MUR­PHY TALKS

Kevin Mur­phy de­liv­ers key­note speech dur­ing con­fer­ence for event plan­ners

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY MITCH MACDONALD Mitchell.macdonald@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/Mitch_PEI

Kevin Mur­phy, owner of the Mur­phy Hos­pi­tal­ity Group, spoke to a meet­ing of the Cana­dian So­ci­ety of Pro­fes­sional Event Plan­ners in Char­lot­te­town.

Kevin Mur­phy con­sid­ers him­self for­tu­nate to run a P.E.I. based busi­ness.

Mur­phy, pres­i­dent and CEO of Mur­phy Hos­pi­tal­ity Group, spoke on the in­te­gral role the prov­ince has played in his com­pany’s suc­cess while de­liv­er­ing the clos­ing key­note speech for the Cana­dian So­ci­ety of Pro­fes­sional Event Plan­ners (CanSPEP) an­nual con­fer­ence at the P.E.I. Con­ven­tion Cen­tre this week­end.

From the top-notch qual­ity of its food to its beau­ti­ful beaches and laid-back at­mos­phere, Mur­phy said the prov­ince has a lot to of­fer.

“I think it’s very spe­cial and we’re very for­tu­nate to be able to do busi­ness on P.E.I.,” said Mur­phy, who be­gan his com­pany with his wife Kathy when he was 23-years-old. “It’s been 37 years and we’ve loved every minute of it.”

Mur­phy, whose busi­ness has grown to in­clude mul­ti­ple restau­rants, a brew­ery and ho­tels, de­liv­ered the mes­sage to meet­ing and event plan­ners from across Canada who at­tended the con­fer­ence.

From pic­nics at the P.E.I. Pre­serve Com­pany and bon­fires on the beach to an “Amaz­ing Race” style com­pe­ti­tion through­out Char­lot­te­town, the con­fer­ence gave del­e­gates a sam­ple of what the prov­ince has to of­fer.

Toronto en­tre­pre­neur Malak Sidky, of Health Care Event Plan­ning, said the con­fer­ence was an in­ter­est­ing and fun way to ex­plore the prov­ince.

She es­pe­cially en­joyed a din­ner at The Dunes, which was fol­lowed with a beach bon­fire.

“The sun­set on the beach was lit­er­ally a ‘pinch me’ mo­ment,” said Sidky.

This was the first year the con­fer­ence has been held in P.E.I.

Ann Worth, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor with Meet­ings and Con­ven­tions P.E.I., said it was im­por­tant to show that the prov­ince is a great place to host con­ven­tions.

She said the plan­ners who at­tended the con­fer­ence all have clients search­ing for in­ter­est­ing and unique places to hold fu­ture events.

“We knew if we showed them the best of the Is­land and all that they can do here… they would take that mes­sage back to their clients who would choose P.E.I. as a fu­ture meet­ing des­ti­na­tion,” said Worth.

Worth also praised Mur­phy’s clos­ing speech.

“To have that gen­uine en­thu­si­asm from some­one who was born here and raised here, talk­ing about how they care so much about hos­pi­tal­ity, it re­ally was the ic­ing on the cake,” she said.

For Mur­phy, it’s not just about the ex­pe­ri­ences avail­able and lo­ca­tions through­out P.E.I.

It’s also about the peo­ple, with Mur­phy plac­ing an im­por­tance on cre­at­ing mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ences for cus­tomers while also mak­ing mean­ing­ful con­nec­tions with em­ploy­ees.

To Mur­phy, those em­ploy­ees are like fam­ily.

“I don’t care what busi­ness you’re in, it’s all about the peo­ple and how you mo­ti­vate, chal­lenge, ed­u­cate and grow them. I think a lot of times, busi­nesses for­get how im­por­tant it is to con­nect with their staff,” said Mur­phy, who em­ploys more than 800 peo­ple in the sum­mer. “It’s all about the peo­ple and I’ve been very for­tu­nate to sur­round my­self with great peo­ple.”

MITCH MACDONALD/THE GUARDIAN

From left, Rose Tim­mer­man Gitzi, chair of the Cana­dian So­ci­ety of Pro­fes­sional Event Plan­ners (CanSPEP), chats with key­note speaker Kevin Mur­phy and Ann Worth, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor with Meet­ings and Con­ven­tions P.E.I., dur­ing the fi­nal day of the CanSPEP con­fer­ence held in Char­lot­te­town on the week­end. The con­fer­ence brought more than 100 meet­ing and event plan­ners from across Canada to P.E.I.

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