A Stage Appearance in Toronto

I can now add to my list of accomplishments a stage appearance in Toronto.

Last week, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) and Tourism Toronto, who — along with the Hilton Toronto — hosted the PCMA Leaders of Thought Summit, held our first dinner in the convention center’s plush John Bassett Theatre — where we took the stage.

More than 20 of us — 16 meeting professionals from organizations around the country, summit speakers, and several PCMA staff — were treated to an elegant sit-down dinner prepared by the expert MTCC culinary team on a stage bathed in lavender lighting and transformed into an intimate dining area. It was a scene for all our senses and we drank it in — including musical interludes by the four-member a capella group Cadence, whose unique blend of harmonies and instrumental imitation made it hard to believe there weren’t a few trombone players and drummers hiding in the orchestra pit.
The two-day summit is a highly participatory program intended to shake up our thinking about face-to-face events. The MTCC and Tourism Toronto took that theme and ran with it, bringing us from the audience to the stage, and delighting us with a truly out-of-the-ordinary experience. (My thanks to Bryan Campen of Manifest Digital for his photo of the stage taken from the audience.)

Michelle Russell

Michelle Russell is editor in chief of Convene.