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Author: Endless Events

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What would you do if you could sit down for an hour each week with the biggest names in events and have a cup of coffee and just talk about events? Now you can with our weekly show, #EventIcons! Each week, we interview the biggest names in the events industry and give you, the audience, the chance to ask any question you want. Whether you do event planning, event production, meeting planning or just love events, is your time to pick their brain and see how the icons of the event industry think.
265 Episodes
Today's #EventIcons guests recently launched a conference in 90 days, growing their attendance from 0 to 5,000 people. That event was a fantastic PLX conference focused on partner marketing.    Partner marketing is a strategic relationship between two entities that aim to accomplish common goals, like increasing event attendance, building brand awareness, or marketing your products. And while you may be familiar with influencer marketing in B2C, a popular approach to partner marketing, partner marketing in B2B spaces is also growing in popularity. In this #EventIcons episode, Will brings together three people who played critical roles in the PLX conference: Nicole, Jared, and Isaac. Keep reading to learn more about the partner-led event, how they emphasized co-creation in their content and more iconic insights.
The pandemic put a strain on everyone in the events industry, and it’s pushed some of our longest-serving professionals into other careers or even retirement, leaving a vacuum for other professionals to fill. It’s this need for experienced and knowledgeable event professionals, along with the revitalization of events, that led today’s guest, Bradley Cocks, to transition from doing to educating.  Bradley is an experienced event professional with an impressive 20 years of history in the industry. He’s also founded and sold his own events agency and has launched a successful online Masterclass specifically for event professionals. In this #EventIcons episode, Will has many questions for Bradley. Tune in to hear what skills Bradly thinks event professionals need for the future, what prompted his transition from events to event education, and more.  
Ashley Lawson is a big name in the travel meetings and incentives industry. Recently featured on the SITE Global and IMEX Instagram accounts, she’s also been featured closer to home. In a recent Event Brew episode on event inspiration, Deanna named Ashley as someone she goes to for inspiration and to bounce ideas off. Eager to learn more about Ashley, we’ve decided to bring her on for today’s #EventIcon episode! Ashley currently serves as the Vice President of Business Partnerships at Achieve Incentives & Meetings and is the third generation to work for the 70-year-old family business. Since her shift from nonprofit work in Washington, DC, she has become her industry’s “safe travel ambassador” and is on a mission to celebrate culture and usher back safe travel. Tune in to learn more about her life in events as a digital nomad and what she thinks the industry needs more of.
Throughout 2022, we discussed how event professionals could talk business and engage with the C-suite. We also talked about trends we witnessed and expected to see in 2023. That’s why we’ve brought Jim Kelley on today’s episode of the #EventIcons. Jim is an experienced leader in the events industry. Currently the Vice President of Marketing and Industry Relations at Fern Expo, he has a long history of working in events, tradeshows, and conferences. Jim describes himself as a continuous learner, trusted advisor, innovator, educator, and ukulelist in training. Today, he’ll share his background, how event professionals can take on the business world, how to avoid burnout, and why we’ll see more white space in 2023.
Attendee arrival has changed in recent years. Before the pandemic, attendees would have booked hotels and made transportation arrangements in the days or weeks leading up to the event. With online events, they’ve cut that time down to a few minutes, and no one understands this better than today’s #EventIcons guest, Arianna Black. Arianna has a long-standing relationship with events. Recently, that relationship has grown to focus on meaningful connections in virtual events. She says, “My current obsession is building spaces for authentic connections into large-scale digital-first engagements.” In this episode, Arianna will share what led her to events, her thoughts about digital arrival, and some of her best tips for creating online experiences.
What Is Event-Led Growth?

What Is Event-Led Growth?


The events industry is on the cusp of change. As we exit the pandemic era, companies are looking to understand how they can drive event growth and how events can, in turn, drive growth for their business; that’s why we’ve brought on a special guest for this episode of #EventIcons, Mark Kilens.  Mark is the CMO of Airmeet, a leading virtual and hybrid event platform. He previously worked at Drift as the VP of Content and Community and at HubSpot as the VP of Marketing. Mark comes to us today with no shortage of experience in event-led growth. Today, Will and Mark will discuss his accomplished background, what business and event growth mean to him, and what he thinks your event mindset should be. Let’s get right into it!
Event planners and organizers are always considering how to push the envelope of event design. But with progress comes risk, the risk of failure. C2 Montreal is an event known for pushing the boundaries of events and inspiring industry-wide progress. #EventIcons has invited Anick Beaulieu of C2 International to chat with us.
On the last episode of #EventIcons, Erica Bishaf said, “A lot of organizations put about 60 - 80% of financial risk into one live event.” Unsurprisingly, companies are heavily invested in attendee satisfaction. Often, event planners turn to metrics and engagement as a measure of an event's success. That's why we've brought on an expert on all things attendee engagement, Ryan Costello.  Ryan is the founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Event Farm. Today, hundreds of organizations use Event Farm. Over the last 20+ years, he’s become a leading innovator in the events industry. His obsession with attendee engagement and experience is evident in both his company and today’s episode. Rather than hyper-focusing on the precise metrics you should focus on for engagement, Ryan shifts our attention to mindset and approach. He challenges us to remember that we are in the business of humans. Let’s get right into it!
Community is the hot new buzzword in the events industry, and for a good reason. The ROI of building a community is staggeringly high. A thriving and engaged community can grow your revenue by hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s why this #EventIcons podcast has a very special guest, Erica Bishaf.  Erica is the founder and CEO of Campfire Social. She brings 20 years of experience with business strategy, market research & insights, and consulting. She’s an expert in building professional networks for member-based and attendee-driven organizations. Erica has helped organizations generate revenue ranging from half a million to over 6 million dollars. Today, she’ll talk about what community is, how to build it, and how to monetize it. Let’s jump in!
Endless Events has recently celebrated its 15th birthday and we’ve decided to mark the occasion by hosting a very special #EventIcons episode in which our listeners could ask us any questions they want about Endless’ past, present, and future. The 15-year special was hosted by no other than the CEO and Founder of Endless Events, Will Curran. Three members of the Endless team have also kept him company: Keaton Watson, Director of Sales and Operations, Karmen Jericevic, Sales Development Manager, and Sonja Hayden, the Director of Content. Here’s to many more, Endless Events!
The #EventIcons podcast is back with a very special guest: Hubilo's CEO Vaibhav Jain. Hubilo is the leading global virtual and hybrid event technology company. Under Vaibhav's leadership, Hubilo has raised over 150 million in less than a year from leading hedge fund and venture capital firms globally. And it still continues to grow exponentially internationally.    Vaibhav's vision is to create a solution that works for every possible industry where content and community come together beyond the business world. He and Karmen will talk about how Hubilo got started, what challenges they faced along the way, and what are the dos and don'ts of the events industry, as learned in 2021. Let's jump right in.
After a month-long break, the #EventIcons podcast is back in all its glory! This week's iconic guest is the knowledgeable Gianna Gaudini, an event marketing strategist who understands events inside and out. She worked as Marketing Events Lead at Google for nine years and Head of Events at AWS for nearly two years. Even more importantly, she has founded her own company in 2018. Check out Gianna's website: she's established herself as an industry leader as well as an author and course creator. Since she's got such a wide range of knowledge, Karmen thought it would be a great idea to pick her brain about the best event planning tips for 2022. Karmen and Gianna do not dwell on any one particular topic for too long. After all, Gianna knows a lot about data analytics, content delivery, community, leadership, and so much more. They go over the recent changes in the events industry, ROI metrics, diversity and inclusivity, sustainability, and her favorite resources for event planners. Tune in - you'll learn a lot!
It’s been nearly two years since event planners first witnessed mass event cancelations and scrambled to plan virtual events. Since then, we have seen the landscape of the events industry change dramatically. But just as we thought that we were getting through the worst of the pandemic-related uncertainty, the Omicron variant came and took over the world. Event planners essentially have three options: to cancel, to postpone, or to pivot. But how to choose? Since strategizing Omicron is one of event planners’ top concerns right now, we’ve decided to dive into proactive event strategies to best handle the current situation. We’ve brought on an expert on all things event strategy: Keaton Watson, the Principal Relationship Architect at Endless Events! Keaton is going on his ninth year in the events industry. He’s worked in hotels in Dallas, Cleveland, Florida, and joined the Endless Events team a year ago. He firmly believes that event technology should be at the core of any event strategy in this day and age. Make sure to tune in to find out how to strategize in times of uncertainty and how implementing event platforms can make last-minute pivots a bit easier to navigate.
This week, the #EventIcons podcast comes with a three-day delay, but we’re so excited about this amazing episode that we couldn’t wait any longer to share it with the world! First, let’s get the most exciting part out of the way. Will is joined by a brand new host: the fabulous and inquisitive Karmen Jericevic, AKA the Event Opportunity Creator at Endless Events. Some of you might remember her from the episode we did with the Endless team about managing virtual fatigue. As she constantly talks directly to event planners, she knows exactly how they think, what they want to know, and what their main pain points are. And alongside her bubbly personality, that makes her an exceptional interviewer! And then, there’s our iconic guest: Ellis Davis, the Chief of Equation Equilibrium at Endless Events. But even though that’s one impressive title, it barely encompasses all that Ellis is and does. He’s this industry’s knowledgeable visionary, a charismatic yoga teacher, and a delightful conversationalist. Make sure to tune in: you’ll leave inspired, informed, and more exuberant than before!
We’re back today with a very special episode of the #EventIcons podcast. Will’s guest is Isaac Holt, the Master of Technimagic at Endless Events. This week, he put on the shoes of the podcast’s host and did quite an amazing job. Will and the live audience had a lot of questions for our new host. To make him feel welcomed and at ease, they mostly talked about technical production, but also touched on the future of virtual events and hybrid events – the works. So, press play, and please welcome Isaac Holt!
New week, new guest, new host! #EventIcons is back with a very special episode! Recorded at Event Tech Live, Will had a great conversation about the evolution of SXSW with none other than their former Chief Innovation Officer, Scott Wilcox. Today, Scott has a new consulting venture, Here and Tomorrow. We’ve talked about SXSW (South by Southwest) before in this podcast’s history. We’ve watched them do their first-ever 4K live stream, and included them on the list of our favorite events in 2018. Today, we’ll explore how they went from being a company without emails to thought leaders in innovation and technology. The iconic guest takes us back to the year 1996 when business was still done via snail mail and CD ROMs ruled the world. Almost three decades later, SXSW is a household name among trade shows, conferences, and events. How did they do it? Tune in and find out, it’s an episode that you really shouldn’t miss!
Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur? Today’s iconic guest, Deanna Nwosu, thinks that all event and meeting planners should nurture an entrepreneurial spirit. She joins Sarah to talk about her vast experience in the events industry, what the future holds for event organizers, and the importance of community engagement. For almost 20 years, Deanna has worked on fundraisers, conferences, trade shows, and other events ranging in size from 10 to 20,000 attendees. Creating an ideal attendee experience is almost second nature to her. As an event strategist, Deanna now focuses more on facilitating the front-of-house experience for attendees through moderating emceeing and public speaking, while providing clients some limited behind-the-scenes logistics support as well. Welcome to #EventIcons, Deanna!
When we talk about movement at events, our minds might go to walking around the venue at in-person events or walking to the fridge if we’re attending a virtual experience. But what if we told you that a little movement goes a long way even before or during speaker presentations? Taking care of the health of the attendees is a growing trend in the events industry – and we’re not just talking about COVID-19 compliance at events. PCMA EduCon 2021, for example, hosted a gamified health challenge and encouraged attendees to move their bodies. So, we brought on an iconic guest to explain to us what movement at events is all about. Our #EventIcons guest is Lizzy Williamson, an event and meeting energizer who coined the term Two Minute Moves. As a wellness and fitness enthusiast, she knows all about the science behind moving our bodies. Not only is it good for our mental and physical health, but it also boosts engagement at virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. So press play and join Sarah and Lizzy as they talk and demonstrate how to elevate your event with movement!
Planning a safe event is by no means something that is new in the world of event planners, but it has definitely gained new meaning in the last 18 months. When we think of staying safe and sound at events these days, our minds first go to COVID-compliance officers, screening procedures, and hand sanitizers. And since the #EventIcons podcast is all about talking about the hottest topics in the events industry, we brought on a special guest who specializes in all things event safety and security. With over 25 years of experience in meeting planning as well as public safety, Alan Kleinfeld from Arrive Management Group is the perfect person to talk to about the vast world of event safety. Not only does he comment on the state of the pandemic and the importance of COVID-19 compliance, but he also elaborates on other security issues that the events industry and the world at large are facing, such as the effects of climate change and the importance of cybersecurity.
There is only one thing that seems to be certain in these trying times in the events industry: virtual events are here to stay, no matter the state of the pandemic and our personal preferences. And that’s why it’s time to talk about virtual event production -again. The #EventIcons podcast strives to talk to the very best in the events world. And wow, did we deliver this week! Today, we don’t introduce you to one, but two #EventIcons guests: Kara Gladish and Sheehan Hubbard from Socio. For those who might not know: Socio is an event technology company that helps enterprises and SMBs optimize their events in more than 40 countries. Their clients include big names, such as Microsoft, Google, and Pinterest. Join Sarah as she has one of the most insightful, information-packed conversations ever witnessed on this podcast!
Comments (1)


I really enjoyed this episode!

May 13th
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