Before Bee Together, there was The Virtual Effect.
When The Virtual Effect launched, it was important for us to ensure that we were finding ways to learn, connect with people, and give back to the organizations and people who gave so much to our community here in Edmonton. Thus, our Elevate initiative was born.
Elevate started out in coffee shops, bringing together a small group of people to listen to the stories and the knowledge from experts and entrepreneurs with something incredible to say. We had Instagram lives, and quarterly events too to uplift folks, especially women, who could share interesting and important stories and knowledge with the community.
Impact events followed, gathering folks together to raise awareness for global issues such as human trafficking, anti-racism, houselessness, and more. The goal for each of these events was threefold: to raise funds for important causes, to raise awareness for various causes, and to educate ourselves and give back to our community.
As our organization has grown, much has changed. We changed our name, added new services, and ultimately came to the conclusion that the Elevate events we had been putting together for years just weren’t working in the ways we had hoped. It became difficult to get attendees to join us at our events, and promotion became a full time job. We thought that it shouldn’t be this hard to get folks to come and learn about these incredibly important topics. Something needed to change.
After much discussion, we looked back at our original purpose for Elevate - right down to the choice of name. Elevate has always been intended as a way to uplift the voices of people and causes that matter, and we’re the first to admit that we aren’t experts in the causes we have chosen. However, we do know how important it is to continue to raise awareness for them because we know that people have power when they come together to fight for change.
Ultimately, we decided that the best way we can show up for our community, is to elevate the voices and platforms of organizations who are already doing incredible work - not by bringing them on to an event of ours, but to help them create an event of their own. We are simply calling this offering, Giving Back.
Giving Back is the best way we can show up for our community now. We have years of experience in the event planning industry and we understand how many moving pieces it takes to pull off a successful event. We are pivoting to this model because we don’t want to pull people away from their platforms to speak for ours. We want to elevate their voices and their platforms, and show our support by implementing our industry skills to make their events happen.
We love our community, and we are so grateful to everyone who has ever spoken at, bought tickets for, or connected with us on our social media platforms for Elevate. We are very excited to officially kick off our Giving Back initiative, and more information about eligibility and what we’re offering can be found by clicking here.