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  • Diversity, Equity& Inclusion (DE&I) & Destinations

    Includes a Live Web Event on 10/21/2021 at 12:00 PM (CDT)

    Hear from industry thought leaders from the destination world as they share how they are using DE&I to attract more exhibitions and events creating a positive impact for their communities.

    Destinations have seen the value and opportunity to market to a diverse customer base for years. Hear from destination leaders on how they are using DE&I to attract more exhibitions and events which creates an economic impact for their community. This impact reinforces creation of jobs, puts a spotlight on their community and engages cultural diversity that exists within their destination.

    After participating in this webinar, you will be able to:

    • Engage your local community to support your DE&I initiatives and goals;
    • Understand the business case in how this will impact your community;
    • Explore ways in which to increase your DE&I customer base. effects of COVID-19 and the shutdown of B2B exhibitions in the U.S., the i

    IAEE webinars are free to IAEE members and $49 for non-members.





    Cleo Battle, CTA

    Chief Executive Officer

    Louisville Tourism

    Cleo has worked in the hospitality industry for nearly 35 years. Prior to coming to Louisville, he spent 12 years as Vice President of Sales & Services of the Richmond Convention & Visitors Bureau in Richmond, VA. He held the positions of Director of Sales and Sales Manager at the Richmond CVB.

    Battle began his hospitality career in the hotel industry working for Embassy Suites, Holiday Inn and Sheraton Hotels. Battle is a native of Denver and a graduate of Metropolitan State University in Denver with a bachelor’s degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management. He earned his Masters of Business Administration in 1997 from Averett University in Virginia. He is both a Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) and Certified Association Sales Executive (CASE). Battle’s most recent industry recognition includes Events Industry Council 2020 Social Impact award winner, Business First Louisville’s inaugural Power 50 as well as The Courier-Journal’s 12 People to Watch in 2021. Battle currently serves on the Meeting Planners International Board of Directors, Kentucky Derby Museum Board of Directors, Louisville Sports Commission Executive Board, LRAA Board, Louisville Zoo Foundation Board, and Board Member for Northeast YMCA of Louisville. He is Past Chair of Destination & Travel Foundation, Destination International Sales & Services Committee and the Virginia State University Hospitality Department Advisory Board.

    Juie Coker

    President & CEO

    San Diego Tourism Authority

    Julie Coker is the President and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA) where she oversees the organization’s efforts to promote and sell San Diego as a top destination for meetings, conventions, overseas travelers, and leisure visitors. The SDTA’s mission is to drive visitation to economically benefit the region. These efforts delivered over 25.9 million visitors,

    $14.38 billion in economic impact and $8.72 billion in visitor spending in FY 2020.

    Previously, Coker served as the president & CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) where she oversaw the 2017 NFL Draft and the 2016 Democratic National Convention, which had a combined economic impact of $325 million for Philadelphia. Prior to that, she was PHLCVB’s Executive Vice President, Convention Division, and managed a staff of 25 sales and services professionals responsible for selling the expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center and hotel packages to customers across the country.

    Prior to joining the PHLCVB, she was the general manager for the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing, where she oversaw all operational aspects of the 350-room hotel. A 21-year Hyatt veteran, she began her career in 1989 as a corporate management trainee at Hyatt Regency Columbus. Throughout her more than two decades with Hyatt, she rose through the ranks in a variety of positions, including assistant front office manager, front office manager, hotel assistant manager, assistant executive housekeeper and general manager.

    Coker serves on several boards, including the California Travel & Tourism Commission, California Travel Association, Visit California, The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, and the Downtown San Diego Partnership. She is an Executive Committee Member of the U.S. Travel Association and Destinations International.

    From January 2018-2020, she served as co-chair for U.S. Travel’s Meetings Mean Business Coalition and secretary-treasurer for International Association of Exhibitions and Events Executive Committee (IAEE). From 2016-2019, Coker co-chaired the Shared Spaces Initiative to combat homelessness with Philadelphia’s Mayor, and in 2016, she served as the chair of Mayor Jim Kenney’s transition team for the Democratic National Convention.

    Additionally, Coker is a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. In both 2012 and 2019, the Philadelphia Business Journal named her among their Women of Distinction honorees. She was the 2017 United Negro College Fund Mayor’s Ball Honoree for Civic Leadership and was named one of the Network Journal’s 25 Most Influential Black Women in Business. She also received the Cradle of Liberty Good Scout Award by the Boy Scouts of America Cradle of Liberty Council and was the recipient of the 2011 John Wanamaker Award (Individual Award) given by the YMCA of Philadelphia and Vicinity.

    Coker is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, where she received a Bachelor of Science in hospitality management and graduated magna cum laude.

    Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes, CEM (Moderator)

    Chief Marketing Strategist

    mdg

    As chief marketing strategist of mdg, the nation’s leading marketing and public relations agency specializing in audience acquisition, Hardcastle-Geddes and her team provide solutions that increase attendance and exhibitor participation for live and online events. Kimberly has worked in both the United States and Europe, holds a Master of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and has 19 years of event industry experience. She is an IAEE Krakoff Leaders Institute alumna, a columnist for PCMA’s Convene magazine and a frequent presenter of industry seminars on strategic marketing planning. She’s also a mom, runner, reader and Peloton addict.

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  • IAEE Special Webinar Series – Building Business Relationships That Last: Part 3 – Delivering Impactful Value Proposition

    Includes a Live Web Event on 10/07/2021 at 12:00 PM (CDT)

    Business Relationship Expert, Ed Wallace, Managing Director, AchieveNEXT® Relational Capital, is back for the final last portion of this 3-part series of Building Business Relationships That Last. Hear Ed as he shares a simple three-step process to develop and deliver a value proposition ‘in the moment’ for every sales opportunity.

    Business Relationship Expert, Ed Wallace, Managing Director, AchieveNEXT® Relational Capital, is back for the final last portion of this 3-part series of Building Business Relationships That Last. Hear Ed as he shares a simple three-step process to develop and deliver a value proposition ‘in the moment’ for every sales opportunity.

    Learner Objectives:

    • Identify your business’ true sources of value;
    • Translate your sources of value into the language of the customer;
    • Learn a simple, three-step process to create value propositions based on specific customer opportunities.

     

    IAEE webinars are free to members and available to non-members for $49.

    NOTE - You can watch any of the 3-part series, even if you missed one. Recordings are available at learn.iaee.com




    Ed Wallace

    Managing Director and Vice President

    AchieveNEXT® Relational Capital

    Ed consults with and speaks for corporations and associations across the globe with a client list that is a Who’s Who of Fortune 500 companies. He is the author of Fares to Friends, Creating Relational Capital business Relationships That Last, and his most recent, the #1 best seller, The Relationship Engine. Ed was recently published in the Harvard Business Review. In addition, he is currently on the Executive Education faculty for Drexel’s LeBow College of Business and Villanova University’s Human Resources Master’s program

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  • The Post-Covid Workforce - What Now?

    Recorded On: 09/16/2021

    Hear Claudia St. John, as she shares the new direction of many work forces, and how we can adapt and operate successfully moving forward.

    The recent pandemic has changed the way many of us work, the way we relate to each other, and to our client keeping us connected and engaged. Data shows that prior to the pandemic, 10% of businesses had some form of hybrid/remote work.  As a result of COVID-19, 70% of businesses will either have some form of hybrid workforce or will be fully virtual in the future.  How COVID has affected our workforce and our work environments has ultimately changed many of our businesses and will continue to do so.  Hear Claudia St. John, as she shares the new direction of many work forces, and how we can adapt and operate successfully moving forward.

    This session is being presented by Claudia St. John, President of Affinity HR Group, a national HR consulting firm that works closely with trade associations and their small to mid-sized member businesses.

    After participating in this webinar, you will be able to:

    • Maintain a fully-engaged workforce;
    • Structure your operations, productivity and corporate culture in a mixed hybrid world;
    • Relate to clients and customers who will be operating differently going forward.

    IAEE webinars are complementary for IAEE members and $49 for non-members.




    Claudia St John, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

    President

    Affinity HR Group, Inc.

    Claudia St John, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, is founder and President of Affinity HR Group, Inc., a national human resources and management consulting firm specializing in hiring and recruiting, HR compliance and employee engagement.   Affinity HR Group is the endorsed HR partner and resource for more than fourteen national trade associations and their member companies.  As a consultant and frequent speaker, Claudia has given hundreds of presentations and workshops on such topics as how to recruit like a pro, common management mistakes, employee engagement, and multi-generational workplace challenges.  She is the author of the Amazon.com bestselling book Transforming Teams – tips for improving collaboration and building trust.  Her weekly HR Minute e-mails and monthly articles are followed by thousands of business leaders nationwide.  

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  • IAEE Special Webinar Series – Building Business Relationships That Last: Part 2 – Build Relationships with Your Ideal Clients

    Recorded On: 09/09/2021

    Business Relationship Expert, Ed Wallace, Managing Director, AchieveNEXT® Relational Capital, is back for Part 2 of this series. Now that you know how to accelerate relationship capital, how will you make it work for you? Ed will teach you the next step as you move up the Relational Ladder® - developing credibility for yourself and your offerings through strong discovery and qualifying questions targeted at your ideal buyers’ Relational GPS®.

    Times sure have changed in the past year. Businesses changed and people always seem to be changing. What doesn’t change is the value of building trusted relationships with customers colleagues, vendors. In a world where practically everything can be automated, commoditized or outsourced, trusted relationships are the constant – the North Star – that change the growth trajectories of individuals and companies.  Are you wanting to improve your business relationships and deepen opportunities to connect with your clients, customers and teams to maximize your value propositions?

    Business Relationship Expert, Ed Wallace, Managing Director, AchieveNEXT® Relational Capital, is back for Part 2 of this series. Now that you know how to accelerate relationship capital, how will you make it work for you? Ed will teach you the next step as you move up the Relational Ladder® - developing credibility for yourself and your offerings through strong discovery and qualifying questions targeted at your ideal buyers’ Relational GPS®.

    Learner Objectives:

    • Create targeted conversations aligned with the Relational GPS of each targeted buyer persona;
    • Deliver strong discovery questions – stop asking “What’s keeping you up at night?”;
    • Qualify your prospect using the simple B.A.N.T. approach.

     

    IAEE webinars are free to members and available to non-members for $49.

    NOTE - You can watch any of the 3-part series, even if you missed one. Recordings are available at learn.iaee.com




    Ed Wallace

    Managing Director and Vice President

    AchieveNEXT® Relational Capital

    Ed consults with and speaks for corporations and associations across the globe with a client list that is a Who’s Who of Fortune 500 companies. He is the author of Fares to Friends, Creating Relational Capital business Relationships That Last, and his most recent, the #1 best seller, The Relationship Engine. Ed was recently published in the Harvard Business Review. In addition, he is currently on the Executive Education faculty for Drexel’s LeBow College of Business and Villanova University’s Human Resources Master’s program

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  • The Return of Live Events: Selling Exhibit Space and Sponsorships in a Post COVID-19 Environment

    Recorded On: 08/19/2021

    Hear tips from Taffy Event Strategies, on the various ways their clients used virtual events and have continued to do so post COVID-19 to expand exhibition and sponsorship offerings.

    With the past year’s effects of COVID-19 and the shutdown of exhibitions and events, the reemergence of face-to-face events is great for the trade show industry. Successful exhibitions will come back evolving from the way things have always been done.

    With hybrid and virtual options in the mix, your sales teams need to be equipped and flexible to close the sale. Hear tips from Taffy Event Strategies, on the various ways their clients used virtual events and have continued to do so post COVID-19 to expand exhibition and sponsorship offerings. Gain insights on how after the lengthy shut down from COVID-19 of live events, they have found many of their clients anxious to maximize their marketing impact and sales, and how they leveraged this to stage lucrative events.

    Join us to learn how they sold out one event in their portfolio several weeks before the show staged, and how another internationally focused exhibition greatly impacted by international travel restrictions, was able to come back successfully.

    After participating in this webinar, you will be able to:

    • Learn strategies to prove and communicate the ROI for Hybrid and Virtual Events;
    • Re-arm your sales team with fresh ideas to drive growth;
    • Gain lessons learned from the implementation of new exhibitor marketing strategies to drive inbound sales;
    • Understand the importance of content and know how to leverage it for sponsorships. 

    IAEE webinars are free to IAEE members and $49 for non-members.



    Mary Bender

    VP of Sales and Operations

    Taffy Event Strategies

    Mary has been in the trade show industry for 20 years and has excelled in a variety of roles including sales and marketing for service providers as well as show management teams. Prior to joining Taffy Events, Mary led marketing and sponsorship sales efforts for U.S Boat Shows, a division of Informa Exhibitions. Prior to Informa, Mary worked for trade show industry companies including Smart City, Sands Expo & Convention Center, GES and Emerald Expositions (formerly GLM). In addition, Mary has been active in the trade show industry serving on the Southwest Chapter board for IAEE as well as multiple committees focusing on awards, education and innovation.

    Elena Grant

    VP of Marketing

    Taffy Event Strategies

    Elena is Vice President of Marketing for Taffy Event Strategies. She has over 20 years of experience creating successful marketing campaigns and initiatives working in the corporate environment, government, and the event industry.

    Elena joined Taffy Events in June 2016. In her role, she leverages data and analytics to understand the needs of the audience and utilizes emerging technologies and traditional tactics to grow attendance and increase revenue. She previously was Vice President of Marketing and held other positions at National Trade Productions. Prior to this she was Director of International Marketing for the Consumer Electronic Show where she successfully increased international attendance and created global partnerships for the association and show. Elena also worked for Software AG as a senior partner program manager. In this role, she managed strategy and execution of partner marketing and program initiatives.

    Elena received her undergraduate degree at Dickinson College and her MBA from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She is certified as a Virtual Events Institute Professional. 

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  • IAEE Special Webinar Series – Building Business Relationships That Last: Part 1 – Accelerate Relationship Capital

    Recorded On: 08/12/2021

    Times sure have changed in the past year. Businesses changed and people always seem to be changing. What doesn’t change is the value of building trusted relationships with customers colleagues, vendors. In a world where practically everything can be automated, commoditized or outsourced, trusted relationships are the constant – the North Star – that change the growth trajectories of individuals and companies. Are you wanting to improve your business relationships and deepen opportunities to connect with your clients, customers and teams to maximize your value propositions? We’ve teamed up with Business Relationship Expert, Ed Wallace to bring you a 3-part IAEE Special Webinar Series titled, Building Business Relationships That Last, which we hope will bring you the knowledge, tips and useful recommendations for developing your sales and relationship building skills and allow you to grow your business opportunities! Dates • 12 August, 2021 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CST Accelerate Relationship Capital • 9 September, 2021 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CST Build Relationships with Your Ideal Buyers • 7 October, 2021 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CST Deliver Impactful Value Propositions

    Join Ed Wallace, author of the #1 best seller The Relationship Engine, for this fast moving, immediately actionable, webinar on transforming contacts into high performing relationships. You’ll never take another relationship for granted after this webinar.

     Learner Objectives:

    • Hear Max the taxi driver’s competitor-proof approach to business relationships
    • Understand and apply the foundational Relational Capital Concepts;
    • Use the Relational Ladder to transform contacts into high performing relationships

    o   Displaying Worthy Intent;

    o   Understanding the essential qualities of Credibility; Integrity; Authenticity

    o   Locating the Relational GPS (Goals, Passions, and Struggles) of every business contact


    IAEE webinars are complementary for IAEE members and $49 for non-members.




    Ed Wallace

    Managing Director and Vice President

    AchieveNEXT® Relational Capital

    Ed consults with and speaks for corporations and associations across the globe with a client list that is a Who’s Who of Fortune 500 companies. He is the author of Fares to Friends, Creating Relational Capital business Relationships That Last, and his most recent, the #1 best seller, The Relationship Engine. Ed was recently published in the Harvard Business Review. In addition, he is currently on the Executive Education faculty for Drexel’s LeBow College of Business and Villanova University’s Human Resources Master’s program

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  • IAEE Essential Considerations Monthly Series: Focus on Venue Perspectives and Efforts Around Safely Reopening

    Recorded On: 08/09/2021

    Each month, IAEE will continue to produce deep dive discussions focused on the Essential Considerations for Safely Reopening Exhibitions and Events white paper

    This one-hour Zoom/Webinar program with Vice President of Exhibitions and Events, Scott Craighead, CEM, and project Chairperson of the IAEE Health & Safety Task Force and Tim McGuinness lead a panel discussion with venue representatives to discuss their latest efforts to safely reopen our industry. Areas of discussion included insight and clarity involving venue staffing, health and safety, lease agreements, and collaboration with show organizer customers.


    Guest panelists included:

    Kelvin D. Moore, CMP, Regional General Manager, Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority (ASM) 

    Ellen Schwartz, General Manager, Los Angeles Convention Center (ASM)

    Alan Steel, President & CEO, Javits Center

    Michelle Neely, Acting Event Services Manager, Orange County Convention Center

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  • The Road Ahead: Trade Show Marketing in 2021 & Beyond

    Recorded On: 07/29/2021

    Join Marlys Arnold as she shares the importance of how you can expand the reach of your trade show marketing beyond the show floor.

    Everyone keeps talking about “getting back to trade shows” – but it’s not simply a matter of going back to the way things were. This past year has spotlighted the importance of expanding the reach of your trade show marketing beyond the show floor. And while many aspects are different in the virtual – or now hybrid – world, there are constants. A well-designed exhibit needs interactive elements to engage attendees and make them more likely to remember you when it comes time to make a buying decision.

    Now more than ever, effective exhibits need a roadmap for success. In this session, you’ll discover all of these and much more!

    After participating in this session, you will be able to:

    • Navigate the path forward by;
    • Overcome the biggest fears about online exhibiting and take advantage of the opportunities;
    • Adapt your in-person exhibit based on current issues and trends;
    • Incorporate other marketing tools into your hybrid exhibiting toolkit.


    IAEE webinars are complementary for IAEE members and $49 for non-members.




    Marlys Arnold

    Trade Show Consultant & Author

    Exhibit Marketers Café

    Over the past two decades, Marlys Arnold has helped thousands of trade show exhibitors gather more qualified leads, outshine their competition, and maximize their exhibiting investment. She’s written two books on the subject: Build a Better Trade Show Image and Exhibit Design That Works.

     She’s the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café and Exhibit Marketers Academy, an online education community. In addition to being a familiar industry voice in various publications and podcasts, she also hosts the Trade Show Insights blog and podcast.

     With experience as both an exhibitor and event organizer – earlier this summer she hosted an online event called “Spark: Reimagine Expos & Events” – Marlys brings a fresh perspective to trade show marketing and provides techniques to put into action immediately.

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  • Designing Accessible Events and Shows: An Opportunity and An Obligation

    Recorded On: 07/22/2021

    Join us for this informative webinar on how accessible initiatives can ensure you are creating event experiences for ALL, whether digitally or in-person, especially those with disabilities!

    With virtual shows taking center stage over the past year, organizers had to ensure that the designing of their events could reach everyone. From platform choices, to content development, to downloadable takeaways, building accessible shows ensures that everyone can participate and that your customer base is as large as it can be! People with disabilities make up 25% of the population.  Are you and your events increasing your opportunities to reach all, specifically this group?

    Add back into the mix, the recent return of live events. Now more than ever, inclusiveness is a must, regardless of whether your event is digital/virtual, hybrid or in-person.  How compliant and inclusive is your event or show? Are you compliant as it relates to content on your website or event platform, with your speaker presentations, allergy and dietary disabilities, not to mention ADA compliance onsite? – the list goes on!

    Join us for this informative webinar on how accessible initiatives can ensure you are creating event experiences for ALL, whether digitally or in-person, especially those with disabilities!

    After participating in this session, you will be able to:

    • Articulate what constitutes an accessible event and the challenges in achieving it;
    • Understand why accessibility in the event and exhibitions space is vital to your business;
    • Take the necessary steps to ensure your event is accessible, increasing the opportunity to reach new audiences, improve the quality of your events and strengthen your relationships and brand.

    IAEE webinars are complementary for IAEE members and $49 for non-members.


    Kevaleen Lara

    Director of Marketing

    Abilities Expo

    Kevaleen Lara is the Director of Marketing for Abilities Expo and now its new online spin-off, the Abilities Virtual Experience, as well as a freelance marketing consultant. With more than two decades in event marketing and multiple award-winning campaigns under her belt, she is especially thrilled by this burgeoning trend for virtual shows, and the possibilities for greater accessibility and inclusion for the disability community. She holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame and is a die-hard Fighting Irish fan. When she’s not working, Kevaleen mercilessly pries screens from her children’s clutches and makes them spend as much time outside as possible with her, her husband and their giant dog.

    Christine Selinger

    Director of Education

    Abilities Expo

    Christine Selinger is the Director of Education and Events for the Abilities Expo as well as a Freelance Instructional Designer and eLearning Developer for the Alberta Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research.  She has been developing and facilitating educational opportunities for people with disabilities for over 12 years.  She holds a Bachelor’s in Science (Math) and a Bachelor’s in Education, completely concurrently in 2011.  She also identifies as a person with a disability as the result of a spinal cord injury sustained at the age of 19.  She is a two-time World Champion in the sport of ParaCanoe, and the sole paraplegic to traverse the rugged Nootka Trail in BC. She spends her days working, watching sci-fi with her partner, and playing with her rescue pup, River.

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  • The Return of Live Events: Lessons Learned from Consumer and Sporting Events

    Recorded On: 07/15/2021

    Join us for this timely conversation on Louisville and Indianapolis who recently hosted and pulled off two of the largest sporting events in the world, giving their perspectives and a “lens” into how destinations and our industry are back on the road to recovery!

    With the past year’s effects of COVID-19 and the shutdown of exhibitions and events., the reemergence of face-to-face events is a glorious sight to be seen, whether big or small.

    Join us for this timely conversation on Louisville and Indianapolis who recently hosted and pulled off two of the largest sporting events in the world. Hear from Doug Bennett, Executive Vice President for  Louisville Tourism and Susie Townsend, SVP of Visitor Experience for Visit Indy, as they share their stories of hosting the Kentucky Derby and the Indy 500, giving their perspectives and a “lens” into how destinations and our industry are back on the road to recovery!

    After participating in this session, you will be able to:
    • Learn how destinations, venues and local officials collaborated to ensure a safe return to these live sporting events;
    • Hear key measures implemented to ensure appropriate health and safety precautions;
    • Gain lessons learned from the perspective of the host destinations. 

    IAEE webinars are complementary for IAEE members and $49 for non-members.



    Doug Bennett, CTA, CASE

    Executive Vice President

    Louisville Tourism

    Doug is a 30+ year hospitality sales executive who joined the Louisville CVB October 2015 as Senior Vice President of Convention Development where he oversaw a department of 16 sales team members responsible for booking over 700,000 annual room nights. After 6 years on the Convention Development team, Doug recently began his transition to Executive Vice President of Louisville Tourism starting in July. He previously spent eight years with Hyatt Hotels in three different cities, 17 years with the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Bureau serving as Vice President of Sales before his departure and six and a half years based in Chicago with Global Experience Specialists (GES) as the Director of Sales, Central Division. He graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science, Hospitality and Tourism Management. Doug is a Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Foundation Board member, serves on several PCMA committees as well as the board of directors for the Kentucky Make-A-Wish Foundation. He is a past board member of Association Forum and currently serves on several committees promoting the power of associations.

     

    Marsha Flanagan, M.Ed. (Moderator)

    Vice President of Learning Experiences

    IAEE

    Marsha Flanagan, M.Ed. is currently the Vice President of Learning Experiences at the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, where she is responsible for all educational initiatives including all certification programs including the Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM), Certified in Exhibition Management – Advanced Professional (CEM-AP), and CEM Fellow (CEM-Fellow).  She is also responsible for all membership and chapter relations activities and works with various committees, executive leadership and boards to identify member needs, and design and execute member experiences. 

    Prior to joining IAEE, Flanagan was the Director of Content Strategy and Development at the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), where she was responsible for steering strategy and the development and delivery of all PPAI professional development and editorial offerings.

    Flanagan spent 6 years in the medical industry serving in various roles overseeing operations, purchasing, revenue cycle management, marketing and business development. 

    Flanagan began her career with Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and spent 12 years in various roles including Executive Vice President of Professional Development where she oversaw operations, including all strategic partnerships, the design and delivery of all professional development offerings and meetings management.

    She was named one of the 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry by Successful Meetings in 2017 and named to BizBash’s Inaugural Top 500 in the Events Industry in 2018 and 2019. In 2021, she obtained her GBAC Trained Technician Certificate of Completion from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA.

    Flanagan received her bachelor's degree from Texas Christian University and her Master in Education from the University of Arkansas specializing in Meeting, Tourism and Recreation Management.

    Susie Townsend

    Senior Vice President of Visitor Experience

    Visit Indy

    Susie has been part of the hospitality and meeting professional industry for over 31 years. She is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Business with a degree in Marketing. Susie started her career working for Hyatt Hotels and for the past 30 years has been with Visit Indy having roles in both sales and services. In her current role Susie oversees convention services, convention housing, and visitor experience. Susie was a loaned executive for the Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee for Super Bowl XLVI in 2012. She has served as the chair or on the board for local organizing committees for the United States Conference of Mayors, the NCAA Men’s Final Four, the NCAA Women’s Final Four, and currently is serving on the Meeting Professionals International Global Board of Trustees. In addition, Susie is a lecturer for the TCEM (Tourism, Convention, and Event Management) Department at IUPUI. Susie is married to Bill and is the proud mom of two children, Matt and Rebecca.

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