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What music concert was your first, you ever attended, live and in person? Mine was Queen, 1977, Vancouver. It was the summer before high school. That year I was chosen to be a student ambassador for a community service club and while in Vancouver, I was given permission to visit my childhood friend who had moved away five years earlier. This would be our first opportunity to reunite.

Visiting Vancouver was a big adventure for a kid who grew up on 200 acres outside of a village. My friend Annette had scored the tickets to the concert and off we went. It took at least a decade for me to truly appreciate the novelty of being at a Queen concert. What I remember most, aside from the amazing encore song, God Save The Queen, was the huge venue and the vast number of people. I was just glad my urban friend knew how to navigate it all.  

So how does that story relate to our industry? Well a few weeks ago while doing my daily scan of provincial COVID-19 updates, I found the Destination British Columbia guidelines outlining their provincial reopening phases.  I was temporarily surprised to read that meetings and conferences would only resume when concerts and festivals do. The hard truth is, British Columbia will only allow these activities back online when a vaccine is produced or equally effective medicines. To date – there is no date for these activities to come back online.    

It makes sense. Meetings and conferences produce events: curate the talent, set up staging, lighting, AV, have a live audience and create amazing experiences. It was just the first time that I had ever made the mental connection that we as an industry are in the same category as rockstars! In our world though, the main talent is behind the scenes – in the form of a meeting planner!      

What large event will you attend first, when we are given the ‘all clear’?    

Timely yours, 

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