In a previous post, I’ve shared views from Speaker #7 concerning the DJ vs MC question. Stephanie Shaar (Speaker #7) has mentioned that it’s just as well to mention her by name, as it makes it easier to keep track of who said what when you have a name rather than a number.
I sometimes find it useful to identify people by Speaker Numbers. Among other things it ensure that I do not need to devote extra time to getting permission to quote a person directly.
However, there are indeed also clear advantages to getting that permission to name people when sharing messages online. It’s easier to keep track of a discussion thread when you know the name of the person who’s made a particular comment.
Anyway, the reason we share some discussions online – with or without names – is that (1) the web enables us to do this, and (2) transparency is a useful part of the planning process for a reunion.
The online discussions that we are involved in are helpful when the final decisions are made, by the organizing committee that regularly meets – face to face as contrasted to online – at a Boston Pizza in Kitchener west of Toronto. We’re making good progress in setting up a system for keeping track of comments and suggestions.
Summary of Stephanie’s comments (in her previous role as Speaker #7):
Stephanie Shaar has referred in a previous post to a speaker who spoke of the close link between a DJ and having fun. She also commented that a more balanced approach comes with a comment that MCs and DJs each possess their own roles, and can appear at different stages of the evening; the presence of both would help ensure an evening that is both smoothly run, and fun.
Stephanie also noted that a DJ helps set the mood through music, and encourages a party atmosphere. She noted it would be a good idea to have not just a series of MC but also a series of DJs – “or at least, while the theme is the 60’s, the DJ should be thoroughly knowledgeable of music from the 50s through to the 70s.”
She added that MCHS grads experienced evolving social and cultural influences: The 1960 grads who began grade 8 in Sept ’56 would have, among their influences: James Dean, music e.g. Everly Brothers, Crickets, duwop. The 1974 grads began grade 7 in ’69. The British Invasion, hippies, etc. had passed through; AC/DC and KISS were playing.
Stephanie added: “While the ’74s were at their grad, the 60’s grads were by then in their 30’s, many with school age children of their own.”
Stephanie has discussed some other items as well, which will go into the mix as the planning process goes forward.
By way of summary, the intention is that, in the course of the evening, those who like to talk in a quiet setting will have the opportunity to do so; and those who like to dance to loud music (who might also have been among the talkers earlier, during the mix and mingle stage of things) will also have the opportunity to do so. There are some options regarding quieter spaces for those who want to talk without loud background noise. We will explore those.
During the buffet dinner, a key meet and greet portion of the event, we would not have loud music. Also, an overall theme established early in the planning, is: “Keep it simple.”
Storytelling and live music
Stephanie has noted that she has attended live storytelling sessions in Montreal. She noted that she finds finds ‘interestability’ is related to the speaker’s topic and presentation quality. That is a topic that we will continue to explore, as we develop the agenda for the reunion.
Live music has also been discussed. Jaan Pill has mentioned some potential sources of live entertainment that he knows about, including a young singer who specializes in songs from past eras; a 50s and 60s live music band; and a dance group that does live performances of dances from previous eras. We’ll address these topics in future posts.
Comment from John Kovacs concerning the DJ vs MC question
John Kovac has helped us tremendously with regard to strategic thinking through previous comments. Along with Lynn Berry, who had commented about this topic earlier, John convinced us to expand the scope of the 60s reunion, so that students who began at MCHS in the 1960s but graduated in the 1970s would not be left out. John also convinced us, in a Comment at a recent post, to re-configure the Preserved Stories website so that there is a banner for the reunion across the page, and so that information about registration and other details is easy to find. Work on the re-configuration is proceeding smoothly. The MCHS 2015 site will be accessible at www.MCHS2015.com
John’s comment regarding MC vs DJ
Re : the benefits of a M.C. vs a DJ . I believe that someone got it right about the role of a DJ, and I don’t think the DJ has an investment or familiarity of the activities, as one of the Alumni – especially someone from the organizing committee.
An M.C., in fact can be more than one person ( 1 Male , 1 Female ) or as they do at Awards Shows, 1 or 2 M.C.s and several guest presenters.
The guest presenters will straddle the graduating years, so no one feels left out or overwhelmed.
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John Kovac has also shared with us some names of possible DJ candidates; we will convey that information to the Toronto-based entertainment subcommittee and the MCHS 2015 organizing committee.
We’ve also discussed projected attendance figures with John Kovac and Gary Lambertz. For the current post, I’ll close with a question from Gary.
Question from Gary Lambertz:
I was just wondering about the size allocated to the number of people that this event can hold. What I don’t understand is that Human nature, being what it is, will always wait till the last minute to register and I fear that more people will do so. You might be surprised at the amount of people that will do so! What alternative would there be to hold this event if 200 >500 were wanting to go? I for one am planning on going, but I want to get a group of my class together to make the trip. Hope that by June I will have that done.
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Reply from Jaan Pill:
With the buffet dinner as the setup, we’re looking at 140 people for Brûlé Rooms B & C at Old Mill, Toronto. In a scenario that we don’t anticipate, but would need to envision, if there was a huge demand by people to attend toward the last moment, then there would be a way – one can envision this, but we don’t anticipate it – to increase the number beyond 140 to somewhere in the range of 200. In that case, the buffet scenario would be jettisoned.
It’s pretty hard to predict how the numbers will go. It’s a good point that you make: People tend to leave things until the last moment. I’ve noticed that with national conferences that I’ve helped to organize in years past. The last day before the deadline for registration sometimes sees a major flurry of registrations coming in.
Something I’ve also noticed, however, in the past decade or two, is that the idea of face to face meetings doesn’t have the same sense of urgency for some people that it had in the past – say in the past as in the 1990s when the Internet was just starting to make its presence known. I’m really keen about the value of a face to face event such as a reunion, and there still are many people who share that enthusiasm, but with social media and the like, some people don’t have the same enthusiasm, perhaps, for getting together in person, that people had in the past.
The other aspect is that we’re dealing with demographic changes as they relate to the MCHS Sixties/Early Seventies generation. People are getting older. Some people are on limited income by way of pensions. Some people have the means to travel and stay at hotels, and pay $150 for a reunion fee, but the proportion of people who can do that may be diminishing.
What I’ve shared is based on my experience and is also driven by informed speculation and guesses.
My sense is that our first task, as an organizing committee, is to get the 140 figure met. That’s the first priority. Howard Hight and Diana Redden are focusing on that through the excellent Newsletter. All of us who have any connection with the MCHS 2015 website and MCHS-related Facebook pages are publicizing the event through those particular means.
Word of mouth advertising – talking with fellow graduates in our circle of contacts - is also a key means of ensuring that people know about the reunion, and that a given percentage of them will be motivated to register and send in their cheques.
We’ll have the opportunity to see which way things are trending, in terms of attendance, in the next few months. It’s really important to discuss these things. I much appreciate your question. I look forward to the continuation of such conversations as we get closer to the event.
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