Proposed Name Change
The Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (CAFE) is considering proposing at the 2020 Annual General Meeting to change the organization’s legal and operating name to the Canadian Association of Fairs and Events.
After preliminary conversations at the annual convention and via an online survey, CAFE has prepared the information below to respond to your questions and concerns. We would ask that you take the time to review this and reach out to us with any further questions. We also ask that you fill out the survey at the end of this page to provide your feedback on the proposal.
It is important to recognize these are proposed changes and we are currently in the consultation stages. The CAFE board is looking for member feedback to ensure the proposal will meet the needs and address the concerns of our current membership. Every component of this proposal is subject to change based on your feedback.
This change is being proposed, first and foremost, to support those who currently can become members of CAFE but do not have a fair or exhibition. For example, many agricultural societies have a rodeo or run events at their curling club but do not have a fair or exhibition. As well, our current by-laws already permit festivals to become members of the organization. By using the word, “events” we are being more inclusive for current potential members while also opening up to other organizations with similar interests.
This is also an opportunity to look to the future. More and more of our members are offering multiple events throughout the year and this trend will continue for the viability of their organization. Likewise, by adding events, CAFE will be able to expand your network, resources and ability to be the best you can be.
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PRESERVING CURRENT MEMBERSHIP
CAFE would continue to represent the interests of agricultural societies, fairs and exhibitions as a top priority. We will ensure the agricultural interests continue to be met by:
Ensuring the majority of board positions are dedicated to fair members
Continuing to have a Provincial Associations committee representing the interests of their members
Conducting regular member assessment surveys related to the needs of our members
Continuing to seek federal funding opportunities through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Use market segmentation, offering one set of programs and services to non-profit agricultural societies and another set of program and services to for-profit events. Where there is overlap, CAFE will facilitate programs and services relevant to both parties. This also allows us to secure the tradition and history of our organization and current members.
Committing to continued professional development focused on the unique needs of agricultural societies
Maintaining our charitable status in order to continue to offer targeted services to non-profit members
Every member will be responsible for paying one membership fee in line with standard practices, based on the attendance of their largest annual event. All members (current and new) who run multiple events will now be able to have each event listed in our various promotional tools, and teams involved in events outside of fairs and exhibitions will be invited to participate in CAFE events and activities.
Membership fees would be structured the same for fairs, exhibitions, agricultural societies and events.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Will our representation or voice be diluted or marginalized?
Not at all. It will give CAFE, and subsequently, your organization’s voice a strength when speaking with other national institutions. The voices of fairs, exhibitions and agricultural societies will be preserved with measurable actions such as:
- A guaranteed number of seats on the board, with the ability to fill “event member” seats if there are no available event members
- Continuing to have a Provincial Associations committee representing the interests of their members
- Conducting regular member assessment surveys related to the needs of our members
- Continuing to seek federal funding opportunities through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
- Committing to continued professional development focused on the unique needs of agricultural societies
Will agricultural initiatives become less important?
As a member organization, by definition, CAFE is here to address the needs of our members, as broken down by segment. For example, livestock traceability is a significant issue for the fair segment, and we are working with provincial associations to address this. Likewise, temporary foreign worker legislation was a concern for service members, and CAFE subsequently addressed it. Agricultural initiatives will continue to play an important role for the fair member segment, and so will continue to play an important role for CAFE. The intention is with this name change, CAFE will be able to offer improved programs of importance to members.
Will our vote be diluted or have less impact/weight?
No. Every member will be entitled to one (1) vote.
What is the benefit to us?
There is a lot of overlap between events and what fairs, exhibitions and agricultural societies do and the professional development they seek. This will therefore expand your network of allies and colleagues, build your knowledge with new and innovative thinking, and allow you to get more “bang for your buck” in improved programs and services offered by CAFE.
Does this change the mission of CAFE?
No. This reinforces our mission and with more networking it strengthens as a national body.
Will our fees change?
Fees will not be impacted because of this name change and direction. Fees may go up due to inflation and rising costs but that is separate from this initiative.
Does this change the vision and direction of CAFE?
No, it merely enables us to look at emerging trends in the industry.
Will we have less access to programs, education that are pertinent to us as small rural fairs?
As a member organization, by definition, CAFE is here to address the needs of our members, as broken down by segment. The “fair member” segment will continue to receive the same, if not improved access to programs and education pertinent to them, particularly for small fairs.
Will the size and makeup of the board change to reflect the new “events” members?
Yes, the board is proposing that seven (7) positions, instead of nine (9) be reserved for fairs, exhibitions and agricultural societies, so that two (2) may be reserved for “event members.” In the event that there is no one to fill the “event member” positions, they will be filled by “fair members.” As well, we are recommending there be two (2) provincial association representatives rather than one (1).
How many new members will we get? And does that warrant the legal and professional costs as well as the cost of redesigning web page and all collateral materials?
We cannot guarantee how many new members will join, although we have reached out to several organizations who have expressed interest. If those organizations join, that will represent a surplus over the expenses related to the name change in the first year.
Don’t they already have their own or other associations?
We have researched this. There are other associations, but are limited in scope and program and service offerings.
Will the governmental programs and initiatives change to focus on more festival type funding as opposed to agricultural?
No, CAFE will continue to focus on the needs of the membership.
Will agricultural societies have to change their names?
No. It’s up to them to decide their own mission and visions.
If CAFE is already having trouble getting members from current demographics, who’s to say they’ll have any luck in broadening the scope?
Under normal circumstances, CAFE is confident we will see success in bringing new members in because: a) the scope is more inclusive of our current demographics and b) we have already had several preliminary conversations with potential members who have expressed an interest in joining the association.
As 2020 was an extraordinary year we do not anticipate a significant increase in membership sign up due to circumstances beyond our control as it relates to COVID-19.
The majority of members are currently non-profit, but most of these “events” are for-profit. This means there are some inherent differences, how will this work?
Where there are common interests, CAFE will facilitate these discussions through professional development opportunities. Likewise, where the interests vary, CAFE is committed to offering programs and services that meet the needs of each member category.
It seems like CAFE is bringing our competition, namely festivals, to the table. What is your response to that?
There is a lot that both parties can learn from one another and CAFE would like to help facilitate that knowledge transfer. As well, several members already run their own festivals as subsidiary events throughout the year.
Other questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-663-1714
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