Merging Media Conference Promises Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Event

November is a busy month in the Vancouver startup world. Between Startup Week, our own Techfest and the always-jampacked leadup to the holidays, there’s a lot to do from under your umbrella.

But if you’re lucky enough to be under our torrential downpours this month, you’d be remiss not to attend this year’s Merging Media Conference. From November 12-14th, the Vancity Theatre will be home to unparalleled networking and mentorship opportunities, talks and roundtable discussions of the future of digital online programming.

Attendees will be able to gather wisdom some of the most prominent players in the field from around the world. From beloved local favourites like Global’s Bradley Shende to internationally-known experts like Elan Lee, Chief Design Officer for Xbox Entertainment Studios, there’ll be more going on at the Vancity Theatre than ever before.

Not least of all because of the debut of Merging Media’s Digital Extensions Story Lab, from the 12-13th at the Georgian Court Hotel. Organized in partnership with SundanceTV, the competition will allow Vancouver’s creative and productive minds to compete for a private mentorship session with the two hosts. The two hosts, Alison Norrington, founder of the storycentralLAB and SundanceTV’s Drew Pisarra (formerly of AMC and New York magazine), have known each other for a small eternity in the world of tech.

“Alison and I met at the StoryWorld Conference in LA in 2012, back when I worked on Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Walking Dead for AMC,” says Pisarra. “She’d invited me to be on a panel that was called something to the effect of “Developing Digital Content: Network to Network.” As I recall, our discussion focused on storylines in the digital sphere and why the superfan can be your best friend. I’d classify Alison as an incredibly passionate TV lover and digital expert — a superfan! I’m excited to pair up with her again.”

Even Pisarra’s not sure what the evening has in store—and that’s how likes it.

“To be honest, I love surprises. And I’m expecting some of the participants are going to provide me with just that. That said, it’s hard to be specific when talking about the ideas of people you haven’t met and know nothing about just yet. I lived in Portland for five years and I’m ashamed to say that I never made it up to Vancouver. The fact that the Merging Media conference is being held there is incredibly exciting to me. I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about Vancouver and I’m looking forward to exploring.”

Christine Lim Labossière, the CEO/Founder of Merging Media shares Pisarra’s excitement.

“It’s based on an actual project, secret until about a week before the event, when the participants in the competition will get to know more about the property they’re working on,” she says.

In its fifth year, the event continues to evolve.

“Merging Media has pivoted from cross-media content to becoming a marketplace for online digital content,” Labossière says. “What worked in the past was having high-level presentations, and we are going to have more of those in our series of MergingMedia Talks, which will be 30 minute TED-style talks. There will be buyers coming from across North America to talk about this new development in the industry, where they stand in this space, and what they’re looking for from Canadian content creators. We’re hoping to attract our content creators to this marketplace so they can learn what’s being looked for, networking and meeting with them.”

The life of anyone trying to break into the entertainment industry necessitates this kind of event—luckily for the jobless, the Merging Media Conference promises networking, education, and fun.