Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Tête-à-Tête: The Beginning

In 1989, the CSAE Ottawa Chapter held a small trade show at the Ottawa Congress Centre.  During this trade show, Herb Brennen, CAE, who was president elect of the CSAE Ottawa Chapter, issued a challenge to Jacques Drury, who was exhibiting the new "Canadian Airlines: and its network products to the association market.  That challenge included striking a committee to create a lucrative trade show that would benefit the chapter financially.  Needless to say, Jacques accepted the challenge.

Step One:

A committee was struck that included the following talent:  Jennifer Barnaby; Richard Castonguay, Ginette Blanchette, Richard Righi, Janet Middleton, Fabienne Nadeau, Margaret McLaren, and Jacques Drury (Chair of the Committee).

Step Two:

The new and improved CSAE Ottawa Chapter Annual Trade Show was held at the Château Laurier in February 1990 and included serious restrictions for exhibiting:

The set-up consisted of mostly tabletops with pop-up units not to exceed three (3) feet when sitting on the top of the eight (8) foot table.

The maximum number of exhibitors was restricted to 40 and was on a first come, first served basis.

When the registration faxes (yes... we connected with this new fancy communication took call "the fax") were sent to a list of potential exhibitors, the responses cam in on a regular basis, with the show selling out within a week.

The expectation was that the show would generate a modest profit to contribute to the educational opporutnities for the membership.

The post-mortem of the new trade show turned into a brainstorming session.  The committee came up with the idea of branding the trade show.  Jennifer Barnaby has previously mentioned that her background was in advertising and graphic display.  Therefore, Jennifer was asked to come up with a name for the trade show.  She proposed "Tête-à-Tête", and fashioned a logo, both of which were unanimously accepted by the committee.

The Chair then had to present the name and logo to the chapter board for approval.  It was also recommended to the board to register the name and logo; the board approved the branding concept and agreed that registration of the brand was a good course of action.  Jacques engaged a patent lawyer to do the research.  The results were free and clear so, upon board approval again, the committee moved forward with the registration of both the name and the logo.

In November 1990, the registration form for the new Tête-à-Tête, which included the intuitive new logo, was distributed by fax.  The show sold out in a few days and the very first wait-list was created.
Since that time, Tête-à-Tête has been a highly successful annual event for CSAE Ottawa-Gatineau and continues to draw record numbers of registrations.

Will you be joining us to celebrate the 25th Anniversary?  Click here for more details, and to register!

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