That Unfamiliar Feeling Turned Out to Be Optimism

Why I’m FINALLY Feeling Faint but Persistent Optimism Today

That game show in the photo on the LED wall is one of our contributions to a very meaningful event we’re part of this coming Saturday.  It’s the ground-breaking first hybrid live/virtual event to be approved by the BC government on this scale.  Reconnect 2020 will be held at the 35,000-sq. ft. Harbour Convention Centre on False Creek in downtown Vancouver on June 27, 2020.

For the past few weeks, we’ve been hard at work collaborating with BC Event Management and Showmax Event Services – shooting promo, writing content, creating an original game show for the studio, and rehearsing for the big event.

This experience – this work –  has been exactly what I needed to start feeling like there’s some kind of light at the end of the tunnel in this industry. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wakes up, stretches and then remembers that our world has been turned upside down. I’ve had optimistic days, silver linings playbook days, days of angst, and days with waves of despair. But as the time goes by, I’m having less of those. People need events.  That’s a fact.  People will figure out how to work around whatever they have to and have those events. So, I’ll continue to explore and figure out those work-arounds too.  It’s gradually starting to work.  The game shows for Zoom are starting to pick up, and it’s been amazing to be entertaining audiences in Chicago, New York and Beverly Hills and across Canada.

And diving into this project with BCEM and Showmax was the big final factor to tip me into steady, moderate optimism on a daily basis. I know we’re all realizing live/virtual hybrid events are here to stay, even after the pandemic risks fade – and they crackle with potential.

Studio-centered virtual events are like revisiting the golden age of live TV broadcasts; packed with content, variety and personalities, entertaining a select invited “TV audience” – but THIS TV audience can visit the studio as their webcam feed appears on the LED wall. They can compete in game shows with live studio contestants, accept awards, deliver a keynote.

And on top of the live “TV studio” buzzing with a packed program, outside the studio a fantastic live evening with live guests doubles that energy as guests mix, talk, eat and drink, and enjoy live entertainment…and join the studio program, as the two events not only overlap, but feed each other’s energy and momentum. AGM’s, conferences, conventions, galas and trade shows are a success when those few short hours yield the greatest return for clients. And every moment of an event like that is so valuable you could bottle it and sell it. This is a media product with a big future, and I’m going to make sure I’m part of it.

I’ve lost month’s worth of contracts since March and had days where I couldn’t bring myself to look at my banking app. I’ve seen friends and colleagues in the same position and worse. But I think today I’m going to hold on tight to this optimism and work hard on what’s in front of me.

– Mike Cavers


Reconnect 2020

The goal of Reconnect 2020 is twofold: to showcase this state-of-the-art new way to hold effective industry events; and to raise funds for the BC Hospitality Foundation, which gives emergency financial support and scholarships to service industry workers in need. Couldn’t be more needed right now.

The hybrid event will have a small in-person audience (adhering to Covid-19 guidelines) and a very large virtual audience. Mike Cavers will be hosting the on-line audience in the cutting-edge virtual studio, “broadcasting” a 2-hour interactive program including our signature game show – interacting with live and online contestants, music by the fabulous DJ Pri, an online auction, interviews, open mic and lots more. Meanwhile, Character Guys’ Barbara Beall will be hosting the live stage downstairs featuring live performances by Paul Filek and VanHatten. Each member of the in-person audience will kick back and take in the event in their very own audience pod, enjoying a delicious catered dinner.

As live guests enjoy the live show, they can also watch the feed from the virtual studio and bid on auction items to raise money for BCHF. And (spoiler alert) Mike will be inviting some special guests to the studio for game show action with fabulous prizes, short spotlight interviews and open mic discussions on the service, tourism and conference industry.

Reconnect 2020 will be a model for safe and engaging event design in a COVID-19 world.

If your company or organization is looking for a real solution to the challenges of holding your AGM, awards ceremony, conference or trade show, you should be going to this event to see how it works. Tickets still available through BC Event Management.

Introducing Vancouver’s Largest Virtual Event Studio