Event and conference planning start-up checklist
Becoming a successful professional event or conference planner requires specific skills. Arranging for food, entertainment and décor are essential, but there are other factors to consider. Find out how the Event and conference planning start-up checklist can help you.
For general information on business start-up, consult our Business start-up checklist.
- Business start-up checklist
When you're setting up your business, you need to ensure that all of your bases are covered. Consider the following steps as you navigate through the business start-up phase.
Table of Contents
Knowing the event and conference planning industry
It's important to define the type of services you will provide. Do your business interests lie in celebration-style event planning, or do you prefer more corporate or educational events? Use these resources to help develop your knowledge base and increase your expertise.
- Buying a business
Find out what you need to know before buying a business: where to look, how to evaluate potential acquisitions, and what a fair price would be.
Get data that sheds light on population characteristics such as location, age, income, education level, and more.
Learn more about buying a franchise as an option for starting a business.
- Canadian Industry Statistics — Convention and Trade Show Organizers (NAICS 56192)
Access information on the number of establishments, productivity, and company directories for the event planning industry.
- Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners
Develop skills and exchange ideas with experienced event planner entrepreneurs.
- Quebec Association of Convention ProfessionalsOnly Applies to : QuebecFind partners in the event, tourism and convention industry.
Setting up your event and conference planning business
As an event or conference planner you will be coordinating every detail from beginning to end. Your clients will depend on you to have everything in place, on time and within budget. Check these resources to help set up your business.
- Operations planning
Take steps to increase productivity, improve quality, and effectively manage the day-to-day operations of your business.
- Protecting your business
Your company is your greatest investment. Discover safeguard options that will help keep your business secure.
Know the factors that will help you determine the payment you will receive in exchange for your goods or services.
- Finding and managing suppliers
Find suppliers who are ready to meet the many needs of your business.
- Risk management
Identify the risks your business may face and learn to set up an effective risk management program to maximize your chances of success.
- Criminal record checks and security screening
Find out how to obtain a criminal record check to protect your business and your employees, and to increase client confidence.
Complying with event and conference planning regulations
Depending on the type of events you coordinate, you will find that regulations may vary federally, provincially, territorially, and municipally. How you market your event, provide music or supply food may require specific licences or regulations. Access the resources below to learn more.
- Permits and licences
Find the federal, provincial/territorial and municipal permits and licences that you may need to start or manage your business.
- Human resources regulations
It is important to understand your responsibilities as an employer with regards to hiring, labour standards, wages, employment equity, and more.
- Marketing, advertising and sales regulations
Attracting new customers to your business is essential, but you need to follow a few rules.
Find out how to make your business accessible to persons with disabilities.
- Re: Sound Music Licences for Businesses
Find out how to get the right licence(s) if you are playing recorded music for ambiance in your business or at an event.
- International Events and Convention Services Program
You can get help to identify border requirements related to your event in Canada.
- Sales taxes on food and beverages
Find out how sales taxes apply to food service meals in each province and territory.
- Food safety
Access information on food safety, including product recalls, allergies and how-to guides on handling specific safety issues.
- CRA checklist for new small businesses
Use this checklist from the Canada Revenue Agency to help you understand each stage of the lifecycle of your business.
- Planning international events in Canada
As an international event organizer, spectator, or participant, get help from CBSA for border-related requirements.
Hiring and training your employees
Although you do not need specific training to be an event or conference planner, you may have an advantage over your competition if you have a degree or specialized certification. Use this information to create your training plan.
- National Food Safety Training Program
Learn about Food Safety Market's food safety training courses offered across the country.
- Red Seal trades
Find out more about trades that are designated under the Red Seal Program. This program is recognized as an interprovincial standard of excellence.
- Conference and event planners
Find information on job trends and training, as well as relevant statistics.
- Wedding Planners Institute of Canada
Find information on wedding planner certification training, best practices and marketing.
- Hiring security staff for your eventOnly Applies to : OntarioIf you hire security workers for your Ontario event, they need to be licensed by Private Security and Investigative Services.
- Electrical safety at eventsOnly Applies to : OntarioIf you are planning a large event in Ontario that includes electrical equipment, follow these safety tips and find the permits you need.
Whether you are just starting out or are an experienced entrepreneur who's been in business for years, you can never be too informed when it comes to your business.
- Starting a business
Want to be your own boss? Find out how to start a business.
- Business support organizations
Seeking the advice of peers, professional business counsellors and coaches can help you transition from new business owner to experienced entrepreneur.
- Contact the Canada Business Network
The Canada Business Network has centres across the country that offer guidance, information and resources to help make your journey in business a success.
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