Marie-Claire is the CEO of New Zealand based SmartShow Ltd (creators of ShowGizmo)
She is a high–energy leader, organiser and excellent liaison between our business and our geeks. She is a business development, sales and capital-raising specialist, having run her own and other people’s businesses.
Marie-Claire was the establishment GM of Wellington’s Angel investment network and her ‘girl geek’ status was confirmed through her appointment as chair of Unlimited Potential – New Zealand’s leading technology business network, a position she held for two years. Prior to SmartShow, Marie-Claire was involved with Virtual Expos NZ, providing virtual events technology to event producers of career fairs and industry showcases.
When she’s not traveling to events in Bahrain, Dubai, Australia or the UK she’s renovating a 60ft fishing trawler, on which she lives with her partner and cat.
Monday, March 7, 2016 at 3:00pm ET
Mark Walker from Eventbrite
Mark Walker is the Head of Content Marketing, UK & Ireland at Eventbrite where he leads a talented team dedicated to creating both educational and inspirational content for the events industry. This ranges from 5000-word reports to fun blog posts, encompassing quizzes, webinars, social media, live events and much more along the way.
Both in his day-to-day role and spare time, Mark regularly speaks and blogs about small business and entrepreneurship, digital marketing, social media and events.
Monday, March 21, 2016 at 3:00pm ET
DJ Neekola from Pelonkey
As a former Information Systems specialist and current DC-renowned DJ, I used my technology background and experience in music to create PELONKEY: a solution to business problems for myself and my colleagues in the entertainment and events industries. In a nutshell, Pelonkey is an entertainment marketplace where people planning events can shop easily and transparently for entertainment options, and performers can manage, protect, promote, and organize their business. Both can find, book, and contract one another online quickly and securely.
After graduating from the University of Richmond with honors in the field of Information Systems, I worked several jobs in this field for a decade, including Helpdesk with MeadWestvaco, Network Administration with SITE-Blauvelt Engineers, and then Network Security for various entities within the Federal Government. During this time, I spent my evenings pursuing my passion for music, moonlighting as a DJ, and performing for various local venues and parties within Washington, DC.
Fortunately for me, my DJ career became successful enough to leave my career in IT and pursue my dream of working full-time as a DJ/Producer, and DJ Neekola was born. DJ Neekola is not only one of Washington, DC’s favorite DJ’s, but has also been requested frequently overseas in Switzerland, Greece, France, Italy, and Spain. In collaboration with J Punch she owned a record label in 2011 called NomNom Records, bringing on producers such as Dr. Kucho to produce original tracks and remixes, in addition to other talented local producers in the metro Washington, DC area. Neekola also produced an album in collaboration with Rex Riot called “Playtime,” which sold out in the first month of production.
Although DJ Neekola’s success paved a path for international fame, I directed my energy to solving key industry problems through technology, and created Pelonkey.
Monday, April 4, 2016 at 3:00pm ET
Ben Hindman from Splash
Alon is the Co-Founder, CMO & BizDev of Bizzabo, the world’s first all-in-one event success platform. At Bizzabo, Alon manages the U.S. operations and devises all aspects of marketing, business development, strategy and sales.
Launched in July 2012, Bizzabo helps organizers create successful events by empowering them to build amazing websites, sell tickets, grow communities, go mobile and maximize event experiences – using a beautiful, user friendly platform. Bizzabo is used by thousands of conference organizers from around the globe and is often named as one of the most promising of Israel’s startups.
In 2013 Alon was named one of the meetings industry’s “40 under 40 young leaders”, as well as one of the top 10 Israeli CMOs. In 2014 he was selected to the exclusive NYC Venture Fellows Program. Prior to founding Bizzabo, Alon was a senior startups analyst at Plenum and was COO at AYADR Investments. Alon graduated with honors from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, where he was selected to participate in the prestigious Zell Entrepreneurship program.
Alon is a scuba diver, snowboarder, aspiring poker player and a natural networker, fulfilling his passions for connecting people, technology and adventures 😉
Monday, May 2, 2016 at 3:00pm ET
Lindsay Rider from Northwestern University
Lindsay Rider is a singer, producer, teacher and coach based in New York City. She was born and raised in West Chester, Pennsylvania, surrounded by a musical family. After completing her bachelor’s degree at Ithaca College (BM, Vocal Performance), she came to New York to study and attend the prestigious Manhattan School of Music (MM, Vocal Performance).
Not one to turn down an opportunity, Lindsay has since been involved with many different projects, ranging from new opera in New York City to American Idol and producing her very own shows! She loves it all!
Lindsay maintains an active studio and has been affiliated with Broadway Dance Center, The Manhattan School of Music Musical Theater and many others. She serves on the Board of Directors for the New York Singing Teachers’ Association. Lindsay is a compassionate instructor and mentor, and enjoys working with individuals of all skill levels.
Lindsay lives in New York City and is a proud member of AEA & AGMA.
Monday, May 16, 2016 at 3:00pm ET
Peter Poehle from SponsorMyEvent
I’m an entrepreneur: the co-founder and CEO of SponsorMyEvent.com. I’m also the founder and director of media65 europe s.ar.l., a video-production company in Luxembourg, specialized in corporate videos, institutional films an commercials.
Prior to that I studied Digitale Medien (Media-informatics) and Law and obtained a Master in Computer-Science (Diplom-Informatiker).
Over the years I’ve gained lots of experience in management, finance but also project management and technical skills.
Specialties: Is it appropriate to say, that I’m versatile? Let’s try it:
I love management just as much as grabbing a camera and shooting a movie.
Even though many people are much better in coding than me, I’m able to write some decent lines of code (that’s why i’m a Dipl. Inf.) or at least to understand what’s going on in a developers brain.
I got used to understand the concepts of funding, investments and company valuation.
And after all sales and communication are a must in my business and I enjoy to be out and deal with (potential) clients.
Besides all that business stuff I love music and was composing myself a lot. But time is limited and so my studio doesn’t see me often these days. It happens more often that I cook and I feel that I’ve gained some decent skills in pleasing my family or friends with the dishes I prepare for them.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at 3:00pm ET
Sara Moll from VinSocial
Along the winding wine-fueled journey from Creative Director to Wine Professional to Entrepreneur, I discovered a need to redefine the way we experience wine. I found many wine tastings to be a bit stuffy, overly technical, and (dare I say) boring.
I created VIN SOCIAL to voraciously explore the world of wine though my creative lens and spotlight wines and winemakers that excite and inspire me – handcrafted, sustainably-produced wines with a story – a sense of place – a heartbeat.
We design innovative, multi-sensory experiences for the curious and the open-minded – gatherings that spark conversation and leave an impression. We believe wine is a journey. We simply create opportunities for exploration and discovery. I invite you to travel through the glass with us.
Monday, June 13, 2016 at 3:00pm ET
Clara de Soto from Event Farm
Named one of The Next Web’s 100 Tech & Business Women Speakers, Clara heads up Event Farm’s experiential division, EFx, as SVP of Business and Product Development. Prior to being acquired by Event Farm in 2015, Clara co-created the viral hit, KillSwitch App, and co-founded ClearHart Tech, an innovation agency that leveraged emerging tech and non-traditional marketing solutions to bridge online and offline. Featured on Bloomberg TV and named in Entrepreneur Magazine’s 100 Brilliant Companies of 2013, Clara’s work as a Creative Technologist has ranged from leading edge Tech Startups to Fortune 500 companies in North and South America. Clara started her career as a Creative at McCann Erickson, overseeing creative direction for clients such as L’Oreal, Mastercard, Dentyne, and others. Clara graduated from Boston College with a major in English, loves Star Wars, and lives in WeLive.
Monday, June 27, 2016 at 3:00pm ET
Aaron Kaufman from Fifth Element Group
Aaron Kaufman, CSEP works hard – and with extreme passion! As the President of Fifth Element Group, it is safe to say that Aaron is a rising international resource in a very competitive industry. With his finger on the pulse of creativity in both event design and business, whether it’s new trends or developing strategic partnerships, Aaron always stays ahead of the game as a leader and trendsetter.
With multiple award wins and nominations nationally & internationally, including a Special Event Gala Award, Aaron has been recognized for his creativity, originality and ability to push the envelope each and every time. In 2015, Aaron was named to the prestigious “Top 25 Young Event Professionals” list from Special Event Magazine and sits on boards for Visit Scotland, SEARCH Foundation, Events Uncovered and SEPA.
Building 5th Element Events & Fifth Element Group from the ground up was no easy task, but Aaron’s driving nature and competitive edge always inspires his team to think differently.
As an active member of ISES and Past President of ISES Toronto, Aaron Kaufman, CSEP, believes in learning from the past and leading the future. Always reaching out for guidance from top professionals who lead the way, it’s important to Aaron not only pay homage, but to also leave a mark that will inspire future event professionals as well.
facebook. Fifth Element Group
Monday, July 11, 2016 at 3:00pm ET
James Spellos from Meeting U
James Spellos is the President of Meeting U., whose mission is to help people become more productive and comfortable with technology. Jim delivers over 150 seminars annually on how to use technology more efficiently. In 2015, Jim was named one of the Meeting Industry’s trendsetters by Meetings Focus magazine. He is a faculty member at New York University, teaching in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies since 1990. He has been honored with both their Award for Teaching Excellence and their Outstanding Service Award. In 2014, Jim joined the Board of Directors for Rock and Wrap It Up, an anti-poverty/hunger think tank, which supports over 43,000 agencies in North America. Jim co-created for them the Whole Earth Calculator app, which helps organizations to identify the quantity of food donated and carbon footprint reduced from food recovered at meetings and events. He also speaks about food recovery and sustainability in the industry.
Outside of the meetings industry, Jim is an accomplished musician and songwriter, playing guitar, keyboards and singing for the New York City rock band Contraband. They released their first CD, “Welcome to the Neighborhood” in late 2008, and is back in the studio recording new songs for a new release.
Monday, July 25, 2016 at 3:00pm ET
Bobby Sain from Waitron
Bobby began to produce stage productions and films in 2011, finding his niche as a Producer when he co-founded The Dominion Group in 2012 to innovate financing in the film and theatre industry; he is credited as Associate Producer on the acclaimed movie THE BUTLER, Executive Producer on MR. PIP and has co-produced multiple shows on Broadway including AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU and ROCKY. Being in entertainment, many of Bobby’s close friends were actors that supplemented their income via catering jobs and were always frustrated with the inherent flaws in staffing on-demand. Bobby researched the ecosphere and found a need to solve the problem which prompted him to found Waitron in 2015. Bobby has been requested to speak in cities in the US for global job innovation, hedge funds and financing reform. He has raised millions of dollars across technology, entertainment, and hedge fund industries, led teams of 30+ people through multiple product development, production and distribution iterations; he has built intricate creative solutions to problems for over 10 years. Projects in which Bobby has been involved have grossed over $200MM with multiple award wins, global exposure and profitability.