Client: Global Financial Services Firm
Venue: Scotiabank Convention Centre, Niagara Falls
Programs: SongDivision’s Song Slam, Keynote Presentation, Guitar Throwdown, and Play With the Band
We love doing large, elaborate events. The number of moving parts is incredible and it’s a treat watching everything fall into place. The most important parts are the people, both facilitators and the 600 participants. Our Rock the Stars crew was stellar; musicians who have played with artists as diverse as Moist, Big Wreck, Burton Cummings, Jill Barber and I Mother Earth. The event featured many components, including a keynote presentation, an energizing guitar duel, the writing of four original songs, and an after party with an interactive live band.
The setting for the afternoon was one of the large event halls at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls. It’s an expansive space, with 40′ ceilings illuminated by sky lights. The group was welcomed by Jeff Pearce, who kicked off the afternoon with a keynote address. Jeff was a founding member of multi-platinum band, Moist, and his multimedia presentation is a humorous and insightful peek into life in a rock band. His message is about how risk, creativity, trust and teamwork are the keys to success in any enterprise, musical or otherwise.
After listening to Jeff speak about life as a rock star, it was time for participants to get immersed in some real live music. Rock the Stars got the crowd to their feet with a “Guitar Throwdown”, an interactive display of musical mastery that had the audience calling out songs and artists to challenge the two incredible guitar players shredding for their affection.
Then it was time for the main event, “Song Slam”. The group was formed into 4 teams who were told they had ninety minutes to write an original song based on the themes of the conference. The group responded at first with apprehension and disbelief. Our MC put participants at ease by explaining exactly how a song is written, with small easy to follow steps, guided by experienced musicians. Apprehension turned into excitement and soon snippets of songs were filling the huge event space. Ninety minutes later the event hall was filled with music, and everyone was on their feet working out choreography and rehearsing their new compositions.
Next… show time! The party moved into the Centre’s beautiful ballroom, decorated as a hybrid of harvest festival and a concert hall. Each “band” performed their song, crowding onto the stage and dance floor and singing out the lyrics displayed on projection screens. There was a reggae song, a punk rock song, a country song. Each song featured themes important to the client and to the conference. Performances were met by incredible and genuine enthusiasm by everyone listening.
And once everyone had a taste of what it was like to get on stage there was no stopping the party. The interactive Rock the Stars band delivered an incredible set of music, live band karaoke style, which had the stage and dance floor packed for the rest of the night. By the time the final chorus of “Don’t Stop Believing” was belted out it was clear that all the moving pieces had done their part and the experience was something that would never be forgotten. A big note of thanks to the event planners, the amazing crew at Scotiabank Convention Centre, technical production from Freeman Audio Visual, our partners from SongDivision, and of course our own talented facilitators.