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Overall Excellence Chapter Award



Insider Events – The Institute of Public Administration of Canada

_Insider Experience MPI50

By: Disa-marie Cameron (She/Her) | May 24, 2023

Basic details of the event:

Title: 18th Annual IPAC Leadership Summit
Date: Thursday, March 2, 2023
Country: National, Canada
Host Venue: Virtual Conference Platform, Chime Live

Erin Headshot (1)

Organizing Team:

  • David Fulford, CEO
  • Dianne Bukaka, Office Coordinator
  • Emily Wong, Senior Digital Officer
  • Erin Bellwood, Event Manager

welcome banner ipac ls 2023


SS - Speakers

Keynote Speakers:

  • The Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C., Governor General of Canada, 2010-2017, Chair of the Rideau Hall Foundation
  • Kathleen Monk, Principal Owner, Monk + Associates
  • Leona Alleslev, Executive Leader, Entrepreneur, Former politician & military officer.
  • Martha Hall Findlay, Chief Climate Officer of Suncor Energy
  • Peter MacKay, Strategic Advisor, Deloitte Canada

Specific Event Questions:

SS - Welcome

Who was the target audience?

  • Public servants from all four levels of government (municipal, provincial, federal and indigenous)
  • Academics and students
  • Private sector associated with public administration

What was the main objective of your event?

IPACs National Leadership Conference aims to provide leaders, practitioners, and academics working in public sector environments with the opportunity to connect with leading experts who successfully tackled disruption and change.

What was unique/different about this event for you/your organization?

Our fully virtual event had a focus on leading in a post-pandemic future.  This format provides cost savings for organizers and attendees while offering creative and flexible programming with live Q&A sessions, breakout rooms, and networking opportunities.

LS-SocialMedia01_AMAPCEO HomeAlone

What was the biggest obstacle your committee had to overcome?

One of our committee’s biggest obstacles was finding sponsors for our virtual event.  Many potential sponsors expressed a preference for in-person opportunities to connect with delegates, making it challenging to secure financial support for our virtual format.  To overcome this obstacle, we had to get creative in our approach.

We leveraged digital tools to offer new and unique sponsorship opportunities, such as sponsored breakout rooms, post-event analytics and targeted advertising.  By highlighting the advantages of a virtual format and providing innovative sponsorship opportunities, we secured financial support from various sponsors.

What was your biggest success?

We are thrilled to share that the biggest success of our recent event was achieving the highest attendance in IPAC's history, with over 1600 registrants. This was a significant accomplishment that exceeded our expectations and demonstrated the effectiveness of our virtual format.

We were able to achieve this success through a variety of strategies, including targeted marketing campaigns, engaging and diverse programming and leveraging our networks to reach a wider audience. Additionally, the accessibility and affordability of the virtual format allowed us to connect with a broader range of participants from different locations and backgrounds.

The high attendance not only validated our efforts but also provided significant value to our attendees, sponsors, and the organization.


Did you do anything new or innovative? If so, how did it go?

As event planners, we are always striving to be new and innovative in our approach to creating engaging experiences for our attendees.

  • The Selfie Station was a fun and interactive addition that allowed attendees to take pictures and share them on the platform. It was a unique way to engage attendees and encourage them to share their experiences with others.
  • The Wordly AI integration was a valuable tool that provided seamless translation for both English and French language. This allowed us to reach a wider audience and provide more inclusive and accessible content.
  • We also introduced new content topics that were timely and relevant, including Climate Change, Politics (specifically the Trump era and how to move forward), and navigating the perks and challenges of hybrid work. These sessions provided valuable insights and sparked important conversations among our attendees.

What challenges did you have putting the features together?

Overall, we were thrilled with how the new features were received by our attendees and the value they added to the overall experience. While it's always a team effort to put together a successful event, our established workflow and collaboration with trusted service providers allowed us to overcome any obstacles and deliver a smooth and engaging virtual event.

deloitte georgina

What were some things that you improved on this year over last year?

For our recent event, we implemented several improvements based on prior feedback from attendees to meet their expectations and needs.  We understand the importance of staying ahead of the curve and leveraging the latest advancements to deliver a high-quality and engaging event. 

  • We conducted a thorough analysis of past feedback and survey results to better understand what our delegates wanted and expected from a virtual event.
  • There were “under the hood” upgrades to the virtual platform and Wordly AI. These updates were designed to enhance the overall user experience, making it more seamless and intuitive.
  • As technology continues to evolve and update, we're constantly exploring new ways to improve the virtual experience for our attendees.

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Last words

As event planners, we know that putting together a successful event takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and collaboration. One of the most important things we've learned is the value of relying on our team and delegating when possible.

Another key factor in creating a successful event is really understanding what works for your attendees and what doesn't. This means taking the time to gather feedback, analyze data, and make strategic decisions that meet the needs and expectations of your community. By doing this, you can create a truly engaging and valuable event that leaves attendees feeling satisfied and inspired.

Finally, I want to emphasize the importance of thriving over surviving. In the current climate, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and focused on just getting through the day. But by focusing on growth, creativity, and innovation, we can create something truly special and make a lasting impact.

Darlene _Kelly-Stewart_448x252 

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



Disa Headshot 2023 - WEC23
Disa-marie Cameron (She/Her)
Account Manager at Encore Canada

Hybrid Events Professional, Account Manager, & Tech Goddess!


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