The LCD Reporters Team for the BC Region: Mark Finn, Sue Yoon, Raymond Wong and Jenie Tracy.
As we take a look back at the fantastic 2015 Whistler National Congress, we asked three Concierges from the British Columbia Region, each of them part of the BC Les Clefs d’Or Reporters Team, what they remembered most about this event. Here are their thoughts and feedback, collected and edited by Mark Finn, Lead Reporter.
• How was your experience at the 10th National Les Clefs d’Or Congress in Whistler, British Columbia?
Mark Finn: Phenomenal! From the moment I arrived to the moment I left, my experience just kept getting better and better.
Sue Yoon: The congress was larger than I thought! Everything was well organized. I was very excited and honored to meet so many of the concierge from across Canada. I only attended for a day but it was a very valuable and memorable time. It gave me a strong desire to attend the next congress.
Raymond Wong: Having attended a number of National Congresses, I can say that the conference was well executed. The organizing committee assembled an exciting agenda of networking, education, dining and entertainment.
• What was your most cherished moment of the congress?
Mark Finn: My most cherished moment was the opening ceremony! Representatives from the Lil’wat Cultural Center came to the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and walked us down to the center. They were dressed in traditional first nations clothing and we’re beating their drums while chanting! It was a unique experience and, being First Nations myself, I felt very humbled by their presence.
Sue Yoon: As a junior reporter, I had a great time taking lots of photos at the events. I had the chance to greet many concierges from across Canada. I captured many moments through my camera lens and realized how much everyone was enjoying the production. I felt very fortunate to be part of it.
Raymond Wong: There are ALWAYS many memorable moments at the National Congress. As usual, reuniting with contacts and creating new friendships over joy and laughter – especially, in the spirit of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” with attendees’ imagination and their superb costumes.
• Did you find that, overall, the experience was positive for you? What do you think you have gained the most from this experience?
Mark Finn: Yes, overall, the experience was positive! I gained the most experience by connecting with all the other concierges from around the country. I also truly enjoyed the presentation from Dr. Mark Colgate who provided very helpful information on “the emotional connection” and how the power of guest services lies in the ability to create an emotional connection with our guests.
Sue Yoon: Yes, overall my experience was very positive. I gained a lot of knowledge about concierge services and how to improve some of my skills. The educational components made the most impact on me. The most memorable part was the speech by Mr. Trevor Botkin, when he talked about the “Key to Everything”, the definition of concierge and the best strategies of service.
Raymond Wong: Attending the Congress was, and will always be, a positive experience. It allowed me to create content, learn, network and share ideas and information to create better teambuilding for all attendees. The networking is incredibly powerful!
• Describe some of your most memorable interactions with some other members from Canada.
Mark Finn: I really liked Don Mooney! He is such a great character. His speech was amazing and he really connected well with the audience. Speaking with the Atlantic region concierges to hear how they are progressing! I also really enjoyed chatting with Ronaldo from the Hazelton on the bus ride back to Vancouver.
Sue Yoon: Ms. Chantale Blais from Montreal, Ms. Carolina Avaria from Toronto, Mr. Jamie Clarke from Niagara were the most memorable interactions at the congress. They remembered me from the previous reception in Vancouver and they were very warm and engaging.
Raymond Wong: There were no specific memorable interactions with the various members, as ALL of the interactions were cherished, from vendors to members. It was great to meet so many delegates from across the country and be introduced to new contacts.
• How was it to be a part of the host region of the Les Clefs d’Or National Congress?
Mark Finn: I felt very proud to be a part of the host region. Especially proud of our Whistler concierges whose vision became an amazing reality! Bravo.
Sue Yoon: I was absolutely honored and felt lucky to be a part of the Whistler Congress. I was almost unable to make it to the congress due to illness but I forced myself to be there and I had no regrets! I enjoyed taking pictures at the congress and I can’t wait to be a part of the next one.
Raymond Wong: It was an honour to be the host region of the National Congress and to show the natural beauty of forests, lakes, mountains and coastlines to our visitors, though the credit belongs to the Whistler Organizing Committee. It was this committed group of Concierges that orchestrated the Congress with limited assistance from other members of the region.
Concierge, Fairmont Pacific Rim
Member, Les Clefs d’Or Canada
BC LCD Reporter