Our Blog

#IndustryInterview: Calgary Show Services

*Sponsored Boom first began working with Calgary Show Services (CSS) back in 2016, when they came alongside us as the audio visual partner for the Wyne & Godfrey Wedding. Besides helping us create a gorgeous, award-winning wedding experience, Kris Benoit and his team also showed us that they value partnership and collaboration above all else, something we repeatedly look for in suppliers. We recently sat down with Kris, the owner and production manager of CSS, to talk about his experience in the AV and lighting world, and what makes him tick.   Thanks so much for sitting down with us, Kris! My pleasure! We’ve worked with your team on some great projects over the years, but we only connected in 2016. How old is Calgary Show Services? Well, we’ve been around since 2009, so that would make us 9 years old.  Every time we chat it feels like you’re jumping into a new project. I know your team is really busy and working on lots of things, but I’m curious if there is a project in the last year or so that you felt particularly excited by? That’s a hard one… I’m not sure if excited is the right word, but I think I’d say it was the celebration of life that we were asked to support on at the Boyce theatre. It was someone who wanted to honour their father and really tell the story of his life in a way that would do it justice. They wanted visuals, lighting, recording, streaming, multiple speakers, and a live band, so it was a pretty complex show. I felt a lot...

#EventInReview: The Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA) – 2018 Rosie Awards

At 44 years old, the Alberta Film and Television Awards, or the “Rosies” as they are affectionately known, are the oldest film and television awards show in Canada, dating back to 1974. This past weekend on May 12, 2018, Boom was pleased to produce the awards, which marked a defining year for Alberta: “100 years of cinema in the province”. The epoch film, Until They Get Medirected by American director Frank Borzage’s and released in 1917, was the first film shot in Alberta. A cut from the original film was screened in honor of the century marker. The Rosie Awards fall into two category streams – 27 class awards, presented for productions produced or co-produced by an Alberta production company, and 33 craft categories for craftspeople who lived in Alberta for the 2017 calendar year, summing 60 award categories presented. The awards are determined on a submission basis, and a total of 686 class and craft entries were submitted to be judged this year. Alberta has an impressive resume of media production, including one of the most currently successful and anticipated television shows of all time; Game of Thrones shot on location near Banff for three seasons, and Alberta’s own Heartland filmed in and around the Albertan town of High River, and which has aired for an impressive eleven seasons. Distinguished Hollywood blockbusters Inception, Brokeback Mountain, Legend of The Fall, The Borne Legacy, and The Revenant were all shot in Alberta. With anticipated sector growth in media production in Alberta, and growing international recognition as a major production destination, it is no surprise that Alberta celebrates the best and brightest accomplishments of...

Driven by Vision: How to Elevate Any Brand’s Story

When beginning a project it’s easy to feel like your doggy paddling in an ocean of logistics, feebly attempting to catch a glimpse of a lighthouse to guide you to shore. Most projects have massive lists of necessary to do’s, but without a clearly defined vision, tackling them effectively can be a struggle. Ultimately, this is a struggle between the “how” and the “why” of your project, which prompts the question: how do you bring purpose to your campaigns and build focus amongst your clients and partners (while still getting stuff done)? Boom was asked to tackle this question in a recent piece for Moments Magazine. It hardly took any brainstorming at all to arrive at how we wanted to communicate this; for the last few years Boom has been using an approach called The Nesting Principles to help brands elevate their campaigns from the “what” to the “why”. The five Nesting Principals are a strategic approach to creating purposeful plans, and are an incredibly useful tool for event and communication professionals who are trying to create campaigns that are driven by vision rather than tactics. The principles are meant to be approached like your grandmother’s old nesting doll set: Tactics, the smallest “doll”, nests inside Strategies, which nests inside Objectives, which nests inside Goals, which, ultimately, nests inside Vision. The idea is that your biggest principal, Vision, holds all of the other principles together, and should be the biggest priority for your team. Noteworthy is the fact that tactics, while perhaps the biggest time consumer, is actually the smallest principle in this approach, and is nested inside and...

5 Communication Trends for 2018 and Beyond

We believe that, at heart, we’re all storytellers. Whether we choose to tell those stories through live experiences or through narrative-driven content, it doesn’t change the fact that in almost everything we do we are either telling or hearing a story. This fundamental idea is important to reflect on when we look at communication trends and how our world is rapidly changing, and remember that while the way people want to be communicated with may be changing, that desire to be communicated with stays the same. With this in mind, we’ve spent some time trawling the web to see what you can expect from communication trends for 2018 and beyond. Hint? You’re probably going to need to up your data plan.   1.Visualize Your Data Information is power- but how do you get people to care about your information in the first place? Organizations are increasingly turning from charts and spreadsheets to infographics in an attempt to translate raw data into engaging content. You just need to look at interactive visualizations created by big media companies, like the one below from The Wall Street Journal, to understand how data can be presented in an appealing way.   and on that note…   2. Prioritize Video. Not much new here; video is still the dominant content trend. Not convinced? The average person watches 32 videos per month, and there’s a 74 per cent increase in understanding when someone watches a video. If it isn’t already, video should absolutely top your communication docket for 2018.   3. 5G Mobile Internet 5G is the 5th generation of mobile communication, which is capable of providing a data...

Get to Know: Alena Schock

We’re thrilled to welcome Alena Schock, B.A., to the Boom team this month! Alena comes from the world of international relations, and brings with her a plethora of experience from both the marketing and business world. In the time it would take most people to start and complete their pilot’s license (which she’s still considering) Alena has already taken the event and communication’s world by storm; she’s co-produced a volunteer-led fashion show benefitting the Heart and Stroke Foundation, accepted a position as board member for ILEA (International Live Event Association), and – in case you forgot- become Boom’s Communications and Special Project Coordinator. If you want to say hi, shoot her an email at alena@boomgoesthedrum.com, or if you’re a bit on the shy side, you can get to know her better by perusing the interview below.   1) You have an impressive pedigree: a bachelor in business with a double minor in international business and political science. So how did you end up in events and communications?  I had the opportunity to study international marketing in Hong Kong a few years ago. When I came back I had all this inspiration and wanted somewhere to put all that positive energy. My mom had heard of this fashion show called “The Heart Truth” and recommended I use my positive energy for a good cause by volunteering. Working on that event I remember having a moment where I just stopped and went, “Oh my God, I really love doing this.” I think that was one of the first times I felt really empowered, but I didn’t really have a word for it. The...

#BoomGoesOut: The Edison Opening

The landscape of corporate Calgary is changing. Sure, renovations are great and new skyscrapers are a welcome addition to the skyline (and job market for that matter), but that’s surface level change. City’s attempting to undergo the kind of transformative change that revives and renews urban life understand that this takes time, energy, and honesty. The Edison is answering this call for inner business transformation by creating “uncommon areas” for collaborative work environments. Top talent is attracted by company culture and The Edison is breeding it by shelving traditional office space and leaving it in the history section. Aspen Properties announced the official renovation grand re-opening of The Edison on March 22, 2018, after over a year of construction and an interior over haul led by Gibbs Gage Architects on the main, 2nd and 3rd floors with MAKE Design Lab Inc. designing interior finishes through the rest of the building. The Edison has taken shared work spaces a step further by inserting collaborative elements into each floor and shared spaces of the building. Additionally, it’s the first dog friendly office building in downtown Calgary, provides local brews on tap for tenant exclusive events in common areas, and has a basketball area. In short, the hard task of corporate introspection, in this case, seems to have paid off. Arriving at The Edison for their grand opening we were treated to two larger-than-life, landmark art installations called ‘Emergent’, which define the plaza area they now call home. A revolving door slips guests into a warm lobby with soaring ceilings, and a den-like seating area is equipped with Instagram-worthy furniture and a...

#BoomGoesOut: Six Reasons Why the DJD Annual Black and White Ball Needs to be on Your Calendar

While a Ball may seem reserved for the evil step sisters of the world there is a Ball for those who care more about meeting fundraising goals than meeting a prince. This Ball feels more Gatsby than anything and after all, the enchantment and allure of ball is to play amongst the champagne and the stars. If you haven’t heard by now, the Decidedly Jazz Danceworks Black and White Ball is a night of entertainment, fashion, art, fundraising, jazz, and – of course – dance. Here are 6 reasons why this year’s event was a smashing success (and why you can’t afford to miss out next year). Location, Location, Location What the Fairmont Palliser does very well is reflect the energy desired for a ball; high ceilings, rolling bannisters, and statuesque pillars all showcase the impactful drama of a crowd dressed entirely in black and white. The venue used a few well placed touches of green here and there to nod to the Patty’s day celebration setting the tone for a high-society party devoid of any pretention.                     Pre-Parties Being that the DJD is held at the Fairmont Palliser downtown, there is an excellent opportunity for hosting guests pre-party in an upstairs suite or at one of the esteemed restaurants in the building. This means the venue is buzzing with anticipation long before doors open. If a venue change is important for you and your guests, the plethora of restaurants and bars in the area provide no shortage of options to get your own pre-party off on the right foot (or glass...

#EventInReview: HeartsOut2018

Last week one of Calgary’s oldest arts institutions, The Youth Singers of Calgary, hosted their second annual fundraiser, Hearts Out. The event raises support for their programming, which provides young Calgarians with access to musical and performing education. Boom was pleased to once again be the production sponsor for this event. Since it’s inception in 2017, Hearts Out has become the organization’s most successful fundraiser, securing over $250,000 in revenue to support children and youth in the arts. The event was hosted at one of Calgary’s favourite venues (and one very aptly chosen for this event), Arts Commons‘ Jack Singer Lobby. Youth supporters, arts aficionados, and an impressive range of sponsors all descended on the lobby for an evening of musical delights. The fundraiser began with the much-anticipated and always sold-out Allegro Auction; a reverse auction, where guests win donated prizes (with an average value of over $400). The catch? When your name is called you have just 30 seconds to race to your item and claim it before someone else does. Our talented host – and Youth Singer dad- Ken Lima-Coelho guided guests through the process with some help from our ‘auction correspondents’, Steve Nagy and Mike Morrison. They don’t call it an “Allegro” auction for nothing- over 80 items were claimed in just under 40 minutes. Planning on attending next year? Pro tip: choose the ballet flats instead of the heels and arrive 15 minutes early to scope out the best prizes- they go fast and having a heads up on where they are in the room is your best bet on landing your top choice. After the auction,...

Boom Feature: Alberta Meeting and Event Guide – Reinventing the Gala Format

It goes without saying that when producing a fundraiser you need to create an experience that entices guests to walk through your event’s doors; but what about before they step foot in your venue? Check out this piece we did for the Fall/Winter issue of the Alberta Meeting and Event Guide, where we talk about audience engagement before and after an event, and the key to long term donor relationships! Link: https://www.meetingsalberta.com/magazine/  ...

Don’t Be Late For Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Tonight is the opening night of Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker we would like to share some of the reasons to come early!  Our recommendation is to arrive an hour before the show to experience magic of the Sugar Plum Parties and strike a pose in a truly festive scene and finish (or start) your Christmas shopping  at the Nutcracker Boutique. SUGAR PLUM PARTY Sugar Plum Party activities are located throughout the Jubilee lobby and begin one hour before the performance start. Watch for the Nutcracker characters who will lead Storybook Corner Klara’s Closet is back, giving children a space to dress up in costumes from past Nutcracker productions, and also featuring a costume activity: learn about the dazzling Sugar Plum Fairy costume and take home a colouring page inspired by Alberta Ballet’s Nutcracker costumes. It’s all added fun at no extra charge, thanks to the Nutcracker Production Sponsor, TD. STRIKE A FESTIVE POSE With everyone dressed in their holiday finery, consider commemorating the outing with a special Nutcracker group photo taken by a professional photographer. Proceeds from the photo booth go to the School of Alberta Ballet. Complete with a Victorian-era sleigh fit for four people and an old-fashioned gas lamp, the photo booth will also feature a lovely Snow Tsarina during intermission. THE NUTCRACKER BOUTIQUE Find a special something for yourself or for someone on your Christmas list. The Nutcracker Boutique is filled with gifts and memorabilia, including dress up accessories for children who want to play roles of mice, soldiers, or princesses! The Nutcracker is running from December 15 – 17 and 20 – 24th at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium...

Event in Review: Mercedes-Benz

It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to turn a state of the art car dealership into an event hot spot with an attendance of 450 guests. We were honoured to work with Mercedes-Benz Country Hills on October 26 for their exclusive Grand Opening. Focal points of this event were a-plenty as guests got to see the newest line up of luxury vehicles, with a special focus on two gorgeous vehicles; The G 550 4×42-squared in Electric Beam Metallic Yellow and the GTR in a jaw dropping Green Hell – both rare, hard-to-get, exclusive vehicles. Unfortunately, we couldn’t quite convince management to let us take them for a test drive! The lighting provided by Orange Frog transformed the space from “office” to a brilliant beacon of intrigue as guests pulled up. Once inside the stunning building, guests were greeted with champagne and deliciously delicate hors d’oeuvres from Hotel Arts, which they nibbled as they explored through the space. It’s been a while since ice sculptures have made their way across the event circuit, but we decided to revisit the idea for this event, as it was a must-have to serve ice cold martinis that were neither shaken or stirred. Working collaboratively with Lea Romanowski of Designing on the Edge and Frozen memories, together we gave a classic, new life and brought it back to the modern age.       Guests gathered around to hear Managing Partner Colin Gingell and Jim McManes, owner of McManes Automotive, share their stories of how it all came to be. Before things really kicked into high gear, there was the much anticipated official...

#BoomGoesOut: The Rec Room Grand Opening

The Rec Room had its grand opening event last week, where they invited Calgarian’s to explore their 50,000 square foot home. The venue, which occupies two floors of Deerfoot City, has just about everything you could want from an event space, including dining, amusement, and live entertainment experiences. Add to that a massive arcade room, and you know where the Boom team is going to be every weekend for the rest of 2017. Featuring two separate dining options, the Rec Room can provide a fun, interactive, quick-service style menu with The Shed, or guests can take advantage of their upscale casual restaurant, Three10, which features Canadian-inspired cuisine with innovative cooking techniques. Perhaps the most popular part of the night (besides the aerialist who served champagne from, quite literally, the air) was the opportunity the Rec Room gave for guests to experience “The Yard”; their 9,000 square foot arcade featuring over 100 amusement games. This gaming oasis had all the classics like Buck Hunter and Mario Kart, and some impressive new contenders, like a digitally manipulated climbing wall and a game featuring a 3D hologram. We were especially impressed with the RFID bracelets which tracked credits and points digitally, which you could use to redeem for a variety of prizes. By incorporating technology into their experience, the Rec Room created a smooth, seamless interface for their guests to interact with- a must in the increasingly digital world of event experience.   With events moving more and more towards experience-gamification, The Rec Room provides Calgary with a great, interactive, fun-driven space for the young and young at heart to enjoy. It...

Get to Know: Alison Dumenko

The Boom team is delighted to announce that one of our favourite collaborators has joined our team as Manager of Production Services – Alison Dumenko (CSEP). With over a decade of experience in event production she comes to Boom ready to create great, big things for our clients and to support our team with process development. Read on to get to know Alison, and say hello when you see her at the next Boom event. She has two this week – this lady is already on fire.     1) You’ve been in the event world for longer than a decade. What is it about events that drew you to this field?  The first word that comes to mind when I think about what I do is ‘orchestration’, because it’s not just one element, it’s the combination of all the instruments working together to make something.  The organization, the planning, the people who bring it all together – ultimately I’m attracted to the process of gathering ideas and people together around a single vision. Even after all these years I still get as excited. I get as invested in the event as the client does, and own a piece of that story. 2) If you weren’t an events professional, what would you be? Something to do with Emergency Response and Preparedness. 3) What would you say has been your biggest achievement over the last year? The very big, existential, personal answer to that question is that I made big shifts in my personal life and career in order to more fully commit to my professional passions. The easy answer:...

Event in Review: Next Big Thing

Next Big Thing is the brainchild of Kait Kucy and Mike Morrison, two journalists who understand the value of online business and the business of being online. They created a one-day conference to educate and celebrate professionals who use social media and the internet to promote themselves/their work, and make money. As fans of their work and vision, Boom Goes the Drum was honoured to sponsor this event and provide production services. It was another fabulous year of learning and inspirations – cue the highlights! 1. ‘Call to Action’ is dead. Long live ‘Invite to Collaborate’. Something we heard time and time again from the panelists and speakers who generate income as social influencers is that their relationships with brands are more successful when the brand approaches them with a collaborative spirit. Working with an influencer means understanding who they are as a person, and what about their voice resonates with their audience, and then presenting them with a win-win-win opportunity thats more than just ‘tell your fans to buy our product’. If you want to get the attention of an influencer identify for them the link between them, their audience, and your story/product, pitch a few ideas, be up front about budget, and work with them to find the best fit. They know their audience, and they’re there to serve them, so trust them.   Inspiration then instruction from @ladydubbs and @darling. Her first tip: start with a mission statement or manifesto. A post shared by NEXT BIG THING (@nextbigthingca) on Oct 14, 2017 at 11:47am PDT   2. Stay in your lane. What makes you different makes...

Boom Does Thanksgiving: Our Favourite Recipes

It’s Thanksgiving and that means people all over Canada are trying on their #eventprof hats for a day and organizing invites, table settings, and – most importantly – menus. While we can’t pop into your living room to help you tablescape (though believe us, we’d love to) the Boom team has put together our favourite crowd-pleasing recipes to make sure your dinner is one to remember!   Derek MacDonald: Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Apple This creative take on Brussel sprouts will appease even the pickiest of eaters. BOOM TIP: Using an apple-wood smoked bacon will play off the Granny Smiths beautifully.   Alison Dumenko: Whiskey Glazed Carrots Easy to make, full of flavour, and they’ll provide a beautiful pop of colour for your Thanksgiving table. BOOM TIP: Make sure you let your butter brown before you add the brown sugar.   Jessica Tkachuk: Beer-Brined Roast Duck A flavour-packed alternative to turkey that tastes as good as it looks. BOOM TIP: Make sure to roast this “low and slow”. Duck is a fatty meat, and this will make sure you cook off some of that grease, without losing moisture.   Sommer Smith: Hot Spinach Dip Rich and creamy and so delicious, this is a great dip to get your Thanksgiving evening started. BOOM TIP: We recommend serving this dip with a fresh baguette. The hot cheese on a crusty bread is a perfect pair.   Jessica Broz: Apple Turnovers Who needs pie when you’ve got these delicate, flaky turnovers? BOOM TIP: Change the granulated sugar to brown sugar, and add 1 tsp of vanilla and a tbsp of...

#BoomGoesOut: Calgary Stampede reveals new Big Four Roadhouse

Last night, Calgary Stampede welcomed over 1,000 people to the new and improved Big Four Roadhouse, recently updated to provide Calgary producers with a new option for live performances. It now features 60,000 sq. ft., a permanent stage, built-in bars, capacity for up to 4,000 people and a state of the art in-house sound and lighting system. As producers, and fans of live music, we were thrilled to get in there and scope out the place.   So, @mikesbloggity needed to take the photo, as I am incapable of taking selfies. #TB4Roadhouse #eventprofs #venueexploration A post shared by Jessica Broz (@missjbroz) on Oct 5, 2017 at 9:16pm PDT First impressions: very good. The team at Calgary Stampede lit up the building like never before, and a stellar crew of professionals welcomed guests on the red carpet. We were warmly greeted by friendly faces and the smell of mesquite bbq as we walked the carpet. We proceeded into the (giant!) room to find food stations and bars, before eventually enjoying a concert on the big stage. Congratulations to Stampede on the new space! What a way to show it off… Thanks for inviting us to take part! The Big Four Roadhouse aims to increase the number of performers that come to Calgary on their tours by adding a fresh space for Calgary’s growing music scene. The space features 60,000 sq. ft., a permanent stage, built-in bars, capacity for up to 4,000 people and a state of the art in-house sound and lighting system. #TB4Roadhouse A post shared by Calgary Stampede (@calgarystampede) on Oct 5, 2017 at 8:12pm PDT Thank you...

BoomGoesOut: Calgary International Film Festival 2017

Eleven films in twelve days – a marathon, fuelled on popcorn, nachos and pop! As event producers, it’s rare that our schedules allow a 12-day festival commitment (unless we’ve planned the festival ourselves) however, this year I decided I was going to devote my ‘real life’ personal time to deeply immersing myself in the Calgary International Film Festival – it is the things that inspire us that make our work better!   Working the red carpet like we own it @andreajeanarnold Xx #calgaryfilm #yyc #yycliving #supportindiefilm A post shared by Jessica Broz (@missjbroz) on Sep 20, 2017 at 8:46pm PDT CIFF (now known as Calgary Film) is 12-day festival showcase of up to 200 multi-genre feature and short films from Canada and over 50th other countries, hosted at both the Globe Cinema and Eau Claire Theatre. These theatres transform into buzzing hives with “all walks of life” coming together with a common interest – A true love for film!  The Festival kicked off with an opening gala at Art Commons and a special screening, followed by 11 days of non-stop screenings. Opting for the Social/Cultural, Strong Women, Emotional, and Inspiring films – I’ll admit I’ve been through the emotional wringer. The most notable for me was ‘Breathe’ (based on a true story), a heartwarming celebration of the potential of our love for each other. Calgary Film did an amazing job of providing engaging, entertaining and compelling films – and it payed off with record attendance! I’ve been deeply touched by each film I’ve seen and I’m walking away with a very deep respect for this art form and those...

Event in Review: Converge 2017 for ILEA

  It’s a tall order to organize an event for event producers in support of event producers. When you are your target audience, how can you possibly accomplish everything you’d like to achieve? The answer: bring together generous and talented partners who believe in the cause and value experience as we much as you do. We were honoured to host CONVERGE 2017 for the Search Foundation in our home, The Foundry, last night, during ILEA LIVE 2017. Hundreds of industry heavyweights and local influencers gathered together to connect and catch up. From the innovative lighting (hello exterior wash and infinity dance floor!) by Orange Frog Productions to the dramatic nitro dessert station by Great Events Catering, guests were treated to sweet surprises around every turn, starting in our neighbour’s space Uniquities, moving through The Foundry, and concluding outside on the pop-up patio. We have lots of people thank: Orange Frog Productions (lighting), FMAV (AV), Great Events Catering (food), BassBus (music & entertainment), OneWest (furniture), Designing on the Edge (florals and ceiling decor), Givergy (silent auction), SOS Charging Solutions (charge stations), Picture This Digital (photo booth), and Eventful Planning (drink sponsor). *Thank to our friends at FMAV for the photos, and to all of the guests who shared their experience on social media! Check out #Converge2017 for more great shots.   We love this shot that our member & friendor, @viewitdoit captured at #ilealive! We can’t wait to hear all about it at next week’s meeting! #Repost @viewitdoit ・・・ Our Vanessa is attending @ilealiveconference in Calgary Canada and spent the evening at @searchfound #Converge2017! So many great people there and...