Sustainable development and the Palais, an unshakeable union!

Sustainability at the Palais is a process that is at once rigorous yet straightforward. We are meticulous about the action plans and policies we draft to preserve and perpetuate our commitment, but we also make sure we focus on actions that are in line with our operations and that our employees can get passionate about!

PrintOur Sustainable Development Policy and Sustainability Action Plan constitute the cornerstones of our process. Responsible, determined and engaged, the Palais des congrès de Montréal team shares the concerns of citizens who recognize the importance of getting involved personally and collectively. We must fundamentally behave sustainably, now more than ever, and this is something that is clearly reflected in our action plan. Green events, employee training, energy-saving measures, recycled waste management, certifications, urban agriculture, social and community involvement – just some of the areas the Palais and its employees are involved in.

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In 2016, the Palais adopted a new Responsible Procurement Policy, aimed at rendering the Palais’ staff, partners and suppliers increasingly aware of the importance of consuming, producing and purchasing responsibly. That same year, we were certified a Level 1 ASTM 2015 Venue by iCompli Sustainability. The ASTM standard is the first in North America to establish performance criteria for sustainable practices and responsible management systems for tourism stakeholders in the meetings sector.

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Flagship project: Urban Agriculture Lab
In 2016, the Palais des congrès de Montréal unveiled its Urban Agriculture Lab, thus becoming the main showcase in Québec for experimenting with and advocating for urban farming technologies and techniques. This innovative project, focused on greening the rooftops of the Palais while experimenting with sustainability initiatives, has given a second vocation to our 31,500 sf of rooftops. The Palais Urban Agriculture Lab includes:

  • Culti-VERT, our technological showcase for green roofs and container gardening;
  • Three (3) pollinating beehives; and
  • VERTical, our most recent urban agriculture project, driven by new vertical farming technology that is based on free-standing structures equipped with experimental wall tarps.

The Palais active in the community
The social component of our process is predicated on tangible actions and community support, such as donating surplus food to Maison du Père, “Journée Coup de pouce” wherein our employees devote one IMG_0996workday to helping local organizations, or Action Médiation, an outreach program that fosters a system of cohabitation between downtown Montréal tourists and the homeless. The Palais also helps promote Québec culture, especially via the Montréal Public Art portal and the “Art souterrain” festival.

The momentum we began generating nearly 15 years ago is paying dividends. From how we design them to how they’re executed, our new methods are thriving and the Palais continues to implement innovative initiatives that significantly contribute to sustainable development.

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Long live Montréal!

The festivities surrounding Montréal’s 375th anniversary are underway, with the city already swinging to Les Hivernales, a series of activities created to celebrate our northern character. All year, a wide-ranging calendar of events will spotlight the history and creativity of Montréal. Be sure to check them out!

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At the Palais, we’ll be hosting numerous major events of our own that will no doubt take full advantage of the city’s energy this year:

  • Harvard World Model United Nations – WorldMUN 2017
  • 2017 Annual Conference of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology ASPHO
  • Global Public Transport Summit of the International Association of Public Transport
  • XII Metropolis World Congress
  • Society of Toxicologic Pathology 36th Annual Symposium
  • 26th World Youth and Student Travel Conference
  • World Design Summit – Montréal
  • 24th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems

A total of 750,000+ participants will take part in around 210 events currently scheduled for 2017 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal. They’ll have the opportunity to join us in celebrating the qualities that have made Montréal the top host city in the Americas for international events five years running!

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Palais des congrès de Montréal Agriculture Lab: A review of the first summer of operations

2016 just ended and the time has already come to assess how the Palais’ Urban Agriculture Lab fared in its inaugural year.

The September 30, 2016 press conference was a well-attended affair, drawing nearly 100 people who came to hear lab officials discuss their various projects! The summer was marked by the introduction of the VERTical Green Garden, the laboratory’s third phase, an urban farming project based on a scaffold structure, a first in North America, developed by AU/Lab and La ligne verte.

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Elsewhere, despite the aging soil used in Culti-VERT’s plant culture containers and the low temperatures of early summer, the harvest still yielded 580 kg of fruits, vegetables and fine herbs – food that Capital Catering uses in the dishes it prepares for the Palais’ guests. Some of the crops are also donated to la Maison du Père. In addition to benefitting from a portion of the crops, the community organization is working with the Palais and its partners to start a horticultural-based work reintegration program.

Our bees also experienced a bad year after a virus killed several thousand bees from our 3 hives in winter Ruches_Toit - Copie2015-2016. Nevertheless, thanks to honey plants and the expert care they received from the team at Miel Montréal, our foraging bees produced 75 jars of honey – an appreciable harvest!

With its 31,500 sf of farmed roof space, including 11,900 sf earmarked for greening endeavours and as a showcase for experimentation, the Palais des congrès is actively pursuing its commitment to reducing urban heat islands and turning property owners and managers onto the benefits of green roofs. Although the entire staff of the Palais is involved in the Urban Agriculture Lab, the property management deserves a special mention for the key role it plays in coordinating rooftop gardening activities and operations.

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Montréal International Auto Show at the Palais des congrès: 15 years and running!

The 2017 Montréal International Auto Show marked the 15th anniversary for the major consumer show at the Palais des congrès de Montréal. During the course of the 15 years, the Show and Palais team saw over 2.5 million visitors attend what constitutes the automotive event of the year for Montréalers and literally the province’s largest consumer show. Close to 200,000 visitors converged on the Palais from January 20 to 29. The Show took over nearly all of the Palais’ venues.

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Logistically smooth
The Show and Palais team was hard at work handling the more than 425 trailer and specialty trucks that passed through the loading dock during the setup, delivering equipment from carmakers and other exhibitors, over and above the 500 vehicles on display. It is a logistical process that changes every year and has been fine-tuned since 2002! The Palais’ versatile facilities are perfect for this type of consumer show, whose sizeable booths can raise some interesting challenges installation-wise. For instance, over 600 rigging points were required to suspend the hulking structures and decors!

The Palais, accessible and practical
Located in the downtown core, the Palais is easily accessible either by car, public transit or on foot, especially since it is directly linked to the Montréal metro system and the underground city. From the Palais car park, at the corner Chenneville and Viger, you can access the exhibition without having to set foot outside. Auto Show visitors will also have the opportunity to discover the products and services available year round at the Galeries du Palais, including the brand new Resto-bar-Code! Visit lesgaleriesdupalais.com to learn more.

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Galeries du Palais welcomes new restaurant

Today is opening day for the Galeries du Palais’ newest restaurant: Resto-Bar-Code. The new eatery specializes in fresh cuisine that will appeal to consumer show visitors and convention-goers alike.

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Resto-Bar-Code is located on the west side of the shopping mall, near 301 Saint-Antoine West. Offering a magnificent view of the Palais surround glass, it delivers a feast for the eyes and tastebuds for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Perfect for drinks with friends or a bite between meetings!

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The first recipients of the Ambassadors’ Club – FRQ awards unveiled

On November 28, 2016, the Palais des congrès de Montréal, the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) and Chief Scientist Rémi Quirion convened almost 50 researchers, heads of research centres, university faculty representatives and members of the Ambassadors’ Club to the forum on International awards: A boost for scientific recognition. This second edition of the forum focused on the different ways researchers can promote their work within the scientific community, most notably via scientific awards and organizing major scientific conventions.

The forum was also when the first recipients of the Palais des congrès de Montréal Ambassadors’ Club – Fonds de recherche du Québec grants were unveiled, recognizing the work of researchers invested in organizing international scientific conventions. The grants were awarded to:

  • Gaétan Laroche and Diego Mantovani of Université Laval, in collaboration with Sophie Lerouge of École de technologie supérieure – 10th World Biomaterials Congress Grant presented by the Fonds de recherche – Nature et technologies

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  • Jean-Marie Dufour of McGill University – 11th World Congress of the Econometric Society Grant presented by the Fonds de recherche – Société et culture

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  • Pierre Talbot of INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier –Congress of the International Union of Microbiological Societies Grant presented by the Fonds de recherche – Santé

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Congratulations to the recipients!

For more information on the awards, visit the FRQ website.

 

photo credits: FRQ

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Nutcracker Market: Thousands of gift ideas

From November 24 to December 4, 2016, the Galeries du Palais is hosting the 7th Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal Nutcracker Market.

This year, even more exhibitors will be contributing to the Nutcracker Fund for Children by donating 10% of their sales to the Fund, that’s on top of the event’s proceeds, which also go to the Fund.

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The shopping mall is lined with thousands of gift ideas handpicked – and even handmade – by the local artisans and merchants onsite.

Admission is free. See marchecassenoisette.com for operating hours.

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The SoSIAL program: great benefits for the community

Since 2001, the Palais has been hosting the Montréal edition of the SIAL International Food and Beverage Tradeshow, a biannual event. The 10 editions held at the Palais welcomed 120,000 participants and generated more than $108 M in tourism revenues.

In April 2016, the organizers of the event launched SoSIAL, an original program aimed at reducing food waste and training future chefs. The way it works is that chefs and students cook all leftover items from shows and donate them to two community organizations: Moisson Montréal and Tablée des chefs. It’s a simple idea that is making a huge difference in the community!

Watch the interview with the program’s spokesperson, Guillaume Cantin, chef and winner of the first season of the Radio-Canada show, Les Chefs.

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Tips for exhibitors

Successful exhibitions depend upon promoters engaging their exhibitors and rendering their participation as productive as possible. This means exhibitors need to prepare in advance to make the most of their involvement in a consumer or trade show. Two articles on the subject caught our eye, and we encourage you to read them for some fresh ideas.

First, this La Presse article (in French) provides an interesting overview of the preparation required to take part in a show. It talks about targeting the right show, and the importance of planning and scheduling so you have enough time to do things properly and maximize your chances of success.

Second, Exhibition Newsfeed lists 7 ways to maximize your exhibition budget. Designing and building a booth you can reuse, prepping your team adequately, and emphasizing the use digital promotional material that will save you considerable money without diluting the impact.

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Meet Alan!

The latest member of the Palais family! A few months ago, Alan Mikhail joined the Palais Event Management team as Associate Director of Business Solutions and Event Technologies. His role consists of shepherding customers through the process of using the Palais’ event technologies, like audiovisual, the internet and digital displays. This ultimately means that promoters and organizers get advice on how to monetize these technologies, on the advertising opportunities they represent, and on the personalized packages available. We urge all organizers of events confirmed at the Palais to meet with Alan. You’ll be amazed by the revenue opportunities and the options at your disposal, which will turn your event into a resounding success!

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