Meetings + Events

The power of gathering people

room space calculator

Find out how many people will fit in your room or what size room you need for your number of attendees.

Step 1
Choose a Room Layout type:

Step 2
Enter one of the following to determine the other:

Room Size:



NOTE: This is a starting guideline only. Accuracy for your particular event cannot be guaranteed.


Boosting Numbers for Less-attended Events

Meeting planners dig deep into their bag of tricks to build better attendance.

By Michele Sponagle

Everyone loves a glitzy dinner event, or a rousing address from a high-profile keynote speaker. But what to do for those less attractive sessions that don’t have the same appeal to meeting participants? For some meeting planners, this has meant digging deep into their bag of tricks to build better attendance.

For Sarah Watson, manager, meetings and events for the Canadian Mathematical Society in Ottawa, AGMs were more sparsely attended than they should be. It was an important part of the organization’s annual conference and there had to be a quorum present in order to conduct the meeting. Instead of just listing it in the event program, Watson decided to change tactics. She created an invitation that looked like a ticket and made it clear that a complimentary lunch would be served. Her strategy worked. Instead of an expected 40 people, the AGM attracted closer to 100. “Members wanted to use the ticket,” she says. “They now saw the AGM as part of their conference package and wanted to get the full value of what we offered for their fees.”

Moriah Bacus of Define Events in Toronto has found that bolstering attendance for less popular sessions is done effectively through social media: “I show those type of events extra love through Facebook and Twitter, while pulling back on publicizing events where we know we’ll get the adequate numbers.” She establishes a variety of conference hash tags so that messages can be easily found and accessed across all platforms.

Bacus also enlists the help of session presenters. “When you engage with attendees before the session, they’re more likely to show up,” she says. Presenters can crowd-source topics attendees would like to see discussed, or they can poll a potential audience for their opinion on key subjects. It’s a way to encourage engagement well before the event.

Bacus discovered the effectiveness of an “all hands on deck” approach when it comes to social media. “I get all team members—from interns to account executives—to send out messages about upcoming sessions,” she says. You can also get more out of your social media if you learn what time of day traffic peaks. LinkedIn, for example, sees a jump in users early in the morning and late afternoon.

Get the word out
Onsite communications before events are key to driving traffic to sessions. At Ignite’s Business Event Expo, conference participants were invited to bring their lunch or a coffee to education sessions via loud speaker announcements. It did the trick.

The timing for less-attended events is important, too. Some meeting planners have found that scheduling them just before lunch helped boost numbers.

Sarah Lowis, president, Sea to Sky Meeting management in North Vancouver, has one client who makes an offer few participants can refuse. The AGM was not as well attended as it had hoped, so the client was willing to offer food and drink, plus complimentary registration for next year’s conference. It is a tactic that has seen audience numbers jump by 20 per cent since it was first used in 2009.

other articles in this section

Case Study: Testing event restrictions

Making Space

Team Building Now

The Disposable Dilemma

Video Star

Case Study: Virtual Awards Show

Are you virtually covered?

Lights, Camera, Action!

2021 Trend Watch

Flight Forecast

Case Study: A hybrid event for meeting planners

Trading Spaces

Terms of Empowerment

Feeding the Future

Milestone reflections

Virtual Holiday Party Ideas

Case Study: Canadian Event Industry Awards

Stress Busters

Case Study: 100-person virtual mentoring event

The Power of Story

Event spotlight: ConferenceDirect meets at Caesars Forum Las Vegas

By the Numbers: October 2020 Edition

A Whole New [Virtual] World

Level Up

The Time is Now

Grab the Mic, Grow Your Business

Should you give interns a turn?

Up for Interpretation

Balancing Act

Back to Business: Insights from the MTCC

Back to Business: Insights from byPeterandPauls Hospitality Group

Back to Business: Insights from Industry Associations

Hands Off

Must-haves for the New Reality

Back to Business: Insights from White Oaks Resort & Spa

Gotta Get It: Golf Edition

The Art of Communication

Back to Business: Insights from Casa Loma Escape Series

The Ignite Guide to Masks

Parting thoughts

Back to Business: Insights from JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka

The new reality for... Speakers

The new reality for... Caterers

Fight Right

The new reality for... Team Building

Virtual Sponsorship How-To

The new reality for... Hotels

CanSPEP Connext Conference Kit

The new reality for... DMCs

How to turn delegates into social media brand ambassadors

The new reality for… CONVENTION CENTRES

Job Hunting Today

Your Event Contract Questions Answered

The New Reality for… RESORTS

Hack Away

Beyond Talking Heads

Keeping Connected

Be a Part of the Solution

Time Wise

One Big Virtual Reunion

There's No 'i'solation in Team

New Direction in a Time of Need

Financial Smarts

On the Bright Side

Talk to Me

Food Forward

The Value of Employee Sustainability

All the Right Moves

The Real Cost of RFPs

Valuable Video

Meetings Forecast 2020

RFP Writing 101

Epic Flight

Events that Matter

Trade Show Secrets

Taking Good Care

Oh Canada

Canadian Teambuilding

The Dilemma

We’re All in This Together

Trend Update

Vision Quest

Turn Off that Phone!

Get Into WEC 2019

No Place Like Home

Get into the Tourney

Eating Cleaner

Marriott’s Bonvoy Launches

On the Quiet Side

Getting to Know You

Lifelong Learning

Dynamic Icebreakers

New Year, New You

The Next Step

Meeting Trends 2019

Dialled In

MPAHT Signs The Code

Holographic Magic

Light Touches

Screening Room