Winter Education Conference

                           2021 APA Winter Education Virtual Conference - A Groundbreaking Event     

For the first time in nearly a year, members of the fireworks industry gathered “virtually” February 2-4 at the first ever American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) Virtual Education Conference – Reset & Reimagine 2021. The APA broke new ground with the 2021 Virtual Education Conference and is extremely grateful to the conference sponsors, demo & resource room exhibitors, and to all those who attended. The conference provided a much-needed boost to members of the industry; helping them to both Reset & Reimagine 2021.

While in-person meetings for the industry organizations have been cancelled due to the COVID pandemic, the APA Board was resolute in its belief that industry needed to look forward. Thus, a hybrid meeting solution was devised, mixing remote speakers with live, in studio participants. 

Executive Director Julie Heckman and Member Services Manager Annelise Gillespie traveled to Lititz, PA for the week, joining APA President Brian Panther, Pyrotek Special Effects, association Vice President Stephen Pelkey and Matt Shea, Atlas PyroVision Entertainment, at the Rock Lititz campus, with Jesse Veverka and Hanna Bosciano of Veverka Bros. Productions rounding out the virtual conference team. The Rock Lititz facility has strict health protocols with mandatory COVID testing, creating a “bubble” environment. APA’s production partner, Choice Live, a state-of-the-art production company, headquartered on the Rock Lititz campus easily facilitated the technical aspects of the “hybrid” event.

This was not your average virtual conference. Live, in-person speakers broadcasting from a custom created set in Rock Lititz were joined virtually by speakers and other guests. Extensive video greetings, advertisements, promo pieces and agenda summaries were produced ahead of time by Veverka Bros. Productions, adding an additional layer of interaction and sophistication to the event. While in-person gatherings have been the norm up until now, the APA's landmark Virtual Winter Education Conference proved once again how for over seen decades it has adapted and pivoted to meet the ever-changing needs of the U.S. fireworks industry.