Skip to main content

In our current COVID-19 environment, we recognize the desire to create meaningful impact on people’s lives. Leaders are searching for different ways to demonstrate appreciation, build connection and foster corporate culture among their team and stakeholders. As our clients navigate through this global shift, we are reimagining how our passion and creativity can help elevate their engagement experiences.


In September, our team produced a 48-person, 3-day leadership retreat in Whistler, BC. Our goal was to create an immersive experience in a socially responsible way. We drew on our creative ingenuity and found new ways to work within the confines of today’s realities while still providing a high value, impactful program.

The programming included inspirational speakers, social functions at unique off-site venues and high-adrenalin activities that were delivered in accordance with strict health and safety protocols. Read our case study to see how we weaved local culture throughout this leadership retreat to captivate guests in a safe and engaging manner.

Guests commented on how grateful they were to finally meet with people face-to-face (or mask-to-mask) in a controlled environment where health and safety measures were front and centre. We received heartfelt feedback from guests, such as:

“The entire event was so warm and thought out. It wasn’t designed to impress; it was designed to make people feel welcome and inspired and challenge new ways of thinking.”

The impact of this event goes beyond guest experiences. It is one of the first corporate events in Whistler since the pandemic began and helps to build confidence in responsible meetings. It also sparks hope and opportunity for our industry partners who played a pivotal part in this successful program. It proves that in-person events can continue safely. These positive impacts, however small, are essential to recovery.

I am thankful to our client for trusting us to be the first to design an in-person event for his leadership team during the pandemic. Being the first at anything means being brave enough to try, being open to failure and being willing to embrace new lessons.


At PDS, we never sit still!  Our passion for exploring unchartered territory and breaking down barriers in search of novel ideas and solutions is what keeps us going. So bring on virtual!!

Our team has been working on a new virtual service experience with a key partner that came to fruition earlier this month. We produced a live-broadcasted global conference for 250 attendees, across 5 countries, with 56 individual speakers, from 41 remote locations, in 2 languages. Enjoy this short behind-the-scenes sizzle video.


For PDS to survive and thrive, we recognize the importance of protecting the sustainability of our tourism industry in Canada.

I have been working at both regional and national levels through my involvement with Destination Canada’s Business Events Advisory Committee, the Metro Vancouver Tourism and Hospitality Response and Recovery Task Force and by forming the BC Meetings and Events Industry Working Group with industry colleagues from a cross-section of businesses throughout the province.

In consultation with the Provincial Health Office, the BC Centre for Disease Control and WorkSafeBC, our Working Group developed the BC Meetings & Events COVID-19 Safe Restart Guidelines as a first step to restarting the industry. With the industry’s endorsement and compliance, we will build confidence in safe and responsible meetings and events. Our working group is currently developing a re-opening plan for business meetings and events which will be presented to the Provincial Health Office once complete.

Restarting our industry requires patience and measured incremental steps. The restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic will eventually end and there will be a rebirth, of that I am absolutely confident. We cannot wait around for that time though; the time is now to start laying the new foundations for the future of meetings & events. I’m excited to be a part of leading the way.

We look forward to creating exciting opportunities and new beginnings together. Let’s get some conversations going!

We are brilliant together!

Joanne Burns Millar
CEO Pacific Destination Services Inc.


Leave a Reply