Meetings and Conferences | Occupation: Commander in the palace

The events planned at the Palais des congrès de Montréal have been carefully planned, but it is very rare for everything to pass without unexpected events or last-minute changes. It is up to the event coordinator to work the magic until the client is satisfied. Blaise Nikolov Sir, the largest team of curators, lifts the veil on his day-to-day work.

Posted at 4:00 PM.

Martin Littart

Martin Littart
special cooperation

Bill Clinton met Jean Chretien in 2017 at the Palais des Congrès in Montreal to highlight the importance of the friendship between Canada and the United States. Everything was going like clockwork in the organization until Blaise Nikolov Sayer got a call: The former President of the United States was coming sooner than expected. Much sooner.

“You need a great deal of security to welcome Bill Clinton, so we had to turn the table upside down,” he says.

Sometimes, delegates are added at the last minute. “We are working with Capital Traiteur, whose production capacity is exceptional and sometimes we call it in the morning so that in the evening we can offer an additional 500 caps,” says Blaise Nicoloff Cyr. Capital Traiteur should verify that this is possible with its suppliers. Then we have to modify the room. We really have to work with the fire brigade! You have to love this kind of challenge and not get stressed in life. »

In an effort to put out all the fires at the same time during the day of the event, Blaise Nicoloff Cyr often gets to work very early, around 5 AM. It doesn’t stop for a second, usually until about 4pm, but sometimes, even very late, for example if there is an evening. “My watch tells me that I often walk 30 kilometers a day! After that, I receive or make about 40 calls every 30 minutes. There are always unexpected events, but with experience you can develop good reactions to find solutions to everything.”

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Reboot the device

During the pandemic, Blaise Nikolov Sayer wasn’t fiddling with his thumb. At the height of the crisis, he gave a helping hand in running the Notre Dame hospital, then he was very busy in the palace, which notably housed a vaccination center.

But the fact remains that we haven’t actually had any major face-to-face events for two years, so we had to restart the machine and our suppliers as well. Then everywhere there were a lot of personnel changes.

Blaise Nikolov Sir, Events Coordinator at the Palais des Congrès

On his team, Blaise Nicoloff Cyr also had to train new coordinators. “We had to train them very quickly, but at the same time, there are long-term lessons, because every time of the year is different,” he explains. Also, for everything related to the reception of clients of different origins, it is important to try it in order to really understand it. »

The man who worked in tourism for several years in Mexico, France and Greece before returning to Quebec is confident of the future.

“Some during the pandemic thought everything would be virtual in the future, but we realized we needed human contact,” he says. We will continue our efforts to organize events that meet expectations. »

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