EventTech: Not if but HOW

Recorded On: 05/13/2021

From business thinkers like Clay Christensen (Harvard professor and author who argued that successful companies must continually disrupt their own business) to business leaders like Andy Jassy (Amazon’s new CEO who built AWS from the ground up), their theories and successes were informed by 4 simple words:  YOU CAN’T FIGHT GRAVITY.

Publishing, retail, music and broadcast television are just some of the industries that have had their business models challenged by technology and innovation.  Some fought valiantly but ultimately lost, while others smartly acknowledged the sea change and dug in, to figure out how to best support the changing demands of their customers. 

Today’s webinar will put aside the debate as to whether show organizers and associations should consider digital as part of their ongoing strategy and instead, assist in building the framework for HOW to successfully adapt to a new reality and continue to play the important role of the community facilitator. 

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

  • Redefine the role of the event organizer to ensure relevancy and longevity;
  • Learn how to become the ultimate conduit for connecting buyers and sellers;
  • Discover how to unlock more value from your community year-round;
  • Gain advice on how to evaluate the myriad of platforms available without losing your sanity.

Melissa Ashley (Moderator)

Chief Commercial Officer


Melissa Ashley is currently the Chief Commercial Officer at Airfair.   She is a successful business executive with over 25 years of experience in event management, traditional and digital media strategy and new business development.  Melissa has served in leadership roles at Informa, Reed Exhibitions, Bloomberg BNA and most recently ICSC before moving over to Airfair.  Earlier in her career she held positions at several New York ad agencies as well at the NBA and DoubleClick.

Melissa shifted her focus to Event Tech to funnel her energies into supporting the event industry through its next evolution. 

In addition to her current role, Melissa sits on a few advisory boards as well as serves on the board of Civics Unplugged, a 501(c)(3) with a mission to empower Generation Z leaders to build the future of democracy.  

Max Filippov



Max is the CEO and co-founder of Airfair, a platform enabling organizers and community owners to engage, retain and monetize their community year-round. Prior to founding the Airfair.io, Max was a Venture Capital investor at Accel and Draper Esprit, focusing on hypergrowth B2B software businesses, a private equity investor and strategy consultant. 

Denzil Rankine

Executive Chairman

AMR International

Denzil Rankine is the Executive Chairman of AMR International, a strategy consulting firm which he founded in 1991. His experience spans 35 years of advising businesses and investors on strategic development and acquisition throughout the world. This work has taken him to 35 countries.

 After his early career that focused on industrial products and the US, Denzil has increasingly advised businesses on growth strategy in technology, business media, information and specifically events. As author of five books on M&A, Denzil has been involved in numerous transactions in events, including the most significant ones.

At AMR, Denzil has driven innovation through concepts including Organiser of the future and Exhibitions 2.0. He is a regular speaker at industry conferences and is also on select advisory boards in the events industry



IAEE Webinar - 05.13.21
Recorded 05/13/2021
Recorded 05/13/2021 EventTech: Not if but HOW