A Winter Wonderland, Through the Wardrobe
On December 19th, Ashley and Kane attended the industry holiday party, on behalf of MyBadges, put on by MPI BC Chapter, PCMA Canada West, and ILEA Vancouver and they absolutely did not disappoint. But really, with a bunch of talented event professionals, magic is bound to happen. The cherry on top was the surprise snowfall that happened in Vancouver throughout the day. I suppose Mother Nature wanted to participate too!
This event was held at the J.W. Marriott Conference Centre, inside of the new Parq Casino that just opened in October 2017. The venue is gorgeous and definitely has a West Coast glam about it. The reception area where the event was being held had these breathtaking tall Christmas trees in all gold, with gold poinsettias over by the windows, across from the registration desk. The volunteers were so friendly and super efficient checking you in and giving you your wristband.
Time to enter the party. Or is it? .
Let us in!
Walk into the lobby area, and check in at the registration desk to get your fancy schmancy wristbands/drink tickets. Time to enter the first room …we know they’re not going to show us everything all at once – where’s the fun in that?
When you walk in the room, you see the wardrobe door, but the door is not open. Hmmmmm. While we ponder what will happen, we grab ourselves a drink and catch up with those we know, and meet some new people. Right at 7:30pm on the dot and it is announcement time! Thank attendees and sponsors (that’s us!) and then the performance begins. I mean, you have over 400 event professionals …did you expect anything short of a production?!
Through the wardrobe we go!
In dramatic fashion, the wardrobe opens and we may now enter. We walk through the dark and misty wardrobe, and we come upon the winter wonderland inside of the wardrobe. Breathtaking doesn’t even begin to describe what we saw when we entered.
An interactive story booth to your right. A winter scene with snow falling as soon as you walk in. The VIP sections running along the far left of the wall and a huge bar in the middle. Food such as lamb, beef brisket, risotto, and salads (oh and you can’t forget desserts), in between the bar and the walls/VIP section. Interactive games. And the giant screens with live animations on them – AV outdid themselves by far!
After missing last year’s industry holiday event party, I was beyond excited to see this years’ event! Through the wardrobe spells Narnia to me!
The atmosphere was buzzing upon arrival. Everyone was already in such high sprits and full of holiday cheer. Catching up with old friends, and meeting new connections was as easy as 1-2-3. I had been in the morning to drop off the wristbands and prizes, so I knew the magic was going to happen behind the wardrobe door that was front and centre on the stage. Boy was I right! Once the sponsorship announcements and chapter thanks was given, the lights, music and smoke started and after about 45 seconds to a minute, the actors, in the most stunning costume/makeup opened the doors and we were all to proceed through the fur coats, to the other side of the wardrobe. When you walk out the other side of the wardrobe, you walk into a scene of fir trees, with snow falling. Narnia, anyone?
As one would expect, the food was out of this world! Tomahawk roast, Yorkshire pudding, baby lamb, salads, and this fabulous mushroom risotto, that was served from a hallowed out cheese rind. I mean come on! The wine selection was also wonderful – something to suit every taste bud! The games and interactions were done nicely – all done up on the sides, where people could participate as they wanted, so as to not interrupt the flow of socialization/networking happening.
Oh and the wardrobe photo booth, with the fur coats? My personal favourite!
MPI BC Chapter, PCMA Canada West, and ILEA Vancouver put on a phenomenal, out of this world event and we were happy to attend. I am definitely looking forward to see what 2018 holds for industry events!
I walked in not knowing what to expect, as this was the first industry event I have attended. We all gathered in a big room, seemingly plain, but with this giant wardrobe wall, so in between conversations, I pondered what was about to happen. And when. Everyone was so pleasant and chatty but at 7:30 on the dot, we were interrupted by the verbal thanking of the sponsors and then the production began. When the lights, music, and smoke began, I was impressed beyond comprehension and the actors and costumes were AH-MAZING! We all made our way through the fur coats in the wardrobe, and they did a wonderful job emulating walking into the wardrobe from the book.
On the other side of the wardrobe, you walk into fir trees with snow falling, directly in front of you, very similar to the book. Walking through the winter wonderland I started to notice the various food stations. There was a tomahawk roast, served stuffed in Yorkshire pudding (I mean come on man!), a table with roasted baby lamb gyros, a mushroom risotto station – served in hollowed out wheels of cheese, and then salads as well. Seconds were had. Oh, and you can’t forget the dessert station.
In between the music and the food the social interaction was nothing short of pleasant and fun. People were funny, interesting and the conversations were always flowing. And those handy dandy wristbands we had, were quite the conversation starter! The games and interactive media spread throughout the venue were quite impressive. Among the ones I checked out, were the photo booth with fur coats (VisionPhotogs on Insta) and other props, a good old game of memory match (which somehow seemed to get worse through the night …) and a green screen snow globe booth!
This event surpassed my wildest imaginations, and I look forward to attending more industry events and continuing to get to know people throughout the industry.
Until next time.
This was definitely the event of the year and I want to extend a huge thank you to the volunteers who put this whole production together, and the sponsors who donated their services and time as well.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year fellow event profs – see you next year!