What an opportunity -to provide a welcome that speaks to what Canada offers for more than 4,000 participants from more than 120 countries! This experience took place under the iconic sails that make up the East Halls at the Vancouver Convention Centre in May. Given the vast amount of space at nearly 100,000 square feet, and a fair but finite budget we got to work! After presenting several “Canadian” concepts that our client liked, we started to plan out the space knowing that we had to “go big or go home” to maximize the look and feel for the participants and make a memorable impact on the first night of this week long conference.
It began in the West Building, with a local First Nations group greeting guests with traditional song as they entered the Opening General Session, where they got down to business, for a while. Leaving the Plenary session they moved over to the East Halls, greeted along the way by gorgeous Canadian StiltWalkers, then the very fun Mounties, both fantastic photo opportunities. As they entered the hall, the first show-stopping moment was on the main stage with a youth choir, their high energy moves drawing people in. As they came to a finish it was time for yes… A FLASH MOB. Choreographed by the local host committee hundreds had gone on line and learned the moves, and then joined in on site!
The fun continued with fortune tellers, a local Canadian band entertaining guests with both well-known Canadian songs, and their own historic tunes that tell our stories through song on one side of the room, balanced with an excellent jazz guitar duo in a quieter west coast forest zone on the other side. Added fun came from the fisherman anchored 23′ above the crowd, throwing his net to catch guests and bring them to the wine fairies below, but look out for the men in the canoe – especially when they stop to portage… each other – in a fantastic hand to hand performance! The guests came, they listened, networked and enjoyed their first glimpse of Canada.