BizBash Live

Bringing Event Ideas
& Inspiration to Life

NEW YORK, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2013, JACOB K. JAVITS CENTER
BizBash Idea Fest

Speakers

David Adler
David Adler

C.E.O. and founder, BizBash

David Adler has been a lifelong media executive as well as an expert in the event and meeting industry. David is the founder and C.E.O. of BizBash, an innovator and resource hub for the event and meeting industry with its web site, magazines, and trade shows. David is also an advisor to the State Department in areas of protocol, events, and diplomacy and was most recently the co-chair of the Patron's of Diplomacy program. David has also been instrumental in helping former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton use the tools of hospitality and collaboration as one of the important aspects of diplomacy and soft power.

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Melanie Altarescu
Melanie Altarescu

executive director of integrated marketing, The New Yorker

Melanie Altarescu is the executive director of integrated marketing at The New Yorker. She oversees a team that specializes in custom campaigns and activations spanning all of The New Yorker’s platforms, including print, tablet, smartphone, digital, social, and events. She works with clients in all categories of business, from automotive to technology to luxury goods. Her background includes more than 10 years in consumer publishing, digital and new media, broadcast television, public relations, and retail.

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Tiki Barber
Tiki Barber

co-founder, Thuzio

Tiki Barber is the co-founder of Thuzio, an online marketplace that directly connects the public and businesses with pro athletes and talent for experiences, coaching, events, and promotional opportunities. Barber also co-hosts CBS Sports Radio’s national morning show, and has was a three-time Pro Bowl running back during his 10-year career with the New York Giants. He is also an author, TV analyst, businessman, and corporate spokesman. He graduated from the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce, concentrating in management information systems.

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Marcy Blum
Marcy Blum

owner, Marcy Blum Associates

Marcy Blum has been creating memorable weddings and events for 27 years. She has been credited as being among the first to offer couples elegant, fun, and stylish alternatives to the cookie-cutter wedding. Blum is also a speaker and a consultant for businesses in the special event field. The third edition of Blum’s best-selling book Wedding Planning for Dummies was released this year. She has been a guest on Oprah, the Today show, and more.

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Jeff Boedges
Jeff Boedges

co-owner, SoHo Experiential

Jeff Boedges is co-owner of SoHo Experiential, a full-service marketing agency in Lower Manhattan. Throughout his career in experiential marketing, Boedges has held five-year stints at Contemporary Marketing Inc. (later SFX and Live Nation) and US Concepts (now MKTG). In 2005, he teamed with longtime friend and business partner Rick Kiley to start SoHo Experiential. The two have developed the company into an agency that not only provides industry-leading creative and execution, but that also provides strategic leadership to its roster of international clients including Rémy Martin, the Macallan, and Bravo.

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Gemma Craven
Gemma Craven

executive vice president and New York group director, Social@Ogilvy

As New York group director, Gemma Craven leads the Social@Ogilvy team in New York City and works with clients including I.B.M., BP, British Airways, and Caterpillar Inc. Her experience in advising clients on community development comes from 14 years of work with companies including AOL, Microsoft, and the Gap. She is also a regular public speaker and teaches social media theory and strategy at New York University and Columbia and through Mediabistro classes.

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Howard Givner
Howard Givner

founder and executive director, Event Leadership Institute

With more than 20 years of industry experience, Howard Givner is a widely recognized speaker, thought leader, and business consultant in the field of special events. He is the founder and executive director of the Event Leadership Institute, which provides best-in-class training and education for event professionals. Givner is also the creator of the award-winning mobile app Super Planner. Previously, he founded event company Paint the Town Red Inc. and served as C.E.O. of North America for Global Events Group. During his tenure the company won more than 30 industry awards. Givner, a frequent speaker at industry conferences, has been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other media outlets.

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Hillary Harris
Hillary Harris

executive director, Warner Brothers Studios Special Events

Hillary Harris makes dreams come true—at least for a day or for an evening. As the visionary at the helm of Warner Brothers Studios Special Events—a full-service event production department specializing in entertainment, corporate, charity, and wedding events—she creates and produces more than 275 events per year, both on the Warner Brothers Studios lot in Burbank, California, and at outside venues. Harris’s team services not only Time Warner and Warner Brothers Entertainment clients, including Conan, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Cartoon Network and HBO, but also an impressive list of corporate clients that range from the CW Television Network and MTV to Mercedes-Benz and Apple.

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Maya Kalman
Maya Kalman

C.E.O. and creative director, SWANK Productions

Maya Kalman is the C.E.O. and creative director of SWANK Productions, a luxury wedding planning and event design production company in New York. After her own reality-show wedding on the Food Network, Kalman launched the company in 2001. She has been featured on best-of lists in The Knot and Gotham magazines, and she’s been a featured expert on TNT, ABC, NBC, MTV, and more. Over the past 13 years SWANK has planned and designed weddings, corporate events, and social parties for top companies, brands, and personalities around the world.

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Cara Kleinhaut
Cara Kleinhaut

founder, Caravents Inc.

After starting her career at Sony Music Entertainment in New York, Cara Kleinhaut launched event production and design firm Caravents Inc. in 2001. The company is now as a bicoastal, award-winning events agency with Kleinhaut at the helm. Caravents’ main point of differentiation is its in-house content creation and technology division. Last year, Caravents’ ambitious productions included the Total Rewards Launch for Caesars Entertainment, which featured four simultaneous live concert broadcasts, as well as Samsung’s North American launch of the Samsung Galaxy SIII.

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Tamara Mendelsohn
Tamara Mendelsohn

vice president of marketing, Eventbrite

Tamara Mendelsohn leads marketing for Eventbrite, focusing on customer acquisition, retention, and branding. She loves live music events and tech events focused on positive social change. Prior to Eventbrite, she was a senior analyst with Forrester Research, an independent technology research and consulting firm. As an expert on eCommerce technology, multichannel retail, and trends in how consumers integrate technology into shopping, Mendelsohn authored research reports and worked with both retailers and technology vendors to help them shape their strategies. She is a graduate of the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management and received her bachelor's degree in comparative literature and economics from Wellesley College.

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Bryan Rafanelli
Bryan Rafanelli

president and C.E.O., Rafanelli Events

Bryan Rafanelli is president and C.E.O. of Rafanelli Events, where he works hand in hand with his clients to transform their visions into unforgettable experiences. Known best for his customized approach to every project, Rafanelli is the go-to event planner for many high-profile events. Notably, Rafanelli and his team lead concept, design, and strategic planning for Chelsea Clinton’s 2010 “wedding of the decade.” Beyond weddings, Rafanelli’s expertise includes private events, corporate functions, and nonprofit fund-raisers for clients such as President Obama, Arianna Huffington, the Boston Red Sox, and Louis Vuitton. 

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Anna Sekula
Anna Sekula

executive editor, BizBash

Sekula leads a team of editors and reporters who cover events and meetings, watching for news, trends, and innovation in the industry and producing content for BizBash.com, BizBash magazine, and its social media platforms. Raised and educated between Hong Kong, New Zealand, and England, she moved to the U.S. after studying social economics and politics at the London School of Economics, and joined the BizBash team in 2004. In addition to covering major events—including New York Fashion Week, the Olympics, and election night—she has also produced feature stories, such as the 15 Most Innovative Meetings, and spoken at industry conferences.

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Richard Steinau
Richard Steinau

executive vice president, AV Concepts

Richard Steinau is the vice president of sales and marketing and a member of the executive board at AV Concepts, an award-winning provider of video, audio, staging, and creative solutions for corporate, convention, and entertainment events. With more than 20 years of executive leadership experience, Steinau has played a key role in the growth and evolution of AV Concepts since joining the company in 2007. He is directly responsible for strategic leadership of marketing, client relations, and business development. Prior to AV Concepts, he led successful teams at GES Exposition Services and Aramark Healthcare.

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Michael Trainer
Michael Trainer

U.S. country director, Global Poverty Project; executive producer and creative director, Global Citizen Festival

Michael Trainer is a social entrepreneur focused on building movements for social impact. As U.S. country director of the Global Poverty Project, he served on the founding team of the Global Citizen Festival featuring performances by Neil Young, the Black Keys, and the Foo Fighters on New York City's Great Lawn. The festival raised more than 1.3 billion dollars in new commitments for programs serving the world's poorest people. The broadcast was the largest syndicated broadcast of its time, with more than 15 million viewers. His clients have also included Acumen Fund, Charity:Water, and Pencils of Promise.

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Kevin White
Kevin White

chief strategist, XPL

For more than 17 years, Kevin White has been designing and producing corporate experiences worldwide. His portfolio includes large-scale marketing events, corporate initiatives, and immersive New York City experiences for Fortune 100 companies. His current endeavor, XPL, delivers innovation to the experiential industry and its products by rethinking how organizations develop ideas. He has served as president of both the Philadelphia and New York chapters of the International Special Events Society and has served as the chair of its international Certification Committee; he is currently serving as an international officer of the association

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