Second time’s the charm

November 30, 2009

They say that if you want a job done right, you have to do it yourself. They should also say that if, in the process of doing the job yourself, it comes to light that you’re significantly less competent than you’d assumed, you’re going to have to do the job again — and, possibly, again — until it is done right.  Keep reading for an illustrative anecdote.

On the homepage of CM&E’s recently launched website, the first thing you see is a video window bearing the image of David Martin, director of the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Toronto’s Ryerson University.  Those of our site’s visitors who click on the play button will see and hear David deliver what I think are very succinct and incisive comments on how the demands of the contemporary meetings-and-events industry have created a need for the soon-to-be-open-for-business MPI Global Training Center at the Ted Rogers School.

What those users will never see is the original incarnation of the video, which I shot a week earlier. On that day, I’d neglected to bring a tripod. I assumed — in retrospect quite presumptuously — that, in framing my game and worthy subject, who I knew would be seated at a desk,  I’d be able to stabilize the CM&E Cam atop some suitable object indigenous to the offices of post-secondary-school directors — this object was, in my mind’s eye, nothing more detailed than an abstract block-shaped figure,  which if brought into sharper focus would most likely have revealed itself to be a tossed-aside copy of the Yellow Pages. When upon my (late) arrival at the agreed-upon venue it became clear that I’d severely and self-defeatingly overestimated Dr. Martin’s office with respect to its supply of sundry items fit for surrogate-tripod duty,  I convinced myself that a lifelong sufferer of restless-leg-syndrome such as myself could just as soon achieve tripod results by means of holding the camera in my bare hands. I don’t have to tell you much about how that turned out, but, knowing that so many print editors are nowadays being asked to supplement their print work with video content,  I will offer to my amateur-videographer peers the following advice: the viewfinder lies, and it lies without remorse. If, in situ,  in the heat of the shoot, your handheld video appears through the viewfinder to be as steady as a live feed of Question Period on CPAC, you can bet your bottom freelance dollar that when you get back to the editing suite at HQ your footage will have to be sold for scrap to the producers of NYPD Blue.

But all’s well that ends well. I’d like to thank Dr. Martin, for his willingness to clear a few (more) minutes’ worth of his valuable time to stand and deliver take-two, and Rick, our web developer here at CM&E, for all but laughing in my face, thereby emboldening me to make things right, when he took his first look at take-one.


It’s at this stage of the post that I’ve decided to draw attention to what is self-evident: you’re reading the editor’s blog for Corporate Meetings & Events magazine.  Stay tuned to this space (a good way of doing so is subscribing to the RSS feed) for anecdotes, backstory, explanation and elaboration, and periodic bursts of stray thought from yours truly, Matt LaForge, editor of CM&E. You’ll also find contributions authored by people who are not me. By my count we have an 11-member editorial advisory board  and a 10,000+-strong subscriber base, both of which are composed of individuals with ideas, anecdotes, backstories, and stray throughts of their own — so this should be a lively place, and an exciting addtition to the discourse of the Canadian meetings industry. If you have something to say, and would like to say it here, in the “pages” of the editor’s blog, e-mail me at and let me know what you have up your sleeve.