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Tahira Endean

2016 Changemaker: Tahira Endean, CMP

For creating environments that enable creativity and innovation to percolate

Tahira Endean, CMP, always brings fresh ideas to the table.

Event Producer
BC Tech Summit, British Columbia Innovation Council
British Columbia Institute of Technology

Making Change
I believe we need to marry what we know about human beings and our basic neuroscience to deliver learning and improve opportunities for connection. I have brought best practices in meeting design to each consecutive job, working with the teams and venues on content delivery, performance and fun, seating, audiovisual, nutritious food and beverage, sustainability, and subtleties such as scent. Then along came the “in our pocket” technology that has shifted fundamentally how we live, interact, and connect, and has to be applied to our meetings and events, from marketing through on-site engagement. This is one of my favorite areas to implement and to write and speak about, and one that much of our industry is hungry for knowledge about.

What’s Next?
We talk about better-designed meetings, but we still sit in lots of straight rows in semi-darkened rooms watching one-to-three presenters on a stage. Destination, venue, décor, content, entertainment … this all matters, but I seek to create meetings where we use all we are learning about participants’ brains; where health and wellness, sustainability, and technology are integrated seamlessly and thoughtfully; where the flow allows serendipity and you leave wanting to return.

Sharing Expertise
As a leader of event teams, I have had the opportunity to be part of extraordinary experiences, including opening a remote shipping port— Fairview Container Terminal at the Port of Prince Rupert, B.C.—and the Meeting Professionals International World Education Congress Welcome in Vancouver—which was a ton of pressure but so rewarding. Seeing communities come together through the diligent work of many is what makes me love events so much.

For 15 years, I have taught special event planning, and now sustainability, at BCIT, and have had more than 900 students through this course! For two years I have also taught sustainable event operations, and I love this class because people literally change how they live, not just how they plan events, based on what they learn over those 30 hours.

Managing Change
Breathe. Regroup. Get on with it—change is always part of an event process. I still hate it every time my desk gets moved, though!

Role Model
When I did my practicum for my Event and Convention Management Diploma at Thompson Rivers University with Claire Smith at the Vancouver Convention Centre, she pushed me to join MPI and encouraged me to join the MPI B.C. chapter board in my very early career, and continues to model best practices in our industry.

Best Business Advice
Respect is earned; it does not come with a title.

Thinking Differently
I have been known to ask a lot of what-ifs and to question things, not always at the most appropriate time, but always resulting in a good “I can’t believe she did that” story. When we meet, ask me and I will tell you one or two.

Got a Spare hour?
I garden or cook, or see what I can wrangle my teenagers into doing with me. When that fails, I write something about meetings or events.

Previous: Changemaker Monica Dickenson, CMP, SMMC

Next: Changemaker Annette Gregg, CMM, MBA

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