2018 PROGRAM UNVEILED FEBRUARY 1. 2017 PROGRAM BELOW.

The ultimate classes taught by the ultimate brand-side instructors. Full 2018 program announced February 1.

Wednesday | May 3

2:30 PM – 4:30 PM
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WORKSHOP: EVENT MEASUREMENT AND DATA UNIVERSITY

Room: W475A
Learn how to create and build a stronger measurement practice within your company. Get up to speed on current measurement strategies, trends and best practices, and walk away with actionable tips and insights on how to measure events, what to measure at events and what modern tools and infrastructure changes you’ll need to make to track it all efficiently. Then, learn how to manage and break down the silos between the multiple data channels feeding into your organization, how to better unify your data in a way that makes sense and how to interpret your data in real time to create more personalized and impactful experiences.
Presented By:
  • Steve Boyce, Sr. Director, Digital Strategy, George P. Johnson
  • Ben Grossman, SVP, Group Strategy Director, Jack Morton Worldwide
2:30 PM – 4:30 PM
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WORKSHOP: SPONSORSHIP UNIVERSITY

Room: W474
From music to sports, from entertainment to the red-hot fair and festival activation trend, the rules of sponsorships are getting rewritten as brand enhance what they sponsor, why they sponsor and how they activate. Come get a two-hour tune-up on sponsorship activation trends, best practices and case studies. Get a look at what’s changing. Hear tips for connecting with the right properties. And learn tangible ideas for making sure your current and future activations are integrated, engaging, amplified and effective.
Presented By:
2:30 PM – 4:30 PM
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WORKSHOP: EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING 101

Room: W471
Back by popular demand, our “intro” class on experiential marketing. For up-and-coming event marketers, or those who might be seasoned in other areas but brand new to this industry, we offer a rapid-fire class on “the basics.” We’ll deliver an overview focused on what you need to know to thrive and survive. Topics to be covered include an overview of experiential marketing, top trends, rundowns of the top types of experiential programs, plus case studies. We’ll also touch on measurement, best practices and keywords. You’ll get a real feeling for what experiential is, why it’s growing and what’s next. (Admission requires Wednesday, Wednesday/Thursday or Three-Day All Access Registration.)
Presented By:
2:30 PM – 4:30 PM
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WORKSHOP: B-TO-B EVENTS FIELD TRIP: MCDONALD’S UNIVERSITY

Room: Off-Site Excursion (Leaves from Hyatt at 1:30PM)
Immerse yourself in a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the home of Chicago’s most iconic hometown brand—McDonald’s. We’ll head to McDonald’s downtown digital offices (roundtrip shuttle transport in our EMS bus is provided) for a dynamic master class on how this 62-year-old brand is reinventing itself through live and digital experiences. You’ll be among the only outsiders to get the candid story on how, and why, McDonald’s restructured its internal creative organization. And get an exclusive strategic overview of a limited-time-only live experience designed for investors, owner/operators and company employees. Learn how McDonald’s is bringing its new vision for the future to life through events and how its strategic, design and engagement teams are working together in a new way to set the pace for the McDonald’s brand of the future. Craving fries already? Not to worry. This field trip makes stops at the drive-thru. Shuttle to McDonald’s office leaves Hyatt McCormick at 1:45 and returns around 4:45. This workshop is limited to the first 60 to register. (Admission requires Wednesday/Thursday or Three-Day All Access Registration.)
Presented By:
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM
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OPENING RECEPTION

Room: Solutions Center (Skyline Ballroom W375AB)
Sponsored By
It’s the first night of the Summit—a time for mingling, networking and cocktails. The EMS Opening Reception is your chance to reconnect with colleagues and meet new industry peers. Only EMS brings together more than 1,500 elite event marketers at our networking events. This is a “can’t miss” opportunity to trade business cards, meet with new product and services suppliers and just plain “hang out” with the industry’s latest and greatest. Come early and stay late.
5:30 PM – 10:30 PM
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SOLD OUT: OPTIONAL EXCURSION: CUBS GAME

For the first time in 108 years, the Cubs are World Series Champions. Come join 50 of your newest best friends for a group trip to Wrigley Field as the Cubs take on the Phillies. Excursion package includes ticket and roundtrip shuttle transportation (leaves Hyatt McCormick at 5:30pm; returns to Hyatt after the game… no penalty if you leave early and take an Uber back on your own). All 50 tickets are together in sections 215/216 (rows 17-21). Tip: If you’re attending the game with others, please reach out to ssikes@accessintel.com so we can make sure we keep your seats together.
7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
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EX AWARDS GALA AND AFTER PARTY

Room: Skyline Ballroom W375CD
Sponsored and Styled By
Join us for our historic 15th Anniversary Ex Awards, which will bring together not only this year’s finalists but also 15 years of previous winners who will help us raise a glass to the all-powerful Ex. What started as the Oscars of event marketing has turned into the industry’s Golden Globes–600 of the world’s best marketers get rowdy as they celebrate the best campaigns of the year. Cost: $375 includes dinner, awards program and after-party. Tables of 10 also available. Note that an ex award ticket is not included in any kind of attendee/speaker registration and must be purchased separately.

Thursday | May 4

7:45 AM – 8:30 AM
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BREAKFAST

Room: Skyline Ballroom W375CD Foyer
8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
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AMERICAN EXPRESS KEYNOTE

Room: Skyline Ballroom W375CD
Sponsored By
Presented By:
9:30 AM – 10:15 AM
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COFFEE BREAK

Room: Solutions Center (Skyline Ballroom W375AB)
Grab a refreshment, chat up fellow attendees and meet with the industry’s best partners.
10:15 AM – 11:00 AM
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BRAND HOMES: JAMESON USES THE POWER OF ‘HOME’ TO DRIVE BRAND LOYALTY

Room: W470
Can’t make the trip to Dublin for a tour of the Old Jameson Distillery? No problem. Grab a seat in this immersive session that will take you inside the newly renovated (and renamed) Jameson Distillery Bow St. Find out why smart marketers are turning to “brand homes” to connect with a new generation of consumers—and why the strategy is uniquely capable of cutting through the clutter. Learn how to leverage your brand’s story and character into a “home” experience that’s capable of forging authentic connections with attendees.
Presented By:
10:15 AM – 11:00 AM
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HOW TO BUILD AN EVENT FOR INSTAGRAM

Room: W475B
With more than 600 million active users, Instagram has come on strong as a powerful social media tool for brand marketers of every stripe. But to be successful on Insta, where stunning snapshots reign supreme, you have to build an event worth sharing. In this session, you’ll take a tour of the Maison Lancôme Paris experience in New York City to understand how the beauty brand infused every inch of its event with scenes, settings and eye candy that attendees couldn’t help but snap and share. Get the inside scoop on how to make your event flourish on Instagram, and how to plan an environment that will sizzle—on the small screen.
Presented By:
10:15 AM – 11:00 AM
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LEARNING FIRST: ORACLE’S NEW APPROACH TO BREAKOUTS

Room: W475A
While marketers continue to get aggressive about reimagining b-to-b events, they’re still largely ignoring one area in need of major reconstructive surgery: The Session. Still the number one reason attendees come to an event, breakouts have been unchanged for decades. Until now. Come join the team behind reinvention of Oracle’s OpenWorld for a dive into the “experiential education pilot program,” a new session strategy, session process and session blueprint—born out of a collaboration between learning specialists and experience marketers.
Presented By:
10:15 AM – 11:00 AM
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MULTI-SENSORY EXPERIENCES: THE FUTURE OF EVENT TECHNOLOGY

Room: Highmark Hub (Center of Solutions Center)
As the lines between technology and the objects around us continue to blur, event marketers sit on the precipice of a new frontier where the physical spaces they create are as alive and responsive as the people that populate them. With a Ph.D. from MIT’s Media Lab as your guide, you’ll learn how today’s cutting-edge technologies are transforming built environments into multi-sensory wonderlands. Understand how tactile, audio and visual elements are coming together to enable new ways of communicating and connecting with consumers. See stunning and beautiful examples of multi-sensory experiences in action, and walk away armed with the terms, tips and insights you need to make “multi-sensory” a part of your design vocabulary.
Presented By:
10:15 AM – 11:00 AM
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POWER PANEL: WHAT GEN Z WANTS FROM BRANDS AND BRAND EXPERIENCES

Room: W471
In this moderator-led session, you'll hear directly from a panel of Gen Z-influencers as they talk about what it means to be a consumer and thought-leader in one of the most coveted demographics on earth. Hear what turns them on, what turns them off and which brands are cutting through the clutter—and why. Burning questions encouraged.
10:15 AM – 11:00 AM
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UNCONVENTIONAL SAMPLING STRATEGIES

Room: W476
Take a quick trip to the Rockies for a taste of Upslope’s Backcountry Tap Room sampling event that lured consumers from Winter Park, CO, up a 2.3-mile trail for a taste of it’s new Oktoberfest Lager. Get a fresh perspective on sampling strategies that might be off the grid, but are right on target when it comes to engaging the right consumers in the right way at the right time. Find out why consumers today are willing to work for some brand experiences. Learn how to leverage social media to tease your event, and to engage and reward those who participated.
Presented By:
10:15 AM – 11:45 AM
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MASTER CLASS: ADVANCING YOUR EVENT CAREER DURING PREGNANCY AND PARENTHOOD

Room: W181
The definitive Master Class for ambitious mothers and women who want families, presented by one working mother to another. For many women in their 20's and 30's, the greatest professional hurdle they'll need to overcome has little to do with their work life. The most focused, confident, and ambitious women can find themselves derailed by a tiny little thing: a new baby. While more workplaces are espousing family-friendly cultures, women are still subject to a "parenting penalty" and high-profile conflicts between parenting and the workplace are all over the news: from the controversy over companies covering the costs of egg-freezing to the debate over parental leave and childcare inspired by Marissa Mayer's policies at Yahoo and carried through Mark Zuckerberg's high-profile paternity leave.

Author Allyson Downey—founder of weeSpring (the “Yelp for baby products,”) and author of Here’s the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenthood, dives into this Master Class with vim and vigor, offering an inventive and inspiring roadmap for working mothers steering their careers through the parenting years. Get insights into the practical aspects of ladder-climbing while parenting, from a seasoned expert who has produced events for thousands of people--and fundamentally understands the challenges inherent in balancing family with the fast pace of event planning and execution.
Presented By:
  • Allyson Downey, Author, "Here’s the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenthood"
11:15 AM – 12:00 PM
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CONNECTING WITH COLLEGE KIDS: ‘COLLECTIVE’ EXPERIENCES

Room: W470
It might seem counterintuitive that the kids who grew up with iPhones in their hands crave communal experiences more than their older peers—but they do. And because of this, student audiences, comprised of both Gen Y and the younger Gen Z, are changing the way brands engage and create content. Take a page from hot Japanese fashion brand Uniqlo to learn how it’s surging in the college space through peer-to-peer outreach and premium in-store “collective” experiences that draw young tastemakers to its new flagship locations. Get fresh data points and actionable insights compiled from a two-year study of more than 500 students on engaging this next-gen consumer.
Presented By:
11:15 AM – 12:00 PM
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DISRUPTING TECH EVENTS: AMERICAN GREETINGS AND THE ART OF EMBRACING ‘ANALOG’

Room: W475A
Think it’s counterintuitive for a 111-year old greeting card company to activate at the biggest tech conferences in the country? Go inside American Greetings’ “Analog” and “A Device Like No Other” activations at SXSW and CES for a taste of the innovative “no-tech” experiences that surprised and delighted attendees by leaning into this tension. Find out why attendees flocked to have their selfies sewn, their GIFs transformed into paper flipbooks and to send thousands of paper cards amid a sea of cutting-edge tech products. Learn how you can tap into consumer insights and trends to create an authentic experience that tells your brand’s story and generates buzz.
Presented By:
  • Christine Rich, Director of Engagement Marketing, American Greetings
  • Patrice Sadd, Director of Corporate Communications, American Greetings
11:15 AM – 12:00 PM
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HOW TO ‘LIVE-WIRE’ AN INFLUENCER EVENT FOR MAX SOCIAL MEDIA IMPACT

Room: W476
From the outside, it might have looked like a quaint Tony Awards watch party, but this party? It was wired for action. We’re talking about IBM’s innovative Tony Award sponsorship activation that gathered social media influencers together for a high-tech infused viewing experience that put the spotlight on the brand’s technology by putting it directly in attendees’ hands. Step inside this case study on cutting-edge event tech to learn how a mix of social media scavenger hunts, cognitive computing, games, apps and more “live-wired” and then ultimately transformed a long-running sponsorship into a powerful content creator for social media—and how you can do it, too.
Presented By:
11:15 AM – 12:00 PM
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IMMERSIVE ACTIVATIONS: BUDWEISER’S ‘VR4D’ BEER GARAGE EXPERIENCE

Room: Highmark Hub (Center of Solutions Center)
Put on the goggles and take a whiff of some fresh hops as Budweiser takes you on a multisensory tour of their SXSW Budweiser Beer Garage and its immersive VR4D Sampling Experience. Far from any garage you’ve ever been in, this garage experience is chock full of cutting-edge technology engagements designed to showcase the brand’s tech partnerships while creating a relevant context where it could engage—and impress—the festival’s tech-savvy consumers. See how the concept and technologies came to life, and get up to speed on 4D VR technology and the future of immersive sampling experiences.
Presented By:
  • Tina Wung, Global Director of Innovation Community, Anheuser-Busch InBev
  • Joe Luchesse, Principal, Pro-Ject
11:15 AM – 12:00 PM
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INTERNAL EVENTS: HOW TO TRANSFORM EMPLOYEES INTO BRAND ADVOCATES

Room: W475B
In this session, we'll show you how a successful experience-driven campaign that starts with employees inside can prepare them to be powerful brand ambassadors outside. Go inside Southwest Airlines’ Rally Event to get a taste of the strategy, design and technology that rallied SWA's global employee base and turned a series of moments into a movement. Get actionable tips on the kinds of content, experiences and messages employees respond to most, and how you can use them to make your next internal meeting a love fest for your company culture, and a platform for employee advocacy.
Presented By:
11:15 AM – 12:00 PM
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LESSONS FROM TWITTER: UNCONVENTIONAL TRADE SHOW ACTIVATIONS

Room: W474
Find out why Twitter skips the trade show floor at shows like CES and opts instead for non-traditional “off-the-show-floor” activations. Learn how—and why—Twitter’s private meeting spaces are designed to be the center of the action, and why yours should be, too. Take a tour of the brand’s recent #TwitterCommons activation at this year’s CES as well as their #WineDineVine farm-to-table dinner experience at the ANA’s and their award winning #TwitterCity activation, a full-blown city in a ballroom designed to immerse partners and advertisers in real-world scenarios that bring the brand’s value to life. See how an unconventional yet highly contextual approach to trade shows can create more effective environments for engagement, client development and ultimately, sales consideration.
Presented By:
11:15 AM – 12:00 PM
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POWER PANEL: THE 2017 B-TO-B DREAM TEAM

Room: W471
Our April cover story comes alive as our inaugural B-to-B Dream Team comes together to discuss top trends, best practices and the future of the event discipline. Come experience some of the sharpest minds in b-to-b event marketing, hear candid comments on face-to-face marketing and walk away inspired and excited about the future of your events.
Panelists: Watch for the April issue of Event Marketer. Who know… maybe you’ll be on the list!
Presented By:
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
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TWITTER KEYNOTE LUNCHEON

Room: Skyline Ballroom W375CD
Sponsored By
Presented By:
1:45 PM – 2:05 PM
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Speed Briefing Round 1: 10 Ways Companies Build Sales Pipeline at Events

Room: W475A
Events are no longer for brand awareness and badge scanning only. Companies are increasing their focus, efforts, and investments on activities that help drive credible business and dollar pipeline at conferences and trade shows. In this session, you will learn 10 innovative things leading B2B brands are doing that help them establish $ returns from shows, including event strategy, pre-planning, 1-to-1 meetings, exhibit design and CRM integration.
Presented By:
1:45 PM – 2:05 PM
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Speed Briefing Round 1: EMS General Session Design Case Study: Screens, Scenic and LED

Room: W470
Still thinking about the EMS general session production? Who isn’t? During this brief but engaging discussion, we will explore the strategy, design and technology used in the EMS general session room. See how it all came together in an exciting format that will inform how you upgrade and enhance your own general sessions. Special attention will be paid to how cutting edge LED technology is being used for some of the highest profile activations in the world and LED technology can be used not only to display content, but as staging elements, props and even costumes.
Presented By:
1:45 PM – 2:05 PM
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Speed Briefing Round 1: Let’s Chatbot: Leveraging Conversational Artificial Intelligence to Enhance Brand Experiences

Room: W471
Marketers are challenged to initiate and continue authentic conversations between brands and consumers. Join us for a quick but comprehensive look at the growth of Artificial Intelligence as a consumer conversation tool. Learn how to integrate AI into your traditional communication channels and start personalizing brand experiences' before, during, and after your events.
Presented By:
1:45 PM – 2:05 PM
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Speed Briefing Round 1: The Power of Live: Making Offline Events Matter in an Online World

Room: W475B
When you bring together an audience for a live event you are creating a temporary community of people with a shared interest. Learn how to extend the life of this community by bringing digital, mobile and social media into the live physical experience, and to use these techniques to keep them engaged and connected all through the year.
Presented By:
  • Brooke Gracey, Senior Mobile Events App Strategist, CrowdCompass by Cvent
1:45 PM – 2:05 PM
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Speed Briefing Round 1: Using Data to Prove ROI and Improve Your Experiential Program

Room: W474
The #1 topic on every marketer’s mind is data analytics, as well as finding the correct tools to deliver these advanced metrics. This Speed Briefing, presented by eshots’ founder and CEO Craig Steensma will discuss data-focused trends in Experiential, and how they will help you get a clearer picture of the performance of your programs and your ROI. Accurate, real-time data combined with insights drawn from experience are crucial for improving the results from your experiential program and selecting the right programs to fund. Attend this session to pick up tips on improving the value of Experiential within your overall marketing mix.
Presented By:
2:10 PM – 2:30 PM
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Speed Briefing Round 2: 10 Ways Companies Build Sales Pipeline at Events

Room: W475A
Events are no longer for brand awareness and badge scanning only. Companies are increasing their focus, efforts, and investments on activities that help drive credible business and dollar pipeline at conferences and trade shows. In this session, you will learn 10 innovative things leading B2B brands are doing that help them establish $ returns from shows, including event strategy, pre-planning, 1-to-1 meetings, exhibit design and CRM integration.
Presented By:
2:10 PM – 2:30 PM
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Speed Briefing Round 2: EMS General Session Design Case Study: Screens, Scenic and LED

Room: W470
Still thinking about the EMS general session production? Who isn’t? During this brief but engaging discussion, we will explore the strategy, design and technology used in the EMS general session room. See how it all came together in an exciting format that will inform how you upgrade and enhance your own general sessions. Special attention will be paid to how cutting edge LED technology is being used for some of the highest profile activations in the world and LED technology can be used not only to display content, but as staging elements, props and even costumes.
Presented By:
2:10 PM – 2:30 PM
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Speed Briefing Round 2: Let’s Chatbot: Leveraging Conversational Artificial Intelligence to Enhance Brand Experiences

Room: W471
Marketers are challenged to initiate and continue authentic conversations between brands and consumers. Join us for a quick but comprehensive look at the growth of Artificial Intelligence as a consumer conversation tool. Learn how to integrate AI into your traditional communication channels and start personalizing brand experiences' before, during, and after your events.
Presented By:
2:10 PM – 2:30 PM
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Speed Briefing Round 2: The Power of Live: Making Offline Events Matter in an Online World

Room: W475B
When you bring together an audience for a live event you are creating a temporary community of people with a shared interest. Learn how to extend the life of this community by bringing digital, mobile and social media into the live physical experience, and to use these techniques to keep them engaged and connected all through the year.
Presented By:
  • Brooke Gracey, Senior Mobile Events App Strategist, CrowdCompass by Cvent
2:10 PM – 2:30 PM
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Speed Briefing Round 2: Using Data to Prove ROI and Improve Your Experiential Program

Room: W474
The #1 topic on every marketer’s mind is data analytics, as well as finding the correct tools to deliver these advanced metrics. This Speed Briefing, presented by eshots’ founder and CEO Craig Steensma will discuss data-focused trends in Experiential, and how they will help you get a clearer picture of the performance of your programs and your ROI. Accurate, real-time data combined with insights drawn from experience are crucial for improving the results from your experiential program and selecting the right programs to fund. Attend this session to pick up tips on improving the value of Experiential within your overall marketing mix.
Presented By:
2:30 PM – 3:15 PM
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REFRESHMENT BREAK

Room: Solutions Center (Skyline Ballroom W375AB)
Grab a refreshment, chat up fellow attendees and meet with the industry’s best partners.
3:15 PM – 4:00 PM
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BACARDI’S RULES FOR SMARTER, MORE AUTHENTIC CELEBRITY PARTNERSHIPS

Room: W470
Today’s smartest celebrity partnerships deliver much more than a simple endorsement. See how Bacardi leveraged a relationship with hip-hop artist Swizz Beatz, who now serves as the brand's Chief Creative for Culture, on projects like No Commission: Art Performs and InstantDJ to help Bacardi connect with audiences on a deeper level. Learn what today’s consumers look for and respond to in a celebrity partnership, and what criteria to use when looking for your own celebrity partner. Find out why this program’s unique mashup of celeb + music + art generated massive turnouts and media coverage—and how you can leverage the right celebrity ambassador to do it for your brand, too.
Presented By:
3:15 PM – 4:00 PM
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FIRESIDE CHAT: THE ESPORTS PHENOMENON

Room: W474
Learn all about esports and where the white-hot sector is headed from the top event marketer at Twitch—the world’s leading social video platform for gamers. Get insights into why esports is growing as quickly as it is, what’s changing and why—and then dive right into how brand marketers are tying (and will tie) into it all. Learn the building blocks of esports sponsorships, how top brands activate online as well as onsite at tournaments. Walk away with a firm handle on the future of esports and how your brand may fit into it all.
Presented By:
3:15 PM – 4:00 PM
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JETBLUE’S GUIDE TO IN-FLIGHT EVENTS

Room: W181
Smart marketers have begun activating in what might be one of the few remaining “captive” environments off earth—airplanes. Fasten your seatbelt and let JetBlue be your guide as they take you inside the world of in-flight events. From pop-up concerts to b-to-b partnerships to savvy games and sweepstakes, find out what’s possible and what’s not at 30,000 feet. See examples of what JetBlue and others are doing to engage consumers in-flight. Get the intel you need to explore the “air up there” for your next activation.
Presented By:
  • Tara Carson, Manager of Regional Marketing & Consumer Promotions, JetBlue
  • Tamara Young, Manager Corporate Communications, JetBlue
3:15 PM – 4:00 PM
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POWER PANEL: KIDS AND FAMILY EVENTS

Room: W471
Powered By
As brands continue to heavy up on live events to connect with kids and families, marketers are changing up their engagement strategies. Join our first ever panel discussion on using experiences to reach kids and families. We’ll talk trends, we’ll talk tactics, we’ll talk strategies. From do’s and don’ts to tips and tricks, best practices and more.
Presented By:
  • Eddie Newquist, Chief Creative Officer, GES Events
  • Cat Wolfe, Senior Manager-Digital Partnerships and Activation, Disney Media
  • Peggy Gronewold, Group Director-Strategic Partnerships and Mall Media, The Taubman Co.
  • Kevin Aratari, Head of Business Development, Troika
  • Maureen Chen, Director of Marketing, Chicago Museum of Science and Industry
  • Rachel Ford, Director-Media Partnerships, Disney Media
3:15 PM – 4:00 PM
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PROPRIETARY PROPERTIES: WHEN IT MAKES SENSE TO BUILD YOUR OWN EVENT

Room: W475B
CLIF Bar describes its CLIF Bar CykelScramble bicycle relay race as “four people, one bike, a half-mile crazy obstacle course and a festival.” And if that doesn’t give you a sense of the CLIF Bar brand, we don’t know what does. Go inside this one-of-a-kind proprietary event to learn why CLIF decided that only a wholly owned event would do. Find out why proprietary events are uniquely suited to deliver on the character and flavor of your brand, and what criteria to consider to help you decide when it’s time to build your own event. Walk away with the insights you need to assess the risks and rewards of going proprietary.
Presented By:
  • Adrian Santos, Event Manager-Experiential Marketing, CLIF Bar and Co.
3:15 PM – 4:00 PM
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USING EVENT TECHNOLOGY… WITH A PURPOSE: MICROSOFT’S ART OF STORYTELLING

Room: W476
Storytelling is an art form as old as humankind. But in the race to implement the latest immersive technologies, we often lose sight of the fundamentals. In this session, learn when and how to deploy technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality with purpose and cinematic beauty—and how to keep your brand and product messaging from dominating the creative process. From inside Microsoft’s portfolio, to case studies from other leading brands, you’ll walk away with strategies for telling impactful brand stories your consumers will remember.
Presented By:
3:15 PM – 4:00 PM
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XD IN 3D: ARCHITECTING EMOTIONS AT EVENTS

Room: Highmark Hub (Center of Solutions Center)
With the rise of responsive environments and the Internet of Things, interactive design is moving beyond the touch screen and into the physical environment. This shift requires a new approach to experience design and it begins with emotion. From feng shui to film, and architecture to performance art, there is a long-standing tradition of designing to elicit emotion. In this session, we’ll unearth this history and reveal how these universal truths apply today. We’ll look at examples of how forward-thinking creators weave the elements of architecture, story and interaction to make people feel. And we’ll share principles and practical tools to help you design brand experiences that elicit specific emotions like curiosity, empathy and awe.
Presented By:
3:15 PM – 4:00 PM
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‘FESTIVALIZATION’ FOR B-TO-B EVENTS: AOL’S TIPS FOR B-TO-B-TO-C EXPERIENCES

Room: W475A
Thanks to the popularity of music and film festivals, consumer expectations for all kinds of events have changed. In this session, you’ll learn how to effectively blur the lines between your brand’s b-to-b objectives and the b-to-c-style experiences attendees today crave. See how AOL disrupted expectations and “festivalized” its annual NewFront event into the open streets of New York City, and how the approach helped them generate 17 percent more social buzz than the 2016 NBA All-Star Game. Get practical tips on how to apply festival strategies to your b-to-b portfolio, and how you can inspire your creative teams and upper management to embrace the value of a festivalized experience.
Presented By:
4:15 PM – 5:15 PM
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EVENT INDUSTRY GIVES BACK CHARITY EVENT FOR THE HEADSTRONG PROJECT

Room: Skyline Ballroom W375CD
Coproduced With
Come be a part of the most ambitious charity activity in EMS history, blending face-to-face networking and peer-to-peer cause marketing. Coproduced with Sparks and the Headstrong Project, this all-new Event Industry Gives Back invites you to partake in a charitable “build”—as they network, attendees will put together Wellness Kits for Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. (Headstrong helps veterans to take their minds out of the past and off their pain, helping them to “heal the hidden wounds of war” and live positively in the present.)
Presented By:
4:15 PM – 5:00 PM
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USING ‘INNOVATION LABS’ TO AMP UP ATTENDEE ENGAGEMENT

Room: W475A
Look around at many of the industry’s leading events and you’re likely to see more spotlights on the people who are driving innovation at their company. It’s a trend toward showcasing product development at events, and more and more marketers—and attendees—are seeing value in getting up close and personal with the gurus and the R&D initiatives being workshopped by their brands. Get an expert perspective from one of the founders of AT&T’s Innovation Lab and former head of PwC’s Experience Center on why brands are expanding their investments into their own labs, innovation hubs and experience centers—and why attendees are flocking to experience them. Walk away with strategies, examples and a sense of the fun and engaging experiences that can be created by tapping into your brand’s internal labs.
Presented By:
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
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HAPPY HOUR

Sponsored By
The EMS reception is always a who’s-who of event marketing. Reconnect with old colleagues and meet new peeps—grab a cocktail and enjoy great conversations with your industry peers. Only EMS brings together more than 1,500 elite event marketers at our networking events. This is a “can’t miss” opportunity to trade business cards, meet with new product and services suppliers and just plain “hang out” with the industry’s latest and greatest. This is the last major networking reception of the Summit so don’t miss it.
7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
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SOLD OUT: OPTIONAL GROUP NETWORKING DINNER

Room: Cafe Bionda
Sponsored By
Come break bread with other attendees on Thursday night from 7:30–9:30 p.m. at Chicago’s hometown Italian restaurant Café Bionda (five blocks from McCormick Place). Bring your group if you have one or come on by with the rest of the EMS “solos” and have some fun chatting up new friends, discussing the day’s events and raising a glass (or two) to the industry. Separate ticket required. No walk-ups will be accepted. Menu includes beer/wine, antipasto and meatball appetizers, baby arugula salad, rigatoni genovese, chicken marsala and shrimp francese entrees and dessert.

Friday | May 5

7:45 AM – 8:30 AM
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BREAKFAST

Room: Skyline Ballroom W375CD Foyer
8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
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IBM KEYNOTE

Room: Skyline Ballroom W375CD
Sponsored By
Presented By:
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
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COFFEE BREAK

Grab a refreshment, chat up fellow attendees and meet with the industry’s best partners.
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
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WOMEN IN EVENTS: THE POWER OF NETWORKING

Room: W471
Coproduced With
Our annual Women in Events session gets a little “brunchy” this year with networking, mimosas and a featured conversation with Ms. Tech founder Nicole Yeary on the importance of networking for women in business. After turning an eight-person Facebook group into the tech industry's largest social impact-focused organization, Nicole and her team provide women with the inspiration, knowledge and connections to reach their full potential. This session provides tips and advice for early-, mid-career and executive-level individuals who are committed to developing themselves as leaders through education, mentorship, networking and knowledge-sharing. (Open to registered EMS women only. No dudes allowed.)
Presented By:
10:45 AM – 11:30 AM
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BACKSTAGE TOUR OF THE EMS GENERAL SESSION STAGE

Room: W470
We know you’ve been drooling—those hovering 60-foot-wide screens, the vertical LED … and that curved stage. Come get a look at the stage set in person and hear what went into designing this general session experience—and how you should approach redesigning yours. Walk the stage set with the actual designers and technical directors of this year’s EMS general session productions. You can’t skip this exclusive look at one of the industry’s most incredible general session sets. (Tour takes place on the general session stage. Please join us at the front of the room on stage.)
Presented By:
10:45 AM – 11:30 AM
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EVENT ‘HABITATS’: WHY HP IS REINVENTING ITS APPROACH TO LIVE EXPERIENCES

Room: W476
Many events and exhibits are beautiful to look at, but don’t tell their product’s stories in a compelling way. HP has adopted a new storytelling philosophy that takes its products off their pedestals and instead places them “natural habitats”—immersive eco-systems where customers can experience the brand like they might in their everyday lives. Go inside HP’s new playbook to find out why creating context is now king, and how it’s rolling out this new methodology across its event portfolio. Learn how to leverage customer insights and design technique to captivate and educate audiences—and connect the dots between products to create a powerful narrative.
Presented By:
10:45 AM – 11:30 AM
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HACKING ARCHITECTURE: WHAT’S NEXT IN EXPERIENCE DESIGN

Room: Highmark Hub (Center of Solutions Center)
Technology is breathing new life into the built environment. Architecture will automatically respond to where you move, what you look at or touch—even who you are. In this session, we’ll take a look at some of the newest materials and canvases, like kinetic physical pixels and activations on wood and water. We’ll unpack the technology toolkit, from the sensors that make it all possible, to the practical tools and processes for prototyping for new screen-less interactions in physical spaces. And we’ll give you a sense of what’s possible now, what’s next and how you can integrate these next-gen tools and products into your events.
Presented By:
10:45 AM – 11:30 AM
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LESSONS FROM IBM: HOW TO USE AI AND COGNITIVE COMPUTING AS SPORTS SPONSORSHIP TOOLS

Room: W475B
Data-driven decisions are always smart decisions, and thanks to cutting-edge technologies like IBM’s Watson, event marketers are poised to make smarter decisions than ever before. In this fireside chat, you’ll hear IBM explain how Watson works, what it does and how it can revolutionize the management of sports franchises and sports fan experiences. Get a preview of how Artificial Intelligence and cognitive computing is being used to create smarter, more responsive and personalized fan experiences and sports activations, and how this new frontier in data will ultimately help you spend your sports marketing dollars more wisely.
Presented By:
10:45 AM – 11:30 AM
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LESSONS FROM UNITED: CONNECTING MULTIPLE LAUNCH EVENTS TO KICKSTART A NEW SERVICE

Room: W474
From a premium lounge experience at O’Hare to a media event for VIPs in New York City to a showcase tour in seven key markets, step inside United Airlines’ Polaris launch to find out how the brand built awareness and momentum for its new premium international service (hello, Saks Fifth Avenue sheets!) Find out how to craft a launch strategy that maps your newest products and services to the passion points of your most important customers. And learn how to leverage social media and cutting-edge technology to bring exclusive experiences to life while generating word of mouth and brand loyalty.
Presented By:
10:45 AM – 11:30 AM
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ON-CAMPUS EVENTS: SYFY’S TIPS FOR WORKING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS

Room: W475A
Step inside Syfy’s college campus tour to learn how the network cut through the entertainment clutter to reach a new millennial target audience, leveraging live events and relationships with some of social media’s most powerful stars to boost reach and awareness. Get tips on how to strike partnerships and develop a social media content strategy that weaves talent into the fabric of the campaign, creating brand advocates along the way. Walk away with the know-how to build national scale from local activations.
Presented By:
10:45 AM – 12:15 PM
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MASTER CLASS: THE PARADOX OF CHOICE

Room: W181
With so many choices available to consumers, many of them find it difficult to make any choice at all.

Fact: The choices we give people define how we interact with them, what they buy, how they align with brands. Question? Are we giving our customers too many choices?

Psychology professor and bestselling author Barry Schwartz provides ample evidence that customers are faced with far too many choices on a daily basis, providing an illusion of a multitude of options when few honestly different ones actually exist. The conclusions Schwartz draws will be familiar to anyone who has flipped through 900 eerily similar channels of cable television only to find that nothing good is on. Whether you sell a healthcare plan, consumer electronics device or jeans, Schwartz, drawing extensively on his own work in the social sciences, shows that a bewildering array of choices floods consumers’ exhausted brains, ultimately restricting them instead of freeing them to buy something.
We normally assume in America that more options ("easy fit" or "relaxed fit"?) will make consumers more likely to buy, but Schwartz shows the opposite is true, arguing that offering customers too many choices actually goes so far as to erode purchase intent and brand affinity. Part research summary, part introductory social sciences tutorial, part self-help guide, this Master Class offers concrete steps on how to understand the art and science of choice—in your personal life and at work. Synthesizing current research in the social sciences, Schwartz makes the counterintuitive case that eliminating choices can greatly reduce the stress, anxiety, and busyness of your life—and your customers’ lives. In accessible, engaging, and anecdotal prose, he offers practical steps for how to limit choices to a manageable number, have the discipline to focus on the important ones and ignore the rest, and, ultimately, derive greater satisfaction from the choices you do make.
Presented By:
  • Barry Schwartz, Swarthmore College professor and author, “The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less”
11:45 AM – 12:30 PM
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BRANDED ‘CAMP’ EXPERIENCES: NOT JUST FOR KIDS

Room: W475A
Grab your backpack and write your name in your underwear as we take you behind the scenes of one of the hottest up-and-coming trends in experiential: sleep-away camp experiences for adults. Learn why this unconventional event platform made strategic sense for A-B’s beer brand Shock Top, and why camp events have become a key part of the brand’s portfolio. Take a tour of its Camp No Counselors partnership to find out what goes on at grown-up camp, why attendees love it and how brands and sponsors are carving out a niche for themselves in the great outdoors. We get the top bunk!
Presented By:
11:45 AM – 12:30 PM
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DOS EQUIS’ MOST INTERESTING BRAND, A 10-YEAR RETROSPECTIVE

Room: W470
From an Academy for fringe learning to food trucks that serve scorpion taquitos to an industry-first VR experience, few brands have gone as far as Dos Equis to push the boundaries of what experiential can do. Sit in on a thrilling, participatory ten-year retrospective on the triumphs, trials and tribulations of Dos Equis’ program. Learn: How to cultivate great ideas and integrate them across your entire marketing platform. How to instill, and sustain, the Challenger Mindset within your team. How to get the best out of even the biggest naysayers and toughest partners. Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone as these guys like to keep things, well, interesting…
Presented By:
11:45 AM – 12:30 PM
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EVENTTRACK 2017 UNVEILED: FOCUSING ON… EVENTS AS, AND FOR, CONTENT

Room: W471
It is the trend of the year—experiences being used as content creators, generators and distributors. Audiences becoming content amplifiers. And live events being used as incredible feeders of content… for the rest of the marketing mix. Come join us as The Event Marketing Institute and Mosaic unveil the second-annual EventTrack Content Benchmark Study, the only research study on how brands and consumers are using, creating, distributing and sharing event content. We’ll begin with topline data on the research, giving you true insight into the stats and facts. We’ll then present exclusive strategies on how best-in-class brands are using their events as content factories.
Presented By:
11:45 AM – 12:30 PM
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GEN Z: HOW FERRARA SCALED AN INFLUENCER STRATEGY WITH SNAPCHAT

Room: W476
Step inside the weirdly awesome world of candy brand Trolli where NBA star James Harden’s talking head and beard came alive via a talking basketball hoop called Beardsketball, a Gen Z-friendly Snapchat Spectacles live fan program. Beardsketball brought Harden, the brand's influencer and brand ambassador, to the masses, combining celebrity pop culture, experiential, social and digital for a one-of-a-kind "snackable" experience. Get the ins and outs of this Snapchat-based interactive, and walk away with lessons from Trolli's meme-centric Gen Z playbook.
Presented By:
11:45 AM – 12:30 PM
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GOOGLE I/O: REINVENTION WITH INTENTION

Room: W474
Learn about the reinvention of Google’s annual developer conference, I/O. Discover why the decision to move from a standard convention center to an outdoor amphitheater made last year’s event the brand’s most successful to date. Take a tour of I/O’s vibrant, festival-style environment, and hear what steps Google took to ensure a seamless experience for new and returning attendees alike.
Presented By:
11:45 AM – 12:30 PM
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MORE THAN MESSAGES: HARLEY-DAVIDSON’S GUIDE TO NEW PRODUCT REVEALS THAT DRIVE SALES

Room: W475B
Harley-Davidson has recreated its V-Twin engine only eight times in its 114-year history—until last year. Get an exclusive look at the strategy behind this historic reveal and how it celebrated one of its most auspicious moments through a dynamic mix of high-impact production elements and authentic, emotionally charged content. Learn how it immersed its dealers in its design process to motivate sales for the year ahead (and why this is a major trend in experiential). Walk away with the knowhow you need to make sure your event strategy delivers the “wow” moments attendees crave, while also delivering straight to the bottom line.
Presented By:
11:45 AM – 12:30 PM
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XD FUTURECAST: 15 DESIGN TRENDS TO BET ON IN 2018

Room: Highmark Hub (Center of Solutions Center)
This fast-paced trend spotting session will take you around the world for a sneak peek at the latest and greatest event design trends. From décor and furnishings to architecture and materials, get a fresh perspective on the macro trends that the industry will be buzzing about in 2018 and beyond. Understand what’s driving these up-and-coming trends, and learn how to leverage and interpret them for your brand in a way that feels appropriate and authentic. Walk away with a notebook full of inspiration and cutting-edge ideas to try at your next event.
Presented By:
  • Jeffrey Caldwell, Director of Experiences and Condé Nast Traveler, Architectural Digest
  • Mark Testa, Founder and Creative Director, Mark Stephen Experiential Agency
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM
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ADOBE KEYNOTE LUNCHEON

Room: Skyline Ballroom W375CD
Presented By:
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
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EVENT MARKETING FOR BABY BOOMERS

Room: W476
Millennials may get most of the marketing love these days, but baby boomers still hold all the spending power, baby. Nobody knows this better than AARP, who uses a three-tiered targeting strategy to attract loyalists, appeal to detractors and motivate the “moveable middle” to engage with the brand at its Block Party events. Step inside the AARP portfolio and get an expert forecast on what this lucrative demographic is looking for and how it wants to be engaged (you might be surprised by some of what you hear). Walk away with a checklist of actionable steps you can take to make Boomers a part of your event strategy.
Presented By:
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
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HITTING REFRESH: HOW TO INNOVATE A LONG-RUNNING B-TO-B MOBILE TOUR

Room: W475B
Event the most successful evergreen programs need a fresh perspective now and again. Step inside a program that hit the refresh button in a big way to give one of its longest-running shows a dramatic overhaul that resulted in better analytics, stronger data and a more impactful attendee experience. Learn how to tease out the pieces of your show that are most primed for innovation, and how to plan for massive but meaningful change. Get up to speed on the technologies and tools that can bring you the most bang for your buck, and how to use the data they deliver to drive innovation and change across your entire event portfolio.
Presented By:
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
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NEXT-GEN AUGMENTED REALITY: INSIDE FORD’S AUTO SHOW-STOPPER

Room: W471
Virtual Reality may be getting a lot of attention these days, but when it comes to transforming high-stakes demos and product reveals, Augmented Reality might just be the next killer app. See how Ford utilized a first-of-its-kind augmented reality narration technology to turn its Auto Show activation “wow” moment worth remembering. Learn how it combined camera tracking and real-time 3D simulation in front of a live audience to virtually “peel back” layers of the car on display to reveal its inner features. Get a glimpse of what’s next in AR activations, and walk away with a primer on what you need to know to integrate it into your events.
Presented By:
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
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THE FUTURE OF SPORTS FAN EXPERIENCES: TIPS AND FORECASTS FROM RED SOX NATION

Room: W475A
As sports properties start to think less like platforms and more like brands, their activation strategies have grown savvier and more sophisticated. In this master class on next-generation sports fan engagement, you’ll get a taste of what today’s most successful leagues and franchises are doing to amp up the game day experience for serious and casual fans alike—and the sponsors who want to connect with them. See what cutting-edge technologies are becoming major players in the game and how to leverage digital tools to get access to fans while giving them access to the teams and players they love. It’s a win-win.
Presented By:
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
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VR FOR EVERY DEMOGRAPHIC: HOW TO BUILD A MULTI-GENERATIONAL VIRTUAL REALITY PROGRAM

Room: W474
In celebration of the National Park Service’s 100th birthday, Humana created a program designed to bring the parks to a demographic that’s all too often forgotten—seniors. Go inside the Bring the Parks to You (BP2U) campaign to find out how, and why, the brand used a 360-degree Virtual Reality experience to educate a traditionally low-tech audience on the health benefits of nature. Get tips on how to shape a VR engagement that appeals to a wide range of age groups. Walk away with fresh ideas and practical insights on how to integrate VR into your next event.
Presented By:
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
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MASTER CLASS: THE INVISIBLE GORILLA: AND OTHER WAYS OUR INTUITIONS DECEIVE US

Room: W181
If your message is vivid and memorable, your customers will see and remember it, right? Not necessarily. In this Master Class, Dan Simons, creator of the famous “invisible gorilla” psychology experiment, uses real-world stories and startling demonstrations to demonstrate an important truth: Our minds don’t work the way we think they do. We think we see ourselves and the world as they really are, but we’re actually missing a whole lot.

Again and again, we think we experience and understand the world as it is, but our thoughts are beset by everyday illusions. We create events and film TV spots on the assumption that people will notice when something incredible happens right in front of them, right? We’re all sure we know where we were on 9/11, falsely believing that vivid memories are seared into our minds with perfect fidelity. And as a society, we spend billions on devices to train our brains because we’re continually tempted by the lure of quick fixes and effortless self-improvement.

The Invisible Gorilla reveals the myriad ways that our intuitions can deceive us, but it’s much more than a catalog of human failings. Chabris and Simons explain why we succumb to these everyday illusions and what we can do to inoculate ourselves against their effects. Ultimately, the book provides a kind of x-ray vision into our own minds, making it possible to pierce the veil of illusions that clouds our thoughts and to think clearly for perhaps the first time.
Presented By:
3:00 PM – 3:45 PM
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JAMESON’S LESSONS FOR STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS

Room: W474
Do you like a shot of whiskey with your craft beer? Go inside the Jameson Caskmates Drinking Buddies program, that partners craft breweries with its signature Irish Whiskey to learn what makes a good brand partner, and how to leverage them together for growth with consumers and the trade. See how activating smart partnerships on premise, off premise and at festivals and events can generate wider audiences, drive sales and increase awareness. Get a behind-the-scenes look at this fastest-growing spirits category and walk away fully informed in the art of the partnership deal.
Presented By:
3:00 PM – 3:45 PM
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PROPRIETARY MUSIC ACTIVATIONS: HGTV’S LODGE CARVES OUT A HOME AT CMA FEST

Room: W471
After identifying a high index between country music fans and its viewers, HGTV set its sights on the CMA Festival to construct a 3,500-square-foot HGTV Lodge, an intimate hang space and concert venue featuring the hottest and up-and-coming country music acts. Go inside this five-year-old award-winning program to find out why giving music fans access to the artists they love is such a powerful play when it comes to boosting brand loyalty and shaping consumer behavior. Learn how to create a proprietary concert activation that adds value to larger music events—and those who attend them.
Presented By:
3:00 PM – 3:45 PM
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TELLING YOUR STORY THROUGH TECHNOLOGY, THE ACURA WAY

Room: W470
Many automakers today are migrating their marketing dollars to technology shows like CES and alternative platforms like the Sundance Film Festival to make connections between their brands and the spirit of innovation the shows and festivals represent. This demands a new way of activating that is as forward-thinking as its target consumer and as tech-savvy as the media that covers it. Find out why Acura is adding these new platforms to its portfolio, and how its infusing its live events with technology to create more impactful storytelling experiences. Learn how to tease out the spirit of innovation from your brand, and how to create the right mashup of technologies to bring that spirit and story to life.
Presented By:
3:00 PM – 3:45 PM
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THE ART AND SCIENCE OF FAMILY-FRIENDLY EVENTS

Room: W475B
Hit the road with the Paw Patroller semi-truck, a replica of the hit children’s TV show Paw Patrol, for a behind-the-scenes look at a family-friendly mobile tour that hit all the right notes for kids and parents alike. Get expert insights on finding the fine balance between experiences that engage children and triggers that motivate mom and dad to purchase. Go inside the strategic playbook driving the Paw Patrol brand for quick master’s course on engaging kids, playing by the rules and creating a live experience that resonates for families long after the event is over.
Presented By:
  • Tor Sirset, VP, Preschool and Girls Team, Spin Master
  • Matt Boyer, SVP of Client Services, rEvolution
  • Rob Wolf, Marketing Director, Spin Master
3:00 PM – 3:45 PM
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THE B-TO-B MARKETER’S GUIDE TO DRIVING BETTER ATTENDEE NETWORKING

Room: W476
Many user conferences and b-to-b events are great at delivering expert talks, training and hands on workshops, but they don’t always provide effective ways for guests to meaningfully connect with one another. Discover how Intuit’s 2016 QuickBooks Connect event enabled 6,000 small business owners, entrepreneurs, accountants and developers to effectively network through both digital and traditional activations. From themed meetup groups and custom sets that emulated cafés and pubs, to a Tinder-style networking feature within the event’s app and robust NFC integration, learn how Intuit engineered its entire event to facilitate the relationships their attendees craved—and how you can do it, too.
Presented By:
4:00 PM – 4:45 PM
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CLOSING GENERAL SESSION: TRENDWATCH 2017

Room: W470
The Summit ends with a bang (and some cold beer) this year as EMS founders Kerry Smith and Dan Hanover take to the main stage to present their annual Trendwatch, a rundown of current industry trends top brands are embracing, emerging “heater” trends that are just starting to pop and how leading experiential marketers are evolving. You’ll see the exclusive Trendwatch list of trends, illustrated by case studies and insights into some of the world’s greatest brands. Come join Sweet Smitty and The Hanny Manny for a final session together.
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