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Hosting a TEDx Event

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What is a TEDx event?

TEDx events are locally organized gatherings featuring live TED-like talks and videos. Sometimes these are previously recorded at TED conferences, and sometimes they’re new, original content. The purpose of these events is to foster the TED experience within the local community, and the content and design of each TEDx event is unique. They are developed, organized, and hosted locally by visionaries within the community.

The format, diversity of topics, and community-based (bias-free) content is idea-focused, thought-provoking, and direct. TEDx events are organized by volunteers and lack any commercial, religious, or political agenda. TEDx events are also non-profit events.

These aren’t events with a single topic, industry, or special-interest agendas. Ideas which spark conversation, connectivity, and community are the word of the day.

Organizer Responsibilities

The Organizer’s goal should be to drive the sharing of big ideas, rich storytelling, and the interaction of multiple disciplines. Engineers should be talking to artists, coders should be swapping tales with doctors, and motivational speakers should be busy being motivated by other people’s stories. These are the qualities that make a great TED event – you’re expected to capture the spirit of TED.

This means unearthing local voices. Who are the undiscovered voices and unknown talents of your community who have the power to influence change and the insight to see it when it’s happening? If you choose to include individual speakers, choose extraordinary people with fresh eyes and strong voices.

Produce great content to enthrall, entertain, and educate. People should leave the TEDx event feeling like they learned, shared, and experienced a lot in one place, while having their eyes opened to new opportunities.

Most of all TEDx events are licensed TED events, and you have to apply for a license and be granted one before hosting a TEDx branded event.

TEDx Rules

There’s a super straight-forward list of rules setup for TEDx events. These rules are meant to create a framework to preserve the spirit of the TED event, and to make it easier to organize and structure TEDx events in your community.

Some of the rules are very straight forward, and actually aid in the selection of a venue, for instance:

    • Up to 100 individuals may attend your event. Only individuals who have attended an official TED conference in person may organize an event with more than 100 attendees.
    • Tickets for TEDx events must always be less than $100 USD and should go towards event and operating costs. Based on approval from TED, you can charge an attendance fee for a TEDx event featuring live speakers.

Some of the rules are there to protect the TED brand, and relate to programming:

    • A minimum of two official, pre-recorded TED Talks must be shown at events which are less than half a day in length. For longer events, 25% of the total number of talks must be official, pre-recorded TED Talks from the talks library.
    • TED and TEDx events are stand-alone events, and may not be co-branded with other events or identities (organization, non-profit, corporation, etc).

Before you plan on organizing a TEDx event, familiarize yourself with all the rules and read the TEDx Organizer Guide.

Event Types

There’s a broad array of different event types available to host.

There are the standard event, inspired by the TED conference. There are also University and youth events, for events which are hosted at a college or university and organized by current university admins and staff, or catered towards schools and youth communities.

There are Salon events – small weekly or monthly events – which help to keep a community engaged between regularly scheduled larger events. (In order to organize a Salon event, applicants must already have an existing standard license.)

There are also TEDxLive and TEDxWomen events, aimed at topics of women and gender, or working with a simulcast of the annual TED Conference. These two categories specifically tend to become global events.

TED in Vancouver

Even if you’re not interested in becoming an organizer, you can still get engaged in helping be a part of the action. TEDx events are volunteer organized, planned, and driven events. Without the help of valued volunteers these events can’t happen. Get involved!

Local TEDx Events in Vancouver include TEDx Stanley Park.

Deeley Exhibition and Conference Facilities is an ideal and unique venue for a TEDx Event. Our main meeting room can comfortably accommodate 100 seated guests, we have built-in professional A/V and projection, and we are centrally located and accessible by car or transit. IF you’d like information about hosting a TEDx event with us, give us a call.

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You’re Charging Me What?

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Your company has tasked you with finding a unique venue for a new product launch or business meeting.  You have a budget.  You have a few event venues in mind.  But before you call venues for information, make sure you know all the elements your event will need.  While the venue and catering costs are usually the largest part of any budget, many overlook the other, expected professional services required for putting an event together.  Make sure when you call a prospective venue, you ask what services are available and what are the costs so you can avoid any surprise cost overruns!

  1. Set up fees

Depending on the venue and depending on your set up requirement, there may be additional labour or rental charges billed for room set up.  Some events set ups take 4 hours or even more.  If this is required the day before or even the day of, this will require the venue to be available to you, which costs the facility either lost business opportunities or overtime labour charges.  The duration of a meeting or event does not start when guests arrive and leave. . . Be realistic about how much time your event needs, from the load in to the tear down, and ask the venue what they charge.

  1. A/V

Depending on the level of your speaker’s requirements, A/V can be as simple and inexpensive as using your company’s portable projector or can run thousands of dollar if you need to hire a professional A/V company to set up, run and tear down your presentation.  Sometimes a venue will have high quality, built in A/V.  Determine what your expectations will be – a portable projector may work for a small, internal meeting but for a larger meeting or event, a more robust, high quality, professional set up is expected.  Don’t underestimate the costs for A/V.

  1. WiFi

In this connected world, access to WiFi is an expectation of guests but free W-Fi is never good and good WiFi is never free!  Ask your special events venue if there is an extra charge for WiFi.  If free WiFi is available, make sure it will meet the needs of your meeting.  If your presenters require the internet to show content, free WiFi may not be sufficient.  Always make sure what you need and expect.

  1. Labour

Unless you have a team of volunteers, labour is not free – not for your company and not for the venue.  Determine what assistance you will need to plan, set up, execute and tear down your event if you are managing it yourself.  If you require assistance with your event, expect that there will be labour charges and staff appropriately before your event.  Never underestimate how much help you will need – not having adequate coverage on the day of your event will be either very stressful for you or may impact the success of your event.

  1. Parking

If parking is not free, what will that cost your company or how will it impact the success of your event?  If you are hosting a company meeting and bringing employees to a central location, will employees expense their mileage and parking to the company?  If you are selling tickets for a training seminar, will a high cost of parking impact registration?  If you are hosting a reception to clients, will paying for parking impact their decision to attend?


If you are hosting your meeting in downtown Vancouver, be ready to pay for parking in one form or other.  In fact, if your company is paying for parking expenses, the cost of the parking can often exceed the cost of the venue.  This overlooked expense is typically not included in a meeting planner’s budget but is nevertheless part of the total cost.

Remember, in most venues, the fee for rental space is just for space.  Don’t make the mistake of expecting that all the elements you need will automatically be included in the venue rate.  Also, budget realistically . . . both with your time and money.  Venue and F&B selection may be the easiest elements to decide when planning an event. . . don’t underestimate the resource and staffing requirements for a successful execution.

If you are looking for a central Vancouver or Burnaby event venue with free parking and reasonable WiFi and AV costs, call the Deeley Exhibition for your free site visit at 604.909.6234

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7 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Speaker

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      When it comes to planning or hosting an event, deciding who will do the talking is a big priority. Your speaker or emcee will be addressing, entertaining, and engaging your audience, so choosing the right person is important. There are many qualified speakers out there, but not everyone would be suited for your event.

To help you learn the ropes of how to go about hiring a professional, we’ve put together a list of seven things to consider before hiring a speaker.

Know your goals

  • Understanding your goals and being able to communicate the intent of your event with your speaker is key. Depending on the type of event you’re hosting, the requirements will be different. Whether your goal is to inspire, educate, or purely to entertain, knowing your goals and sharing them with your speaker allows them to customize their performance to your event’s needs.

Consider your audience

  • The person you hire should be able to relate to your audience, understand their wants and needs, and deliver a performance will live up to their expectations. Getting to know your audience will help you weed out speakers that might not necessarily engage your audience.

What is your budget

  • Events are costly; hiring a speaker can be an additional and often unexpected burden. Knowing your budget is the key to not overextending yourself (or your resources) later. Good speakers can charge a significant amount of money, so knowing whether an influential speaker is important or not will help you figure out where to spend and where to cut costs in your event budget.

What’s important to you

  • Would you rather have someone who dazzles and entertains, or motivates and inspires? As with understanding your audience and goals, knowing what characteristics you want in a speaker or what you want them to get the audience to do twill help you add or eliminate candidates from your list of potential speakers

Who is available to you

  • After considering all of the above factors, it’s time to start reaching out to people and find out who is actually available for your event. Influential speakers tend to have busy schedules, so if you already know that you need a specific speaker or that you need a big name for your event, you should do this step first.

Check their references

  • Your potential speaker might seem perfect on paper and great in person, but taking the time to check references and review previous performances is crucial. Ask the candidate for their last three performances and references in addition to what they have already prepared. This will ensure that they aren’t just choosing their best performances, and that you’ll have a better idea of their skill.

Trust your instincts

  • After prioritizing your event’s needs and narrowing your searches, you need to rely on your instincts. This event is yours, you understand what it needs and what it lacks. Trust your instincts when selecting a final candidate, and choose someone who will give your event exactly what it needs.

If you have found a speaker and are now looking for a unique local venue in Vancouver, reach out to Deeley Exhibition. We are experienced, professional, and happy to provide assistance in planning your private or corporate events.meeting room with podium, tables, chairs in semi circle

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Top 40 Reasons Deeley Exhibition Should Be Your Venue of Choice

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A few years ago Jeff Kear wrote a great business management piece about choosing an event venue.

Kear puts forward a lot of great questions that you should answer before choosing a venue – it’s one of the best articles on the topic. We asked ourselves all of the questions you should be asking when searching for the perfect unique venue for your event.

With no further ado, here are the 40 reasons Deeley Exhibition should be your next corporate or meeting venue of choice.


1. Is there space available on the desired dates and times?

That depends on when you’re looking to book. The sooner you book the better, as most venues start taking bookings well in advance. Leave yourself 2-3 months to book for the dates you want for daytime corporate meetings and at least 6 months for events on weekend evenings or during the Christmas season.

2. Is there a premium or discount for booking during certain times of the year?

Because we’re an independent conference and meeting room facility not attached to a hotel, we’re not subject to the same seasonal extremes of ebb-and-flow as tourism-impacted conference centres. This means we often have dates available when other venues do not.

We offer flexible rates for companies, organizations, and government bodies looking to book their multi-day meetings with us.


3. Will the venue be convenient for guests in regard to travel and accessibility?

The Deeley Exhibition is located on Boundary Road between Burnaby and Vancouver, right off of the Trans-Canada Highway.

We are 25 minutes from the Vancouver International Airport by car, 15 minutes from downtown, 5-10 minutes from several hotels and super-accessible by bus and by Skytrain.

We are also 100% wheelchair accessible.

4. Will it be a destination venue that naturally attracts people?

Trev Deeley was Canada’s first – and exclusive – Harley Davidson distributor.

Since 1917 the family sold the excitement, desire, and wonder of performance motorcycles. Over the last century, Trev put together one of the world’s best and biggest private collections of vintage motorcycles from private owners, famous movies, and war assets. This is where those motorcycles live, and they make an interesting and engaging background for any event, from fundraisers to professional seminars.

5. Is the venue in a local or part of town in which people will feel comfortable?

You bet. We’re on beautiful, tree-lined Boundary Avenue, with the backdrop of the Lions and the North Shore mountains. If you need to stretch your legs to refresh during meetings, we’re just a 5-10 minute walk from Thunderbird, Rupert, Charles, and Adanac Parks.


6. Is there a change in fees between winter and summer?

No. We cater to a wide range of businesses, organizations, and individuals who need conference and meeting room services year-round. However, during the Christmas season, evening weekday corporate party rentals are priced at the same price as weekend evening rentals due to high demand and complexity of the event.

7. Is there a difference between weekday or weekend?

Yes – weekend daytime and evening rentals are priced at a premium due to the types, complexity and length of events that are held. Weekday events are typically priced at a lower rate.

Evening appointments are a premium engagement that require a full venue buy-out; meaning that evening events must book the entire facility – museum, lobby, and meeting room.

8. Is there a deposit required, and is it refundable?

We ask for a non-refundable 50% fee on the cost of the space, and allow organizers to change the date once within 60 days (provided the date is available).

9. Is there a minimum payment required for booking?

The minimum booking we offer is a half-day, 4-hour block in our large meeting room. This is to account for set-up and tear-down, cleanup time, and required coordination and administration.

10. What kind of value-adds does Deeley Exhibition include?

We take care of you from the start, by focusing on your peace of mind. We take care of room setup and tear-down, we help with setup of audio-visual services and projection, and we’ll help you out with floor layouts for tables and seating, specific to your event. Organizers looking for specific items we don’t normally provide are welcome to call for more information.

11. What kind of packages are offered and what do they look like?

Every client and event requires different elements. Our expertise is in catering to completely individual and unique needs, and we facilitate this by making our services entirely à-la-carte for weekday events.

There’s no premium charged on one service while offering you things you won’t need. You’re only charged for what you use.

However, for evening, full venue buyout events, our basic fee also includes a site manager to assist with the execution during your event and excellent in-house A/V amenities typically offered à-la-carte.

three image montage of Deeley Motorcycle Exhibition Event Venue and Motorcycle Museum.


12. Can Deeley Exhibition accommodate my large group?

We can accommodate up to 150 people standing room for a daytime event in the meeting room, or 250 people for an evening event (full-venue booking). Our large meeting room can comfortably host 80-100 peoples with tables, depending on the layout you’re looking for.

13. What are the separate spaces in Deeley Exhibition?

We have our large meeting room, the exhibition museum, and our foyer. Our 1,800 square foot meeting room is large, well-lit by natural light during the day (thanks to our huge windows), and brightly lit during the evening. The room has a partition to convert it into a smaller space of 1,350 square feet or two spaces, depending on the format of your event.

Our grand front foyer and museum exhibition hosts the collection itself and bikes are parked right out where you can walk between them. The collection is carefully curated and beautifully designed.

14. What is the flow of the space?

To get an idea for this space check out our virtual walk-through.

15. I have some large items and staging for my event. Can Deeley Exhibition accommodate?

The safety and security of the collection is our primary concern. Otherwise we’re happy to help you with larger staging and focus pieces, space and requirements depending. Special handling fees will apply.

three image montage of Deeley Motorcycle Exhibition Event Venue and Motorcycle Museum.

Venue condition and colours

16. Will the condition, colour, and decor of the venue complement my event?

Deeley Exhibition’s meeting room and foyer was redesigned by Stantec Architecture and Engineering with premium finish and polished design in mind. Our space is finished in neutral concrete and burnished woods which accentuate the class and decorum of the bikes’ storied history. Glass, steel, and large black and white historical photos make this a unique venue.

Our museum has changing exhibitions and therefore, changes in appearance from theme to theme. The concepts are developed in-house by our Director, Brent Cooke (a renowned Canadian artist, who most recently received the “Artist of the Year” distinction by the World Wildlife Federation). The design work of each exhibit is developed by EDG – Experiential Design Group.

View more conference facility photos or take a virtual tour.

17. Is there anything that might hamper my guest’s experience?

Only if your music is too loud. We’re wheelchair accessible, and have railings for ramps and stairs in case you need assistance getting around.


18. What do I need to know about refunds and guarantees?

To secure a date, we require a booking deposit. Depending on the scope and cost of your event, suppliers may ask for deposits and minimums. 

If you are planning an evening event, depending on who you want to hire, many caterers ask for 50% up front to secure your date, same as the venue. Caterers may ask for full payment within 2 weeks of the event, as a guarantee. Many rental companies may require a 72 hour cancellation minimum. So if you have to cancel or reschedule, make sure you notify all involved parties to understand what your options are.

If an event needs to be rescheduled, talk to your venue and suppliers right away. It is always possible for dates to be shifted, provided there is adequate time, but the closer it gets to your event date the harder it is to accommodate changes, if at all.


19. Does Deeley Exhibition have on-site catering?

We have several catering partners, and work with them based on the type of event being catered. We work with the clients to make sure budgets, tastes and events are individually catered to.

20. Does Deeley Exhibition allow outside vendors?

We don’t allow outside caterers for daytime events but we will work with you for catering evening and weekend events. If you bring in an outside caterer, planning fees may apply for time incurred (as required) for additional coordination.

21. How experienced are the catering manager and executive chef?

We work with many popular and well known catering companies – the client budget and vision usually dictate who we use.

22. Are there food and drink minimums?

Although we have accommodated meeting and events of all sizes, all venues and caterers have minimums spends and surcharges may apply. When you call us to inquire about your event, we will ask you about your meeting or event size and advise you what the minimum charges are.


23. What do event professionals and local organizers think of Deeley Exhibition?

We have great relationships with event planners and organizations in the area. You can view some of the testimonials on our homepage, near the bottom.

24. Has Deeley Exhibition had any recent issues that would make an event/wedding planner think twice before booking there?

Not at all. We have an excellent track record of hosting class-leading corporate and business events, social fundraisers, and other professional events.

Unfortunately, we do not allow weddings or private events, like birthdays or dry-grads, in our venue. We are not equipped with the rooms necessary to host bridal parties and we do not allow private self-catered parties. Only events with caterers and proper staffing are permitted. This is for the safety of the museum and its precious collection.


25. Does Deeley Exhibition allow for event signage or displays?

Free-standing displays are great, and encouraged. If you have signage that needs securing or mounting, please give us a call in advance. For things like banner affixations, setup and removal is the organizer’s responsibility and needs to be cleared on case-by-case basis.

26. Does Deeley Exhibition have a concierge, or information desk?

There is room to set up a table near in the foyer to greet guests when they enter the building if needed. Upon entering the wide open foyer, guests can easily identify which way to go to see the exhibition or to find the meeting room. 

27. Is there a business centre for use?

We can assist in providing copies of meeting documents as needed for a nominal fee.

28. Does the Deeley Exhibition and Conference Centre have shipping and receiving services or personnel?

Yes, we can help you with receiving and staging items for your event. Handling charges may apply.


29. How are the outlets and lighting in the space?

We’re designed for business meetings, learning conferences, and social events like fundraisers and black-tie galas. We can accommodate all of your needs, but give us enough information and advance notice to get the space optimally setup for your needs.

30. Is there natural light, and a way to shade it?

Yes and yes. In our meeting room and foyer we have big, gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows. The meeting room is equipped with blackout shades so you can bask in the daylight or shut it out for projections.

31. How reliably can Deeley Exhibition create a comfortable environment?

Part of having a big engineering firm like Stantec handle our redesign is that the HVAC system is solid as stone. Making sure our guests stay comfortable and the collection stays safe – and in premium condition – depends on it.

AV and Acoustics

32. What kind of PA and music amplification is there?

We have a fully-integrated, rack-mounted and secured audio-visual setup. Recently upgraded, it’s professional-grade, and can support some plugin or pass-through to other systems.  We have up to 4 microphones and separate sound can be piped into the foyer and meeting room areas.     

We will assist with setup onsite as needed, though extra fees may apply depending on the amount of help you need. If you’re hosting something as important as a TEDx talk or a sessional lecture, you’ll probably want to have your own sound engineer on retainer.

33. What are the acoustics like?

Like most venues, the number of bodies and the type of engagement have a big impact on sound.

The meeting room is designed for exactly that; meetings, conferences, talks, and conversational engagement. There are acoustic panels on the ceiling to retain sound and speakers around the perimeter of the conference room ceiling. Depending on your voice and timbre, and the number of bodies in the room, you may not even need a microphone.

The foyer and museum have great acoustics for larger, live, un-amplified musicians (such as a baby grand piano). Smaller instruments may need a helping hand from a small amplifier or studio monitor.

If you’re hosting a black-tie gala, or a corporate Christmas Party, your needs will differ. We’ll work with you to help make sure you have the best experience possible.

34. Who are Deeley Exhibition’s preferred vendors for AV and music?

We prefer to work with Promax Audio Visual. They’re fantastically knowledgeable, professional, and easy to work with. If you are looking for music, we can provide you with the names of local DJs that are excellent.


35. Are there any seasonal weather issues associated with Deeley Exhibition?

Gorgeous mountain vistas, warm Pacific winds, lush temperate rainforests… Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and ranks in the top three most livable cities in the world year-after-year. Even in the sunny heat of summer, it’s still Vancouver. Bring an umbrella.

If you’re here between October and April, it’s likely to be raining. In 2015 Greater Vancouver received 12.2 meters of precipitation. (For Americans, that’s 40 feet of rainfall over the year.)


36. What kind of security personnel are required?

It depends on the number of attendees and the nature of the event being booked. Public events require additional security, which can be coordinated at the booker’s expense.

Before we accept any booking, we thoroughly ask questions to understand your event, especially to determine whether there are any security issues. If an event may put our valuable motorcycle collection at risk, we cannot accommodate hosting the event.


37. Is there the ability to shield the event from public view?

Yes. The spacious meeting room is centrally situated but entirely private, allowing for confidential discussions or enhancing private corporate engagements. When the large main door is open, the meeting room becomes an extension of the main foyer space, and can be used for food service and/or seating to compliment the foyer’s natural social interaction.


38. Is there ample parking available for hosts, guests, and attendees?

Yes, we have both front and rear parking lots to accommodate event participants, including street parking. Best of all, it’s free!

39. If guests are arriving from out of town, is there convenient transportation to get to the venue?

Absolutely. We are centrally located between two major transit interchanges, just off Highway 1, and there are several hotels within a 5-10 minute drive.


40. Are there any special restrictions that Deeley Exhibition has when renting the space?

To safeguard the safety and integrity of our collection we do not cater to personal events such as weddings, birthdays, dry grads, or anniversaries. Our ever-present and stunning collection is our centrepiece, and we need to guarantee that guests and attendees come, and leave, with great respect for the bikes.

We hope these questions helped you get a better understanding of the many things Deeley Exhibition has to offer as a unique venue for your cocktail party, business meeting, corporate retreat, or other major event.

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Before You Start Your Venue Search, Know Your Event!

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As a unique meeting venue focused on the corporate meeting & events market, we keep an eye on our competition. 

We do it to stay on top of what’s out there in the Burnaby and Vancouver area, but also to understand what makes our competitors unique and see what they have to offer. There is a plethora of available venues, and it seems that every business with excess room wants to offer their space for rent. From cocktail receptions to corporate meetings, the number of venue options can be overwhelming.

But when it really comes down to it, only a few spaces may be able to accommodate all of the specific needs your event has. Often event organizers fall in love with a space based on appearance, only to find that it doesn’t fit the needs of their event. They’re left trying to force a “square peg into a round hole”. 

How much space do you need?

Planning a training session or business meeting for 50? 

Consider that if you require tables and chairs for 50, plus a registration area, space for the trainer & A/V equipment, plus food & beverage set up, you will need significantly more space than say, a cocktail party for 50. 

If you are hosting a private party, do you need kitchen facilities? Many unique venues don’t have them, so make sure the venue has a separate space for caterers to set up a “pop-up” kitchen. There is no standard for venue equipment and facility offerings, so make sure you know what your event requires before your search.

Does the venue rent space only, or is it full service?

Some venues, like community centres and galleries, only rent space. This means that you will need to manage every element of the event including planning and managing guest lists, renting china and glassware, renting furniture, arranging the catering, staffing and logistics, setting up, executing, and tearing down your entire event. 

To the uninitiated, this can become a huge amount of planning, effort, and stress. If you do not have the time or the resources to do everything yourself, make sure that you choose a venue that can provide planning and execution services. It will be less expensive, time consuming, and definitely less stressful in the long run.

How much time do you need?

Some venues charge by the hour, and others by set hour blocks (ex. four or eight hours). Others may only be available during certain hours (evenings or only during standard business hours). 

If you are hosting a one-hour evening meeting, not every venue will be able to accommodate you. In addition to the amount of time for your actual event, how much set up and tear down time do you need? The cost of space is typically based on the total amount of you need, not just the duration of the event itself.

If you need significant set up time or require to set up a day prior, you will need to ask the venue if they can accommodate this, and if there is an additional charge.

What elements do you need for your event?

Do you need seating for 200? Do you want a bar area for a cocktail reception? Do you need tables for a gala dinner? Do you need A/V equipment for a presentation?   

When searching for a venue, make sure you know what space, amenities, and equipment you would prefer to have on site. If you choose a venue that cannot accommodate the requirements of your event, you will need to have the budget to arrange these things to be brought on site. If not, your search may be more limited.   

Make sure these factors are discussed at the beginning of your investigation.

How accessible do you need the venue to be?

A venue’s accessibility is not just limited to a physical geographic location. 

When considering what kind of venue you need, ask yourself:

  • Do you need ample, cost efficient, and safe parking around the building?
  • Is the building locked or do guests need directions or instructions to access the space?
  • Is there an elevator, or are there only stairs?
  • Is the building wheelchair accessible?
  • Is it easy to get to by public transit?

If you have guests with physical limitations, you will need to accommodate them. Similarly, if your catering and rental items have to be brought in you will need a venue that is either ground level or has an elevator for easy transport into, and out of, the building.

Are you looking for a full-service, unique venue outside of the downtown core, close to North Vancouver, Burnaby and all cities along Highway 1 that is fully accessible, has free parking, ample space for small to mid-size meetings and events, and comes with a museum housing Canada’s largest private motorcycle collection?

Call the Deeley Exhibition and let us know what you need. If we are right for you, we’d love to show you around!

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Planning Your Leadership Retreat

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We’ve all experienced needing to speak to a coworker, superior, or subordinate about an issue but struggling to phrase it. Maybe you had a conflict that couldn’t be adequately addressed within the confines of day-to-day business conversations; maybe you needed to ask for help, but didn’t know where to start. These things will happen in any business environment, and left unchecked they can ultimately hamper your efficiency and teamwork.

This is why companies hold leadership retreats. Called by any name – retreats, meetings, talks, or offsite days – the fact remains that these events represent an escape from the tension of regular closed-door sessions in meeting rooms.

We’ve created a high-level guide to get you started on the road to planning, and hosting, your first (or next) successful leadership retreat.


Take time once a year or once a quarter to step outside of the office and meet at a separate space. This allows people to leave behind their at-work thoughts and behaviours. It facilitates the formation of a safe space to brainstorm, talk about, and confer meaningful experiences, to resolve conflicts, ask for help, and to get back to business.

Before you start the process of planning a retreat, give real thought to the primary purpose you’re trying to fulfill. Make your objectives achievable, and partner with a venue that can help you to run the retreat effectively. Universities and colleges will have professors, consultants, or sessional lecturers experienced in mediating conflicts. These resources bring an extra measure of perceived transparency and stability to the retreat so that all attendees know it’s a safe space to speak honestly.

Keep in mind that there’s no set length that a retreat should be, but many organizations find it’s useful to book a venue for as many as two to three days. For this reason, retreats should be local and easy to get to. Not all attendees will find it useful or necessary to attend the full duration, so plan accordingly.


Retreats are named as such because they are literally an escape from the geography and entrenched attitudes of the work space. Whether that’s everyone’s home offices (for companies with remote staff) or the brick and mortar of the headquarters, it’s important to get people out of their work mindsets. The easiest way to do that is to put them in a new environment.

Your staff are human and retreats can be an intense confluence of brainstorming, growth, and strategizing, so it’s necessary to consider connectivity and breaks. Plan to give your staff time to take breaks so they can catch up on social media, share insights online, and deal with timely or critical issues that arise while they’re out of office.

Conflict between staff members can come down to incompatibilities between work demeanours, and not actual issues between the individuals. Communal dining and dinner talk is a great social equalizer, so having a location that has access to catering services is an absolute necessity.

Tone & Objectives

The tone of the retreat should be fun and optimistic, even if your objectives require some emotional and intellectual heavy-lifting.

Start off the retreat with a brief welcome and follow it immediately with an ice-breaker activity that gets people physically moving. Something fast and fun that requires people to work together, like passing a ball through a circuit of every person in the room and then asking them to find a creative arrangement that allows them to beat their previous time. (Just Google “ice-breaker activities” and you’ll get over a million suggestions.)

If you have any video or presentations to show, make sure you book the facility for a technical run-through to make sure you’re familiar with the systems and to reduce the chance you’ll encounter any problems when you’re presenting.

Divide your retreat into morning and afternoon sessions specific to each objective you want to achieve. Don’t make the objectives bigger than can be solved in a single day if this is your first retreat. A partner organization can help you to structure your sessions so they flow well, have a moderated feedback process, and respond to everyone’s concerns.

Agenda & Planning

The easiest way to ensure your meeting goes smoothly is to plan ahead. Book the venue at least four months in advance, so that there’s enough time to schedule around blackout dates and vacations of senior personnel. Notify everyone of the anticipated date as soon as you can – preferably when you’ve booked the venue.

Release a high-level agenda to the attendees before the event so they can prepare questions and delegate work. Ideally they have the agenda at least a week in advance, but no later than three days before the event. The agenda should be clear, concise, and leave little room for misinterpretation. Don’t make your agenda too long or overly specific; you don’t want your staff coming burdened with preconceptions. There are great sample agendas available online, like this one and this one.

We hope you found this guide on planning your leadership meetings helpful. Deeley Exhibition is conveniently located on the Vancouver and Burnaby border, with a nearby SkyTrain and bus stops, and is a wheelchair-accessible unique venue available for rent. Take a virtual tour of our facilities, or contact us today to get a quote.

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How to Plan a Successful Fundraising Event

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Is there someone you want to help succeed? Are you a champion for a charitable organization or not-for-profit?

Fundraising has been called the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving. With Christmas just around the corner, fundraising is the focus for a lot of organizations. Commercials air on TV and radio with familiar songs from John Lennon and Bing Crosby reminding us that ’tis the season to give. Many fail to realize that the planning for most of the following year’s fundraising starts now.

Fundraising can be a daunting task, whether it’s your first fundraiser or your fiftieth. We’ve created this guide to help you make the most of your fundraising event with key points to keep in mind, from choosing the best event venue to thanking donors.

Plan Ahead, Way Ahead

Planning for a fundraiser should start at least six months in advance. People often underestimate the amount of work that goes into planning a fundraiser, and the amount of coordination that has to happen to ensure it goes smoothly. Consider the purpose, audience, and type of event you want to host; these factors will affect the type of venue you should try to book. Unique venues tend to book months in advance, so make these decisions early in the process.

A key component of a successful fundraiser is to ensure you ask for help. Set up an event committee, and reach out to volunteers early and often. Your committee should also help you to do the legwork of nailing down your budget and fundraising goals in concrete numbers.

Appointing or calling on committee chairs and representatives who provide a measure of legitimacy and draw for the event can increase turnout and buy-in from potential donors. Local Members of Legislature, municipal Councillors, entrepreneurs, and celebrities make excellent additions and can create valuable connections with potential donors. Often these individuals have experience fundraising and can help out in ways you didn’t anticipate, but they and prospective volunteers will need time to plan their schedules so they can be present.

Do it with Purpose

Is the goal of your fundraiser strictly to raise money for an individual, a cause, or an organization? Or is there the anticipated benefit of networking with influential donors and business people who can further or facilitate the agenda of your beneficiaries? Do you want to build awareness for your cause?

If the intention is to attract donors who have clout, deep pockets, or big profile in the media, it’s best to consider a black-tie affair such as a silent auction, speaker series, or gala event. For these events, esteemed venues with high-polish accoutrements are the best course; things that remind guests of their prosperity and means.

If the atmosphere and efforts are more grassroots – smaller donations from a large number of motivated or sympathetic donors – then media and social-friendly public events are the best course. Be flexible and creative in the types of events you want to host. Consider co-hosting a TEDx conference, charity speed-dating, or low-key benefit concert; anything that promotes and encourages live streams, microblogging, and photography in the venue.

Make it Fun!

No matter the type of event you plan to host, create an element of fun.  People are far more likely to find themselves in a charitable mood if they’re enjoying themselves. Think creatively and keep it real; for black-tie affairs it might be as simple as having a live singer setting the background music with a quartet ensemble. For speaker series or galas, bringing in a comedy troupe like Granville Island Theatre Sports or the Fictionals Comedy Company can provide laughs between speeches. Venues with an open foyer and a discrete meeting hall offer the opportunity to define purpose-driven activities for more than one type of engagement in the same event.

Choosing the right event venue will add to the enjoyment. Look for venues that can work with you to take care of a lot of the operational details and allow you to focus on what’s important: your message. There is a lot of power in having good food, appropriate lighting, and solid audio-visual already onsite and set up for you on the day of the big event.

People love receiving as much as love giving. It’s important to make sure you have prizes, even if you’re hosting a silent auction. Look to your donors for event-appropriate gifts to hand out to attendants and to top donors. Gift bags are often an excellent opportunity for donors to show their participation and get valuable marketing and exposure, and could be as simple as keychains, or tickets to events sponsored by the donor.

Donor Do’s and Don’ts

Do: Reach out to donors early and often. Most companies have a charitable budget set aside for donation and public awareness contributions for their brand. It’s possible you’re just the kind of PR they’re looking for, and giving to your cause would help raise their profile too. If they aren’t able to contribute right away, don’t give up. Often these budgets are doled out quarterly. Send follow-ups to donors who you’ve reached out to.

Don’t: Assume that a no is a bad thing. This opens the door for you to find out why someone has declined an invitation to participate. Sometimes a donor is unable to attend due to a conflict, but still wants to contribute. If a number of prospective donors all decline due to a conflict, it could be there’s another event scheduled for the same date that takes precedence for them. Be flexible, and be willing to reschedule your event if it maximizes donor turnout.

Do: Give donors an opportunity to toot their horn, and yours. If you can find sympathetic, engaged, and vocal donors, use this to your advantage. Let them be your evangelists; by giving them the opportunity to voice their values in supporting you, there is an exponentially higher chance they’ll return to do the same in the future.

Don’t: Forget what sets you apart. You’re not the only one asking. High-profile individuals and organizations are constantly approached by charitable groups, startups, healthcare, education, and science foundations for donations. It’s possible they’ve already committed their budget, but are planning on their next quarter or fiscal year. Remember what sets you apart and appeal with the strengths you have. The more authentic and clear you are about your needs and your goals, the more likely you are to gain traction with prospective donors.

We hope you found this guide on planning a fundraiser helpful. Deeley Exhibition is conveniently located on the Vancouver and Burnaby border, with a nearby SkyTrain and bus stops, and is a wheelchair-accessible event venue available for rent. Take a virtual tour of our facilities, or contact us today to get a quote.

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How to Plan a Tradeshow

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Over the past year, as a unique and special event venue in Vancouver, we have noticed an increase in companies looking to host small tradeshows, featuring not only their products but also the goods and services of their suppliers and partners.  Smaller tradeshows offer attendees the opportunity to speak to potential suppliers in a more casual and uncluttered setting with less noise and distractions than a larger, traditional show.  In addition, Exhibitors gain access to stronger qualified potential clients as well as potentially lower participation costs.

When we initially speak to clients about their vision for their event, we thoroughly ask questions about every component of their program to ensure that we are the “right” venue for their event.   In asking these questions, we have found that the clients looking for a tradeshow venue are often “first timers” – they have attended numerous tradeshows but have never put one together.  As a result, we have found that they have required a lot of help and guidance in not only the planning of the tradeshow, but the execution.

If you are planning a tradeshow for the first time, here are some tips we have shared that may help you with your planning process.


1. Goal setting

Ask yourself the following questions so you can decide what the key success indicator will look like:

  • Why are you doing this?
  • Who do you want to come to your event?
  • What makes this event a success?
  • What are your goals (ie. New business, New leads, Number of attendees, Number of Exhibitors, etc)
  • What is your budget.


When goal setting, BE REALISTIC!  Start with smaller, achievable goals that will give you some success and make all Exhibitors and Attendees wanting more.



2. Create a project timeline

Often venue selection is seen as the next step but understanding how much time you need to complete key tasks is paramount.  By making a timeline identifying key decision/duties and their optimal completion dates, you will have better understanding of when the best dates are to hold your tradeshow.  Providing enough time to market and organize your event is crucial to meeting your goals.  Securing a venue without budgeting adequate amount of time for the event marketing and securing the right Exhibitors is a primary reason why clients postpone or cancel events.


3. Secure the right event venue

Once you have an idea of how your goals and targets (ie Number of Exhibitors and attendees, budget) you will have a better idea of what size and type of venue will work best.  If your goal is to have 10 Exhibitors, consult with the venue to determine the estimated amount of space you will need to house them.  They can tell you what works and what won’t.  It is advisable to comfortably “max” out any space you decide to book so the setting looks filled out, not empty.  Scarcity spurs demand so if you have a maximum number of spots, this can encourage Exhibitors to sign up fast before all spaces are claimed.

Other factors to consider other than the size of your event foot print is the convenience and proximity of the venue to major roads and highways, free, ample or convenient parking, the venue’s location and the facilities amenities such as accessibility for the disabled, In-house AV and other equipment, F&B or on-site activities.  Every event is different so make sure the venue has all the elements you require for the event that you envision.


4. Marketing

The number one concern of all event organizers is getting attendance.  You can have the best planned event ever but if no one shows up, all the effort you will be putting in will be for nothing.  Always develop your marketing plan so that execution can start at least one month prior to your date.  With tradeshows, you need to ensure you have enough quality Exhibitors present as well as attracting enough attendees so don’t be afraid to ask and to work with your Exhibitors or Partners to contribute to your Marketing distribution list.  Cross pollinating distribution lists can be a “win-win” tactic to increase your attendance numbers.


5. Managing your Exhibitors

Aside from the Marketing of the event, perhaps the most challenging component is managing your Exhibitors, especially if many of them are not locals.

Clear and thorough communicating with your Exhibitors is key.  It is very important that you and all your Exhibitors are well prepared weeks before your event so they have plenty of time to prepare or ship any required display or marketing collateral to the venue and be prepared the day of the event.

One tool we have created for Clients is the Exhibitor Information & Requirements List.  This handy spreadsheet tracks all Exhibitor Information including contact details, booth/size needs, power requirements and other special details specific to the Exhibitor.  This tool not only helps the organizer track important data, it can help the venue understand the final space and materials requirements for the layout set up.

When communicating with the Exhibitor, make sure you send information and check lists for them to follow.  Such information includes shipping and/or delivery instructions, list of items they will need to bring with them that will not be available on site (ie. Pens, power cords, pins, adhesives, linens, etc.)  Clear and constant communication with your partner reduces questions and confusion from your partners.

Once all Exhibitors have been finalized, it is recommended that the organizer determines placement of each Exhibitor; otherwise, Exhibitors with no direction may claim spots that are intended for other Exhibitors.  If possible, provide a floor layout with each Exhibitors spot marked so when they come on site, they know exactly where to go!


In our next blog, we will cover tips on event planning execution, whether it be a tradeshow or special event.  Are you planning YOUR first small tradeshow?  If you are looking for a centrally located unique venue in Vancouver or Burnaby, we can help!

Call us for your free site visit today.


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A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing Unique Venues in Vancouver

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FINDING THE PERFECT VANCOUVER UNIQUE VENUE FOR YOUR NEXT SPECIAL EVENTevent venue and meeting space showing square tables and chairs decorated in red and white for fine dining

Vancouver is blessed with many unique venues – parks, plazas, restaurants, museums and heritage buildings – and the Deeley Exhibition is one of them!  We get new inquiries from corporate clients all over North America looking for a unique event space that “isn’t a hotel” but provide the service levels and comfort they would expect from a full service facility.  Increasingly, such inquiries come from event “Newbies”, people who have little to no experience planning corporate meetings, training sessions or parties but have been tasked with finding, planning and executing an event at unconventional location. Clients with little or no experience with planning meetings or corporate events are not prepared for how time consuming and stress finding that special venue for their event is.  Having helped countless organization, experienced or not, plan their events, here are a few pointers to consider when choosing a venue for your event.
Unless you fall in love with and are determined to select a particular venue, most event organizers start with venue selection first.  However, knowing what kind of event and the specific outcomes you are expected to deliver is the NUMBER ONE thing you should determine. When tasked with your first training session, fundraiser, corporate cocktail reception, quarterly meeting, or AGM, make sure you understand the entire scope of what elements need to be present for the event to work.  For example, if you are responsible for planning all aspects of an AGM, you need to know the number of people attending (from historical information), know your desired room layout,  Presenter requirements, the timeline of the event, AV requirements, and the other event elements that will be present (ie.  Registration, the F&B component, tradeshow and networking sessions).  If you are searching for a location for a tradeshow, you will need have an idea of space and power access needed by your exhibitors. Before your search, make sure you are very familiar with every required aspect of the event so that you can ask the right questions before you contact prospective venues.
Second to understanding what kind of elements will be required to make your event a success is to make sure you understand your primary decision maker expectations and budget.  Before you start looking at unique venues in Vancouver, make sure you have an overall budget range and an estimate headcount.  If there is historical data from a previous event, this may be the best place to start.  However, if you start looking at venues without knowing your budget, you will waste your time investigating space options outside your price range. All venues operate differently and, in the case of special venues, it is often difficult to compare “apples to apples”.  Some, like hotels, are full service and require that all F&B and services be handled in-house or by preferred suppliers.  Others allow you to plan and use your own caterers and event planners, while others do not and may require minimums.  In other words, every venue has their individual service, requirements, rental and/or catering costs. When choosing a unique event venue, please be aware that each one will have different in-house services, rates and conditions. Most special venues may require you to bring in every element of your event, including furniture, décor, staff, F&B, China & Glassware rentals, etc. The venue fee can become the least expensive component of an event once you factor in all the other desired elements. If your stakeholders on planning committee have champagne tastes on a beer budget, their concepts will not work well with your budget.  It is important to bring up the budget and expectations early and often to determine what is more crucial to your team, managing costs or delivering a vision.
As soon as you have your shortlist of venues for your Cocktail reception that are within your budget, schedule a site visit. While you may find a fantastic looking venue on a website, it is crucial you visit the site in person whenever possible.  If you are part of an organizing committee, make sure to bring in your shareholders.  Be sure to schedule these visit well in advance of your event and make certain the dates you seek are available! Due to the exclusive layouts of unique venues, space capacities and or amenities may not be suitable for the look and feel you are looking for in your event. For example, you may require aerial acrobats to perform during your event.  Or maybe you want to bring in a 10 piece band with 32’ stage.  Make sure when you walk through the venue, you are visualizing where you want to put every one of your elements and ask a LOT of questions.  If a venue cannot safely, practically or functionally make your “must have” event component workable, you will need to either choose another place to host your event or revise your vision. If you have already selected your caterer or any other suppliers, be sure to bring them along to your site visit and have them discuss their operational needs as well.
Is your audience predominately Male or Female?  Millennials or Gen Xers?  Are they sales people or are they technical staff?  Where do they live and or work?  Will any guests require mobility assistance? Knowing your audience allows you to identify certain “must haves” when you make your venue selection decisions.  If a “must have” is to have easily accessible entrances & washrooms, a special venue without elevators, ramps or lifts may not work for your event.  If many of your invitees are using transit, you may decide that the venue must be located close to transit hub in order to ensure the highest attendance possible.  If you are keen on finding a unique venue that appeals to your primarily male, technical staff, you may select a museum that offers tour components that showcase science, car or motorcycle exhibits (Shameless plug!)
The final factor you should consider is where your audience is coming from?  The location of a special venue has an impact on attendance.  When you are making your final decisions, ask yourself, “Will most attendees drive/carpool or will they travel by transit or taxi? If the majority of your audience is attending from a larger geographical area (ie. The Lower Mainland vs. Burnaby or Vancouver), selecting a unique venue that is central to everyone maybe more appealing than a venue in the downtown core, primarily due to traffic conditions.  Attendance matters – Event Invitees are more likely to RSVP if the event is conveniently located for them. There are so many important factors when choosing that perfect, unique Vancouver venue.   Good luck in your search and if you are ever looking for space that will WOW your predominantly male audience, be sure to call us for a site visit!
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