Canadian Women in Ocean Industries Leadership (CWOIL)
Inclusion and Diversity
Increasing the Number of Women and Under-Represented People
in the Ocean’s Sector

Event Management Services
December 1, 2021


OceansAdvance invites suitably qualified consultancy firms to respond to this Request for Proposals (“RFP”) for the provision of full Event Management Services for our international conference taking place July 2022.


For the purposes of this contract, Newfoundland and Labrador based OceansAdvance Inc. (OA), the NL ocean technology cluster, is the contracting agency.


Only 16% of all Canadian businesses are owned or led by women and yet studies by McKinsey show that by advancing women’s economic empowerment in the economy, Canada could add up to $150 billion in GDP by 2026. Research shows that gender and cultural diversity, along with a society founded on inclusion and belonging, are proven multipliers to innovation, corporate performance, profitability and economic growth.

To enable and accelerate Canadian innovation, research and technology development, market and export leadership in the marine and ocean tech sector, it is critical to attract, develop and retain a robust, diverse and inclusive talent pipeline that includes women and underrepresented people.


The Canadian Women in Ocean Industries Leadership (CWOIL) initiative seeks to develop an emerging long-term action plan and 2022 Conference, which will directly address the goal to increase Canada’s leadership, competitiveness and contribution to ocean industries.  Our initiative will foster an ocean talent pipeline with women from every walk of life; Indigenous communities; persons with disabilities; and racialized people.
CWOIL is seeking to develop the partnerships and supports needed for women to access opportunities in the ocean industries sector by building an inclusive, sustainable, feminist, and resilient economy that values inclusion and diversity by:

  • Improving inclusion and participation by Women in Canada’s ocean industries;
  • Encouraging new entrants into the ocean economy by encouraging women led companies;
  • Retaining current and future critical employees in the ocean economy;
  • Increasing collaborations between ocean companies, academia and the research community and CWOIL partner organizations;
  • Brokering new linkages and foster new opportunities for Women in oceans; and
  • Building an international network of Women committed to supporting and collaborating to increase the number of women and underrepresented people in oceans locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

In July 2022, we will host a conference which will see further discussions and affirmations of the plan, as well as a celebration of our current female leaders in the sector.


This flagship international event will bring together up to 350 key stakeholders (women and men) from sea to sea to sea – across Canada more broadly and around the world, including all genders:

  • A diverse mix of established industry, research, academic and government ocean decision-makers, influencers and leaders with inspirational stories, approaches, and lessons learned from every walk of life.  This includes accomplished women executives, change-makers and heroines across this sector.
  • Women founders who have launched and scaled successful, sustainable ocean firms.
  • Women ocean research leaders who are pushing the boundaries of innovation in this sector.
  • Talent development, diversity and inclusion authorities who are achieving impact within their organization, market and/or community.
  • Students who aim to explore and pursue career opportunities in the ocean industries.
  • A broad mix of stakeholders, partners and investors with a stake in the development of a highly diverse and inclusive pipeline of ocean talent.

This conference will create a unique and interconnected community that strives to seize key opportunities and address key challenges in building a robust, inclusive and diverse pipeline of ocean talent.  In addition to this event, all attendees will be invited to subscribe and contribute to a Women in Oceans Industries virtual community, newsletter, subsequent events and initiatives that strive to build on the outcomes of this conference and help drive long-term impact on Canada’s ocean talent pipeline.


To ensure that we have a world class event, we require a firm to manage all aspects of the Conference. We need a company that is well-organized and competent, with strong communication skills and an excellent eye for details who has proven and vast experience managing international oceans events.
We want an unforgettable event that will showcase our current local, regional and national oceans leaders in industry, research and academia and one that shines the spotlight on our beautiful City of St. John’s.

Duties and responsibilities for this firm will include the following:

  • Planning the event from start to finish according to requirements, target audience and objectives of the Core Management Team and our partners.
  • Help with identifying and securing potential speakers, funders, sponsors, exhibitors etc.
  • Work with the Core Team and funders to manage budgets and ensure adherence to funding partners requirements.
  • Creative suggestions to enhance the event’s success.
  • Ability to provide and manage a full registration system, including processing of financial transactions for registration, booth sales etc.
  • Source and negotiate with vendors.
  • Provide necessary personnel for Conference support.
  • Coordinate all operations.
  • Lead promotional activities and work with communications person to promote the event.
  • Oversee the operations and the day-to-day overall management of the event.
  • Ensure event is completed smoothly and step up to resolve any problems that might occur.
  • Analyze the event’s success and prepare reports


Electronic notification of an Expression of Interest to bid is required by 12:00 noon NST, Tuesday, December 7, 2021.

The purpose of this expression of interest to bid is to ensure that each question submitted is answered and distributed to all perspective proposers to ensure a level playing field for all submissions.

All questions must be submitted in writing, no telephone calls will be accepted.

Final submissions of full proposals must be submitted electronically no later than 12:00 noon NST, Wednesday, December 14, 2021. The finish date for this project is September 2, 2022.

Only full incorporated Canadian owned firms will be considered.


  • Kick-off meeting via Zoom with COWIL Steering Committee to discuss awarded contract including scope and deliverables.
  • Consultant submits a detailed work plan for executing the project agreement by January 6, 2022.
  • In the beginning electronic bi-weekly updates to be provided by the consultant.
  • As the project progresses weekly, then daily updates as the event date nears.
  • Consultant to provide completed final report to OceansAdvance no later than 4:00 p.m.  NST, Friday, September 2, 2022.


Table 1: RFP Structure 

Introduction This section should introduce and briefly explain the firm, its capabilities and its experience in handling an assignment of this nature with examples given of similar work.
Understanding of the project This section should explain the Consultant’s understanding and interpretation of the objectives and requirements of this project. The successful Consultant will have demonstrated a good understanding of the work to be undertaken.
Technical Proposal A listing & description of major tasks to complete outlined work.
Cost Proposal The cost proposal should include a table that summarizes costs by category. This may include but not be limited to items such as professional consulting fees, supplies, travel and materials, etc. Determination of best value may not result in the lower cost being accepted. All monies are in CAD and must include HST-GST.
Management of the Proposal and Summary of
Qualifications and
Experience of Key
 A project schedule.

Corporate profiles and short-form résumés of key project personnel, as well as references for related work should also be included as an appendix.


The proposal of the successful Proponent will form part of any resultant contract agreement by attachment and incorporation by reference. Claims made in the proposal will constitute contractual commitments. Any provision in the proposal may be included in the resultant contract as a direct provision thereof. The successful Consultant, as a condition of submitting its proposal, accepts that a customized contract may be negotiated.

Any resultant contract from this RFP will be governed by the by-laws of OceansAdvance and shall be issued in the name of the successful Consultant exactly as that successful Consultant personal or corporate name is stated in the RFP response document. Funds payable for materials delivered pursuant to any resultant contract shall be paid only to the Consultant who is so listed as party to any resultant contract. Only legal registered names of Proponents are acceptable.

The proposal will contain the signature, name, title, and contact information of the person authorized to sign on behalf of the Firm on the proposal submitted in response to this RFP.

The responsibility rests with the Firm to submit a complete proposal, with proper and adequate detail to substantiate all aspects of its proposal.  Incomplete proposals shall be deemed to be noncompliant.  A complete proposal should include but not be limited to:

  • Legal name and status: The firm must be wholly incorporate under Canadian laws, the proposal shall state the correct legal name and legal status of the proposing entity and the correct mailing address.
  • Firm’s contact: The name, title, telephone numbers, E-mail address and civic address of a representative(s) who may be contacted for clarification or other matters relating to the proposal shall be provided.
  • Content: The proposal will be clear, concise, and must include sufficient detail for effective evaluation and for substantiating the validity of stated claims.  The proposal shall not simply rephrase or restate the requirements, but rather shall provide convincing rationale to address how the Consultant intends to meet these requirements.

All terms and conditions will apply to the Firm and they will be responsible for subcontractors’ compliance. The Firm will be responsible for all work done by the subcontractors. The Firm will be responsible for all damages and will complete any work unfinished by the subcontractors.


  • The total value of any contract must be in Canadian Dollars and inclusive of applicable taxes, fees, expenses, and travel costs if applicable.
  • An initial payment totaling 30% of the contract value will be made to the consultant upon consultant engagement, submission and approval of a work plan and submission of an invoice.
  • An additional payment of 30% of the contract value will be made midway through the project following a project update with the client.
  • The remaining payment of 40% of contract value (with an option to hold back 10% – pending review of submitted deliverables) will be made upon successful completion of the project, final report and submission of an invoice.
  • Payments will be processed by OceansAdvance within 30 days of receipt of invoice.


Work will be carried out at the Firms premises, with occasional meetings at the OceansAdvance office or via Zoom.

Communication between OceansAdvance and the consultant will consist of both email, telephone calls and in person or online meetings.


This project is currently under review and awaiting funding approval. OceansAdvance will award the contract based upon the results of the evaluation of submitted proposals.  OceansAdvance will notify the successful consultant in writing via electronic means. Those that are not successful will receive written notification via electronic correspondence once the award of contract has been accepted and the negotiations have been concluded with the successful consultant. OceansAdvance reserves the right not to explain in detail why unsuccessful consultants were not selected. The resulting contract will contain such reasonable terms as the Client may require.


The project schedule will assume as of December 20, 2021.  The project must be completed by 4:00 p.m. NST September 2, 2022.

Table 2: Project Deliverable Dates 

Item No. Deliverable Timelines Payment Schedule
1 Proposal submission 12:00 noon NST
December 14,
2 Contract awarded December 20, 2021
3 Kick-off meeting January 6, 2021
4 Project Work Plan draft submission. Work may commence with preliminary work, while the work plan is in progress. January 14, 2022
5 Approved Project Work Plan January 21, 2022 Submission of invoice #1 – 30% contract value
  7 Project review and updates, bi-weekly, then weekly and daily as the project progress. February 4, 2022 to September 2, 2022.  Submission of invoice # 2 – mid project, 30% contract value. May 13, 2022
8 Finished final report and acceptance by Steering Committee. 4:00 p.m. NST
Friday, September 2, 2022
Submission of invoice #3, 40% of contract value with optional 10% holdback.

Any costs incurred for this project are the responsibility of the Firm.
*OceansAdvance may hold back up to 10% of the total project cost to ensure the final product meets the requirements specified in the RFP and per our funding partners conditions.

Any intellectual property that is developed as a result of this project in completing this work shall be vested with the Client.  The consultant shall deliver all files and documentation for this project to OceansAdvance upon its completion and shall destroy all files and documentation on hand.


All written reports submitted under this agreement shall be provided in Microsoft Word and pdf formats.  Data tables shall be provided in Microsoft Excel format.


Project commencement is incumbent upon OceansAdvance receiving confirmation of funding. Strict confidentially is required for this project.


OceansAdvance and a Steering Committee will evaluate the proposals. OceansAdvance reserves the right to reject all proposals and either cancel or re-issue if necessary.

The qualifications, commitment, related experience and knowledge of the project personnel will be key evaluation factors. The experience of the event management team in undertaking assignments of this nature and magnitude will be a significant factor in proposal selection.

The successful contractor will be determined based on the following:

  • The extent of knowledge and experience in relation to the work, at least 3 samples of previous work;
  • Understanding of the scope and objectives of the proposal;
  • Proposed approach, work plan and schedule; and
  • Cost (in Canadian dollars).


  • Electronic notification of intention to bid is required by 12:00 noon, NST Tuesday , December 7, 2021.
  • Proposals must be submitted electronically to the OceansAdvance contact no later than 4:00 p.m. NST December 14, 2021.
  • Proposal should not exceed eight (8) pages in total including cover page.  Appendices are acceptable.
  • All questions must be submitted electronically; questions and responses will be provided to all respondents via e-mail prior to the submission deadline.
  • No extensions to the submission date will be considered.
  • The successful proponent will be contacted within 7 business days of the RFP closing.
  • All proposals must be sent via email to the OceansAdvance at the following:

Cathy Hogan, Executive Director, OceansAdvance
All correspondence must be in electronic format to Ms. Hogan, Email: