Conference Assistant

Organization NameJob CategoriesPosition TypeRegion and Location(s)Career LevelSalaryAd Online SinceApplication Deadline
The Canadian Association of General Surgeons
  • Event Coordination
Contract - Full Time
  • Ontario - Ottawa Area - Ottawa
Entry Level$40,000 - 47,5002019-12-032019-12-13


The Canadian Association of General Surgeons (CAGS) is the national association representing the interests of General Surgeons Across Canada. We serve over 2200 members throughout all phases of their professional career including residency and transition into practice, fellowship training, general practice and transition into retirement. The Canadian Surgery Forum is the annual professional development conference for CAGS members and our sub-specialist partner societies.

The Conference Assistant is responsible for assisting in the planning and execution of the Canadian Surgery Forum (CSF). The Canadian Surgery Forum is the largest surgical meeting in Canada with upwards of 1000 delegates comprised of members, exhibitors and sponsors.


  • Communicate as requested with various meeting/conference suppliers - hotels, conference centre, a/v supplier, décor companies, signage companies, swag companies etc.;
  • Distribute, gather and record in the detailed function grid the logistic requirements for the conference and conjoint meetings/events (space needs, food and beverage, a/v);
  • Communicate meeting requirements (menus, AV and conference policies) to those organizing events and meetings at the conference;
  • Recruit, schedule and manage volunteers for the conference including communications and on-site management;
  • Work with mobile app company to design, load and launch conference mobile app;
  • Speaker liaison; including travel & accommodations, speaker agreement letters and general inquires;
  • Assist with the gathering of information required to disseminate conference evaluations to exhibitors and delegates;
  • Input data for conference publications and conference website;
  • Work with destination marketing organization to promote delegate experience enhancements in conference host city;
  • Coordinate electronic poster component of conference on site (liaise with poster presenters, venue, volunteers, arrange floorplan on site.);
  • Assist the Conference Manager in the recruitment and coordination of sponsors and exhibitors;
  • Attend and provide administrative support for various conference-related committee meetings (including minute taking);
  • Create effective advertisements for the conference, and when necessary crafting marketing materials such as print and web advertisements for the conference and conference social event;
  • Assist delegates with registration questions including refunds, issuing receipts and gather data from online registration system;
  • Assist Conference Manager with management of scientific abstract process;
  • CPD accreditation assistance: creating post-conference evaluations, needs assessment surveys, creating and sending certificates of attendance;
  • Manage additional CAGS CSF administrative meetings;
  • Administrative support for post-graduate courses planning throughout the year: apply for grant requests, run registration reports, securing in-kind equipment donations etc.;
  • Book venues, entertainers, photographers, and liaise with external suppliers;
  • Organize the conference social event; hire vendors, maintain budget, design marketing materials
  • Accompany Conference Manager to conference and assist on site where needed;
  • Assist in the conference’s post-mortem and consolidate findings;
  • Issuing vendor invoices and receipts, preparing cheques and collecting payments in a timely manner and
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Event Management diploma from Algonquin College or 1-2 years’ experience in the area of hospitality, special events or meeting coordination or conference coordination. Ideally, a combination of education and experience is preferred;
  • Demonstrated initiative and creativity;
  • Ability to interact professionally with all levels of staff; Board members, major sponsors, delegates and vendors Able to handle stress, remain calm and problem solve in the moment
  • Strong administrative skills and advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) required for formatting large documents, drafting agenda/minutes, maintaining budgets, know how to organize and respond to an above average volume of email communication;
  • Experience using website content management systems such as WordPress, Wix, etc.; Twitter, Facebook, and online office tools including Constant Contact, Doodle Poll and Survey Monkey;
  • Ability to set priorities for multiple projects, meet deadlines and work on tasks simultaneously;
  • Superior attention to detail required for proof reading with above average writing and grammar skills;
  • Be client focused;
  • Travel to conference location (6 days); and
  • Enjoy working autonomously as well as part of a small team.


  • Previous medical conference planning experience
  • Passion for events
  • MPI/PCMA/CSAE membership/volunteer experience
  • Marketing, communications, social media and/or graphic design experience
  • 1-2 years’ experience working with volunteer boards, committees and external stakeholders comprised of senior level and/or high-profile individuals


  • Starting date: January, 2020
  • Salary: $41,000 - $48,000 (commensurate with experience)
  • 1-year contract with the possibility to become permanent
  • Flexibility to work overtime when needed and some travel will be required


Please submit a resume with short covering letter before December 13, 2019. Subject line should read “Conference Assistant Position”. Only candidates being considered for this position will be contacted for an interview. No phone calls please.

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