Announcing Speakers for Second Event Innovation Forum—South Florida

The education portion of BizBash Live: The Expo will include presentations on digital and mobile strategies, targeting millennials, and other topics.

February 26, 2014, 7:30 AM EST

Photos: Courtesy of Scott Burns, Vince Thompson, and Alyse Pask

After a sold-out debut last year, the Event Innovation Forum returns to South Florida as part of BizBash Live: The Expo. The education portion of the annual trade show, scheduled for April 23 at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center, will once again bring innovative event professionals to discuss the latest ideas and strategies challenging the industry today.

Divided into two 90-minute sessions packed with a mix of presenters and presentation types, the forum will cover an array of topics, from digital programs and understanding millennials to fund-raising strategies and how to build a better event business. Attendees can register for the forum here.

Below is a sample of the topics and presenters; we’ll be announcing more participants in the coming weeks.

When and Why Physical Is Better Than Digital
Scott Burns, executive creative director, Switch
The drive towards digital experiences is overwhelming with brands, retailers, and agencies touting a “digital first” strategy. But to what end? In terms of genuine user engagement, do digital tactics really inspire more behavioral change or provide the depth, engagement, and emotional connection to a brand? Armed with research-based data, Switch executive creative director Scott Burns will compare virtual and physical programs, discussing how to find a balance between the two. Burns will also share what questions to ask when designing and building your programs.

7 Tips for Successful Fund-Raising Events
Scott Tracy, vice president of challenges, special events & sponsor relations, Best Buddies International Inc.
Nonprofits of all sizes face many of the same challenges—decreasing budgets, limited headcount, and increasing competition for donor dollars—all the while trying to outperform last year’s fund-raising take. In this session, Best Buddies International’s Scott Tracy will share how the organization produces between eight and 10 national events per year, staying within the confines of its budget by replicating event concepts and utilizing relationship managers and logistic specialists.

What Millennials Want From Events Now
Vince Thompson, C.E.O. & president, MELT
Every marketer is eager to tap into the next generation of buyers—millennials—a demographic that represents roughly 25 percent of the United States population and $600 billion in spending. But how? Vince Thompson will share what the Coca-Cola Company, ESPN, and the team at MELT did to engage students and alumni at ESPN’s College Game Day, turning the made-for-television college football event into a 360-degree experience. He’ll also offer tips on how to capture the millennial audience by engaging with them in the social universe.

7 Values Every Planner Should Live By
Alyse Pask, president and C.E.O., Pask Productions Inc.
Ever think military training would be beneficial to the event and meeting industry? Just ask Alyse Pask, who, during her time in the Army National Guard, learned the army's seven core values, which she has since translated to her work as president of Pask Productions. Pask will share how implementing such tenets as loyalty, duty, and respect have allowed her to run her business with military precision, and why event and meeting professionals should live by a similar code of conduct.

How Mobile Is Changing the Future of Events
Matt McKenna, president & founder, Red Fish Media
With so much technology offered on mobile devices now, event organizers have more options than ever to engage and understand their attendees. But the industry is only just beginning to understand how to optimize the data gleaned from platforms like social media. In this session, Matt McKenna of Red Fish Media will explore social engagement strategies as well as outline major pitfalls that every professional should avoid.

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