Julius Allan is experienced in producing music industry events and is a founding director of The OMAs (Oshawa Music Awards), specializing in digital marketing strategy and event logistics. He recently joined Q4 Inc. as an Event Producer to work closely with their clients in producing virtual shareholder meeting events.

What do you typically help events with?

My main focus in events revolve in two key areas:
1. Leading event production logistics including creative direction, audio/visual set-up, stage management, and talent relations.

2. Digital marketing strategy and implementation for events (social media, email marketing, ads, and media production).

What's a recent event you've worked on?

A recent event I'm extremely proud of is with my own passion start-up, The OMAs (Oshawa Music Awards); an annual event that recognizes the influence and achievements of local music creators, and music industry builders who are developing an infrastructure within the Durham Region in Canada, and globally.

As the entire world became severely hindered due to the pandemic in 2020, one of the most negatively impacted industries in ripple effect was live music events. Last year, the OMAs had originally scheduled for an in-person celebration at the beginning of April, but was cancelled in response to the nationwide lockdown. Through numerous internal discussions with our committee and with key members of the community, we didn't feel quite right in cancelling and abandoning the nominees we had been acknowledging for months leading up to. At a time where people were constantly faced with uncertainty, the OMAs wanted to become a beacon of light to help our community endure the daily hardships of an altered lifestyle through the celebration of music.

A screenshot of the Songwriter’s Circle episode during the OMA 2020 Livestream Series presented by Spark Centre.

We had collectively decided to change course and move the awards show to a series of eight livestream events over Facebook between April and May of 2020 using the simulcast live streaming platform Be.Live. Here, we elongated the programming of our awards show to provide the maximum exposure for not only our nominees and their bodies of work, but also for our sponsors and brand partners to our audience. We had reached over 32,000 viewers in total from 10 different countries, and had approximately 500 unique live attendees tune in every week for each show. In comparison to the 200 seating capacity of the venue we had originally booked for, the virtual livestreams opened us to more eyes and ears globally and allowed us to showcase the blossoming music scene in the Durham Region - surpassing far past the number of seats we would have filled with an in-person event.

Certainly the biggest challenge for our team was the short turn around in transitioning the awards show virtually within only a week's time. No other regional or national award show in Canada had done a virtual event format so our team had no existing model to emulate from. Through trial and error, endless rehearsals and monitoring the feedback from our audience week-to-week, our team continuously improved our shows ad-hoc to give our audience the highest value of entertainment and engaging content throughout the series. My responsibility was to find the right digital tools for our team to do this, run all A/V set-up and troubleshooting, conduct rehearsals and produce the live broadcast each week.


What are a few favorite events you've worked on?


Three other events I've had the pleasure to work with over the years include The Club Land Curators Series at North by Northeast (NXNE) Music Festival, Mentor's Cafe at Canadian Music Week (CMW) and Indie Week Canada.

‘Trifecta vs. Serious Betty’ Battle Showcase for NXNE Music Festival 2019 in Toronto, Canada. Led social promotional campaigns and lighting production for the event.

NXNE:

Canadian Music Week:

Indie Week Canada:

Testimonial

"Thank you Oshawa Music Awards for an amazing series and a celebration of music in Durham Region. Spark Centre was thrilled to be a part of this and hope to continue our support moving forward. Well done!!"
-Sherry Colbourne - CEO, Spark Centre
"The Oshawa Music Awards and Durham Region are taking real action to celebrate and nurture the local music scene. While other cities strive to be music centres, Oshawa is a place that seems to be getting it right."
-Bryan Williston, The Spill Magazine

Share one tip for a successful event.


One of the difficulties with virtual events is viewer retention from remote audiences. Media consumption and user behaviour is rapidly changing, particularly for the Millennial and Gen-Z generation, who are accustomed to dividing their attention watching multiple streams of media across different devices in one sitting.

The challenge is finding avenues of how to make your virtual event as interactive and engaging all throughout so that you can capture your audience's attention in entirety. For the OMA Livestreams, we found that by having music fans interact with their favourite musicians through live Q&A segments not only kept our audiences engaged, but were able to create unique, memorable micro-moments between the fans and artists.

Julius Allan with multi-Grammy award-winning producer Brian-Michael Cox (Usher, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Tony Braxton) as one of his special guests for Mentors Cafe at the 2019 Canadian Music Week Conference in Toronto, Canada.


Anything else we should know


I've recently joined the virtual events team at Q4 Inc. as an Event Producer to help facilitate their clients' virtual shareholder meeting events. Q4 is a leading global provider of cloud-based investor relations and capital markets solutions, with the mission of partnering with public companies to achieve their strategic IR objectives. Q4 has a broad and impressive portfolio spanning over 2,300 global clients from household name brands such as Apple, Spotify, Nike, McDonald's, and Coca-Cola just to name a few.


What excites me about this new venture is that the virtual events team comes from such diverse professional backgrounds. From hospitality, to media, film, music production, major league sports broadcasting and more in-between, having come from all these different industries with the common passion for events has become a stirring pot for creativity and ingenuity.

Through our collaborative efforts, we hope to provide the utmost, highest-caliber virtual experience for Q4's clients and surpass their expectations. I'm privileged to be working alongside such talented individuals that continue to challenge and help each other grow daily.

Contact Julius Allan

You can find more about Julius Allan on LinkedIn.