Full Agenda

Tuesday | October 5

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
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OPENING RECEPTION

The EMS Hall of Ideas will be the place to be as new and old industry friends come together to hug it out, bump elbows and raise a glass to surviving the past year—together. Join an informative “Innovation Tour” of the hall to see what the industry’s been cooking up since last year. Gather with fellow EMS first-timers for an expert-led orientation and tour. Enjoy snacks, drinks and some fun and games with old and new friends alike. It’s EMS live, baby. Let’s do this!
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
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OPTIONAL ADD-ON: AL FRESCO DINE-AROUNDS

Come solo or grab a friend or colleague for a small group (10-15 person) networking dinner under the stars at one of Chicago’s outdoor eateries (locations to be announced). Many game-changing industry connections are made at our annual EMS dinners—don’t miss your chance to eat, drink and make new friends. Price: $99. Includes three-course dinner, dessert and wine.

Wednesday | October 6

6:45 AM – 7:30 AM
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OPTIONAL ADD-ON: 5K RUN/WALK + IN-ROOM YOGA

Start your day getting to know some fellow fitness enthusiasts with a guided 5K run and sightseeing tour through the local neighborhood. Walkers are welcome, too! Those who prefer a private in-room experience can tune in to a live virtual yoga and meditation session hosted exclusively for EMS attendees. Price: $20 for the 5K run/walk. Yoga and meditation is complimentary for all attendees.
Presented By:

Eve Bond

EveBond Fitness
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS

Kick off your day with breakfast and unlimited cups of coffee in the Hall of Ideas. Grab a map of the Hall and engage in some fun industry trivia challenges. Won’t it be fun to put “work pants” on again and interact with, you know, people? We think so, too. See you there, champ!
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
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OPENING KEYNOTE

Grab a seat and listen in as one of the world’s most award-winning experiential brands takes the stage to kick off the Summit. Hear forecasts and predictions on the future of events. Learn how Pepsi is approaching consumer engagement in 2022 and beyond. Get a glimpse into how one of the industry’s most prolific event marketers is planning for the industry’s comeback.
Sponsored by Hubilo
Presented By:

Todd Kaplan

VP, Marketing,
Colas/Pepsi TM
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
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COFFEE BREAK

Step into the Hall of Ideas for some networking, idea sharing and a cup of coffee or tea. See something you like and want to learn more about? Chat ‘em up or use your EMS event app to set up a meeting.
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM
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B-TO-B DREAM TEAM PANEL

Every year, Event Marketer calls on the event community to recommend the best and brightest b-to-b marketers in the biz for our annual “Dream Team”—the marketers we’d pick if we were creating our own event organization. In this lively panel—part one of two at EMS this year—we’ll introduce you to this year’s outstanding event pros, and then take you inside their sales conferences, internal events, trade shows and user conferences for a closer look at how they do what they do so well—and what tips and strategies they have to share as they navigate the new normal.
Presented By:

Kerry Prifty

Director, Leadership & Customer Programs, Meeting Management & Event Strategy,
Liberty Mutual Insurance

Soo Young Kim

Group Product Marketing Manager, Ads Marketing,
YouTube

Jackie Burke

Sr Director, Omnichannel Marketing, National Accounts,
Constellation Brands

Angela Baer

CMP, CMM, Corporate Meetings & Events Planner,
Caterpillar Inc.
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM
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LESSONS FROM COMCAST: THREE MUST-HAVES FOR ENGAGING GEN-Z AT EVENTS

Gen Z teens and young adults may be one of the most powerful consumer groups, with $140 billion in spending power, but they are also coming off one of the most challenging years in their young lives. In this session, Comcast Xfinity breaks down its Gen Z marketing programs and explains its three “must-haves” for capturing the attention and then engaging this fickle audience—especially in the wake of the pandemic. Learn how the brand is adapting to the audience’s constantly evolving needs to drive purchase and win over lifelong customers. Understand the mechanics and nuances of peer-to-peer marketing programs. And walk away with a better understanding of the value of creating and distributing relevant content to student communities.
Presented By:

Meghan Wismer

Director, Acquisition Marketing Implementation,
Comcast Xfinity

Henry Lichtblau

VP, Client Solutions,
Riddle & Bloom

Cheri Davies

Senior Director, Acquisitions Marketing and Programs,
Comcast Xfinity
11:45 AM – 12:15 PM
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B-TO-B DREAM TEAM PANEL

Every year, Event Marketer calls on the event community to recommend the best and brightest b-to-b marketers in the biz for our annual “Dream Team”—the marketers we’d pick if we were creating our own event organization. In this lively panel—part two of two at EMS this year—we’ll introduce you to this year’s outstanding event pros, and then take you inside their sales conferences, internal events, trade shows and user conferences for a closer look at how they do what they do so well—and what tips and strategies they have to share as they navigate the new normal.
Presented By:

Teresa Terasaki

Program Manager for Brand, Experience and Events,
Google Open Source

Dan Preiss

Senior Director, Global Experiential Events Marketing,
Dell Technologies

Bryan Mizelle

Senior Director of Event Solutions,
Walmart

Laura Bartley

Senior Director of Marketing Communications and Events,
Mohawk Industries
11:45 AM – 12:15 PM
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EVENT BUDGETING: FORECASTS AND NEW BEST PRACTICES FOR 2022

A new era in events calls for a fresh approach to budgeting. In this session, we’ll take a closer look at the factors that will make the biggest impact on your 2022 event budgets, including supplier and material shortages, staff shortages and the rise of hybrid experiences. Learn how to navigate these challenges and budget for a live event and a virtual component. Get ideas for how to offset the extra costs involved in going live and virtual. Hear how sponsorship opportunities can be integrated into your hybrid events to make budgets more feasible. Walk away with an actionable checklist you can put into play to help you plan smarter for 2022—and execute on budget.
Presented By:

Bob Russo

Director of Creative Services
VDA
12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
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THE 2021 EX AWARDS + EXPERIENCE DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY AWARDS GALA LUNCHEON

This year, the industry’s longest-running recognition programs for the experiential industry become one at a super-sized luncheon gala open to all EMS attendees. Grab a seat, raise a glass and celebrate the year’s most award-winning people and programs across more than 50 categories, including special categories recognizing the unique contributions of the industry during the pandemic. Need some fresh hardware on your trophy shelf? You can enter the Ex Awards + EDTAs today at: https://www.eventmarketer.com/event/ex-awards-2021/.
2:30 PM – 2:50 PM
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NEW EVENT FUNDAMENTALS: EVENT MEASUREMENT

In a post-pandemic world, everything has changed including some of the industry’s most evergreen skillsets. Join this expert-led session focusing on one of the most important skills in the event marketer’s toolbox—event measurement—and get up-to-the-minute insights on what’s new and trending in the discipline. Walk away with a clear idea of what you need to know in the months ahead to effectively plan and produce broadcast-quality content and experiences that shine online and at hybrid events.
Presented By:

Rachel Boucher

Executive Editor,
Event Marketer
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
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THE THREE KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL HYBRID EVENT

Many event marketers learned the hard way last year that virtual and hybrid experiences aren’t just live experiences “on a computer.” For a truly successful hybrid event, marketers must ensure that virtual attendees are having the same (or even better) engaging experience that the in-person guests are receiving. And it can be tougher than it seems. In this session, you will learn the three fundamental factors that contribute to an effective hybrid event. Hear how to best approach a hybrid strategy from a planning and production perspective and how to pick the right platform for your event. Learn what engagement techniques can capture the attention of time-strapped hybrid audiences. And walk away with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about your next hybrid event.
Presented By:

Bryan Mizelle

Senior Director of Event Solutions,
Walmart

Justin Maddox

Director, Digital Strategy,
LEO Events
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
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THINK TANK: NEW INDUSTRY JOBS THAT EMERGED FROM THE PANDEMIC

Pull a seat up to the whiteboard and join the conversation as we navigate some of the industry’s most pressing topics—together. Think Tanks are highly interactive, expert-moderated discussions designed for small group idea sharing, peer-to-peer engagement and candid debate about some of your biggest pain points, and how to solve them. In this session we dive into new industry skillsets and the jobs that emerged post-pandemic, and what they mean to you, your career and your event organization.
Presented By:

Jessica Heasley

Group Editor and Publisher,
Event Marketer

Meg Fasy

Founder & CEO
eventsGIG
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
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WINNING EVENT DATA STRATEGIES: HOW TO COLLECT METRICS THAT TELL POWERFUL STORIES

Long gone are the days of tracking your event’s “success” with a post-show survey and some footfall numbers. The smartest events utilize data strategies that give event marketers the kind of metrics that can shape experiences, budgets and boost ROI. In this session we’ll discuss the importance of a strong metrics strategy and why it will become even more important post-pandemic. You’ll learn what data is most critical to collect and how to take that data and tell powerful event stories with it to internal and external stakeholders. Walk away with a data checklist that you can apply to your events that details what data do you need, what data you don’t need and what to look for when trying to collect it.
Presented By:

Rob Cowan

Director, Sales,
LiveGauge
3:15 PM – 4:15 PM
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MEETING WITH A MENTOR

If there’s ever been a year for a little life-changing professional advice, this is it. In this highly interactive roundtable experience, you will be invited to join a series of small group discussions led by some of the top women in the industry. Topics will include: unique professional development skills for brand and agency marketers; fresh ways to sharpen your strategic and creative skillsets; how to “pandemic proof” your career; how to carve a path to the leadership role you want; where to find new opportunities in the event industry; what the event marketer of the future will need to know to succeed; and much, much more. Bring your burning questions and prepare to have them answered. And walk away with a new mentor who “gets” what it means to live a life loving events—and the steps you can take to make it more enjoyable, equitable, profitable—and a little more sane.
3:15 PM – 3:45 PM
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DAILY PODCAST + FRESH AIR BREAK

Need an excuse to step away from your email and step outside for a breath of fresh air? We’ve got you. Grab some water and enjoy 30 minutes of unadulterated outside time, plus a little audio learning on the go. Use the EMS app to tune into our daily podcast featuring some of the industry’s top thinkers and doers and get refreshed for the rest of the day’s meetings and sessions.
Presented By:

Mahiri Wise

Program Manager-Cloud Developer,
Relations Events
3:15 PM – 3:45 PM
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CELEBRATING AND SUPPORTING ‘LOCAL’ IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD

The pandemic inspired many brands to “go local” to make or keep connections with key audiences. Now, as cities begin reopening, many event marketers are looking for ways to keep those local connections while scaling up. In this session, you’ll go inside Thrillist’s “Block Party” program for a look at how brands can build long lasting experiential IPs that communities nationwide can experience while helping local businesses recover from the pandemic’s economic impact. Get insights on how to tap the best partners and community members to authentically support local businesses and communities virtually and IRL. Hear best practices on how to support a community through local, in-person events. And hear how to best connect audiences with your content and brand in a meaningful way.
Presented By:

Tren'ness Woods-Black

Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Sylvia's Restaurant
Sylvia's

Meghan Kirsch

Chief Content Officer,
Thrillist
3:15 PM – 3:45 PM
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HYBRID STRATEGIES: HOW TO USE AR AND AI TO BOOST ATTENDEE ENGAGEMENT

Thanks to Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence, brand marketers can transform passive consumer experiences into interactive journeys. In this session, you will get up to speed on the world of AR and AI technologies, and the world of opportunities it presents for event marketers venturing into the realm of hybrid events. Learn the dos and don'ts of AR and AI applications, and how to leverage your digital assets to create content for events that build your digital brand story. And understand how to best utilize AR and AI to optimize consumer interactions to measure partnerships, analyze audience engagement and increase sales.
Presented By:

Don White

CEO and Co-Founder,
Satisfi Labs

Michelle Roguso

Head of Experiential,
CAA Brand Consulting

James Giglio

CEO,
MVP Interactive
3:45 PM – 4:05 PM
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NEW EVENT FUNDAMENTALS: SOCIAL MEDIA SKILLS FOR EVENT MARKETERS

In a post-pandemic world, event marketers need digital and social media skills to thrive. Join this expert-led session focusing on one of the most important skills in the event marketer’s toolbox—social and digital media—and get up-to-the-minute insights on what’s new and trending in the discipline. Walk away with a clear idea of what you need to know in the months ahead to effectively promote your events using the latest trends and ideas in social media marketing.
Presented By:

Brittany Buchanan

Social Media Brand Manager,
Bosch Power Tools North America
3:45 PM – 4:05 PM
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NEW EVENT FUNDAMENTALS: HOW TO CREATE AWESOME HYBRID EXPERIENCES

In a post-pandemic world, virtual and hybrid events have to stand out to be memorable. Join this expert-led session focusing on some of the most important skills in the event marketer’s toolbox—the ability to create awesome experiences and incredible virtual content—and get up-to-the-minute insights on what’s new and trending in the discipline. Walk away with a clear idea of what you need to consider in the months ahead to effectively ideate and create outstanding virtual experiences that shine online and at hybrid events.
Presented By:

Mark Shearon

Founder, Managing Director,
Proscenium

Tim Berghoff

Senior Director, Event Marketing
Qualcomm
3:45 PM – 4:15 PM
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NEXT-GEN STRATEGIES FOR TRADE SHOW AND CONVENTION ACTIVATIONS

While trade shows were being hit hard by the pandemic many event marketers were finding that their stop-gap solutions were outperformingtheir trade show activations. Indeed, it’s going to be a new era in trade show and convention marketing as companies weigh the value of their on-site presence with other options explored during the pandemic. Listen in as a panel representing each side of the industry have a candid discussion about the next evolution of trade shows, and how expectations among exhibitors may change moving forward.
Presented By:

Susan F. Whiteside

Vice President of Integrated Marketing & Communications,
National Confectioners Association
4:30 PM – 5:00 PM
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WHAT’S NEXT FOR AUTO SHOWS AND AUTO MARKETERS

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is a bellwether for the event industry, and is often the proving ground for some of the biggest activation trends and event technologies for the year ahead. Listen in as a panel of industry experts discuss how the shift from “indoor winter convention” to “outdoor summer festival” will change auto show experiences in the future, and how the stop-gap Motor Bella event this year may be a sign of things to come. Hear how auto marketers are approaching their auto show activation strategies in 2022, and how the entire industry is reacting, adjusting and innovating in the wake of the pandemic.
Presented By:

Andrea Trudeau

Services Director,
Detroit Auto Dealers Association
4:30 PM – 5:00 PM
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HOW COMPLEX CONVERTED ITS FLAGSHIP FESTIVAL INTO A VIDEO GAME

Go behind the scenes of one of the industry’s most compelling “pivots”—ComplexLand, a virtual world replete with shopping, digital “drops” (look it up, Boomer), exclusive content, gaming and, yes, even food trucks. Step inside the immersive digital experience for a tour of the engagement strategies at work. Get a look at the tech stack required to pull off a virtual event based on gaming experiences. Hear from the creators on what worked and what didn’t, and how the virtual experience will (or won’t) inform the live ComplexCon event in November.
Presented By:

Neil Wright

Head of Collaborations & Experiential,
Complex Networks

Steffen Christiansen

Executive Creative Director,
Jam3
4:30 PM – 4:50 PM
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NEW EVENT FUNDAMENTALS: BROADCAST STUDIO SKILLS FOR HYBRID EVENTS

In a post-pandemic world, virtual and hybrid content has to stand out to be memorable. Enter: the broadcast studio. Join this expert-led session focusing on one of the most important skills in the event marketer’s toolbox—the ability to create live and pre-recorded broadcasts—and get up-to-the-minute insights on what’s new and trending in the discipline. Walk away with a clear idea of what you need to know in the months ahead to effectively plan and produce broadcast-quality content and experience that shine online and at hybrid events.
Presented By:

Brendan Martin

Business Solutions Director
Cramer

Scott Connolly

SVP of Business Solutions
Cramer
4:30 PM – 4:50 PM
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NEW EVENT FUNDAMENTALS: CREATIVITY IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD

In many ways, the pandemic has raised the bar on creativity. Look no further than some of the year’s most memorable pivots for the kind of creative thinking that’s the hallmark of the event industry. But how do you keep those juices flowing when pandemic adrenaline turns into pandemic fatigue? Join this expert-led session focusing on one of the most important skills in the event marketer’s toolbox—creativity—and get up-to-the-minute insights on how event marketers are using the challenges of the moment to generate even more creative ideas and solutions. Walk away with a clear idea of what you need to know in the months ahead to effectively plan and produce broadcast-quality content and experiences that shine online and at hybrid events.
Presented By:

Brian Mullin

Co-Founder and Partner,
Manifold
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
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HAPPY HOUR

Time to trade those pajama bottoms for work pants because it’s the Happy Hour you’ve been thinking about… All. Year. Long. Reunite with your industry friends and make new connections as we celebrate the event industry in the Hall of Ideas over drinks, snacks and some fun activities. Join an informative “Innovation Tour” of the hall to see what the industry’s been cooking up since last year. Gather with fellow EMS first-timers for an expert led orientation and tour. Revel in the moment and enjoy being in a room with your people for the first time in more than two years.
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
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OPTIONAL ADD-ON: AL FRESCO DINE-AROUNDS

Come solo or grab a friend or colleague for a small group (10-15 person) networking dinner under the stars at one of Chicago’s outdoor eateries (locations to be announced). Many game-changing industry connections are made at our annual EMS dinners—don’t miss your chance to eat, drink and make new friends. Price: $99. Includes three-course dinner, dessert and wine.
9:00 PM – 11:00 PM
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THE EMS AFTER PARTY AT THE VAN GOGH EXHIBIT

Limited to the first 500 to register for EMS—join your fellow EMS attendees for a celebratory night cap and exclusive access to one of the year’s most buzzed-about experiences: the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit. Go on a multi-sensory journey through 360-degree projections that take you inside the artworks of Vincent Van Gogh. Get a first-hand look at how this unique, atmospheric event is engaging attendees through sight and sound. See first-hand how the experience has been designed to handle social distancing, traffic flow and event safety successfully since it opened. Registered attendees will be invited to sign up for one of two time slots: 9:00 or 10:00 p.m.

Thursday | October 7

6:45 AM – 7:30 AM
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OPTIONAL ADD-ON: 5K RUN/WALK + IN-ROOM YOGA

Start your day getting to know some fellow fitness enthusiasts with a guided 5K run and sightseeing tour through the local neighborhood. Walkers are welcome, too! Those who prefer a private in-room experience can tune in to a live virtual yoga and meditation session hosted exclusively for EMS attendees. Price: $20 for the 5K run/walk. Yoga and meditation is complimentary for all attendees.
Presented By:

Eve Bond

EveBond Fitness
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS

Kick off your day with breakfast and unlimited cups of coffee and tea in the Hall of Ideas. Grab an updated “day two” map of the Hall and engage in some fun games and challenges. See you there, champ!
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
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OPENING KEYNOTE

Grab a seat and listen in as one of the world’s most prolific and award-winning experiential brands takes the stage to share its perspective on lessons learned from the past year—and predictions for the year ahead. Learn how Cisco is approaching its portfolio of conferences and events in 2022 and beyond. Get a glimpse into how one of the industry’s longest-running event organizations is planning for a return to live events.
Presented By:

Alex Sapiz

VP, Global Events,
CISCO
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
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COFFEE BREAK

Step into the Hall of Ideas for a cup of coffee and one last chance to strike up a conversation and stir up some of that EMS magic with a prospective partner or fellow attendee. You never know who might be a critical player in your comeback story.
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM
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PANEL DISCUSSION: WOMEN IN EVENTS

One of the most popular sessions at EMS is back with a renewed focus as honorees from our 2020 Women in Events program take the mic and discuss the challenges of the past year—and the way forward. From navigating and recovering from the harsh impact of the pandemic on women and families to developing the skills that will elevate women into event leadership roles of the future, no topic is off the table. Bring your thorniest questions and your company’s allies because this session is going to spark some productive debate—and some actionable ideas for improving the work lives of women in events.
Presented By:

Dior George

US Marketing Supervisor, Multicultural Engagements,
McDonald's

Rachel Espersen

Head of US Consumer Experiential Marketing & Strategy,
Citi

Lyndi Bell

Brand Marketing Manager,
Chaco
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM
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A-B INBEV’S GUIDE TO POST-PANDEMIC SALES CONFERENCES

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s annual SAMCOM conference typically engages 5,000 attendees over three days and spans more than 200,000 square feet of activation space. In this session, the team at A-B InBev will take you inside its 2022 playbook for a behind-the-scenes look at how the company plans to transform its vibrant beer festival experience into a safe, business-generating platform for its sales and marketing teams. Hear how the brand will be approaching in-person events in the future and how—and what—it will adjust to keep pace with the new reality. Learn how you can take a large portfolio filled with unique brands and translate those brand experiences into an environment that’s lively and nuanced while still conscious of attendee comfort levels and expectations.
Presented By:

Tony Tallo

Senior Director, Wholesaler Services and Communications,
Anheuser-Busch InBev

Tom Eisenhauer

VP Account + Project Management, Business Meetings + Events,
Switch
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM
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CISCO’S GUIDE TO BUILDING YOUR 2022 HYBRID TECH STACK

Like many of you, Cisco’s technology team had to ramp up in 2020—almost overnight—in order to support a much more robust scope of digital events. And now, as the industry begins its comeback, the company is once again evolving its event practice into a new hybrid model. Listen in as Cisco’s head event technology guru takes you on a tour of where the brand has been and where it’s going as it makes the transition from virtual to hybrid. Hear what technologies, processes and new best practices have been—and will be—instrumental in leading Cisco’s event team into the future. Get tips and advice on where to focus and how to prioritize the challenges and technology decisions at hand as you build your own hybrid plans—and what attendees will be craving in their digital experiences as we venture into 2022.
Presented By:

Sean Curtis

Director of Technology Experiences, Global Events,
Cisco
11:45 AM – 12:15 PM
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DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION—ESSENTIAL NEXT STEPS FOR THE EVENT INDUSTRY

In our annual panel on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, we’ll unpack the tough and thorny questions event marketers have about what DE&I really means in 2021. Get tips and advice on how to create authentic and effective inclusion initiatives that foster fair representation across the stage and the entire event organization. Hear what steps you can take to foster a culture—and a mandate—of inclusion across your company. Learn more about how to imbed diversity goals and KPIs into your events and the important role your attendee base can play in moving the needle towards a more diverse event portfolio.
11:45 AM – 12:15 PM
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DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT LESSONS FROM ESPORTS MARKETERS

2020 hit esports events hard but for a sports platform that’s played almost entirely online, the digital brand activation game remained strong. Listen in as esports-savvy brands and esports experts take you inside their playbooks for a primer on meaningful engagements and smart activations when face-to-face isn’t part of the equation—or is just part of the equation. Learn what to do (and definitely not to do) to capture the attention of tough-to-please and time-strapped digital audiences. Walk away smarter about streaming, gaming and how you might use both as a part of your 2022 strategy.
Presented By:

Chris Mann

Senior Vice President,
REV/XP

Jay Jump

Executive Director, Business Transformation & Innovation, ALSAC,
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
11:45 AM – 12:15 PM
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STATE OF THE UNION: SAFETY AND HYGIENE AT EVENTS

Every event marketer is saying “Your health and safety is our top priority.” But what does that really mean? And how can event producers translate this promise into the hundreds of decisions and best practices that need to be mastered in order to truly deliver a safe event experience for attendees? In this panel, industry experts will bring you up to speed on the state of health and hygiene best practices in the event industry and what you can do to prepare your teams and your events for the year ahead. Hear up-to-the-minute insights on: How to build a bullet proof health and hygiene playbook that exceeds current standards; How to address new distancing challenges with space design techniques and event technology; How to navigate the new rules (and red tape) in state and local municipalities; How to design socially distant spaces that reassure attendees while still engaging them. And more!
Presented By:

Andrea Ramsey

Principal,
The Event Ally

David Causton

General Manager,
McCormick Place
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
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NETWORKING LUNCH

It’s your last chance to make new friends at EMS and we’ve designed our networking lunch to help you do just that. Stay tuned for more details. It’s going to be fun.
1:30 PM – 2:00 PM
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WHAT’S NEXT IN EVENT FOOD & BEVERAGE

Let’s step away from the COVID talk for a moment (feels good, doesn’t it?) and talk about… food. In this session, one of Chicago’s resident culinary gurus will take you on a guided tour of the most important trends and paradigm shifts happening on the event food scene in late 2021, and what you need to know to stay ahead of the game. How can you best navigate the flood of special diet requests that come through events now? How can event marketers—in a post-pandemic era of single serve containers and plastic—get sustainability back at the top of the priority list? And what are some innovative ways to bring in more local flavor and support local restaurants and businesses as they recover from the past year? Join us to find out the answers to these questions, and many more!
Presented By:

Doug Bradley

Vice President of Culinary,
McCormick Place
1:30 PM – 2:00 PM
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CREATING BRAND CONSISTENCY ACROSS LIVE AND DIGITAL EVENTS: LESSONS FROM IBM

Most event marketers became omnichannel marketers in 2020, quickly shifting their live brand experiences into digital events, and then just as quickly realizing the challenges of extending live programs into the virtual world. In this session, you’ll hear how IBM tackled that challenge and how its approaching its 2022 portfolio. Hear why a focus on brand consistency has helped create a through-line for internal teams and attendees. Learn how to drive consistency and efficiency in design and execution, scalability and modularity to deliver measurable outcomes. Hear how IBM built its global program around its approach, including talent, tools and workflows, and how it enables the brand to concept, design, produce and execute activations that are scalable, reusable, sustainable, and globally consistent.
Presented By:

Amy Knowles

George P. Johnson

Dee Hall

Program Director, Cognitive Engagement,
IBM
1:30 PM – 2:00 PM
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DAILY PODCAST + FRESH AIR BREAK

Need an excuse to step away from your email and step outside for a breath of fresh air? We’ve got you. Grab some water and enjoy 30 minutes of unadulterated outside time, plus a little audio learning on the go. Use the EMS app to tune into our daily podcast featuring some of the industry’s top thinkers and doers and get refreshed for the rest of the day’s meetings and sessions.
2:15 PM – 2:45 PM
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EXPERIENTIAL RETAIL: GIBSON GARAGE - THE ULTIMATE GUITAR EXPERIENCE

As the U.S. returns to in-person experiences, certain categories of retail will be forever reimagined as hybrid spaces for both live and virtual touchpoints. Get an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of one of them with the team behind the Gibson Garage, a new 8,000-square-foot interactive flagship store in the heart of Nashville. See what sensory, tactile and immersive engagements the store is employing to woo consumers in—and keep them there. Learn how the brand is leveraging customization experiences, live performances, visual “wow” moments like an overhead conveyor of 200 guitars and a tour of the brand’s history to bring digital buyers out of their living room and back to retail.
Presented By:

Tasha Young

Senior Director, Client Services,
G7 Entertainment Marketing

Paul Hemsworth

VP, Executive Creative Director,
George P. Johnson Experience Marketing

Mark Agnesi

Director of Brand Experience,
Gibson Brands, Inc.
2:15 PM – 2:45 PM
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FIRESIDE CHAT: LOOKING BACK—THE LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE PANDEMIC

In part one of a two-part panel discussion, we’re taking a look back at 2020 and listening in as some of the industry’s top marketers offer their candid perspectives on the most important lessons they learned—and how those lessons will inform the future of live and digital events for their brands. Understand what the challenges of 2020 revealed about customer needs and behaviors, the impact and performance of pre- and post-pandemic engagement strategies and how portfolios shifted and evolved as a result. What pivots will become permanent for some of the most experiential brands in the world? Grab a seat and find out.
Presented By:

Elizabeth Malafa Kurman

Head of Experiential Marketing & Global Events & Brand Partnerships,
Under Armour
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
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CLOSING SESSION: EXECUTIVE PANEL: LOOKING FORWARD—TRENDS AND PREDICTIONS FOR 2022 AND BEYOND

In part two of our two-part panel discussion, we’re taking a look forward with some of the industry’s top marketers to hear how they are planning for the industry’s comeback when the “new normal” is still a moving target. In this candid conversation, industry leaders will discuss how they are approaching 2022, and how they plan to develop next-generation events and hybrid experiences that take into account new trends, expectations and concerns among attendees and the implementation of fast-changing health and hygiene protocols. What’s on the horizon for some of the most experiential brands in the world? Grab a seat and find out.
Presented By:

Kim Haney

Director of Experiential Marketing,
Pernod-Ricard

Jitter Garcia

Senior Director, Event Marketing,
Univision Communications Inc.