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:

sq.ft.

Capacity:

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

look_for_new_issue

Back to Business: Insights from Industry Associations

Industry Associations

by Laura Bickle

Each week we are spotlighting how venues, planners, hotels and suppliers are reopening and re-imagining their businesses.

We spoke to several Canadian meeting and event industry associations on how they are supporting their members in the transition to our new reality.

 

Canadian Association of Exposition Management (CAEM)

Our national association has collectively responded to how COVID-19 has affected our industry by forming the Exposition Recovery Taskforce.  This group of industry leaders from across Canada has helped guide and shape an industry response to government and public health.  The response has included the development of the Exhibition Industry – Safe Reopening Guidelines document, with professional oversight from Infection Prevention and Control Canada. The guidelines have facilitated a number of meetings with MPPs, Departments of Economic Development, Work Place Safety groups and Public Health Officials. 

Our entire sector has had to rethink how our exhibitions would go forward.  The adjustments are reflected in the reopening guidelines, which are available here.

 

Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners (CanSPEP)

Spokesperson: Sue Mercer, vice-president marketing

An unanticipated benefit of the pandemic is that our virtual networking has brought members closer together—they are more connected to each other nationally than ever before.

We continue to react as quickly as possible to the changing educational needs of our members as well as proactively plan for the future. This includes weekly/monthly Lemonade Stand Webiner Sessions and the upcoming launch of CanSPEP U, incorporating 2 mandates:

TEACH A COURSE: Providing members with the opportunity to share their expertise, AND earn revenue.

TAKE A COURSE: Members (and industry) have the opportunity to learn from other members’ expertise.

Our new website launched on May 1, 2020 gives members an opportunity to identify in their member profile if they are open to collaborating with other members and our Members-Only Facebook Group continues to provide a private platform to ask questions, share knowledge, etc.

 

Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)

Spokesperson: Nancy Tudorache, regional vice-president, Canada

GBTA has always been about protecting and building the business travel industry, representing both the corporate buyers and suppliers. The pandemic has highlighted the need for an association to represent the suppliers and buyers, lobby government on their behalf and offer support.

We have run bi-weekly GBTA Canada, industry-wide town hall calls, featuring highlights on GBTA’s efforts, tools and resources to help support our industry through this crisis.

We hold bi-weekly, regional direct talk calls with Canadian travel buyers only, to understand their evolving situation as it relates to business travel within their respective companies, and how and when they will begin to prepare for travel recovery.

We have also ramped up communications with Canadian Government departments of: Global Affairs Canada, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Canadian Transportation Security Authority (CATSA), and created resource documents and relevant links.

We have partnered with key Canadian travel industry sector stakeholder groups, for increased sharing of information and coordinated efforts in helping to rebuild Canadian confidence in the travel ecosystem, for return-to-travel planning efforts. 

 

International Live Events Association (ILEA) Edmonton Chapter

Spokesperson: Nela Kovacovic, M.A., CSEP, CMP, chapter president

It is during crises like this one when you need your peers the most. We are very grateful for the community we built, not only on our regional level, but also internationally, with a number of resources helping event professionals and supporting each other.

We were able to host our June members’ appreciation event as a drive-in hybrid event. We had to have all permits and safety measures in place. We invited guests in their cars to a parking lot with a big LED screen. Some of the event elements were executed onsite and some of them were done virtually in the studio. All the guests were in their cars, listening through their FM radio. Our partner, FMAV, helped us deliver this complex hybrid event in a very professional way, showcasing that we can still host “in-person” events—we just have to be more creative and precautious with health and safety measures in place.

 

International Live Events Association (ILEA) Toronto Chapter

Spokesperson: Kimberley Beaune, CSEP, CMP, chapter president

We know that with so much uncertainty in our industry, investing in a membership is a big ask, so for everyone who has made that financial investment, we are thankful, and will do our best to demonstrate value and our appreciation for that investment.

For those that can't commit at the moment, we still want them to be part of our ILEA community. ILEA HQ has been putting out amazing content on the ILEA Hub COVID-19 Resources and the Real Talk Real Time conversations that ILEA Chapters across Canada collaborated on.  The Canadian Chapters have created robust facebook groups (#yvreventprofs , #yyceventprofs & #yyzeventprofs ) that are open to the industry. We have been leading a weekly Wine On Wednesdays Virtual Meet Up on #yyzeventprofs since April. This content was available to members and non-members alike because we are passionate about supporting the live events industry. We will continue to provide education, networking, information and resources to the industry at large and help friends and colleagues to navigate the future.


Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Ottawa Chapter

Spokespeople: Disa-marie Cameron, vice-president, communications and Erin Bellwood, director, marketing

Along with a sense of connection, we also wanted to provide our members with relevant and timely education. We reacted by expanding our virtual education offerings and adding an additional event to our calendar with a quick turnaround time. The pricing structure was revised in order to ensure this education was more accessible during this difficult time in the industry. 

As of April 1, we have been hosting a weekly complimentary #CoffeeTalk series. This avenue offers a great way to deal with the coronavirus physical distancing measures that are currently causing so many industry professionals to feel socially isolated. All members are invited to participate in an informal Zoom meeting to share their experiences and evolving practices. The purpose has been to engage with each other and, if nothing else, give a break from self isolation to see friendly familiar faces. We have been engaging with our 2019-2020 sponsors for hosting and they have been providing content relevant to the industry climate that is rapidly changing from week to week.

Our #CoffeeTalk series, moderated by us, has seen attendance grow from 16 members in week one to a solid 40 to 60 members turning out from week to week. If members show up with their true self and a willingness to contribute, they will leave with a sense of community and hope for a strong, albeit different, outlook for our industry. Our summer program featured bi-weekly calls and ramps up again for the fall.

 

Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Canada East

Spokesperson: Anita Carlyle, director of education

Our mandate of local senior education and networking has not changed, but our focus has shifted when it comes to our education sessions to ensure they are relevant in today’s environment. 

We have also made our virtual sessions complimentary to help everyone participate and to help member retention.

During our last monthly session, we launched a special Showcare platform that will remain active. If you register for our sessions you can continue to connect with other participants and share your knowledge, question and concerns or re-watch past sessions.

Our last session was on how to safely return to meetings—incorporating air, hotel, AV, transportation and tours.  We invited our members to share their safety and protocol documents. It is a great resource for all our new and prospective members that we will build on in coming months.

 

Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) Canada

Spokesperson: Gabrielle Spanton, president

Our board is finalizing the calendar of events for the balance of 2020. We are excited by the lineup of speakers and education. Liz Holtby, director SITE Canada Education Day, has assembled an awesome team of volunteers who are creating an outstanding virtual Education Day October 28.  Save the date, registration will open soon.

Our members seem to really enjoy our casual Zoom conversations. These are great for networking as each session provides a topic that enables free flowing dialogue. We will continue offering these and look forward to members participation.

Although we have adjusted to current state by developing a virtual platform of events, we will continue to advocate the power and value of live face to face incentive programs and meetings and events. We enthusiastically look forward to when we can all meet in person again.

SITE Canada is in the midst of working towards its Sustainability Certification. Our board is learning a great deal on how we may continue to support sustainability in spite of the challenges COVID-19 has created.

 

Editor’s note: These quotes are excerpted from a larger story to be published in the Fall issue of Ignite.

 

other articles in this section

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

Attendee Survival Guide

Oh Canada!

Supporting Roles

Breaking Down the Barriers

Tour Guides

Happiness Matters

Deals on Meals

You need a ‘Workation’

Pop-Up Events

Green Event Trends

Risky Business

Tee Time!

On the Quiet Side

The Next Generation

First Aid Facts

How to Get your Productivity back