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Insider Events – IPAC 2021 Annual Conference

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By: Elodie Lortal | Oct 6, 2021

Basic details of the event

Title: Institute Of Public Administration Of Canada (IPAC) Annual Conference
Date: August 23rd & 24TH, 2021
City, Country: Canada
Host Venue: Chime Live

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Organizing Team:

  • Erin Bellwood & IPAC National
  • Host Regional Group, National Capital Region

Number of Attendees: Close to 1,000 attendees

Specific Event Questions:

Who was the target audience?
The target audience for the Institute Of Public Administration Of Canada's conference was officials from all orders of government, academics and students (schools, colleges, and universities), community leaders and private sector professionals.

What was the main objective of your event?
The main objective of the event was to hold our annual conference, bringing members together virtually. We did this through education, networking among peers and colleagues, make new connections and update members on pandemic changes to current policies.

What was unique about this particular conference for your organization?
With the conference being hosted virtually, it allowed for it to be the most attended conference for the organization. This allowed for people across Canada & the world to be able to attend the event. We used a virtual separate platform where attendees could virtually network & mingle allowing for more engagement among attendees.


What was the biggest obstacle your team had to overcome?
The biggest challenge for us was coordinating all the sessions and speaker management. We had to consider timing that worked well in the various time zones. We delivered a lot of content and we had to make sure it was featured in the program.  Most sessions were made available in both official languages.

What was your biggest triumph?
Our biggest triumph was pulling off a two-day conference that our members really enjoyed after many virtual events. The bilingual content we delivered was on par with what they needed at the time of the conference. Additionally, it was the first time we did concurrent sessions virtually and it worked well.

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Did you do anything new or innovative? If so, how did it go?
We chose a bilingual platform that was more interactive and flashier than any of the ones we had used previously. We had different features such as a virtual lobby, which was a big hit. Our attendees liked the look and feel of the professional layout of the platform and in turn, spent more hours on it. We invested a little bit more on the platform which turned out to be worth it for our conference. Our members really liked the platform, the layout, the look and the virtual networking aspects.   

What challenges did you have putting the features together?
Challenges presented themselves along the way in the planning process, but one of the biggest was coordinating all the moving parts together. The logistical aspects of organizing speakers, the management of onboarding all the speakers, tech checks and day run-throughs - it was not easy. There was a lot to organize to get all ninety speakers up and running for this conference.

What were some things that you improved on this year over last year?
We had a similar virtual annual conference in 2020 but it did not have as much content and or as many speakers in comparison to this year’s conference. 2021 virtual annual IPAC Conference was bigger and on a larger scale than in 2020. 


Elodie LortalArticle compiled by Elodie LORTAL, CMP, DES | LinkedIn

Article edited by Darlene Kelly-Stewart, Stonehouse Sales & Marketing Services



Elodie Lortal
Elodie Lortal

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