February 25-27, 2020

Tues Feb 25        Wed Feb 26       Thur Feb 27       Welcome Reception       Host Reception

Thur Feb 27 - Day #3 Event Schedule

Thur Feb 27 - 10:15 am - 11:15 am

Don't miss the boat! How to enhance your event with experiential marketing & sponsor activations.

Are you finding it difficult to get partners on board for large cash sponsorships? Are you not hearing back from your sponsor pitches? You might be missing out on great experiential marketing opportunities for your festival or event. Companies are becoming less interested in logo benefits at events and more interested in interacting directly with your audience on site. Your festival has tremendous value for companies and it might be in unique ways you've never thought of before. *Please note this is a presentation directed to smaller events, those new to the events industry, coordinators and junior level sponsorship positions. 

Three KEY Learning Outcomes:

1. Learn about what experiential marketing is and how it can add value to your event (budget-related, programming related & more)
2. Learn how to enhance the visitor experience at your event using XM (experiential marketing) activations 
3. Gain an understanding of what sponsor activation ratio is and how you can help increase your on-site programming for less

Location: RICHMOND B
Victoria Syme

Harmony Marketing
Thur Feb 27 - 10:15 am - 11:15 am

Beyond Borders: Festival innovation that drives in more audiences and brings in more support

Festivals must innovate to remain relevant and continue to draw audiences.  SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival has expanded not only in length (from three days to 10 days) but also beyond the standard music festival model to innovate and inspire through unique programming that reaches into disparate communities, both general and music.

Key pillars are:

a) Innovation across communities:  reaching out to people who are adjacent or part of a larger context to your initial style.  SING! began with presenting contemporary a cappella but has expanded to include barbershop, jazz, world music, classical music, and live looping. 

b) Innovation across disciplines:  producing program that pairs music with other art forms, including dance, film, visual arts, and technology

c) Innovation across borders:  reaching beyond the core community (SING! Toronto Festival in Toronto) to partner with international festivals in the UK and Italy, as well as produce festivals under the SING! brand in Nanaimo (BC), Edinburgh (Scotland), Mexico, and four cities in Texas, creating opportunities for Canadian artists to be showcased nationally and internationally.

Through this type of innovation, festivals can expand their audience base and attract a broader spectrum of sponsors and donors.

Three KEY Learning Outcomes:

1. Manageable and simple strategies for expansion that do not require significant investment

2.  Understanding and motivating festival artists to be partners in the festival growth and expansion

3.  Ideas for expansion beyond borders

Location: RICHMOND D
John-Michael Erlendson

SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival
Patti Jannetta
SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival
Thur Feb 27 - 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Faster, Higher, Stronger - Becoming a Digital Olympian

Do you want your work to be faster, higher, and stronger? Are you looking for apps, tools, tactics, and resources to take home with you and implement right after the conference? Are you wondering how digital technology fits into your organization as you scale and grow? In this session, you will learn about resources that are accessible and affordable for organizations of all sizes that will help you go faster and more efficiently, raise higher revenues, and build stronger relationships!

Three KEY Learning Outcomes:

1. Ways to think about digital effectiveness in organizations
2. Tools and tactics to help organizations be more effective
3. How to weave digital into long term strategy

Location: RICHMOND A
Jason Shim

Pathways to Education Canada
Thur Feb 27 - 10:15 am - 11:15 am

Maximize Festival’s success, Elevate Customer experience, Technovation:

What if you knew all your customers by their names and preferences? What if they knew that you knew all about them and reached out to them at that level? How would this impact your Festivals?

In this interactive session, you will see how we can create the ideal customer experience using the information available, Learn what it means to incorporate technology with database management, to impact your festival bottom line by 25%. In today competitive market & the number of festivals that are incredibly increasing Database management is the KEY or more specific THE SECRET RECEIPE of every Festival that seeks to leverage technology & maximize customers satisfaction. With the tech world growing in leaps and bounds, there is no limit to the endless opportunities that we can mine and explore in this realm. Every Festival is investing into this – it’s your turn now to step up your game


Three KEY Learning Outcomes:

1. Ensure a resiliency mindset and scale your future at a time of rapid changes in technological within festivals? 

2. How to take your marketing budget wisely to a whole new level?

3. Gain 10 new skills to ensure 75% of your customers are coming back

Location: RICHMOND C


Thur Feb 27 - 10:15 am - 11:15 am

Innovative Ways of Attracting and Retaining Multicultural and International Visitors 

Increasing visits of multicultural and international tourists are offering significant business opportunities for Ontario’s Festivals and Events, as well as challenges for the front-line service providers. They are faced with questions such as how to create a welcoming atmosphere and comfort level for these visitors; how to make a lasting impression; and how to build loyalty to capture repeat visits. It is important for FEO members to be prepared, to know not only how to attract but also retain multicultural and international visitors.


Conducted by a cross-cultural business specialist and an avid international traveler, this engaging workshop provides essential information and valuable tools to help FEO members.  During the concurrent session, the participants will have opportunities to discuss innovative and practical ways to effectively work with multicultural and international visitors. 

Three KEY Learning Outcomes:

1. Participants will create a welcoming atmosphere and make multicultural visitors comfortable.

2. Reduce instances of misunderstanding and faux pas.

3. Become more confident and prepared to serve multicultural and international visitors.

Location: RICHMOND A
Kathy Jia-Jones

Cross-Cultural Biz
Thur Feb 27 - 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Digitizing Your Event

Location: Richmond C
Thur Feb 27 - 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Let’s Talk Marketing, With Destination Ontario

Learn about Destination Ontario and the work they do to promote festivals and events across Ontario. Also, hear about some of their learnings and tips for marketing your festival or event. The session will include a presentation and plenty of time for Q&A. 

Three KEY Learning Outcomes:

1. Become familiar with the work of Destination Ontario, the provincial tourism marketing agency of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries (MHSTCI)
2. Learn how to leverage Destination Ontario’s assets to promote your destination, festival or event; and 
3. Learn key tips from Destination Ontario on how to market your destination, festival or event.

Location: Richmond D
Thur Feb 27 - 7:30 am - 6:30 pm 

Conference Registration Open

LOCATION - Grand York Foyer
Thur Feb 27 - 8:00 am - 9:00 am 

Delegate Breakfast and Annual General Meeting (AGM)


Going Carbon-Neutral?  Well, Get Going!

You know why you should be carbon-neutral, but do you know where to begin?  What are the costs to the environment to produce your festival or event?  What data do you already have?  What data do you need to gather?  In this session, we will look at green initiatives that will reduce your emissions, strategies, and timelines for measuring your footprint, what exactly you need to measure and how, and what you will do once you know your carbon output. 

Three KEY Learning Outcomes:

1. What green initiatives have the greatest impact on CO2 emissions?
2. How do you evaluate, measure, and verify your CO2 outputs and savings?
3. What do you need to put in place now to ensure you are ready in 2020 to do the work?

Marie Zimmerman

Hillside Community Festival
Thur Feb 27 - 9:00 am - 10:00 am


Thur Feb 27 - 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Elevating Your Weekly Events Into Destinations

Learn from two small, rural communities that have transformed weekly events in their downtown areas, into destinations. By maximizing funding and
partnerships, the downtown areas in Fergus and Elora, as well as Stayner and Creemore, are activated for eight weeks or longer with similar goals, including
creating a destination, increasing weekly visitors, boosting visitor spending, providing cultural entertainment, and supporting local vendors and businesses.

Three KEY Learning Outcomes:

1. Be able to maximize funding and community partnerships
2. Generate new ideas to elevate weekly events, including strategies for repeat visitors, marketing and expanding volunteer/partnership opportunities
3. Creating additional revenue and awareness for downtown cores

Location: RICHMOND B
Amanda Murray

Township of Clearview
Deb Dalziel
Township of Centre Wellington

At Digiteau AVX Event Solutions, we are all about the latest in tech ideas, digital discoveries and innovative conversations! The event planning community is inspiring, dynamic, and always ready for innovation. This workshop is dedicated to highlighting the evolution in event planning by exploring the various benefits to digitizing key elements to your event. From ideation to execution, and engagement to evaluation, each and every detail that goes into planning an event is critical to its success. By introducing digital technologies to your event, you are able to introduce a 360 approach to the efficiency and ROI of your event. This engaging and interactive session will explore areas such as: What’s new in the event space? What are the benefits? How do we get started? How do we measure success?

Three KEY Learning Outcomes:

1. Benefits to leveraging Digital Technologies at your event.

2. Maximizing traffic, audience engagement and interaction to meet objectives.

3. Selecting the right technologies and corresponding content to meet your ROI.

Tala Kassar

Digiteau AVX Event Solutions Ltd.
Hany Mikhael

Kathy Marcelline
Destination Ontario
Lauchlan Rogers
Destination Ontario 
Thur Feb 27 - 2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

Surviving Innovation: How to Prepare For It (and maybe even enjoy it)

Does the thought of innovation excite you? Or does the word cause you to break out in a cold sweat? Regardless of how you feel about bringing innovation into your events, we'll be exploring why those feelings are so valid and how we can best prepare for adopting innovation into our events and festivals.

Three KEY Learning Outcomes:

1. What's the big deal? Reasons your team is afraid of innovation
2. Is it really worth it? Reasons you should give innovation a chance
3. Innovation Survival Guide: Tips and strategies for adopting innovation and not crying your way through it

Location: RICHMOND A
Liam Squires

Tandem Park
Thur Feb 27 - 12:30 pm - 2:15 pm 

Lunch and Plenary Session

FEO Board of Directors Round Table Discusssion

Thur Feb 27 - 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

Tourism Matters in Ontario

The tourism industry is big business in Ontario and contributes over $34 Billion in economic activity and supports approximately 390,500 jobs.


As the voice of tourism in Ontario, the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) has led many innovative initiatives while raising the profile and economic importance of the tourism and hospitality industry with governments, media and the public.


You will hear how TIAO has been instrumental in leading important industry discussions on key issues that shape Ontario communities including the Municipal Accommodation Tax,  Housing and Labour Shortages, Conservation Authority Act, Immigration Policies and Transportation Initiatives.


Tourism is important to Ontario.  TIAO is helping communities understand the role of tourism, appreciate it’s value, and grow sustainable economies.   

Location: RICHMOND B
Thur Feb 27 - 2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

Festival Producers Guide to Frontline Safety

Location: RICHMOND C
Rick Traer

Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance
Beth Potter

Tourism Association of Ontario (TIAO)
Thur Feb 27 - 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm 

Awards Gala Reception

Thur Feb 27 - 7:00 pm - 10:30 pm 

Awards Gala Dinner and Silent Auction

Thur Feb 27 - 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Securing Sponsor Renewals and Future Sponsorships - It's All in the Data!

Location: RICHMOND D
Thur Feb 27 - 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm 

Delegate Free Time

Thur Feb 27 - 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Vehicle Intrusion Solutions

Public safety to protect people and assets from vehicle intrusions Three Expected Learning Outcomes: Assessment and consideration surrounding Vehicle Mitigation​

Three KEY Learning Outcomes:

1)    Mitigation Strategies
2)    Using technology to improve perimeter safety
3)   Mobilization and Installation of temporary Perimeter solutions

Location: RICHMOND B
Thur Feb 27 - 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

FEST PRO: Quantifying the Economic Impact of Your Festival

Are you interested in assessing the economic impact of your festival on your community? FEST Pro has been developed specifically for use in the festivals and special events industry and is available to FEO members at preferred rates. 

Three KEY Learning Outcomes:

1. Why conduct an economic impact assessment of your festival?
2.  Understanding the required inputs & elements of the data collection process.
3.  How to interpret and communicate El results.

Location: RICHMOND C
Thur Feb 27 - 2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

Municipalities & Government Agency Roundtable Discussions

This session is for municipal and government agency employees responsible for planning, supporting and/or working with stakeholders in the delivery of festivals and events in your community.  Join your peers in an opportunity to share and learn from one another in this facilitated networking session.

This session will provide a forum to discuss best practices, challenges and trends specific to a government environment related to Administration, Risk Management, Policy, Engaging Community and Programming.  Further, the session will provide an opportunity to give FEO insight on research and needs to consider in the next three-year strategic plan.  Please come prepared to share your best case studies, worst challenges, potential threats and opportunities where FEO can be of help!

Location: RICHMOND D


Thur Feb 27 - 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

The Changing Face of Canada

Location: RICHMOND A

The face of Canada is changing and has transformed the face of events. Foregin-born Canadians are 20% of the population - an audience the size of Quebec. An additional 320,000 immigrants plus 570,000 international students arrive yearly. It's demographic tsunami. Festivals need to understand this demographic shift to properly program and market to attract this audience. 

Three KEY Learning Outcomes:

1)    Understanding the demographic tsunami that is changing the face of Canada and Festivals
2)    Understanding how to market to Canada's multicultural communities.
3)    Understanding how to program for Canada's multicultural communities

Howard Lichtman
Ethnicity Matters

As Festivals and Events Ontario draws to a close on our most recent 5-year strategic plan, Members of the Board and our CEO Dave MacNeil will open up the floor for questions and input as to what FEO should be looking at when putting together a strategic plan for the next 5 years. 

We look forward to hearing feedback from our members and will make sure the feedback shared during this session gets used as part of the decision-making process when putting together the plans and vision for the future.

We want to make sure the direction of the organization reflects your thoughts and opinions and we hope to have lots of participation.

Thur Feb 27 - 10:30 pm - 1:00 am 

Hospitality Suite

Location: MARKHAM A & B
Presented by:


At the conclusion of the events on the final day of the FEO "INNOVATE" Conference, our friends at Dispatch Talent invite you to run-away and join the Circus at the "Under the Little Big Top Hospitality Suite".

Step right up to a celebration of the Circus. Be amazed by live strolling Circus Performers.  Snack on popcorn and Circus Carnival treats, enjoy cold beverages, get your face painted or your caricature done or better yet... come dressed as a clown or your favourite circus performer. (acrobat, lion tamer, psychic, strong man or maybe the bearded lady??)


Come one and come all to a night Under The Little Big Top hosted by your Ringmaster Brant Matthews from Dispatch Talent . We'll see you there.

Rick Traer

Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance

In the world of event planning and management, risk is everywhere and with so many variables and moving pieces, it’s hard to see where all of your vulnerabilities lie. Kevin specializes in predicting, managing and reigning in the unpredictable risks that can unfold in an instant in the event field. From small scale soccer games to specialty off-the-grid events and all the way up to renowned multi-day music festivals with tens of thousands of spectators, he and his team have tackled it all.

Three KEY Learning Outcomes:

1. Risk management matrix: a systematic look at risk through various lenses
2. Ability to understand a variety of practical solutions to event risk management
3. Understanding the role of the Event Safety Officer

Kevin Jones

Odyssey Medical Inc.
Kevin Torrie
Safeguard Perimeter Solutions

You've got the sponsorship, what are you doing/can be doing to prove their sponsorship with you was a good investment? Using data and agreed-upon metrics you can provide proof of ROI to your partners and truly support your decision-makers. Let's explore what you can successfully do at varying budget investments and how you can utilize the information for future sponsorship sales.

Three KEY Learning Outcomes:

1. Identifying how your sponsors will measure success and how you can deliver on it.

2. Establishing the tactics you can use to capture audience data.

3. Turning the data you have into a story about your audience.

Brad McCabe

Sponsor Circle
Sarah Wood

Niagara Parks Commission






Presented by: