PDS’s West Coast Rainforest Party

The creative team at Pacific Destination Services (PDS) imagined and designed a spectacularly successful West Coast Rainforest Party in the Exhibit Halls of the Vancouver Convention Centre.

The concept was to capture the essence of a West Coast Rainforest, while at the same time, feel like an exclusive, international dance club – and play host to an international crowd of more than 1300. Additional objectives were to ensure it represented Vancouver; that the food was amazing and creatively presented; the design needed to be edgy and never seen before; include elements of surprise and awe, and that it be a party full of “insta” moments.”

Designed as the perfect space for trade shows, the venue required a little more love to bring it to the “epic-party” ambience desired by their discerning client, who wanted to create “an award-winning event that would be splashed all over industry mags and social media. To create elements of surprise, guests were directed down a long escalator to the exhibition level while the only hint of expectation came from the music and body-painted, stilt-walking trees directing guests to the entrance.


What they found when they arrived was magical! Guests walked right into a dense forest with meandering, tree-lined boardwalks flanked by tree stumps lit from within. Hidden woodland nymphs interacted and engaged, as they found their way along the path. As guests emerged from the forest stopped them in their tracks.

The expansive space was filled with engaging areas to explore, designed to create the feeling of being high up in a forest canopy. Guest wandered the entire space discovering amazing delights along the way, from interactive spaces and unique entertainment to mouthwatering food, chilled beverages in canoes and even a West Coast storm!


Highlights of the event included the Suspended Treehouse Orbs, a 30 ft. tall, 4-sided custom-built, livable Treehouse Bar in the centre of the room, a Fairy House and
Aerial Wood Nymphs pouring wine as they hung down from the trees,
A Shimmering Lake and Shore, Raindrop Trapezes and many more stunning installations created a total cornucopia for the senses.

A floor-to-ceiling Projection Wall (the largest ever put into the VCC) used custom filmed rainforest imagery of the West Coast of British Columbia, delivering 8K content that was crystal clear, giving guests the sense that they were truly walking amidst the old-growth rainforest. As the evening progressed, the techs had a little fun inserting comic characters and animals dancing to the beat of the DJ, into the rainforest video on the big
screen – the crowd went wild! 

Catering was custom created specifically to compliment the décor and featured a
small plates menu reflective of the “Farm to Table” food trend so notable to Vancouver.



A client mandate was to incorporate a big surprise into the event. The creative solution came at the transition from a reception/dinner to a dance party.

The room went dark; thunder boomed and lightning shot across the screens while the sound of pouring rain immersed guests as mist rose from the forest floor. For 45 seconds, the thunder and lightning raged on, then stopped abruptly as colours flashed, the DJ hit play and the dance party started with a roar from the crowd.

PDS was hired to create the concept, the mood boards, custom content and design and technical production, as well as to keep the event on brand, true to Vancouver, energetic, and on budget. They achieved all of this and more, and that is why this event is truly worthy of its multiple nominations. This will be a tough one to beat.

Joanne Burns Millar, President of Pacific Destinations

When we look back at the footage we see by the faces on the guests and the packed dance floor that this party was an epic success! Our client was thrilled…and has asked us to travel with her next year to design and produce her 2020 event – the ultimate compliment. We certainly turned her vision into reality!

About Pacific Destination Services Pacific Destination Services is an award-winning, destination management company with offices in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia, and Banff, Alberta. PDS has an unmatched record of delivering for their clients, whether it’s with a spectacular mountain-top brunch, a lakeside dinner for 800 accompanied by a symphony orchestra, or a complex logistical program — They have been delivering fresh, unique incentives and event solutions in western Canada since 1998. 

With the hands-on leadership of founder Joanne Burns Millar, their tenured meeting planners and event professionals thoughtfully collaborate with their clients to build teams, engage audiences, and reward successes through innovative events and memorable experiences. Reach them at pacificdestinations.com