REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN: Join us in Vancouver, Canada for IMPAC5!

Policies and Procedures

Please note that the application process for Side Events is

General Information 

IMPAC5 Side Events are independently organized events happening before, during or after the IMPAC5 Congress. Subject to eligibility criteria, details of approved Official Side Events (OSE) will, on request, be included in the Congress program and will be promoted by the IMPAC5 Secretariat.

The IMPAC5 Secretariat will provide opportunities for IMPAC5 OSE in the Vancouver Convention Centre (VCC) West Building (VCCWB) at times and places when space is available during the IMPAC5 rental of the overall facility. The number of side events that can be accommodated in the VCCWB will depend upon the scale of the events and the availability of rooms and resources. OSE can potentially occur from 2-10 February 2023 (inclusively).

OSE occurring outside of the VCCWB may also be submitted for publication and promotion of equal prominence in the IMPAC5 program.

OSE bookings in the VCCWB and all related financial, logistical and catering arrangements are being handled by MCI, the professional conference organizer for IMPAC5. Room details and availability will be provided to interested parties by MCI.

Where suitable and approved, OSE can use the installed IMPAC5 room setups (podium, seating/tables, audio visual) which will vary from room to room. Details of room set-ups will be made available when known.  Technician costs from the VCC to operate AV equipment may apply.  Custom room set-ups or changes to room set-ups will be on a cost-recovery basis, and only available where they can be accommodated within the Congress program.

There is a $950 CAD fee to cover administration, organizational and logistical costs. Custom or changed room set-ups and any requested catering will incur additional costs from the VCC. All costs are to be paid through MCI. Standard IMPAC5 discounts for Congress passes (please see registration fees) will apply to the IMPAC5 fees but do not apply to set-up, technician or catering charges from the VCC.

Use of Congress rooms equipped with global virtual videoconferencing and/or simultaneous interpretation equipment will be considered on a case-by-case basis and additional fees and staffing costs will apply.  OSE organizers will need to make their own arrangements for interpreters if interpretation is desired.

For security purposes for events within the VCCWB, all attendees must have a valid Congress registration pass, or an invitation in a form that is pre-approved by MCI, to enter the building.

Application Procedure

Applications for side events must be made through MCI no later than 6 January, 2023 by following this link.


  1. Only organizations with at least one member attending the Congress are eligible to host an OSE and normally will be considered for one side event in the VCCWB. Additional events by the same host organizations will be given consideration based on space availability and other relevant considerations. Two-stage or two-part events (e.g. pre- and post-Congress meeting) can be considered as one event.
  2. Any organizations applying to host an OSE will need to demonstrate alignment with the goals of IMPAC5 and/or one or more of its themes:
    • Building a global marine protected area network
    • Advancing conservation in the blue economy
    • Actively managing marine protected areas and human activity
    • Conserving biodiversity and addressing the climate crisis
    • Connecting ocean, culture and human well-being
      and streams:
    • Indigenous Peoples leadership
    • The voice of young professionals
    • Innovation and transformational change

Presentation proposals made to the IMPAC5 Conference program but not accepted for the program by the Program Committee will not be eligible for inclusion as an OSE.

Selection and Allocation Criteria

  1. Normally, one application per party or organization.
  2. Joint applications will be permitted.
  3. Off-site OSE applications will be considered based on their  alignment with IMPAC5 goals.
  4. Time slots for OSE will not be offered during key parts of the Congress, such as during Opening and Closing Ceremonies and during conference sessions as determined by the Secretariat.
  5. Allocation of rooms and time slots in the VCCWB will be on a first-come first-served basis and on the allocation criteria below.
  6. If requests for OSE in the VCCWB exceed space availability, allocation decisions will be made in consideration of:
    • applications with strong or multiple alignments will be given priority
    • achieving a balance among topics and presenters including: gender, climate change,  perspectives of the Indigenous peoples, etc.
    • feasibility of preferred dates
    • avoidance of thematic overlaps per time slot
    • size of the expected participation and available room sizes
    • capacity and availability of facilities and resources

Refund, Cancellation and Relocation Policy:   

Once OSE have been booked and contracted with MCI, the $950 CAD fee becomes non-refundable effective from December 15, 2022.

The IMPAC5 Secretariat reserves the right to cancel OSE in the VCCWB if they are found to be inconsistent with the approved application.

The Secretariat also reserves the right, with reasonable notice and accompanying communications, to relocate events in the VCCWB to better accommodate multiple requests.

Important details to consider when organizing your side event.

  • All audio-visual and catering services in the VCCWB need to be booked in advance with the VCC via MCI. The VCC requires these elements to be confirmed one month in advance.
  • The preparation of invitations, programs or agendas etc. is the responsibility of the organizer(s).
  • If your side event will have simultaneous interpretation, kindly provide the presentation material beforehand to the interpreters via MCI.
  • The SCHEDULED TIME FOR YOUR SIDE EVENT MUST BE RESPECTED. It is the responsibility of the moderators and event organizers to ensure that the side event commences and concludes on time.
  • Side event rooms will be available at least 30 minutes before the start of the sessions.
  • If you request interpretation, kindly ensure that your on-site contact is in the room to liaise with the interpreters at least 30 minutes in advance.