The COVID-19 has shaken our event industry like no other. Canada and the rest of the world have never experienced an outbreak to spread so quickly, causing an international pandemic with widespread stress and anxiety. Our families, friends and loved ones are already facing major financial setbacks and we are uncertain as to when it will end. We can help our industry and event industry professionals stay strong by uniting through sharing.
If you are aware of any websites, links or tips that you would like to share with others, please email them to The GEC and they will be added to this page.
We plead for event industry professionals to stay strong and support one another by signing this petition. Have your say in Canada and the USA. If a petition exists in other parts of the world, please let us know and we will list it here. Check regularly for Industry Resources updates. Or, click here for the World Health Organization’s explanatory video and resources page.
Please note that this page will be updated regularly.
United States of America
BizBash resources page
US Department of Labor Resources
US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Coronavirus resources page
Small Business Grants for Women in the USA
United Kingdom statement and resources
BCCDC Find information about COVID-19, how to protect yourself, your family and your community and what to do if you suspect you have the virus.
Call for businesses Are you a business that can supply products and services in support of Canada’s response to COVID-19?
Canadian Chamber of Commerce With a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions, we are the largest business association in Canada, and the country’s most influential.
Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce advocacy of strong women founders and business owners. It was created to understand what you need to be successful in business, take action and drive change.
Crisis Communications Davies Tanner shares his expertise in crisis communication to empower you to protect your brands and reputations should the unthinkable happen in your business.
EDC Economic Development Canada, for those of you who do business outside of Canada.
Events Council Standard practices to elevate the event industry
Federal Government’s Economic Response Plan Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses
Financial Advice Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy. During this extraordinary time, the Government of Canada is taking strong action to help Canadian business as COVID-19 is affecting them, their employees and their families.
Funding Options The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve around the glove, and here at home. Its repercussions on the economy are all but inevitable, and understandably, this creates uncertainty for Canadian business owners. As Canada’s bank for entrepreneurs, BDC stands ready to provide financing on commercial terms to support companies through to a more stable period.
Here’s What the USA Government is Doing for Businesses, Employees Affected by COVID-19 (San Francisco Business Times)
Learn about EI, Labor Programs and Work Sharing. There is a lot of helpful information for Canadian small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Small Business Support Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy. During this extraordinary time, the Government of Canada is taking strong action to help Canadian businesses as COVID-19 is affecting them, their employees and their families.
Start up Canada Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the Startup Canada team is committed to serving Canadian businesses. We understand the current circumstances are incredibly challenging, and we’d like to offer our solidarity and support however we can.
Tax Deadline Extension Canadians will have one extra month to file their taxes to the Canada Revenue Agency, the National Post has learned. So instead of an April 30 filing deadline for the 2020 tax filing season, Canadians will have until June 1 to submit their income tax return of CRA. The deadline to pay off any outstanding balances interest-free will also be extended, this time to July 31, 2020.
Tips on Keeping Your Event Business Afloat With the coronavirus bringing events to a halt, two CPAs share tips on keeping your business afloat till the storm passes.
Trade Commissioner Service For 125 years, the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) has been helping companies navigate international markets. Our trade commissioners in more than 160 cities worldwide can provide you with key business insights and access to an unbeatable network of international contacts.
Live Updates You can find live updates and information about Canada’s response to COVID-19 here:
Event Industry Support Sites
While most of us are house-bound, it’s a great time to review all of the amazing Associations we have in our industry. Explore, research and compare what works best for you. Maybe it’s even a good time to volunteer on a committee (virtual of course) so that when things are up and running, you have fully developed an entirely new network of event friends and resources. Please let us know if there are any associations missing from the list.
ACCED-I Association of Collegiate Conference and Directors International. This association includes event planning pros who plan events for a university or college. ACCED-I members include over 1,300 campus professionals who design, market, coordinate and plan conferences and special events on the campuses of colleges and universities around the world. ACCED-I has increased the visibility of the collegiate conference and events profession and also hosts an annual conference to bring these planners together.
AEP Academic Event Professional. This organization is good for any event planner who focuses on events that take place at or for educational institutions. Founded over a decade ago, AEP works to support academic event planners both new and established with programs that help professionals further develop their skills in this field. Rather than run regional or local chapters, AEP hosts a yearly conference in January while also maintaining a thriving online community through their newsletter and on LinkedIn. They have other, smaller events (sometimes in collaboration with related programs) that pop up from time to time. Eligibility to attend their annual conference, advice on related events that have been approved by the association, and access to exclusive digital networking opportunities make becoming a member worthwhile.
APA American Planning Association. Although people from other countries are allowed to participate, the association does largely cater to event professionals in the 50 states of America (despite having members in over 100 countries). Their various membership levels focus on students, academics, planners, and commissioners. Helping event planners at every stage of their career. From giving students the tools they need to kick start their life after school to helping established planners navigate every region and discipline of the profession, APA has something for everyone regardless of where they are in their education or in the world. They currently have 47 active chapters within the U.S. Besides the perks we’ve seen from the other prestigious organizations on this list, the APA also offers training workshops and awards.
ASAE American Society of Association Executives. ASAE is a membership organization of more than 46,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,400 organizations. Their members lead, manage, and work in or partner with organizations in more than a dozen association management disciplines, from executive management to finance to technology. In 2020, ASAE is celebrating 100 years of making the world better, safer, and smarter. The centennial anniversary represents ASAE’s role as a leader and supporter of progress and innovation in the association industry.
AWE Association of Women in Events. In 2015, the Association for Women in Events [AWE] started a movement, built by and for our inaugural members and the board of directors. Since inception, their mission has received global support, spanning four continents. AWE aims to be a community and resource aggregator, an organization that is inclusive and welcoming, collaborative and all-encompassing. They created the Women in Events Hall of Fame and co-developed the Events Industry Sexual Harassment Task Force. AWE is a registered 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. This inclusive community empowers, elevates and advocates for all those who identify as women in the events industry, within which they flourish at all levels and in all roles. Membership of AWE is essential for anyone identifying as a woman to achieve professional success within the events industry.
BIZ BASH Biz Bash Founded in 2000, BizBash is the leading trade media for the event industry. BizBash publishes magazines and e-newsletters, hosts Web sites, and produces trade shows, conferences, and award shows for corporate event and meeting professionals, event marketers, and sales, PR, fund-raising, and human resource executives. They are committed to assisting our readers and show attendees uncover ideas, gather resources, find inspiration, enhance their careers, and most importantly, create effective meetings, events, promotions, and other face-to-face opportunities. BizBash.com complements our print magazines by offering the latest event news and information. The site provides users with access to comprehensive, searchable resource directories of thousands of vendors; photos and coverage of past events; archived magazine issues; a job board dedicated to special events-oriented employment opportunities; and BizBash Masterplanner, a subscription-based online calendar of events for the current year and beyond.
CAEM Canadian Association of Exposition Managers. CAEM is the national association of event professions involved in the production, management and planning of trade shows, consumer shows and events. CAEM was founded in 1983 under its former name of Canadian Association of Exposition Managers. In 2000, the membership approved a name change to the Canadian Association of Exposition Management to include all event professionals across Canada. Today, CAEM is made up of individuals and companies involved in organizing events as well as companies providing products and services to these events.
CEMA Corporate Event Marketing Association. This association is perfect for corporate event marketers (at a senior level) looking for a peer-to-peer environment that will help them continue to develop their skills. Building industry relationships that help create a stronger community and raise the level of excellence for corporate event planning across the country. Because the focus is on the community at large, chapters are not defined and instead give way for nationwide opportunities to connect through their traveling events. Enjoy monthly CEMA Study Tours (educational events on the latest market trends and best practices) as well as genuine ways to connect with other professionals both in person and online. They also have an exclusive newsletter, job board, and member directory.
CANSPEP Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners is a powerful, vibrant and growing association of independent event planner entrepreneurs who collectively produce thousands of meetings, conferences, and events across Canada each year.
CONNECT Connect is one of the nation’s fastest-growing media companies specializing in events and destination marketing. Our major interests include meeting business magazines and trade shows, digital programs and solutions, travel guides for newspapers and consumer magazines, and destination information distribution through broadcast and custom programs. Discover for yourself why we are one of the most talked about media companies in the industry, with a solid reputation for delivering ROI to destinations, meeting planners and meeting suppliers. Our marketplace events and conferences, as well as our magazines and websites, were created with this backdrop in mind. Regardless of the experience level of the planners, we want to help them get it right by giving them the training and knowledge they need.
ESPA Event Services Professional Association. This association is good for event service professionals who work at CVBs, hotels, and convention centers in North America and are interested in learning how to better promote destinations as well as facilities. Event planners and other types of service providers who want to network within this niche are also invited to join. Education and networking are the main focus of ESPA’s two-pronged approach for bettering the members of this association and, as a result, the industry as a whole. In lieu of local chapters, ESPA invites the community to their annual conference. The organization also hosts a number of high quality webinars and even have their own Celebrate Services Week, an unofficial festival that shows appreciation for all members in the industry. Besides having a tiered membership fee system, those who join can look forward to year-round educational opportunities, certification eligibility, professional resources updated monthly, and networking opportunities that range from volunteer days to formal mentorships.
GMIC Green Meeting Industry Council. Anyone who considers themselves a champion of sustainability in corporate event planning, regardless of your past experience or credentials would enjoy this association. GMIC aims to help make sustainability practices the norm through education, outreach, and support. Their thesis is that green events will help promote healthier, more conscious communities and improve sales all at the same time. Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, Northern and Southern California, Oregon, Florida, Washington D.C., New York, Mexico, and Europe all boast chapters of the organization. Access to vital research, opportunities for certification and accreditations, information on the latest best practices, formal networking programs, and a communication platform for increasing partnership opportunities can all be yours if you join.
IACC International Association of Conference Centers. Members include venue representatives, event vendors, professional corporate event planners, students or faculty focused on hospitality, and certified management companies. Diversity, collaboration, and creativity are the core values that drive all of their education and networking initiatives that strive to promote better business meeting and event planning practices. No formal chapters are advertised but the group hosts so many events around the world every month that you won’t even miss it. If you join, you’ll have access to global venue listings, access to exclusive events and digital content, entrance to their global competition, and – most importantly – data reports that compare your property’s performance with local competitors.
IAEE International Association of Exhibits and Events. Originally founded in 1928, IAEE now serves as the leader of the global exhibition industry, with the majority of its members being directly involved in all aspects of buyer-seller events. Professional development, industry news, and advocating for better exhibition practices worldwide. They have chapters in 50 different countries. In addition to the other perks already mentioned, members enjoy service partner discounts and advocacy in both government policy-making and general media as well as community gained from local chapter participation.
IAVM International Association of Venue Management As the name implies, IAVM is for venue managers, but not just anyone can join. This organization primarily caters to those who want to be known as leaders in the industry. Through passionate exchanges with members of this global community, venue managers get to energize their careers, have access to new opportunities, and join a group that dedicates itself to continued education in this realm. They have multiple active chapters across the United States, including California, Georgia, Illinois, and Arkansas. There are six different types of membership levels, each with its own perks tailored to where you are in your career.
ICCA International Congress and Convention Association. This association is best for any planner or supplier who primarily deals with large scale, global events. For suppliers, membership is limited to those who have experience with handling, transporting, and accommodating corporate events in almost 100 countries worldwide. Networking, education, and self-promotion opportunities are the driving force behind this association. They have 11 chapters that cover the majority of the world. Suppliers benefit from winning more business, continuing their education, and expanding their network while associations gain access to tailored supplier bids, advice on RFPs, and industry event invitations.
IFEA International Festival and Events Association. This association is a 501(c) 6 not-for-profit organization that is overseen by an independent, international Board of Directors. Globally, we are represented by affiliate regional organizations, each with their own boards and staff representatives. Global regions are then often further broken down by affiliated partners and/or ambassadors in individual regions, countries, states, provinces and territories. IFEA World is supported and advised in its efforts by the IFEA Global Roundtable Council, a body of industry leaders from all parts of the world. The IFEA President & CEO also enjoys the support and advice of the IFEA President’s Council, who represent a broad cross-section of experts from within and outside of our industry.
ILEA International Live Events Association. ILEA is a global association with 51 international chapters. With a membership, you not only extend your network exponentially, but also you get access to invaluable resources. Members get access to the ILEA Career Center, exclusive events, and the chance to enter the ILEA Esprit Awards.
MMB Meetings Mean Business. This association believes that face-to-face interaction is the platform where deals are struck, relationships are forged and ideas are generated. Meetings Mean Business is all about showing the real power of what business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows and exhibitions collectively do for people, businesses and communities.
MPI Meeting Planners International. MPI is the largest meeting and event planning association in the world, with a focus on high-level education and business best practices. There are more than 90 chapters spread across North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. MPI offers different levels of membership, allowing you to customize your involvement based on your time and preference. MPI offers access to an extensive network of professionals. In addition to networking opportunities, MPI also provides relevant educational resources digitally and in-person.
NACE National Association for Catering and Events. This organization offers catering and event professional the chance to network within a local market and meet neighboring peers. NACE is a national industry association with over 40 local chapters. Check out the annual NACE Experience Conference. It’s an incredible chance to take in both innovative education and plenty of networking opportunities with peers.
PCMA Professional Convention Management Association. This association is good for anyone who plans, executes, or partners with conventions for live events. The membership page specifies that you must spend more than “51% of your time in the development, organization and management of meetings, conventions, exhibitions and seminars.” Networking on a global level is the primary function of this organization but they also provide peer-to-peer education as well as an impressive amount of educational resources you can use to obtain additional certifications. There are separate student chapters on campuses all over the USA and Canada, but you can easily find and join one of the 18 nearest professional chapters spread out across North America and Mexico. Online boot camps, exclusive recorded lectures, event ticket discounts, and members-only resources like forums, directories, etc.
SEPA Student Event Planners Association. This association is good for students pursuing higher education in any field related to event planning for both corporate and private events. Forming tomorrow’s leaders in the events industry through passionate engagement, unique career opportunities, and exclusive partnerships that will enhance their academic pursuits. The organization announced in May of 2019 that they would be closing their doors and would no longer act as the overseer for the many existing chapters on college campuses nationwide. However, some groups will still remain active as independent entities. It’s hard to say which opportunities will remain the focus of each remaining chapter’s operation now that the association is closing. However, it is safe to assume that students can expect to see more career-building resources available through these groups in the future.
SITE – The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) is the only Business Events association dedicated exclusively to the global incentive travel industry. Incentive travel, the “I” in MICE, is the fastest growing sector of the Business Events industry with the highest per capita spend and the widest supply chain. Founded in 1973, we are a professional association of 2,500 members located in 90 countries, working in corporations, agencies, airlines, cruise companies and across the entire destination supply chain. SITE brings value to its members both global and local chapter level by networking, online resources, education, certification and advocacy.
WIPA Wedding International Professionals Association. This association was formed to bring together wedding professionals and provide an opportunity for continued education. Wedding planners, officiants, hoteliers — anyone involved in the wedding industry is welcome. There are nine chapters around the country, as well as the option to be an at-large member. You get access to all WIPA meetings, mentoring programs for emerging businesses, up-to-date information about the latest industry news, and a tight-knit community of like-minded individuals.