Coordinator Services for the AFN 7th Annual Water Symposium & Tradeshow & National Operators Forum


The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is the national representative organization of First Nations people in Canada. The AFN represents and advocates First Nations interests for more than 600 First Nations from across the country on matters of national or international nature and concern. The AFN hosts two Assemblies a year where mandates and directives for the organization are established through resolutions directed and supported by the First Nations in Assembly (elected Chiefs or proxies from member First Nations).

In addition to the direction provided by Chiefs of each member First Nation, the AFN is guided by an Executive Committee consisting of an elected National Chief and Regional Chiefs from each province and territory. Representatives from five national councils (Knowledge Keepers, Youth, Veterans, 2SLGBTQQIA+ and Women) support and guide the decisions of the Executive Committee.

The AFN invites qualified individuals or firms to submit proposals to provide event coordination services for its 7th Annual Water Symposium & Tradeshow & National Operators Forum.


The objective of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to select a Proponent to provide professional in person coordination services for the AFN 7th Annual Water Symposium & Tradeshow & National Operators Forum event scheduled for February 5-8, 2023 (location TBD).  The timetable is tentative and may be changed by the AFN, in its sole discretion, at any time prior to the Proposal Submission Deadline. This event includes 400-500 participants.

The objectives for the coordination work for the 7th Annual Water Symposium & Tradeshow & National Operators Forum include: 

  1. Meetings with the AFN Infrastructure sector to initiate the project and regular ongoing project planning meetings;
  2. Oversee onboarding and coordination of presenters and panelists;
  3. Support a communications plan, including a process to communicate with identified delegates, invitations, etc.;
  4. Identify and set up a plan for tracking speakers/presenters RSVPs and gathers bios and presentations;
  5. Provide ongoing logistical support in preparation of the event;
  6. Onsite overall coordination (e.g., storing and organizing digital presentations, annotated agendas via Dropbox or other online tools);
  7. Onsite overall coordination of welcome reception and/or other social events;
  8. Work closely with the AFN staff on all planning and logistics;
  9. Provide the coordination of services and assist in the overall management of the event and trade show as described above and work with the Infrastructure Sector staff and be available at all times during the event;
  10. Coordinate a day specific to Water Operators, including workshops and plenary sessions.
  11. Provide expertise in meeting coordination, planning, and knowledge of the workings of the AFN for event planning coordination, document development and processes;
  12. The coordinator will need to provide a notetaker for the main plenary and prepare a final roll-up report with an executive summary. (The notetaker will take notes during the main plenary and also any breakout room held in the main plenary). The coordinator will provide to AFN a written report with executive summary based on the proceedings of the AFN 7th Annual Water Symposium & Tradeshow & National Operators Forum at a deadline agreed upon with AFN. (typically, 10 days following the event);
  13. Perform other related duties and/or special projects as assigned by the Director of AFN Infrastructure Sector.


The above description reflects the general duties necessary to describe the principal function of the subject identified in this RFP and shall not be construed to be all of the work requirements that may be inherent in this objective.


To enter into a contractual agreement with the AFN for the following scope of work: The Contractor will undertake the coordination for the 7th Annual Water Symposium & Tradeshow & National Operators Forum which includes:

  1. Coordinate and attend all weekly planning meetings, develop meeting agendas, (in-person or via teleconference);
  2. Ensure the project is moving forward as expected, give updates and review logistics, planning, agenda development, communications, delegate registration, trade show and other items;
  1. Develop a logistical workplan including but not limited to assist with the venue and supplier identification, negotiate the space leading to a contract for conference facilities, accommodation, Audio Visual and simultaneous translation services;
  2. Assist the AFN with the establishment of the travel process for delegates and speakers/presenters including overseeing the rooming list process, with information provided from AFN, who are completing travel arrangements.
  3. Assist in development, finalization, translation, and publication of communications materials including initial eblast to travelers/registrants, travel process communications, drafting registration form text, agendas and program documents, and work with AFN IT on messaging, development of trade show invitation and registration form.
  4. Initiate and develop an ongoing logistical work plan including set up of venue rooms, tradeshow and vendor space, catering at hotel/venue, AV, obtain quotes for simultaneous translation, identify a printer for the program, and organizing office equipment for the event.
  5. Work collaboratively and assist in the development of draft and provisional agendas with ongoing changes/updates to content, track changes, and distribute new drafts to AFN for review and input.
  6. Initiate work on the Conference short program with final program text for AFN review and following AFN review, the Contractor will assist sending the English program text for AFN internal approval.
  7. Assist with sending the English program text to AFN design and translation in a timely manner and then send both English and French versions to design and send final documents to be printed before the agreed upon deadline.
  8. Track all documents through translation and the AFN internal approval process.
  9. Assist AFN in identifying and confirming all key expert, speakers/presenters, track all speaker/presenters RSVPs and gather bios and presentations, assist with incorporating titles/descriptions and bios into the program.
  10. Assist with trade show logistics and communications once the exhibitors have confirmed.
  11. Assist with venue catering choices, costs, and numbers and shall finalize with AFN the proposed catering costs & numbers.
  12. Initiate and coordinate conference signage with finalized design including directional, workshops and registration, and catering plans.
  13. Give regular trade show updates to AFN and assist with trade show set-up and logistics.
  14. Finalize the annotated agenda incorporating any revisions from AFN and review with the event facilitator.
  15. Meet with AFN to review final event logistics, communications, sponsorship, tradeshow, travel etc. either at the AFN office or onsite at the event.
  16. Develop and provide the final staff work list for review and approval by AFN.
  17. Conduct any on-site coordination including but not limited to a pre-conference meeting with AFN, conduct office set up and preparation, review of all spaces and set ups, coordinate the opening reception evening activities.
  18. Provide a notetaker for the AFN 7th Annual Water Symposium & Tradeshow & National Operators Forum event and who will be onsite in the main plenary for the entirety of the event.
  19. Conduct post-conference activities including review of all coordination activities including financial information, hotel lists, and other documents for accuracy, and provide to AFN all PowerPoint presentations from presenter/speakers.
  20. Assist AFN in negotiation with hotel venues of any attrition, following the event.
  21. Develop and submit to AFN for review and input a fulsome draft summary report with an executive summary of the proceedings of the AFN 7th Annual Water Symposium & Tradeshow & National Operators Forum event including key findings, recommendations, next steps and highlights from the main plenary and workshops/ breakout rooms (if applicable).


The role of the AFN is to advocate on behalf of First Nations as directed by Chiefs-in-Assembly. This includes facilitation and coordination of national and regional discussions and dialogue, advocacy efforts and campaigns, legal and policy analysis, communicating with governments, including facilitating relationship building between First Nations and the Crown as well as public and private sectors and general public.

Each First Nation in Canada is entitled to be a member of the AFN. First Nations exercise their membership through their Chief (official delegate). There are over 634 First Nation delegates who are eligible to participate in the election of the National Chief.


All proposal submissions will clearly identify in the email subject line with the name of the proponent and the document title “RFP for Coordinator for AFN 7th Annual Water Symposium & Tradeshow & National Operators Forum”.

Late submissions will not be accepted.

All proposal submissions should be emailed to: [email protected]


All proposals shall include the following information:

  1. Title Page: Referencing the RFP title, the firm’s name and address, the name, telephone number and email address of the contact person, and date of the proposal.
  2. Executive Summary: Provide an Executive Summary outlining the background information of the proponent’s company, including contents of the proposal.
  3. Qualifications: Provide a description of the proponent’s capabilities/experience specifically related to coordinating large events including trade shows and a workplan on how the Contractor will carry out the work in accordance with the proposal submission instructions. A description of experience with diverse and inclusive First Nations forums and engagement sessions that are results oriented.
  1. Project Organization: Identify the strategy to execute all facets of coordination of the event through to completion.
  2. Client References: The names of three (3) references which have used the services of the proponent for similar coordination of events. References to include the client’s name, title, and contact information.
  3. Cost Breakdown: The Proponent shall provide a detailed cost breakdown for the proposed services, showing an itemized workplan and the total cost for the performance of all services, expenses, materials, deliverables to be used for completion of the work. Total cost shall be in Canadian dollars and inclusive of HST (HST should be shown on a separate line in the proposal).
  4. Project Deliverables: The Proponent shall provide to the AFN a roll up report and executive summary of the event including key points of discussion, key findings, recommendations, next steps and highlights from the main plenary and workshops/ breakout rooms.


The AFN reserves the right to:

  1. reject any or all proposals received in response to this Request for Proposal;
  2. enter into negotiation with one or more Consultants on any or all aspects of their respective proposals;
  3. accept any proposal in whole, or in part;
  4. cancel and/or re-issue the modified version of a given RFP requirement at any time;
  5. award one or more contracts;
  6. verify all information provided with respect to a given RFP requirement, including the right to request a confirmation of the Consultant’s legal status and signed documentation; and
  7. award contracts without competition for follow-up work, if any, to the selected Consultant for a given project requirement.


The AFN will select the Proponent(s) which, in the AFN’s sole discretion, best serves the overall needs of the AFN. The following is a summary of the general considerations that will be used to determine the Proponent(s) that will be selected:




Expertise of Firm/Organization/Individual submitting the proposal.


Experience in working with First Nations and in coordinating large events and trade shows


Proposed Work Plan and Approach.


Experience in organizing and coordinating successful events, event planning, communications, negotiation abilities, problem solving.




Total Price




The following dates are set forth for informational and planning purposes and may be changed at the AFN’s sole discretion:


RFP Released/Advertised/Posted                                                                               2023/11/08

Deadline for questions                                                                                                 2023/11/21

Deadline for submission of proposals                                                                        2023/11/27

Finalist Interviews (if required)                                                                                   2023/11/27

Completion of proposal evaluations                                                                          2023/11/28

Final Selection                                                                                                                2023/11/29     

Contract Start Date                                                                                                       2023/12/06


The timetable is tentative only and may be changed by the AFN, in its sole discretion, at any time prior to the Proposal Submission Deadline.



Contractors must provide a firm fixed price, including administrative fees, travel, material costs, translation, printing of draft concepts and HST.

Travel and accommodations will be covered by AFN.


Responses to this RFP will be considered as confidential information by the AFN and will be used solely for the purposes of selecting the successful proponent.

Clarification / Questions

All proposals submissions will be acknowledged by electronic mail (email).

Requests for clarification and/or questions regarding this RFP should be directed to:

Julie Pellerin, Senior Director, Economic Development and Infrastructure, Assembly of First Nations

Email: [email protected], please cc [email protected]

Responses/ Submission

Only those submissions that meet the deadline will be considered.  Responses to this RFP must be received by electronic mail (email) by the close of business (5:00 pm ET) on November 27, 2023, to: [email protected], please cc [email protected]

Should a proponent’s proposal exceed 10Mb it is acceptable for the proponent to provide a link to a OneDrive file within the proposal submission email.