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Industry Innovators 2024: 10 Event Planners, Designers, & Producers Finding New Ways to Engage and Immerse Attendees

These event prof powerhouses include bold designers and passionate planners who strive to exceed expectations.

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Did you know Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve didn't always have live countdowns outside of NYC? You can thank Gary Solomon Jr. for expanding the iconic, long-running holiday special to other destinations, including the first-ever Spanish countdown in Puerto Rico. Solomon is one of our 10 Industry Innovators this year for the new class of planners, designers, and producers—and his Rockin' Eve fact is just one of many ways these powerhouse event profs have (and continue to) innovate the industry. Click through the links below to meet the new class—and get inspired by their career journeys, sources of inspiration, most memorable moments, and more.

Claudia Paghunie
Senior Producer, Trademark Events

Cynthia West
Director of Events, Glow Events

Gary Solomon Jr.
Co-founder and President, Solomon Group

Helen Bassett
Senior Vice President, Head of Live & Events, Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal

Jared S. Sampson
Director of Pride Events, JJLA

Jason Williquette
Event Designer, HMR Designs

Katie Pehrson
Senior Planner and Designer, 2 the 9s Events

Roger Whyte
Principal, Stratus Firm

Tina H. Li
Founder and CEO, THL Productions (and In the Clouds Events)

Whitney Butler
Vice President of Planning and Business Development, Platinum XP


About the list: Our Industry Innovators features are compiled by our editorial team using a variety of resources. The idea is to go beyond the biggest names in the biz—though it has plenty of those too—and dig deep into the industry professionals who are using truly innovative thinking to push the boundaries of live experiences.

If someone has previously been named a BizBash Innovator, they are not eligible for the list. Check out our full Industry Innovators Hall of Fame here!