In order to get to know our Hall of Famers better, CMEExpo will be interviewing inductees one by one after their induction. These interviews have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
Name: Candace Schierling
Inducted in: 2019
Category: The Big Idea
Currently working as: Director of sales, Tourism Saskatoon
CMEExpo: Tell us a little bit about your journey into meetings and events.
CS: About eight years ago, I was working in the radio industry, doing radio promotions, and a lot of backend radio stuff. Then, an opportunity came up with Tourism Saskatoon as a new sales person to go into the Toronto market. I have my degree in tourism, and an interest in event management, so I applied for the job and got it. I didn’t know a lot about the industry, but I was really excited to start. And that’s how I got started in the industry.
Then, three years later, we did some organizational restructuring, and that’s when I moved into the role of director of sales, and had a team with me that focused on the Ottawa and Toronto market.
CMEExpo: What is your favourite part of the industry?
CS: For me, I love the people, and I love the collaboration that the industry brings. I love the freedom of promoting a destination and being able to promote where I live, and a city that I love. It’s really fulfilling work, but the key is the people in the industry are just wonderful. Everyone in the industry is so helpful and willing to share their expertise and that sets our industry apart from others.
CMEExpo: You were inducted for The Big Idea; can you tell us what that meant to you?
CS: It was a huge honour and that’s an understatement. I remember my first time attending IncentiveWorks (now called CMEExpo) and watching the Hall of Fame ceremony. My colleague, Trevor Lui, had been inducted – and seeing how a supplier can have such a mark on leadership…that was such an inspiration to me. So the Hall of Fame is something that’s always been to me, a recognition of all of your hard work throughout the years. And that’s so special. Being recognized as a leader in the industry, it was a dream come true. And sharing it with BettyAnne and Reggie was the cherry on top.
CMEExpo: Can you tell us about a favourite event you’ve been a part of?
CS: There are so many unique, cool, events in this industry. You know, anytime you’re going to an event for industry planners and partners, the red carpet is rolled out and we get to experience a lot of beautiful things. So it’s hard for me to say there is one specific event. I love the Canadian content in the industry, like PCMA, and the Canadian Innovation Conference, MPI’s The Event is unique too. Any event that allows me, as a supplier, to be creative and promote my brand, and experience the innovation that happens across our industry is great.
CMEExpo: Do you have a dream event you’d like to be a part of?
CS: That’s a tough question — I think the world is our oyster. So creating something like the V.I.Plane, which didn’t exist before, but involved collaboration between competitors, and different elements of our industry… was really special. I don’t think there’s just one that stands out to me. But I love being a part of anything that is unique and new and to promote that, and be a part of that, would be a dream.
CMEExpo: Tell us what’s next for you. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
CS: In the future, I think staying within this industry and promoting the good tourism brings is in the works for me. I’m currently working on expanding my knowledge right now as I’m going after my Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) Credential through Destinations International. So just expanding my knowledge in tourism overall would be something I’m interested in, in the future overall.