Member Login

How the Elevated Stylist Retreat Went Online from StartWell in 2020

October 28, 2020

Since its inception their Salon’s ethos was rooted in a strong value for education, culture and fun – something which lead to the cofounders’ exploration of mindfulness, meditation, yoga and other wellness modalities.

Sonia Yarkhani and Jody Kezar met each other 10 years ago as hair stylists who worked together, which resulted in co-founding Evolve Salon and subsequently launching an annual event called the Elevated Stylist Retreat.

With an aim to share what they were learning, and benefit their industry as a whole, the Retreat’s aim involves building community whilst encouraging a work/life balance for hair stylists.

Innovation Despite The Pandemic

Faced with difficult decisions this year when considering whether to host a 2020 session of their Retreat, Kezar and Yarkhani embraced out of the box thinking to evolve Elevated Stylist into a hybrid event – hosted from a single physical location with a broadcast that featured in-room wellness practitioners and speakers as well as offsite presentations, all merged into a live experience for their community connecting online.

“Our experience with StartWell has been nothing but amazing, it was literally the perfect space to do our online retreat … it was good vibes all weekend and we loved it.”

– Jody Kezar, Co-Founder, Elevated Stylist Retreat

Live-streaming From StartWell

As soon as the team visited our campus and StartWell’s Hybrid Event Studio it was apparent that they understood its value for producing an intimate experience for their online community.

Watch highlights from the 2020 Elevated Stylist Retreat

With exclusive access to our Hybrid Event Studio that has its own entrance on King Street, the team felt safe and comfortable – something which seems to have translated on screen to help the 20 hours production stay engaging for the virtual audience who participated for morning yoga sessions, daytime talks and even a DJed party in the evening time. Our in-house AV team handled camera and microphone work plus live video switching to allow the production team to focus on stage content plus interacting online with participants through chat, polls and 1-on-1 video sessions.

Photos from Behind The Scenes

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

/ Community
Ascari At Home - Not Your Average Risotto

Ascari At Home – Not Your Average Risotto

The Toronto based Ascari Hospitality Group recently joined us in the StartWell test kitchen to demonstrate one of their new meal kit recipes.
/ Community
Jody Kezar & Sonia Yarkhani, Event Hosts (Elevated Stylist Retreat)

Jody Kezar & Sonia Yarkhani, Event Hosts (Elevated Stylist Retreat)

The Co-Founders of Evolve Salon share motivations for embracing a hybrid approach to produce the 2020 Elevated Stylist Retreat at StartWell.
/ Community
The 2020 Elevated Stylist Retreat broadcasting from StartWell

Highlights from the 2020 Elevated Stylist Retreat

A showreel of live-broadcasted footage from the first virtual version of this retreat for hair stylists which was produced at StartWell.
/ Business
Digital55 at the 2020 Hybrid Event Conference

Participatory Audiences Through Digital

At the 2020 Hybrid Event Conference, Toronto studio Digital55 discussed how online allows for participatory audiences to engage.
/ Business
Nikolas Badminton at the 2020 Hybrid Event Conference in Toronto

A Futurist’s Take on The Event Industry

At the 2020 Hybrid Event Conference Nikolas Badminton discussed new ways for events to engage people online, citing the 2020 Tour de France.
/ Business
Don Sagarese from 10tation Event Catering discusses the state of the events industry (2020 Hybrid Event Conference)

Discussing The State of the Events Industry

At the 2020 Hybrid Event Conference, Don touched on a new way to work through the pandemic - Collaboration, Communication and Confirmation.
/ Business
‘Getting in the Room’ - How Hybrid Events Relate Togetherness

‘Getting in the Room’ – How Hybrid Events Relate Togetherness

We need to use video creatively by considering the depth of what is on camera - making it accessible and able to be interacted with.
/ Business
In Conversation With Digital 55: “Hybrid Events”

In Conversation: Digital 55 on “Hybrid Events”

Award winning StartWell member studio Digital 55 join us on stage for this conversation about bringing people together through online learning experiences.