We live for this – Our first Congress

May 12, 2016
Ashley Craven, Event Planner, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

In the fall of 2015, the Federation took on three new staff members to join its events team: Lindsey DenBoer, Emily Nelms and myself (Ashley Craven). We all come from varying backgrounds within the meetings and events industry, which makes us a dynamic and well-rounded team. In pairing with our Manager of Congress, Terry D’Angelo, and our Registrar, Donna LeLièvre, who has been with the Federation for over 15 years, we have come together to pore over every logistical detail for our 8,000+ expected attendees.

Our “Ideas can..." branding at the Federation couldn’t be a more accurate description of the culture here in our office in Ottawa. Our fresh ideas along with the expertise of the veterans on our team are fusing together to execute the biggest academic conference in Canada. For the three of us, this is our first Congress and we are proud to have worked behind the scenes along with everyone here at the Federation and the team at University of Calgary. We couldn’t be more excited to get on site and see what it’s really like to be at Congress. 

Bart Beaty, the Academic Convenor for Congress 2016, is a self described ‘Congress geek’. Well, the three of us are ‘event geeks’ and the size, scope, impact and energy that is Congress make us heavily nerd out when we dream about our first steps on campus to get this thing going! We are just under two weeks out from packing our bags and jumping on our flights to Calgary and things are getting checked off lists faster than ever. Just this week the Congress Guide went to print, our shipment of supplies got picked up to head to Alberta, contractor schedules are being confirmed, attendees’ Congress tote bags arrived on campus, signage is being finalized, the Expo equipment order has gone out, catering and AV orders are getting their final review and so much more.

Look for me on the floor at Expo finally meeting all the publishers and exhibitors that I’ve been working with for over half a year, or at the back of the Rozsa Centre theatre at Big Thinking every day at lunch. You will find Lindsay in the Information Centre next to registration in the Congress Hub, answering all of your questions and those of your conference organizers or coordinating with our contractors. Emily will be everywhere, you’ll probably see her running from one event to the next with her event kit in tow and her event assistant just trying to keep up. We aren’t the only ones from the Federation on site of course; make sure to stop by our booth (#1) and meet more of our dynamic team, or keep an eye out for our Federation 75th anniversary lanyards on our name badges.

It’s coming together and it is going to be the highlight of our careers so far. What will it be for you?