Our History


CanSPEP, formerly known as the Independent Meeting Planners Association of Canada was rebranded in 2007. As the landscape of the meeting industry and event culture has changed and grown exponentially across Canada the Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners is now one of Canada’s most influential professional meeting planning organizations, handling thousands of meetings and events each year.

Since the organization incorporated in 1996 it has grown to include over 100 meeting planner members who traditionally work in non-corporate, autonomous environments consulting, advising and specializing in event planning.


Joy Fox, CMP Emeritus,
created the association out of a need to gather independent planning professionals as a strong group of entrepreneurs.

July 10, 1996

Founder Fox calls a meeting to form Canadian Independent Meeting Professionals (CIMP). 10 entrepreneurs attend.

Challenges Discussed:

  • growing your business
  • marketing strategies
  • finding new clients
  • insurance
  • contracts
  • diversifying your business
  • working together
  • forming alliances
  • helping newcomers
September 1996

First meeting held at the Westin Harbour Castle

Developed Mission Statement: “to promote support and education to independent meeting and event planners and create public awareness around our profession: Slogan: Promoting Professionalism, Creating Awareness”

Joy Fox installed as first president
24 planners attend

September 1997

CIMP officially becomes Independent Meeting Planners Association of Canada (IMPAC)
First AGM takes place, electing 1997/1998 officers

October 1997

First Conference takes place at Grandview


January 1998
“The Independent” Newsletter first published

November 1998
2nd Conference at Niagara on the Lake
One of the topics: Pricing

October 1999
3rd Conference at Muskoka Sands
Working group was created to develop a Code of Ethics

IMPAC Rebranded as Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners (CanSPEP)

CanSPEP becomes one of the founding members of the Business Events Industry Coalition of Canada (BEICC)