Session Preview: Everything You’ll Learn at ELI’s Business, Design & Strategy Summit

Born out of dozens of focus groups and interviews with leaders of event teams from every sector of the industry, during the inaugural Business, Design & Strategy Summit, we’re tackling all the top issues, including health pass legalities, boycotts, experience marketplace disruptions, and more.

With over half of our speakers C-suite leaders of their organizations, and inspiring voices from outside the events industry, we have a packed agenda designed to educate, inform, and inspire.

Here’s a preview of our general and breakout sessions.

The State of the Industry: Where Are We With the Return of In-Person Events

We kick off the summit with a hard look at the data to show what the near- and long-term outlook is for the return of in-person events. Featured speakers are Jessica Malaty Rivera, an infectious disease epidemiologist and the science communication lead for the COVID Tracking Project; Ken Holsinger, Freeman’s SVP strategy – data solutions; Gus Vonderheide, vice president of global sales – Americas for Hyatt Hotels Corporation; and Rose Horcher, vice president of client services at Choose Chicago.

Vaccine/Health Passes: Opportunities, Logistics & Legalities

One of the hottest issues facing the industry now is whether to require a health pass that certifies a person’s vaccine status or a negative test result for the virus. Featured speakers are Steve Adelman of the Adelman Law Group and vice president of the Event Safety Alliance; Daniel Richards, founder and CEO of Global Rescue; and Lee Brian Schrager, SVP, Communications & CSR, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, and Founder & Director, South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF®) & NYCWFF.

Proving the Value of Your In-House Event Team During Uncertain Times

The work of in-house corporate event teams changed drastically during the pandemic as people shifted roles, learned new skills, or perhaps were forced to take furloughs or were temporarily assigned to new roles. But internal and external events were key to motivating employees, maintaining relationships with clients, and more. Jennifer Savica, vice president and head of corporate events at New York Life Insurance Company, will share how her team thrived during the pandemic and how in-house teams can pivot to stay relevant in uncertain times.

Re-Allocating Your Non-Profit Event Portfolio: What’s Virtual, Hybrid & In-Person, and Why

Events are a vital component to the fundraising strategies of most nonprofits, so figuring out how to reach potential donors became an essential task. Lindsay Carroll, managing director of events and production at the Robin Hood Foundation, will share how the poverty-fighting organization reimagined its event portfolio, from signature programs like its benefit gala and investor conference to new virtual events that expanded its audience—and why hybrid events are here to stay.

Creative OmniChannel Sponsorship Solutions that Deliver Value

Sponsorship models have to look completely different for virtual and hybrid events. Informa cracked the code with creative ways to feature sponsors that go beyond logo placement. 

Kathryn Frankson, Informa’s director of event marketing, will explore the new sponsorship mindset and how to sell new solutions and build competitive advantages.

Insights from an Industry Leader – Hybrid Events: Design & Execution

Hybrid events are the future, but what are the ingredients to a successful experience that merges virtual and in-person elements? J.B. Miller, CEO of Empire Entertainment, will break down the nuts and bolts of hybrid from a creative standpoint with best practices and examples of events from red carpets to registration and beyond.

The Elephants In the Room: How Experience Marketplaces by Amazon, Airbnb & Zoom Will Impact DMCs, Agencies & Planners

Tech giants are dipping their toes into the experience and incentive markets with offerings like Airbnb Experiences, Amazon Explore, and OnZoom. In this panel, we will explore these potential competitive threats to the business of destination management companies. ELI founder and executive director Howard Givner will find out how DMCs are positioning themselves in a conversation with Aoife Delaney, director of global sales and marketing at the DMC Network and president of Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) and Paul Mears III, president of Hello! Destination Management and Kapow! Events Management.

Developing a Membership Mindset: Commercial Memberships and Adapting them in a Digital Environment

One of the hottest trends is the membership model. Bob Bierman, head of programming and product at G100/World 50, will describe the idea of commercial memberships, why they’re growing as a trend, what’s involved in setting up and nurturing memberships, along with examples of how G100 has adapted its membership model for the C-suite in a completely digital environment.

Building Institutional Resilience In Your Events, Teams & Organizations

The COVID-19 pandemic upended the meeting and event industry, forcing businesses to immediately reevaluate everything from their event portfolios, services, staffing, technology, and more. Those that didn’t quite simply didn’t survive. What were the big lessons from the pivot? How can you prepare for the next disruption? Juliette Kayyem, former assistant secretary of Homeland Security and current faculty director of the Security and Global Health Project at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and CNN national security analyst, will share strategies for building institutional resilience in your events, teams, and organizations.

The Future of Trade Shows

When trade shows return, will it be business as usual? Or will exhibitors, attendees, and sponsors want something different? Sam Lippman, president of Lippman Connects and producer and facilitator at Exhibition & Convention Executives Forum, will look at how trade shows will adapt to a new landscape with panelists Bonnie Knight, vice president of membership and events at the American Telemed Association, and Kim Vinciguerra, chief experience officer at the International Carwash Association.

The Human Side of Recovery: How People Will Restore Our Industry

As corporate events moved from in person to online, many event companies responded with layoffs and furloughs. Now, the challenge is to figure out how to rebuild smartly. Steve O’Malley, enterprise vice president and COO at Maritz Global Events, and Rob Adams, president & CEO of Bishop-McCann, will talk staffing strategy—including which areas are likely to face shortages of available workers.

The New Blueprint for Hybrid Events: Changes in Design, Budget, Experience & Engagement

Hybrid events are more than just offering a live stream of your in-person event. And attendees and exhibitors will expect more as we emerge from the pandemic. Brandt Krueger and Kevin White, both instructors at the Event Leadership Institute, will discuss the new realities and opportunities for hybrid events with twine CEO and co-founder Lawrence Coburn.

How Changes in Work Flexibility & Business Travel Will Impact Meetings

Seemingly overnight, our workplace habits changed as nearly everyone started working from home. Offices are slowly reopening, but now that working remotely has become normalized, will people want to travel for meetings and events? Suzanne Neufang, CEO of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), and Ryan Simonetti, CEO of Convene, will share their perspective and the key data they see as indicators for the meetings sector.

Nurturing 365 Memberships and Communities

What does the year-round community model look like for groups used to attending one major show a year? Tim Hart, SVP of retail group at Emerald Exhibitions, and Scott Craighead, vice president of exhibitions and events at International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), will discuss how brands are leveraging virtual to engage their audience year round with Damien Courbon, COO and co-founder of Swapcard.

How Microsoft Is Reorganizing Its Event Portfolio: Which Events Are Virtual, Hybrid, or In-Person, and Why

When Microsoft Build shifted from a paid, in-person event to a free, virtual event, it grew its audience nearly 40 fold. Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President: Global Events, Production Studios and Marketing Community Bob Bejan will delve into the tech company’s event strategy, sharing how it decided to shift event formats and how what it learned will shape events going forward.

The Boycott Dilemma: How to Respond When States Pass Discriminatory Laws

When Major League Baseball moved this summer’s All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver in response to Georgia’s restrictive new voting law, it potentially set a precedent for other major events in the state. To what extent should meeting and event organizers respond to boycott pressures? Featured speakers are Michael Gordon, principal at the Gordon Group and former spokesperson for Attorney General Janet Reno; Jack Johnson, chief advocacy officer at Destinations International; and Michael Skolnik, a documentary filmmaker and CEO of the Soze Agency.

Register now for the must-attend Business, Design & Strategy Summit.