, c’est la capacité de notre équipe et de nos collaborateurs à comprendre ses besoins et objectifs et d’y répondre.
For Julie and Christian, Québec City was both a natural choice and a strategic one for their events. Our mission here is not just to convince them to do business with Hôtel Château Laurier Québec. It’s also to listen to them, understand their needs, and propose companies to work with that are not only good at what they do but also “get” them. And that’s what brings me the most satisfaction in my job—being able to make a client truly happy through teamwork.