Our Services

⚠ Due to COVID-19, we are adapting our services and requirements (such as augmented conference room specifications) on a regular basis in relation to in-person and hybrid meetings. To obtain the latest information on those meeting formats, please contact us at services@scics.ca or 613-222-6411.

The Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat (CICS) ensures continuity and neutrality in the delivery of conference support services. It also offers a critical level of experience mixed with historical and corporate insight. Our skills, expertise and reputation for excellence and innovation have been forged through the thousands of meetings successfully served during the past four decades.

CICS offers a range of services to senior level intergovernmental meetings: from planning and pre-registration to pre-conference translation services for official documents; from distribution and archiving of documents to simultaneous interpretation and all on-site logistical and administrative services.

CICS support is tailored to meet the particular needs of each meeting, making increased use of technology while cutting down on the consumption of paper at meetings and benefiting the environment.

Our services are detailed below:

Manager of Conference Services

A Manager of Conference Services is assigned to offer advice and guidance and to help in the planning, organization and on-site delivery of your event. Arrangements are made based on discussions with the Chair/Co-Chairs and their representatives.

Conference Team

The Manager of Conference Services is assisted by a core team to provide a range of services before, during and after the meeting. On-site, the conference team also includes interpreters, a technician and, in the case of ministerial meetings, translators.

Conference Room Set-up

CICS is responsible for setting up most meeting and related spaces in accordance with the conference room specifications displayed . The set-up is done the day prior to the meeting to ensure that all systems and equipment are properly installed and tested and to allow sufficient time to bring any necessary adjustments or modifications in the case of unforeseen circumstances.

CICS provides flags and delegation name plaques for the conference room as required. The conference table is most often set up in a hollow rectangle. Generally, each delegation has one microphone and two seats at the conference table, with additional seating available behind the respective delegations. Usually delegations will be seated in order of entry into Confederation, except for the Chair/Co-Chairs who will be seated at the head of the table.

Deputy Ministerial Meetings*
Room Approximate Size Location Availability
Conference Room 50′ x 75′ One full day before start of the meeting (for set-up) and three hours after end of meeting (for tear-down)
CICS On-site Office 20′ x 30′ As close as possible to the conference room

Ministerial Meetings*
Room Approximate size Location Availability
Conference Room with press conference 70′ x 90′ One full day before start of the meeting (for set-up) and three hours after end of meeting (for tear-down)
CICS On-site Office 20′ x 30′ As close as possible to the conference room
For Certain Meetings*
Translator Room 6′ x 10′ As close as possible to the CICS on-site office
Communiqué Room 20′ x 30′ As close as possible to the CICS on-site office
Separate Press Conference room/area 30′ x 30′

* These specifications apply to most meetings served by CICS. Please discuss with CICS before booking your meeting and related spaces.

With the approval of the Chair/Co-Chairs of the meeting, CICS will send out a logistics note to all delegations, informing delegates about meeting details and arrangements. The logistics note can be sent on behalf of the Chair/Co-chairs.

Standard practice for intergovernmental meetings is to publish all official documents, such as agendas and presentations, in both official languages.

CICS provides translation services before and after a meeting, as required. This service applies only to official documents and does not include background or reference documents. For very large documents, translation by CICS may be limited to sections such as an executive summary, a set of conclusions and/or recommendations. Any document requiring translation prior to the meeting should be forwarded to CICS at least two weeks in advance, more for larger documents. CICS will endeavor to accommodate translation requests received after this deadline, but delivery in time for the meeting will depend on the volume and timing of such requests.

For all Ministerial meetings, CICS typically has a translator on-site to work on news releases.

Did you know…
Translation involves the rendering of written words or text from one language into another. The time required to translate a document depends more on the number of words than the number of pages. In a regular workday, a translator can usually complete 1,200 words. Translators do not work from PDF documents. Words included in images within a document cannot be translated, because the images cannot be manipulated.

It is standard practice to offer simultaneous interpretation in the main room during intergovernmental conferences involving First Ministers, Ministers and Deputy Ministers. CICS can also provide this service during teleconferences and videoconferences.

CICS provides simultaneous interpretation services in both official languages during the meetings it supports, including news conferences.

Did you know…

Simultaneous interpretation involves a team of bilingual professionals providing the immediate oral rendering of the spoken word from one language to another. For optimum quality, conference interpreters work in teams of three, and should be able to see speakers at all times and consult copies of all relevant materials, such as speeches and power-point presentations, ahead of the meeting.

The success of an intergovernmental conference depends largely on the security of delegates and the information they exchange. For this reason, security is a top priority for CICS. Our Managers of Conference Services work with clients to create and maintain a secure conference environment.

Did you know…
Delegate Security
The key to effective conference security is careful design and implementation of plans well in advance of the event. CICS offers a complete pre-registration process, working with clients to identify and screen delegates, and to streamline processes at the venue as the event gets underway. CICS provides security personnel to control access to meeting rooms and also protects information (such as dates and locations) about upcoming meetings.Information Security
CICS safeguards the potentially sensitive information contained in documents and databases in a number of ways. It offers a secure on-site disposal service for meeting documents, for instance, as well as a password protected wireless network at the venue. All conference materials, including recordings of meetings, are kept confidential by CICS and our online archive is accessible only to authorized users.IT Security
Encryption technologies and passwords protect data shared over the Internet. Although some users find security processes cumbersome and inconvenient, the measures ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data.
Unless otherwise requested, CICS will record the proceedings of the conference. The CD recording will be maintained as a confidential intergovernmental record in the CICS archives for a period of three years. Copies will be made available to the Chair/Co-Chairs upon request and can be made available to delegates with the approval of the Chair/Co-Chairs.
CICS can ensure the translation and distribution of a summary of proceedings, a record of decisions, or minutes taken at the meeting by the Chair/Co-Chairs.

CICS is responsible for the registration of delegates. This includes the preparation of identification passes (to be distributed at the time of on-site registration) as well as a preliminary and a final list of delegates.

CICS now offers an online registration system that takes much of the work and worry out of registration for both delegates and organizers. In consultation with the client, CICS’ Manager of Conference Services customizes the standard registration form (in both official languages) and posts it online, enabling delegates to register prior to the event.

The online system verifies the eligibility of registrants and tracks their number, along with the names of their government departments or sponsor organizations. The system can also produce a variety of status reports in a matter of minutes – information that is very useful to conference organizers in the planning stage.

CICS can assist with the distribution of conference documents prior to, or following the conference.

A perfect way to complement online registration is to post conference documents to a secure website for easy online retrieval. Registrants are assigned individual passwords that enable them to access and download the materials before and during the event.

CICS acknowledges the importance of keeping connected during conferences. As an added convenience to delegates, CICS offers a secure WiFi connection in the main conference room. The ability to access a password-protected, dedicated network speeds up the sharing of information and increases the productivity of delegates.

To facilitate the news release drafting process on conference site, CICS works with the Chair of the drafting committee. Services will include word processing, translation, printing and distribution of the news release. Both English and French versions of the news release will be distributed simultaneously on conference site and will be posted in both official languages on the Newsroom

section of our website.

CICS can assist with media registration by preparing passes and a sign-in log sheet. Arrangements for media accreditation ahead of an event can also be made; this service is usually provided in relation to meetings of First Ministers.
CICS will assist in the preparation of news conferences and official scrums. News conferences are most often held in the conference room where simultaneous interpretation and a sound system are already available. Other possible arrangements should be discussed with the Manager of Conference Services.

On-site Services

Along with advance planning, CICS delivers the on-site administrative, logistical and technical support your conference needs to succeed. We provide a range of on-site services, including the following (many of which are described in greater detail elsewhere on this page):

  1. Complete set-up of main conference room (from flags, tables and chairs to multi-media equipment);
  2. Set-up of press conference and scrum area;
  3. Secure wireless network;
  4. Sourcing, installation and operation of multi-media equipment;
  5. Videoconferencing and teleconferencing when required;
  6. Digital recording of the meeting and press conference if needed;
  7. Delegates registration;
  1. Media accreditation and registration when required;
  2. Conference document control, distribution and translation in both official languages;
  3. Simultaneous interpretation of the conference proceedings and news conference in both official languages;
  4. Delegate business centre;
  5. On-site security;
  6. Support for drafting of communiqués, including word processing, translation, printing, distribution and Internet posting; and
  7. Secure disposal of conference documents.

CICS maintains a conference office on-site to provide administrative support and guidance on protocol, and to quickly resolve logistical issues. The office is equipped with a scanner, photocopier and message centre.


CICS has the equipment and expertise needed to design and deliver the videoconference services needed to make your event a success. Videoconferencing is used to facilitate the remote participation of delegates or presenters unable to attend an in-person meeting, or to enable fully virtual meetings. To make videoconferencing as successful as possible, all requests must be sent to the Secretariat well before the meeting. CICS usually requires the following lead times:

  • at least four weeks when some participants are to be linked to an in-person meeting;
  • at least three weeks for an entirely virtual meeting.
Did you know…
In the current climate, governments and public agencies must seek to reduce expenditures and environmental impacts, and increase collaboration and productivity. Applied appropriately, videoconference and teleconference technologies can help your organization achieve these goals.
Videoconferencing in particular has become a viable and practical solution due to COVID-related health and safety concerns, rapid development of video technologies, combined with larger Internet bandwidth in much of Canada.

CICS videoconferences are:

  • Secure: cutting-edge encryption technologies control access to transmissions
  • Reliable: crisp, clear audio and video, delivered in real time with no delay, at a quality level suitable for large screens and audiences
  • Cost-efficient to connect people in multiple locations; simultaneous interpretation service also available

Description of videoconferencing services:

  • Advice and logistic support for all videoconference participants before and during the meeting.
  • Installation of equipment (cameras, screen, monitor) at the conference site.
  • 1 Interconnection per participating delegation at the conference site, in your room or studio.
  • Professional-quality, real-time, large-screen projection.
To learn more about our services, please contact the Director of Conference Services at 613-995-4328 or consult the “Contact Us” page.