Mission possible: The business of event management

By Lorne Collis

CanSPEP is unique in the events industry in that the focus of the organization is not on the management of events, but on the business of event management. Our newly revised mission statement – “The network of professionals providing leadership and education in event management as a business” – was created to better reflect the entrepreneurial nature of CanSPEP’s membership. To this end, programming at CanSPEP’s conference in Ottawa focused on achieving those objectives.
The business of event management“There is a subtle but distinct difference between the event management business and the business of event management,” explains newly appointed CanSPEP President Catherine Paull. “CanSPEP members, as a whole, are not only charged with managing events for their clients, they have the added responsibility of building and managing their own companies.”

Balancing the need for technical expertise with improved business acumen, CanSPEP has offered seminars on everything from pricing, contracts and insurance requirements to compliance with legislative changes on accessibility and TICO licensing.

Along with the new mission statement, CanSPEP also recently announced its new board of directors, confirmed at November’s annual general meeting:

  • Catherine Paull, CMP, (Catherine Paull Meeting Management Inc.) assumes the leadership role as President for 2013-2014;
  • Debbie Arato, CSEP, (Arato Entertainment & Events Inc.) becomes Past President;
  • Phil Ecclestone, CMP, (Golden Planners Inc.) returns as VP Partnerships;
  • Caroline Aston (Aston Events & Communications) becomes Secretary/Treasurer;
  • Lorne Collis (KIT Services) is the new VP Communication;
  • Susan Phillips (SGP Conference and Events Ltd.) moves in as VP Communities;
  • Marilyn Dalzell, CMP, (Dalzell Meetings & Events Inc.) takes over as VP Education;
  • Sharm Simon, CMP, (S & L Solutions) steps up as VP Marketing; and
  • Heather Reid, ARCT, MSc, (Innovative Conferences & Communications) joins the board as VP Membership.

Ottawa hosts annual conference

CanSPEP’s 2014 Conference was held February 20–22, 2014 at Brookstreet Hotel in Ottawa.  Delegates had the opportunity to network and learn while experiencing Ottawa’s unique charm. The conference featured over 18 hours of educational programming on a wide variety of topics. Focusing on growing your business, topics include Success in the Event Management Business, Risk Management and ROI. Technical expertise was enhanced through sessions on social media, event apps and technology and hybrid meetings. Legislative topics included accessibility and anti-spam legislation. Personal growth was the focus of sessions on Leadership, human capital, self-promotion, and succession planning. And, of course, the opportunity to network with suppliers and fellow planners over a three-day period may ultimately lead to new partnerships and collaborations.

Collaboration is what sets CanSPEP apart from any other group or association. Because CanSPEP members are all entrepreneurial small-business owners, their business models are varied and unique.  Some members utilize support staff; others choose to work solo. From generalist to specialist, rookie to veteran, there is one concept they all agree on: The availability of experienced, like-minded colleagues who can act as a resource and provide support is one of the most underrated benefits of CanSPEP membership.

About the author

Lorne Collis is the President of KIT Services, and serves as VP Communication for CanSPEP. For more information on CanSPEP, CanSPEP membership or the CanSPEP conference, visit www.CanSPEP.ca

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