When you’re an event planner in Canada, inspiration is everywhere: beautiful national parks, vibrant cities, diverse cultures… and the hockey schedule that always keeps you on your toes.
But as much as you love this country, cultural norms can introduce challenges that sometimes make you want to throw your event calendar out the window.
Here are five challenges that all Canadian event creators have had to face — sometimes more than once.
1. Dodgy weather complicating your event logistics
Canadian weather is notoriously unpredictable. Freezing cold one day, sunny the next. You can never know if your summer bash will turn into a pool party… or a polar plunge.
Sure, Canadians are a tough bunch who will wear shorts in the snow. But sometimes, regular rough-weather prep isn’t enough. When “Raincouver” really lives up to its name, you need emergency tarps, umbrella bags, and someone watching out to make sure the doorway doesn’t turn into a slip-n-slide.
The weather really hit an extreme? Here’s how to know if you should cancel or postpone your event.
2. Planning around the hockey schedule
Unless you want your attendance rate to be dismal, don’t plan — we repeat, do not plan — an event during an NHL game. And if you want to set a record for low attendance, schedule it for a game day when the Canucks are having a good season (if they ever make it to the playoffs again!).
3. Non-Canadians joking about your spellings or accent
Yes, you typed “travelling.” Yes, you typed “centre.” Yes, we are travelling to the centre to meet you. Let’s get back to making sure this festival has a lineup, eh? (Let’s not even get into how many times someone has pointed it out when you said “eh.”)
4. Not being able to find a Tim Horton’s…when you really need it
Yes, there’s one on every street corner in Toronto. Americans may say the same about Starbucks, but at this point, you wouldn’t be surprised to find a Tim’s set up in your hall closet.
Even so, you know how it goes: long morning, dirty hair, ink-stained fingers, laptop at 5% battery — and there’s no Tim’s in sight. You could have sworn you saw three of them on this street just the other day…
5. The “BC Bail”
Bad weather, need a chill night in, you name it — Vancouverites have bailed on your events with every excuse in the book. With so many options for awesome events, it’s not just laziness that costs you potential attendees — it’s fierce competition.
But you get it. Canada isn’t only a great place to plan events, it’s a great place to go to them. It might annoy you to the ends of the earth when the loss is yours, but hey — you, too, have committed to multiple events on the same day, only to make your final decision at the last possible minute.
Keep yourself on task — despite the hiccups
One of these struggles getting you down? Make sure you are prepared to push past the ups-and-downs of the events industry with this productivity guide.