Industry Analyst and Founding Partner, Kaleido Insights
Jeremiah is an industry analyst based in Silicon Valley who helps his clients solve how new technology connects companies to their customers.
He is well recognized by both the tech industry and the media for his grounded approach to deriving insights through rigorous research. From corporate innovation, autonomous technology or modern wellbeing, he views every aspect of emerging technologies through the lens of growth, opportunity and constantly shifting consumer behaviors and expectations.
Forever at the forefront, Jeremiah identifies trends and advises major companies to adapt their business models to better connect with customers.
His clients include Adobe, Cisco, Wells Fargo, Nestlé, Esurance, Johnson & Johnson, Visa and Colgate, among others. An acknowledged thought leader and widely read publisher, Jeremiah has appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today and Fast Company.
He also publishes numerous research reports, playbooks and frameworks to help businesses navigate change, improve customer experiences and identify trends before they happen.
Jeremiah has served on the board of directors of multiple tech startups, including Ustream which sold to IBM for $130M.
He’s also a family man, CrossFit zealot, Spartan Trifecta finisher, and is a former professional jazz musician.
Co-Founder and CEO, MeetingPlay
Joe Schwinger is Co-Founder and CEO of MeetingPlay, an event technology company forging meaningful connections for Fortune 500 companies including Marriott, PepsiCo and Bristol-Myers Squibb. With a background in ecommerce, he has extensive experience providing customer-facing solutions on a global scale.
Joe was named to the 2018 list of 40 under 40 by Connect Corporate and the elite list of BizBash 500. In 2019, he was again named in the BizBash 1000 list of Top People in the U.S. Event Industry.
Founder and CEO, Choura
Ryan Choura is the Founder and CEO of Choura, a full-service experience and event production company guided by the mission to build experiences with purpose. This year, COVID-19 challenged Ryan to put this mission into practice like never before.
After 20 years of building and producing some of the country’s most iconic events such as Coachella, BNP Paribas Open, San Diego Comic-Con, and the US Open Championship, Ryan led a series of pragmatic pivots to keep his team together and his doors open.
While other event companies went virtual or closed their doors, Ryan fought for a way to bring America back to work by building the largest COVID-19 testing facilities in the nation via his newly founded company, Lifeline Health Services.
The large-scale COVID-19 testing site is now open in the Inland Empire, provides same-day results, and has the capacity to test over 40,000 people a month.
Additionally, to help Orange County and Hollywood restaurants keep their patrons safe and their doors open, Choura worked with the city and local businesses to deliver the most extensive build-outs in Southern California — including over 3,600 square feet of level raised decks and curated outdoor dining space for Laguna Beach’s Forest Ave and Craig’s in Hollywood.
These strategic initiatives follow Ryan and team’s delivery of multiple builds for local hospitals —work which garnered Ryan attention from Marc Cuban, Rolling Stone, The Los Angeles Times,Billboard, and Bloomberg.
Ryan and the Choura team are using their event and COVID-19 testing expertise to now pioneer the safe return of live events, starting with a live event that took place on July 23rd this year and caught the attention of the Hollywood Reporter.
Ever guided by his mantra “Don’t Be Boring,” Ryan continues to channel goodness and meaning into everything he builds — from festivals and sporting events to testing venues and hospital sites.
Senior Director of Event Sales, SBE Lifestyle Hospitality
Jenny is currently the Senior Director of Event Sales for SBE Lifestyle Hospitality in Los Angeles, California. Despite being born and raised in Del Mar California, she began her career on the opposite coast in New York City after graduating from Princeton University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History.
She balanced her time as a Gallery Assistant at The FLAG Art Foundation during the daytime and as a waitress at a family friend’s restaurant Vinegar Hill House in DUMBO, Brooklyn, during her nights and weekends. Completely and utterly inspired by the food, culture, wine, people and luxurious events she produced in both the gallery and restaurant setting, she decided to commit to furthering her career specifically in the hospitality sector.
Jenny now has a demonstrated history of working in the hospitality industry as an Events Director for over 12 years, specializing in luxury social member clubs (Soho House West Hollywood, Little Beach House Malibu, The Jane Club), award winning restaurants & bars (Vinegar Hill House, The Breslin Bar & Dining Room, Spotted Pig, Freeman’s Sporting Club, Katsuya, Cleo), and hotels such as (The Ace Hotel NEW YORK, The Standard DTLA and The Standard Hollywood).
With a blessed and broad spectrum of personal and professional contacts across North America in various creative industries, Jenny is able to combine her expertise in event programming and event sales and collaborate and execute both her own and the brand’s vision, designing editorial events, experiences, and programming that aims to improve customer experience, customer retention and event sales.
She is happy to be back on the West Coast and ready to take on the new events ethos that COVID-19 has forced us all to reevaluate.
Tech Evangelist and Idea Igniteur, DAHLIA+Agency
Dahlia has an OMG-attitude about all things tech and audience engagement solutions. With more than a decade of experience in the meetings and events sector, working on both the professional planning side and as an association collaborator, Dahlia is known as the coffee-fuelled ‘go-to’ source for trend-setting solutions, eventtech news, and social media expertise.
Her mission is to untether the busy professional from their desktop and office and enable them to be more efficient and productive working from a beach in Mexico [umbrella drink in hand] through their mobile device utilizing smart solutions and apps.
Founder and CEO, Vesuvio Ventures
Marco is a successful serial entrepreneur and investor with more than 25 years of intensive experience in media, technology, and the events industry. He is Founder and CEO of Vesuvio Ventures, providing entrepreneurs access to coaching, partnerships, advisory, and capital.
After several years in a successful career as a corporate executive at Apple, Marco pursued his entrepreneurial ambitions and became:
Marco is a Harvard Business School OPM Graduate, and member of YPO, the Young Presidents Organization and a frequent speaker at industry conferences. He is also a co-author of the best-selling book The Face of Digital focused on how digital technologies are changing the live events business industry.
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.
Marketing Director, Cisco Systems
Gerd De Bruycker is a marketing director at Cisco Systems, leading Strategy and Planning for EMEA Marketing next to being responsible as the CMO for Northern Europe and leading the EMEA Event Marketing Team. He is specialized in how event marketing is integrated into the overall marketing mix as part of customer journeys and audience touchpoint strategies. He and his Event Marketing team are responsible for Cisco’s top events in the region, like Cisco Live, Cisco’s trade show participation, event strategy and country event enablement services. Before joining Cisco ten years ago, he worked for almost a decade at Microsoft mainly in event marketing roles on a country, regional and worldwide level. He is also a guest lecturer at a high school in Belgium.
CEO and Founder, Conference Compass
Jelmer van Ast is the CEO and founder of Conference Compass, an event app pioneer since 2009. Their apps were used at 250 conferences last year, including 10 of the world’s 25 largest association conferences. With their #OneCommunity virtual event platform, Conference Compass enables associations and corporate meeting planners to unite their communities around events, whether they join the event virtually or in-person.
Jelmer holds a PhD in artificial intelligence and knows first-hand what it takes to publish scientific research and deliver engaging presentations. With his roots in academia together with over 10 years of experience building an event tech company, he and his team stand by their customers to manage the virtual experience.
Festival Director, 1261 Grenadian Film Festival
Meschida Philip is a film professional with over a decade of experience in the entertainment industry and is the owner and Managing Director of Mprojekts Creative Group (Mprojekts Creative), operating out of New York and Grenada. Mprojekts covers a plethora of services for the film industry: Directing and producing services, production and location management, Film Festival management, and strategy development for filmmakers.
Mprojekts Creatives launched the first 12ºN 61ºW Grenadian Film Festival (1261 Film Festival) in May 2019, with the goal of promoting content creators and filmmakers from Grenada and throughout the region, while acquiring and creating quality assets to export to international markets.
Noting the global demand for culturally appropriate films, and for creative platforms like the 1261 Film Festival for diverse filmmakers, Meschida is committed to working closely with governmental bodies in Grenada to develop a thriving new and sustainability industry, providing career and educational opportunities for creatives. There is a strong need for representation in the content we consumed. Our children and youths need to see themselves more. We need to celebrate our unique and untold stories within our culture in Grenada and throughout the Caribbean.
Meschida is primarily interested in social issues, including immigration, education and children/women’s rights affecting the Caribbean culture and communities throughout the Caribbean Diaspora, her mission is to integrate film as the vehicle to evoke social awareness.
Meschida holds an MFA in film from the City College of New York, concentration in Documentary.
President, Crescent Event Productions
Chris has been at the forefront of virtual events since 2015 (long before COVID-19). He and his team have built a bespoke virtual event platform, to support his customers pivot to fully virtual and interactive events during this tumultuous time, which has been used by some of the leading names and associations in the online space. This platform has helped his clients reach almost 200% more attendees and increase revenue by 140%.
Principal, WLJ Consulting
Wallace L. Johnson, CTS, is a 20 year veteran of the audiovisual industry and is Principal of WLJ Consulting, which advises individuals & live event audiovisual companies how to achieve their business goals using his “The Succesful Process” ™ methodology. Wallace focuses on the core elements of a company: People, Processes, and Technology, which helps AV companies build confidence and trust in what they do, who does it, and how they do it.
Wallace also works with AV companies and event organizers as a technical producer providing oversight and management of technical details related to an event and being the show caller in the event delivery process. Wallace formerly sat on the Audiovisual Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA) Board of Directors and was Secretary-Treasure of AVIXA’s Foundation Board. He is on the advisory board to several education organizations with courses related to the subject of audiovisual production.
Senior Events Manager, Chemical Watch
Juliet is your go-to-girl for all things event strategy and personal development.
With 10 years’ experience in the industry, she’s Senior Events Manager at Chemical Watch, working on International and Virtual B2B conferences. Juliet is a professional speaker and moderator, and has an events blog at juliettrippevents.com. She’s also International Growth and Strategy Director for the Female Hospitality Network, a Conference News 30 under 30 award winner, and a mentee in the Fast Forward 15 Class of 2020/21 and empowers ambitious eventprofs to reach their goals through her membership and community: Event Goal Getters.
Project Manager, MCI Group
Whether it is making a business deal or creating a knowledge exchange, Shawn believes a purposefully designed event experience is a platform to make it happen.
Throughout his career, Shawn has worked on programs ranging between 20-10,000 people, each with their unique objectives and challenges. In his current role at MCI Group Canada Inc., he is average 3-5 projects per year, some of them which require years of preparation and some with only a few weeks turnaround.
As a self-claimed LEARNAHOLIC, Shawn has actively participated in conversation around event design, innovation, sustainability, and technology. Shawn is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), and a Certified Digital Event Strategist (DES).
Shawn currently serves as president for the PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association) Canada West chapter and was named “Planners of the Year” by Smart Meetings Magazine in 2019.
President, Fifth Element Group
Recognized across North America as a connecting force in experiential design and live events, Aaron is an industry leader in strategic consultation and campaign development. As an influencer and speaker, Aaron has held roles with prestigious associations and foundation both in and out of the industry: Bizbash 250 for Canada, Bizbash 500 worldwide, Eventex Top 100, Meetings Net Changemaker and Smart Meetings Trendsetter.
As the President and CEO of Fifth Element Group, Aaron has set his own path in Toronto and International markets to lead a team in fostering long-term connections for annual growth through live and experiential events of high impact.
Today, Aaron partners with businesses to action client objectives with a results-oriented mindset by leveraging key trends in marketing, sales and branding. This focus on developing businesses and providing consultation in change management has garnered him attention as a global changemaker in advocating for a connected and more socially conscious events industry.
Founder and Principal Planner, Event Specialists
Mahoganey Jones is an event expert and strategist who produces exceptionally planned & revenue generating events. With over 20 years in the event planning industry, she has gained extensive experience within the corporate, entrepreneurial, government, non-profit and social industries. Mahoganey has planned conferences, concerts, trade shows, retreats, fundraisers, meetings and celebrations for organizations such as the University of Ottawa and the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command. Over the years, she has assisted in raising over $2.5M in fundraising initiatives.
As an entrepreneur herself with hundreds of events under her belt, Mahoganey is passionate about bringing event ideas to life. By taking care of the details and breathing personality and life into each event, Mahoganey is able to produce an experience that is a direct reflection of her clients.
Throughout her career, she quickly learned that all events begin with a purpose and need more than a pretty logo to be successful. Events are opportunities to generate positive buzz about your brand and should be produced with that goal in mind.
Mahoganey’s motto is do what you love and to love what you do. This motto can be seen in the attention to detail and drive she has to ensure every event is a success.
Co-founder and Event Producer, Think Tank Productions
Ronald is a self-confessed software-geek-turned-avid-Events-Producer. Historically, Ronald attributes his passion for events as sparked in 2001, when he was asked to create events to promote the movies showing at a local cinema chain in Sarawak.
Ronald co-founded Think Tank Productions in 2013, operating from their base in Kuala Lumpur. Since then, he has been involved in numerous conferences in the Asia Pacific region and worldwide, working alongside established agencies and government organisations to manage and execute a wide range of conferences.
In 2014, Think Tank Productions conceptualized and produced their own event brand called Urban Mom, partnering with DoktorBudak to provide educational events on child healthcare in West Malaysia for young parents. They also help to run DoktorBudak’s online platform, where parents can send in questions on their children’s health to their group of doctors for free.
In 2016, Ronald had the distinction of being the first Sarawakian appointed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations agency which specializes in information and communication technologies, to be the Technical Consultant for the Telecom World Congress 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand. In this event, Ronald had the opportunity to manage and execute the Leadership Summit, Forum sessions and most importantly the Ministerial Roundtable Discussion involving over 24 Prime Ministers, Deputy Prime Ministers and Ministers from various countries. Ronald was appointed to the same position in 2017, when the event was held in Busan, South Korea, and again in 2018 in Durban, South Africa. In 2019, Ronald has once again retained his prestigious position, with his appointment by the ITU as its Technical Consultant for the Telecom World 2019 in Budapest, Hungary.
With his expertise in creative conceptualizing, event marketing, stage management and organizing of corporate events, he has managed a varied range of business events and worked with trusted brands which include Wyeth Nutrition, Allergan, Quintiles, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bayer Healthcare, Danone Dumex, Shell, Chevron, Novartis, MCI, Novo Nordisk, and the former Starwood Asia Pacific.
In 2018, he co-owned Creative Rock Malaysia and joined the Creative Rock Group in Asia with its network of offices in Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Chengdu and Seoul. In 2019, he co-founded Conference People – homegrown PCO brand in Sarawak, Malaysia and has won numerous APAC and national level congresses since its inception.
In recent years, Ronald has gained further international exposure, having executed conferences in Durban, Brussels, Budapest, Shanghai, Bangkok, Phuket, Seoul, Busan, Bali, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore.
Ronald was on the Regional Panel of Advisory of ICESAP-PCMA for South East Asia Region 2018, and is the only Sarawakian on the Editorial Advisory Board of Asia’s leading Business Events magazine, Biz Events Asia for 2019.
Creative Events Producer
Elena is currently a Creative Producer for award winning agency Cheerful Twentyfirst, working on projects from creative pitch stage through to onsite and virtual delivery. She translates brand and campaign strategy into the live and online environment. Elena is also co-founder of Event First Steps, an initiative designed to help industry newcomers forge their own career paths.
Event Planner, Andy Roby Events
My name is Andrew and I’m a Proud Army Vet who happens to be a great DC Event and Wedding Planner! I like to call myself an Event Storyteller who is passionate about romantic weddings and engaging events.
Within my 13 years of planning, I’m most proud of my work with some tremendous charities like Ms. Veteran America, Susan G. Komen, The Cinderella Foundation, and So Others Might Eat who dedicate their lives to helping others.
It’s not just about planning events. It certainly isn’t about me. It’s about making sure you get the best help to reach your bottom line.
Technical Producer and Consultant, Event Technology Consulting
Brandt is a technical producer and consultant based in Minneapolis, MN, and is the highly acclaimed instructor for MPI and the Event Leadership Institute’s Virtual Event and Meeting Management certificate course. He has over 20 years of experience, has spoken at events and conferences all over the world, been published in numerous magazines and websites, and is ranked among the most influential people in the meeting and events industry. More information at www.brandtkrueger.com
Working From Home Fitness Expert, Personal Trainer and Author
Dubbed by the media as ‘the excuse-buster from Down-Under’, Lizzy Williamson makes exercise easy. She is the founder and author of Two Minute Moves – quick virtual movement breaks that companies and events around the world use to ensure attendees stay engaged, safe and have a smile on their face, with clients including KFC, Chep, Westpac Bank and Social Media Examiner. She is the regular “fitness guru” on the Today Show and Studio 10 and her Two Minute Moves have been featured on Good Morning America, Lorna Jane, Women’s Health, Prevention and many more. www.twominutemoves.com
Editor in Chief, EventMB
Julius Solaris is the editor in chief of EventMB. Started in 2007, EventMB is the number one online platform for event professionals. EventMB was acquired in 2019 by Skift, the largest and most influential travel media company worldwide.
He has been named one of the most influential individuals in the meetings industry by many magazines and media for the past 10 years.
Julius has conducted some of the most groundbreaking research for the event industry. Over 3,000 events reviewed and 15,000 event professionals interviewed.
Julius’ analysis and reports have been downloaded by over 300,000 event professionals. 300,000 more read EventMB every month. Julius has been keynote for events in 12 countries and for over 200,000 attendees.
Co-Founder, Two Social Media Chicks
Sabrina Meyers is an independent event planner and founder of Hot Hospitality Exchange, her brand and platform where she creates visual content from a MICE and event planners’ perspective mainly on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn as well as Facebook and Twitter. She’s also co-founder of newly launched social media creative agency, Two Social Media Chicks which consults with clients in the events, hospitality and lifestyle on social media content creation, coaching, marketing and strategy. She’s a very active voice in the global events community and big believer in creative collaboration and all things #eventprofs related!
Dahlia El Gazzar
Gerd de Bruycker
Jelmer van Ast
Wallace L. Johnson, CSP
The industry seems to be in agreement: hybrid events are the way back to safely meeting in person.
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