By Patrick Straub
When Jereco Studios founder Jeremiah Slovarp accepted his first Emmy Award in 2011, he never imagined his passion for event production would create an essential service. Fast forward 10 years and the production company he built from the ground up is one of Montana’s leading providers of essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic—producing and broadcasting live events and business conferences.
Prior to the pandemic Jereco Studios’ reputation for quality live event production was well-known in the entertainment industry. Slovarp had crews from Missoula, Montana to Jackson, Wyoming at venues both large and small. When the pandemic crippled the entertainment industry in early 2020, like picking up in a jazz ensemble, Slovarp came in and improvised.
“COVID has really changed the event production industry,” Slovarp says as he takes a break from the mixing board. “Now, more than ever, people need to connect. But they’ve got ‘Zoom fatigue,’ grandma can’t travel to the wedding, or employees aren’t able to travel. People and businesses still need to meet and connect, just not in person like they used to.”
Slovarp and Jereco Studios created a broadcast service out of demand for local businesses and organizations needing to reinvent how their audiences engage with performers. With groups like the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center, the Bozeman Symphony and the Yellowstone Club, Jereco Studios picked up the boom and mic and began to provide event broadcasting services.
“From event planning to technical expertise, to problem solving and sourcing in our rural destination, Jereco provides the finest technical support in our area,” said John Zirkle, executive director of WMPAC. “Even to ship a drum kit from Los Angeles to put on a concert, Jereco is up to the task, no matter what. It’s no wonder they are Emmy winners.”
In bringing these formally in-person events to anyone with an internet connection, Slovarp saw an even bigger demand to provide high quality business conference services so employees could still interact locally and globally.
“The boardroom has changed,” Slovarp says. “In fact, the way businesses and organizations conduct in-person events has changed dramatically. They must broadcast meetings and conferences on a well-done platform. Sales and marketing can’t stop just because face-to-face stops.”
Jereco Studios’ experience with live event broadcasting has proven invaluable for businesses looking to adapt to a post-pandemic world. Drawing from their excellent reputation broadcasting concerts, weddings and live streaming a myriad of other events, Jereco’s success with business services is quickly becoming in high demand.
“Our business conference services are booking up quickly,” Slovarp says. “Our video and audio quality is so high and our experience in event broadcasting means we can broadcast a business event or conference without hiccups, which means the business or group can focus on the conference or event and not worry if people can access it and see and hear it.”
With a dedicated team of full-time employees and a large inventory of technical equipment, Jereco Studios provides the area’s largest and most in-depth event broadcast service for indoor or outdoor events and conferences. From set-up to take-down, Slovarp’s team can provide everything from large format TVs and displays to streaming and digital access channels, and make it all appear seamless for in-person and remote participants.
“Hybrid meetings are becoming more and more popular,” says Dana Ocher, director of catering and events at the new Kimpton Armory Hotel in downtown Bozeman. “This meeting style is not going away anytime soon. Working with Jereco is great. Jeremiah and his team are always there for me when I need assistance for an existing or potential client.”
Prior to the pandemic, less than 10 percent of the country’s workforce worked remotely or had access to a flexible workspace or the ability to telecommute. One year later, over 50 percent of these positions are remote, making it clear that remote conferencing can serve a crucial purpose in the new world of business communications.
“Remote work is here to stay,” says Slovarp. “We’ve seen many of our business services customers so excited about our work, they say it was like a well-produced television show.”
And he should know, because since 2011 Slovarp has earned eight more Emmys and could win three more this year. But he didn’t do it alone—he intentionally created a team at Jereco Studios who share his passion. Not even a global pandemic can stop this enterprising business from improvising and keeping the show going.