Over the past two years, Tycoon has had the pleasure of designing experiential-focused, live events full of grandiose decor, thematic entertainment, interactive chef-stations, and sensory activities-a-plenty (see A Holiday Adventure Like No Other and Le Cirque De Rêves), for BioWare’s Edmonton Studio Annual Holiday Party. 

While 2020 brought a halt to facilitating the in-person elements we had come to know and love, the overall objectives for creating fun, social, and interactive opportunities for BioWare’s Edmonton Studio Annual Holiday Party remained true. Facilitating connection among team members who had been working apart since the start of the pandemic was of utmost importance.

In addition, the ability to weave in nods to BioWare’s 25th Anniversary at this year’s virtual event provided some unique opportunities.

Faced with new financial constraints (as compared to previous years) and a project timeline of just four weeks (from formal approval to execution), these were some of the challenges that our Tycoons faced in embarking on this mission. 

Oh, and did we happen to mention the ever-changing health mandates and restrictions that affected some of our vendors ability to participate, and the uncertain shipping times for event supplies and materials? 

As the Tycoon team explored new territory with hopes of great reward for the common good, so too did the BioWare team as they embarked on the ‘Mars Habitation Mission’.

Sometime into the future…

The International Space Program has been exploring Mars for 50 years to date. They have built structures, explored the majority of the landscape, and have concluded that it is possible to live on Mars for extended periods of time.

Several species have been identified living on Mars. However, it is still undetermined if they can cohabitate or pose a potential threat to other life forms.

After several successful smaller habitation trials, the International Space Program has created the first ever, large group colonization project known as “Mars Habitation Mission”.

350 life forms have been selected to travel to Mars, complete the mission, and then travel home.

The mission begins now…

Details of the mission are as follows. 
Our team created a 3.5 hour virtual adventure where guests had the ability to participate in a wide variety of different activities at their leisure, throughout the night (some selected upon registration and some as a surprise).

Finding moments of shared experience, and drawing a thread between some of the elements that guests would typically enjoy in-person, remained top of mind. 

Guests received a ‘package from Earth’ to include the sustenance and tangible supplies required for the event’s activities. Their home-delivered items included: 

  • a space-themed meal of their choice, with 4 different catered menu options to choose from,
  • ingredients and a recipe card to build their own space-themed treat, with 2 different options to choose from,
  • a mixing kit for their pre-selected space-themed cocktail, where guests could choose from 6 different alcoholic and zero-proof options and tune in to follow along in a video demonstration from a ‘Mad Space Scientist’,
  • a ‘Space Concoction Guide’ that was a carefully designed and curated piece that featured all of the space-themed cocktails for future use, and  
  • art supplies to make a zodiac embroidery hoop that was personalized to their astrological sign 

To bring the theme to life in a virtual environment, we relied heavily on graphic design elements (provided by Sarah Tiemstra at Backstreet Media) and audio visual support (provided by Production World) to ensure that guests truly felt like they were being transported out of their living room and on to Mars for the evening.

From a virtual photo booth to a live-streamed DJ dance party, a virtual escape game, and an interactive virtual improv performance, a variety of activities were selected to entertain and peak the interest of all 335 event registrants. Check out the details of each, in the ‘Mars Mission Guide’, below.

To learn more about our event planning experience, check out our blog here.