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Simplify requirements for a trade show license

Cut Red Tape


In order to set up a trade show, organizers are required to obtain a business license. The Business License process is not clear and difficult to follow requiring each and every promoter to apply for, or hold, their own licence.

Status: Completed

Changes made

Trade show licenses are issued annually directly to the host facility instead of the trade show organizers. This saves organizers the costs in licensing and time from applying for a license. Further improvements were made to the Business Licence bylaw to improve clarity, correct inconsistencies and eliminate discrepancies within the bylaw. In February 2015, the amendment to Business Licence Bylaw 12M2015 was passed by City Council and will provide an opportunity to make specific enhancements to the Trade Show Facility category.  


Enhancement to the Trade Show Facility category now streamlines the licensing process for trade shows, allowing a licence to apply to a venue as a whole rather than each individual show; reducing costs for those applying and minimizing the licensing administrative processes, particularly for routine annual shows.  The Trade Show (Facility) business licence category has been offered, to licences facilities that have been identified as holding trade shows on a regular basis. The new licence category will require the venue to have Trade Show (Facility), which will be valid year round, and renewable with their other categories on their licence.

"I view the change being made as a positive step forward and I welcome it. Now we will be able to to deal directly with the venue; which from a business viewpoint makes it easier for us and it will assist in our planning. It's one less thing that we have to consider when hosting our annual trade show."

- Gerry Baxter, Executive Director, Calgary Residential Rental Association


Unit 2014
Total trade show licences removed 24
City employee time saved (hr) 36
Customer time saved (hr) 36
City time savings ($) $1,080
Customer time savings ($) ​$1,260
​Customer cost savings ($201/license) ​$4,824
​Total customer savings ($) ​$6,084