Also should I maybe consider some sort of bracket that attaches to hotshoe or something to place the flash slightly off to the side of the camera? Would that help the quality of the light at all? Or maybe (less ideally) a cord from camera to flash to hold it off center? But that would then disable TTL metering with the flash right?
This is a good idea, many/most event photographers using flash will use a bracket and cable. Consider a bracket that allows you to quickly flip the camera from horizontal to vertical and keep the flash above. (I don't have one but I know they're out there). The bracket will attach to the tripod mount of the camera and have an arm for the flash to mount on top. You connect the hotshoe of the flash to the hotshoe mount on the camera with a coiled cable. Here is an example of the setup, although I don't know anything about the particular bracket: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/743039-REG/Vello_CB_200_Speedy_Camera_Bracket.html
You want to get an E-TTL cable that will keep TTL metering between the flash and the camera. Canon makes one, but there are more inexpensive versions as well. If you go off-brand, just try it out and make sure it works consistently before your event.