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BizBash Idea Fest

Event Innovation Forum

*Limited to 250 Attendees
Register Now—All Previous Event Innovation Forums Have Sold Out

Discover fresh ideas and insights from the most influential names in the industry during this TED-inspired conference—packed with dynamic presentations designed to help you think more strategically about your events. In between sessions, attendees are invited to a networking lunch where they will have the opportunity to connect with planners who share their passion for events.

The Top Mistakes Events Make With New Technology

Lee Billington, creative director/co-founder, Frog/Beak Labs

Technology is everywhere, from apps that measure emotional responses and R.F.I.D.-enabled wristbands linked to social media accounts to virtual reality headsets offering immersive digital environments and drones that deliver food. But how much thought is given to whether these unique tools are appropriate for a particular event or meeting and its audience? Are planners putting a premium on experimentation rather than experience? In this session, Lee Billington, creative director at Frog and co-founder of Beak Labs—a company that has created interactive digital art experiences for brands like Nike, Spotify, and Twitter—will explore how ignoring the storytelling can cripple the success of integrating new technology at events, as well as the common mistakes he sees, and steps that can be taken to avoid making them.

The Secret to Building an Innovative Team

Tony Conway, founder and C.E.O., Legendary Events

Every brand, company, and individual today is looking for new ideas and strategies to shake up the norm. But innovation doesn't come naturally to most and rarely does it occur in a bubble. Teams need the opportunity to be thinkers, not just doers, and explore experiences outside their typical day-to-day duties. In this Q&A session, Tony Conway, who, as founder of Atlanta's Legendary Events has produced events for names such as Oprah, Elton John, and Coca-Cola, will share how he encourages innovation at his 250-person company. Conway will also show how education can change the way his team looks at events through methods that include hosting guest speakers at the office and encouraging employees to switch roles for a day.

The New Rules of Social Media

Nicole Phillips, vice president of business development and account management, Switch

Social media has forever changed the event landscape, and planners and marketers can now reach millions with a click of a button. Facebook, Twitter, and other social channels can be highly effective platforms to engage an audience and build long-lasting, loyal relationships. But how do you know if your message is really cutting through the clutter? Social media continues to evolve fast. Every day a new release has the potential to disrupt initiatives and programs that were previously successful. In this session, Nicole Phillips, vice president of business development and account management at Switch, will divulge the new rules of social media and share ways event and meeting organizers can stay ahead of the game. Phillips will also discuss how integrating social media before, during, and after events helps maximize your return on investment, extending a brand’s experience beyond the hashtag.

What Event Pros Need to Know About Planning in Cuba Now

Renee Radabaugh, president, Paragon Events/Cuba Explorations

As travel restrictions relax between the United States and Cuba, industry professionals are increasingly looking into opportunities the Caribbean island offers for events and meetings. But planning trips to Cuba still requires an understanding of the regulations in place. Travel is allowed within 12 approved categories, and each category comes with very specific requirements. In this session, Renee Radabaugh, president and managing director of Paragon Events and founder of Cuba Explorations, will share her experience planning group travel to this hot destination. Radabaugh will share lessons learned, including ensuring activities are within guidelines, dealing with challenges planning in more rural areas, and what you need to consider before you go.

The 7 Deadly Sins of Fund-Raisers

Suzan McDowell, president and C.E.O., Circle of One Marketing

Hosting a fund-raiser means more than just raising funds. But are traditional benefit galas the most effective way to engage and create loyal donors, tell the story of a nonprofit's mission, and inspire more support? Are there better ways to make the live event a more personal and enjoyable experience and remain successful? In this session, Suzan McDowell, president and C.E.O. of Circle of One Marketing, will share why she thinks conventional galas need a shake-up and the mistakes—or deadly sins—that nonprofit planners make with their events.

Why Event Pros Need to Design Emotional Experiences

Barry Ross Rinehart, executive creative director, Multi Image Group

Live experiences are a powerful tool for forming long-lasting impressions on event-goers. But have event and meeting professionals considered what emotions are being created during these experiences? Whether it's a convention for 10,000 people or an intimate gathering, there are some secret tools, technologies, and techniques planners can employ to exploit the brain’s natural methods of forming memories and learning. In this session, Barry Ross Rinehart of Multi Image Group will share strategies he’s learned from top neuroscientists and hard-earned experience to demonstrate how to trigger specific emotions to make efforts more memorable.

What Your Music Says About Your Event

Brian Feit, founding partner, BMF Media

Music has become a key connector between brands and customers, a way to establish a cultural link to a particular audience. Just look at the booming business of music festivals and the number of companies that fill the landscape around them with activations and parties. In this session, Brian Feit, founding partner of BMF Media, will explore how musical choices are critical to the overall narrative of live experiences. Feit will also share why smart planners today are seeking partnerships with talent to create content and ultimately extend the life of an event.

Additional speakers and sessions to be announced shortly.

Registration Fees:

Event Innovation Forum and Workshop Series Pass

$259 Planners
$359 Non-Exhibiting Suppliers
For special group rates, email

Event Innovation Forum Pass

$199 Planners
$299 Non-Exhibiting Suppliers
For special group rates, email

Registration includes admission to the Event Innovation Forum, the expo floor, the networking lunch, and pre- and post-event parties.

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