Conference Hosting At UBC Vancouver

An Inside Look at Conference Hosting at UBC Vancouver

Posted By On 9 Nov 2017

Did you know that every summer we host a wide variety of conferences, groups, and events at UBC? Last summer, we hosted nearly 200! These include everything from academic conferences and religious groups to sports groups, corporate groups, and youth programs.

Lisa Kanavaros is a Sales Manager with C&A. Let’s go behind the scenes with Lisa to find out how it all comes together – and why she loves helping her clients make the most of their conference or event.

Lisa’s role as a Sales Manager means she’s one of the first points of contact for potential clients, along with her colleague Callie Service. Lisa works primarily with academic, association-based and corporate clients, while Callie is the point person for clients like sports groups, youth programs, and religious groups.

“Sometimes we’re starting the conversation with clients as early as nine to ten years out, sometimes just one or two. For some of the big academic or international conferences, the process really is years in the making.” – Lisa Kanavaros, Sales ManagerOne of the things that Lisa loves most about her job is the diversity of clients and, specific to her academic clients, getting to learn about amazing research that has a big impact in our world—everything from medical innovations to cultural research to advances in geophysics.

Some of the notable conferences that took place last summer include:

  • NAISA 2017, a major conference for the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, which brought roughly 900 delegates to campus in late-June.
  • ICHAC 2017, the 12th International Conference of Heteroatom Chemistry, which brought roughly 150 delegates to UBC in early-June.
  • CGU 2017, a joint annual scientific meeting for the Canadian Geophysical Union and Canadian Society of Agricultural and Forest Meteorology in late-May.

One particularly interesting conference that Lisa is working on for July 2018 is the World Sanskrit Conference with Dr. Adheesh Sathaye, from UBC’s Asian Studies department. This conference is the premier international forum for academic researchers and educators of Sanskrit language, literature, history, religion, and culture.

A few of the non-academic groups that C&A hosted last summer include:

“Colleagues from around the world who attended the conference commented on the smooth running of the event, and the friendly and helpful treatment they received while here.” — Mona Gleason, Professor & Chair, Children & Youth Conference 2015

Conference Services

Each group needs different levels of support during a conference. C&A provides a basic package of conference services, including coordinating bookings for meeting space, classrooms, and social events. We are also able to provide, if needed, customized services that include everything from conference websites to delegate registration to payment management and off-campus venue bookings.

“It’s our job to make sure that everything is easy for the client, that they get to enjoy their conference and relax.” – Lisa Kanavaros, Sales Manager


Where do conference guests stay? They stay right here on campus! C&A’s accommodations not only include the West Coast Suites, during the summer we provide accommodation for conference and group guests in Walter Gage, Ponderosa Commons, Orchard Commons, and Totem Park residences. Plus, we accommodate guests in the Pacific Spirit Hostel at Place Vanier.

Our accommodations provide an economical alternative to downtown-Vancouver hotels. (Our rates are often less than 50% the cost of downtown Vancouver accommodation.) Yet, our accommodations are just a short trip to downtown ­– and the airport – by car, taxi, or transit.


Of course, at the heart of every conference is the food. C&A is proud to be partnered with Scholar’s Catering, UBC’s catering company. Scholar’s Catering specializes in full-service event and delivery catering, including everything from fine dining, buffets, receptions, and barbeques to casual meeting fare. We work directly with Scholar’s, and they can custom-design a menu to suit your guests and your budget.

“Having the IVNC on campus was a great experience. The attendees seemed to really enjoy the accommodations, conference venue and beautiful surroundings. The UBC Conferences and Accommodation staff were extremely helpful and supportive…. [They] were truly instrumental in making the conference a great success and never hesitated in helping me with whatever I needed. Thank you so much!” — Dr. Alireza Nojeh, 2016 International Vacuum Nanoelectronics Conference (IVNC)

Want to learn more?

Visit ubcconferences.com for more about we can help you host an unforgettable conference, group, or event at UBC.