Event Innovators 2014: Most Innovative People in Events and Meetings

Here are the marketers, planners, app makers, designers, producers, and other professionals who are forging new paths for the industry.

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The culture of innovation in the event and meeting industry has never been stronger. It’s not just guests and attendees who have high expectations for what happens during a face-to-face gathering—let alone the kind of impact that’s made afterwards. This year we found the marketers, planners, app makers, designers, producers, and other professionals in the community striving to come up with more compelling experiences. They’re listening to their clients, exhibitors, guests, and colleagues, thinking about how to address needs, and finding opportunities to create authentic engagement and value.

And while they all have stories that make them unique—a background in counterterrorism, an idea inspired by a stolen coat, a business started for health reasons—they share some of the same characteristics. So for this issue we opted to group our innovators by the qualities that we think define them best.

There are the trailblazers, who truly own their niche and have others looking to follow in their footsteps; the strategists, who are rethinking how to grow, replicate, and improve conferences, conventions, and even festivals; the newsmakers, who make headlines outside the industry; the creative leaders, who are finding eye-catching ways to influence and inspire audiences; and the tech pioneers, who are pushing for better ways to blend digital with physical. Of course, they are not solely defined by these five categories—indeed there are many that belong in multiple—but they are all forging new paths for the industry.

Chris Anderson, Sapling Foundation
Nick Di Donato, Liberty Entertainment Group
Eddie Mullon, Event GPS/Fashion GPS
Nick Smith, AV Concepts
Randy Weiner, Variety Worldwide

Kathryn Arce & Rebecca Grinnals, Engaging Concepts
Paddy Cosgrave, The Summit
Lance Fensterman, ReedPop
Lisa Kaz & Terri Toennies, ANSA Productions
Greg O'Dell, Events DC
Elizabeth Pinkham, Salesforce.com
Michelle Rosen Sapir, Google
Ed Several, Reed Exhibitions
Scott Stedman, Northside Media Group

Kimberly Bailey, Butter End Cakery
Lance Broumand, UrbanDaddy
Tina Brown, Tina Brown Live Media
Will Dean, Tough Mudder
Tony Hsieh, Zappos
Walt Mossberg & Kara Swisher, Re/Code
Stephen Starr, Stephen Starr Events
Frank Supovitz, Fast Traffic Events & Entertainment

Creative Leaders
Camilla Andersson, NeueHouse
Heidi & Julian Bailey, Iceculture
David Campbell, Boxman Studios
Ryan Hutmacher, the Centered Chef
Tony Loschiavo, L-Eat Catering
Debi Lilly, A Perfect Event
Etienne Russo, Villa Eugenie
Vello Virkhaus, V Squared Labs

Tech Pioneers
David Aubespin, Topi
Dan Berger, Social Tables
Martin Ferro-Thomsen & Jon Schäffer, Conferize
Alejandro Gonzalez, Kryogenifex
Erik Muendel, Brightline Interactive
Derek Pacque, Coatchex
Patrick Payne, QuickMobile

More on our Event Innovators 2014 package can be found here.

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