Not going to lie, the Canadian Points University this year at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver, BC was one of the best events I have ever had the privilege to participate in. From the Happy Hour the night prior to the event at Sheraton’s Bar One lounge (an amazing turnout by the way), to the private after party at the Hyatt Regency suite, the synergy between all the attendees was unbelievable!
It was a fun and educational conference full of very knowledgeable speakers. Guests from all across Canada travelled far and wide to learn more about the points game and meeting like-minded pointshoggers they never thought would be as nerd about the points game as they are. There were people flying in (on reward points no doubt!) from the Atlantic region, Quebec/Ontario, the prairies, Vancouver Island, locals of metro Vancouver, not to mention a few from the States. We finally got to meet our friends and fellow speakers from the miles and points community in person for the first time, including Jeff from Canadian Kilometers, Ari of Award Magic, Allen from Travel with Chao, Ricky from Daddy Bloggers, Forrest Lin and Jeffery O’Neill, Brian from Kiip, and last but not least, Boris and Jason, the founders of Canadian PointsU!
There were also some very special guests who came to the event, such as representatives from Aimia (Aeroplan) and AMEX, Stephen from HowtoSaveMoney.ca, Matt from A Whistle & A Light, Jean-Maximilien from milesOpedia, and Paul from Tangoo, who helped sponsor the happy hour appetizers for the event.
At the beginning of the event, PointsU ran a contest for Top Twitter Engagement (#pointsuYVR) and the prize was a free night stay at the Fairmount at anywhere in the world plus free miles from Aimia/Aeroplan who generously contributed to getting there (wherever there is)! Tweets were flying everywhere of course!
Opening the conference there was Brian from Kiip (with his long list of achievements to fill a page on 10pt font) to teach us that “Rewards should not define behaviour, but behaviour should define rewards”, followed by yours truly to make an introduction for Pointshogger, and Matt to present on an overview of credit cards and credit scores. Ricky of Daddy Blogger opened our eyes to how influential marketing and branding for blogging can be, and Ari of Award Magic playfully engaged his audience on maximizing AMEX membership rewards. Allen from Travel with Chao gave a talk on RBC Avion and British Airways Avios with his whimsy personal stories in maximizing them, and Boris spoke about his inside tricks to achieve elite status and how to maintaining it. Jeff of Canadian Kilometers gave a mind-blowing presentation on his tricks to travel the world on a budget (how he came up with his ideas which we shall never speak of outside the conference still baffles me as I am writing this post), followed by Forrest and Jeffery who gave an interesting perspective on travelling for cheap via a flight platform. The conference closed with a panel discussion with all presenters where the audience got a chance to ask any other burning questions they have before the event is finally over… but was it REALLY over? *winks*
The fun stuff probably started during happy hour and after-party at the Hyatt suite where guests can chill with the speakers one on one for private tips and tricks! Hush hush 😉
It’s too much to post every photo on this post, so check out our photos we’ve taken on our Facebook page! There may or may not be a video to follow 😉
Truly Amazing: Final Thought
This conference gave me a glimpse of just how many passionate miles and points enthusiasts are out there all over Canada. The founders undoubtedly did an amazing job gathering everyone in one place to encourage this incredibly close-knitted community. What went on at PointsU stays at PointsU. The connections and friendships built over the past weekend were incredible… you really had to be there to soak up the excitements and bonds that were formed as a result of this one event. I guess the one takeaway from this weekend (aside from the million tips shared on travel hacking) is: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
If you did not get a chance to make it to Canadian PointsU this time around, we really hope to see you and the rest of our Pointshogger fans out there at the next one in Toronto! Keep posted on #PointsuYYZ and www.pointsu.ca!