Event Innovators 2014: The People and Brands Forging New Paths for the Industry

Meet the most innovative professionals and brands in events right now.

June 17, 2014, 7:10 AM EDT

The 230-foot-long wall of ice created for a Y-3 show during Fashion Week in New York. Etienne Russo, one of BizBash’s most innovative people in events and meetings this year, collaborated on the event.

Photo: Keith Sirchio for BizBash

There is no magic formula for innovation. No guarantee that a smart idea or risky move will achieve more than short-lived success. And in the world of meetings and events, companies and professionals are already expected to adapt the constant stream of ideas, strategies, and technology to reach an audience that’s more discerning and hungrier for meaningful ways to interact and learn. The challenge is not just in the novelty of an idea or approach, but finding something that resonates and has a reach beyond the boundaries of a single affair.

So for the fourth year compiling our picks for the most innovative individuals and brands in the event and meeting industry, we looked for sustained innovation—not just one-hit wonders. We searched for those whose work thrives from an ongoing dedication and belief in the power of live experiences, and concepts that provide value and utility and serve as catalysts for change in the wider community.

On our list of innovative people this year are thought leaders making an impact across North America, including entrepreneurs in Toronto and Las Vegas breathing new life into venues and neighborhoods; a chef in Chicago with a mission to make guests happier and healthier; and editors in New York and California who have turned their attention to conferences and the energy that comes from live interviews. There are inventors of new technology from Washington, D.C., Virginia, and even Denmark; audiovisual producers seeking new ways to thrill and engage; and the people behind some of the biggest events on the continent. (There aren’t, however, any people from last year’s list; we aimed to recognize an entirely new group.)

Our list of innovative brands looks at the companies that are building communities of passionate customers through live experiences. We revisited entities we highlighted previously, investigated some of the most successful marketing stories of the past year, and, as always, searched for new stories to tell.

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

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