The Future of the Event Industry

A plan of action to navigate challenging times

The Future of the Event Industry

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Find out where the industry is going in 2020 and beyond.

Experts weigh in on everything from health and safety to virtual events.


Analysis from a survey of 1,000 event professionals


Industry expertise on the future of security, F&B, sustainability, and more

Best Practices

Find out how to create safer, more engaging events

chapter details

What You'll find Inside

Actionable Tips
A practical approach to running a profitable events business during the crisis
Industry Updates
A deep dive into what the future holds for a range of event sectors
Expert Opinions
A first-row seat in conversation with leaders in our industry
The Future of the Event Industry
1000 Planners' input analyzed
12 Core session highlights from The Future of the Event Industry
16 Event industry experts interviewed


The Authors

Julius Solaris
Founder and Editor in Chief, EventMB

Brian Labus, PhD, MPH, REHS
Epidemiologist and Assistant Professor, UNLV

Brian Labus is an infectious disease epidemiologist with over 15 years of experience and an assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Public Health who was appointed to Governor Sisolak’s COVID-19 Medical Advisory Team in March.
His research includes outbreak investigation, disease surveillance, and the use of social media to detect and investigate health problems in the community.

Rafat Ali
CEO, Skift

Rafat is the CEO/founder of Skift, the largest industry intelligence and marketing platform in travel, providing news, information, data and services.

Previously, he was the founder/CEO of paidContent and ContentNext, which he sold to UK’s Guardian News and Media in 2008, and left in 2010. Prior to that, he was managing editor of Silicon Alley Reporter.

Rafat was the Knight Fellow at Indiana University, where he completed his Masters in Journalism, 1999-2000. Prior to that he completed his BSc in Computer Engineering, from AMU in Aligarh, India.

Rachel Wimberly
EVP of Business Development, US for Tarsus Group

Rachel Wimberly currently is EVP of Business Development in the U.S. for U.K.-based Tarsus Group, a global B2B media company with 180 trade shows in 19 countries. In her role, she is responsible for driving mergers and acquisitions in North America, as well as overseeing the Tarsus Media division in the U.S.

Before Tarsus Group, Rachel was senior editor at Tradeshow Week Magazine, as well as working for Variety magazine, The New York Times Regional Newspaper Group, CNN Business News and a stint in the film industry working for a production company on six feature films with a first-look deal with Warner Brothers.

Alex Roth
Group Director of Strategy & Business Planning, Informa PLC

Alex joined Informa in January 2014 as Group Director of Strategy and Business Planning, where he is responsible for Corporate Strategy and M&A. He is a member of the Group’s Executive Management Team, and he sits on the Management Board of Informa’s academic publishing division, Taylor & Francis.

Prior to Informa, Alex was a Partner with global consultancy Bain & Company where he focused on corporate transformation, innovation and growth strategy, M&A due diligence, and post-acquisition integration, principally with clients in the TMT sector. Prior to Bain, Alex was with Monitor Group.

Alex holds an MBA from Northwestern University, an MPhil from Oxford University, and a BA from Yale University.

Pierre Metrailler
CEO, SpotMe

Pierre joined SpotMe in 2001 and became CEO in 2016. In 2004, after a research position on distributed algorithms at NTT Japan, he returned to SpotMe and led the pivot from proprietary hardware to SaaS, making SpotMe the leading event app and virtual event platform. Pierre holds an MSc in communication systems from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and is also a graduate of INSEAD. He enjoys sky running and ski mountaineering in the Swiss Alps.

Corey McCarthy
CMO, Socio

Corey McCarthy has more than twenty years of experience in media and tech. As Socio’s Chief Marketing Officer, Corey and her team bring event organizers impactful tech and thought leadership that truly delivers success.

In her former life, Corey ran a portfolio brand for Penton Media, and has extensive insights into all facets of the event, digital media, and publishing businesses.

William Thomson
MD, Gallus Events

William ran his first paid for online event in 2005 “controversially” charging the same price for the online as the physical event. William now runs Europe’s largest online training and virtual events business for executive assistants, Practically Perfect PA.

As an organiser and business strategist, William is a firm believer in the role that virtual has in replacing revenue from physical events.

Lenny Talarico CSEP,CHE
Director of Sales, Blueprint Studios

Lenny is an experiential architect, CSEP (Certified Special Event Professional) and CHE (Certified Hospitality Educator) who has been producing events and entertainment for over 25 years, including high-profile international events at MGM Resorts that received ESPRIT and GALA awards. He instructs at The International School of Hospitality (TISOH). There, he founded the Design Lab, an on-campus tactile learning environment that inspires student creativity and supports TISOH’s diverse hospitality curriculum.

Deborah Cohen, CMP
Director of M&C Marketing, Discover Puerto Rico

A certified meetings professional (CMP), Deborah joined the Branson Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau as the Director of Tourism Development in 1997. Now, with 20 years of experience in destinations under her belt, Deborah joined Discover Puerto Rico as the Director of Meeting & Convention Marketing and directs all marketing efforts for meetings and events.

Vanessa Figueroa
Destination Support Services Director, Discover Puerto Rico

Vanessa Figueroa holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing from the Interamerican University in Puerto Rico. More than 20 years in the luxury hospitality industry in the areas of Sales, Event Coordination, Food and Beverage, Marketing and Customer Service.

Her career includes a variety of roles including Group Sales Manager at Hotel Arts Barcelona, Club Director at Saks Fifth Avenue, Membership Director at Bahia Beach Resort and Golf Club, Home of the St. Regis Bahia Beach and Director of Meetings & Special Events for Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve and The Ritz-Carlton San Juan.

Steve Adelman
Head of Adelman Law Group, PLLC

Steve Adelman is head of Adelman Law Group, PLLC in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Vice President of the Event Safety Alliance. His law practice focuses on risk management, safety, and security at sports and entertainment events, and he serves as an expert witness in lawsuits arising from live events. He is the lead author of the Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide and the brand new Crowd Management ANSI standard.

He is a professor in Arizona State University’s Sports Law and Business program, and he writes the “Adelman on Venues” newsletter as well as a variety of articles about live events.

Shawna McKinley
Principal, Clear Current Consulting

Shawna McKinley is an event sustainability solutionary who works with progressive organizations to understand and manage the sustainability impacts of diverse events. She is meticulous about understanding negative sustainability impacts from events to enable organizations to reduce risks, control costs and protect their brand.

She also helps organizations use sustainability as a tool to provide diverse benefits to event participants, employees, communities and society at large through experiential ideas, legacy projects and benefit metrics. She facilitates courses in sustainability and ethics to current and future event professionals at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and is the author of Event Manager Blog’s Sustainable Event Guide.

Ashanti Bentil-Dhue
Co-Founder, Diversity Ally
Ashanti Bentil-Dhue is a speaker, diversity expert and researcher. She co-founded the Diversity Ally, the first HR, Training and Search partner dedicated to creating a diverse and inclusive culture in the global events industry, and the global network Black In Events.

She also spearheaded the only research in the UK exclusively focused on how organisations can invest in black millennials and generation Z females within the corporate structure. Finally, in June 2020, she co created the UK’s first nationwide anti-racism and allyship project for white women who want to be allies, empowering them to become anti-racist changemakers in their personal and professional lives.


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