SoCal entrepreneur makes a ‘Play’ for producing virtual events

Let’s Play Ultimate Events helps people shift comfortably into a new virtual norm.
Let’s Play Ultimate Events helps people shift comfortably into a new virtual norm.
(Photo courtesy of Black & Magazine)

The coronavirus crisis has forever changed how we think about, host, attend and experience events.

During the last three months, as all types of in-person ceremonies and engagements were being canceled worldwide due to fears of spreading the deadly COVID-19 disease, people began turning to Zoom and other virtual meeting platforms to stay connected, helping to create some sense of normalcy during perilous times.

Michelle Johnson, founder of Let’s Play Ultimate Events, and her team are among event producers who have previously only engaged mostly in organizing and executing functions people attend in-person. Now, they find themselves at the forefront of a transition happening within an industry already experiencing rapid change.

They are helping to comfortably shift event guests into our new virtual norm.

Established in San Diego in 2010, Let’s Play Ultimate Events began as a fun game night for friends that grew into a full-service events company specializing in a nostalgic game concept. As a minority, woman-owned special events company, Johnson sought to create an alternative to the “same old bar scene.”

When Johnson moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA, she took Let’s Play Ultimate Events with her, adding a scholarly touch to her event productions.

While the gatherings have been remarkably successful, COVID-19 brought about a challenge that caused Johnson and her team to be quick on their feet, putting them in a game changing position. People are hesitant to go out. “So how do we change this to something that people can enjoy?” she said.

After all, anyone can host a Zoom, says Johnson, “But it takes a certain personality that can bring people into something where they’re engaged and not just watching.”

While Let’s Play Ultimate Events had already been keeping loyal supporters entertained through virtual events like their famed Taco Tuesdays, Johnson knew she would have to pack more into some of the other virtual remakes of her clients’ favorite functions.

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