The events industry has had a tough year to say the least, but these challenging times have also inspired some huge achievements and innovations in virtual events. Here, we celebrate some of the people who have gone above and beyond this past year, and we urge you to follow them for inspiration, success stories and motivation.
Here's our list of 59 influential people in virtual events (unranked).
Howard is CEO at the Event Leadership Institute. He developed and launched the innovative online education platform providing best-in-class training and resources to help meeting and event industry professionals take their careers and businesses to the next level.
A principal at his independent consulting firm, Mitchell Partnership Alliances, Bob advises organizations on the operational, strategic and communications alignment across integrated channels - including content, platform, audience engagement and revenue generation.
Fiona is Vice President & Group Commercial Director for EMEA at Encore Global - a global leader in event planning and A/V technology. She is also a Board Member at The Hospitality Gig.
Simon is the Co-Founder and Director of the very successful Virtual Events Institute, a global platform that brings the community together to inspire, educate and discuss how to produce exceptional virtual and hybrid events. He is a true entrepreneur and has created several trade show businesses and awards campaigns and continues to develop and launch new ideas.
Steven is an entrepreneur, entertainer, educator, manager, talent scout and virtual event coordinator! In 2020 he embarked upon a mission to develop virtual programs that are interactive and entertaining. Within the first 4 months of the pandemic, Magical Memories Entertainment produced nearly 75 virtual events.
Bre, a.k.a the Queen of Clubhouse (the latest buzzworthy social platform), has 15+ years experience in event planning and founded her own company, V.E.E. Virtual Event Experiences by Bre. After 1K+ planned events across the globe with audiences surpassing 40,000+, Bre is now distributing her knowledge by running training webinars, summits, and masterclasses.
As Deputy Head of Global Events at Chemical Watch, Juliet organizes and manages international, virtual and hybrid B2B conferences and events through strategic content production and end to end event delivery. Accolades include a Conference News 30 under 30 award in 2019. Juliet has also recently launched the 'Like an #EventBoss' Podcast which is published on most social channels every Wednesday.
Rachel is a bit of a legend in the events world. She spent many years writing about the events world including a stint as President and Editor-in-Chief of the Trade Show News Network. After 10 years at global trade show company Tarsus Group, Rachel is now in charge of business development and acquisitions for Tarsus in North America.
Dahlia is the founder of DAHLIA+Agency providing full-service marketing agency for virtual+hybrid events production, branding, event tech, and content strategy. Dahlia has been dubbed the "coffee-fuelled ‘go-to’ source for branding, trend-setting tech solutions, tech news, and social media expertise." She has amassed a healthy social following on LinkedIn and Clubhouse with her insights into events and branding.
As an avid technology evangelist, Adam coupled his 10+ years’ experience in the event industry with his passion for the latest tech trends to co-create Event Tech Live - now with editions in both Europe and the US. He is also the co-founder and editor of the event industry’s global online magazine, www.eventindustrynews.com and co-organiser of the Event Technology Awards!
Liz is Executive Vice President - Head of Marketing, Technology & Customer Experience at Clarion Events Inc. - North America.
Jacob started his career at Chemical Watch as Events Multimedia Production Assistant, delivering online events and courses, so he was an expert in virtual events before the industry pivot in 2020. He is now their Senior Event Production Manager and is responsible for AV and broadcast content to global audiences.
Danica is an award-winning journalist, content strategist, omnichannel media pro, trade show industry consultant, social media maven and influencer! She was Editor-at-Large at Trade Show Executive Magazine for 10 years.
As the Head of Exhibitor Experience, EMEA at Informa Markets, Laura has seen nearly everything the events world has to offer and has dealt with nearly every possible hurdle an event can face. Her day-to-day includes working as supplier liaison, entertainment and production liaison, creative development, new business proposals, budget management and company processes for one of the biggest global players. Her pivotal role in the end-to-end management make her a bright star in the events universe.
After many years running Liz King Events, planning conferences and meetings, branded events, and product launches, Liz (King) Caruso now spends the bulk of her time as the CEO of her influential thought leadership group for event tech, techsytalk. She has built an authoritative following of event leaders, engaging primarily through her Techsytalk Community facebook page.
Working with business leaders all over the world, Chloe is a multilingual Master of Ceremonies at GDS Group, business development coach, event strategist and EN 30UnderThirty winner with unique expertise in putting commercial communication at the heart of all business events. Chloe has supported events for the biggest players including Reed Exhibitions, Informa/UBM, Comexposium, Messe Frankfurt and Clarion Events.
Nick has been supporting and promoting the industry with UFI for almost 10 years, and is now Head of Regions. The global trade association for the exhibitions industry represents 50,000+ professionals in 80+ countries.
Jason is the Creative Director at TFI Lodestar, where they create live events and experiences across multiple platforms and channels - from the physical to the virtual and all points in between, connecting businesses with their most important audiences.
A hybrid & virtual events expert, content writer & speaker, Paul helps organizations to truly stand out from the crowd.
In addition to her position as an Adjunct Professor at NYU, Annette is the founder of Naif Productions where she puts to use her 25+ years in events planning with expertise in strategic negotiating, on-site management and crisis management skills.
Have you downloaded The 2021 Event Planner's Guide to creating outstanding virtual & hybrid events yet?
Tahira is a self-proclaimed "Alligator Wrestler" – that is, she thrives in a situation full of complicated moving pieces. Her mission is to create environments which act as an incubator where dialogue, creativity and innovation can percolate. Beyond her time as an instructor and author on event design, Tahira is now the Head of Events for SITE - The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence.
Sophie is CEO & Co-Founder at The Virtual Events Institute. Her background includes driving exhibitor, sponsor, subscription and delegate revenue from both new and retention business; from strategy, execution and follow up for increased year on year renewals.
Kathryn is Director of Event Marketing at Informa, where she is responsible for developing overall virtual, hybrid and physical event, client and marketing strategy.
Nick’s mission is to bring the world together through intentionally designed experiences. With over two decades in digital marketing and events under his belt, he empowers event pros to enhance attendee experiences with AllSeated & exVo.
David is Chairman and Founder of BizBash, the leading resource for event organizers around the planet. BizBash enables users to "to peek over the fence to see what works, whats current and what is on the horizon."
Alon is the Co-Founder of Bizzabo, one of the fastest growing event technology platforms for hybrid, virtual and in-person events. Bizzabo is helping marketers and event organizers from world leading brands to promote, manage and maximize their professional events, to create memorable and impactful experiences.
Executive Editor, Founding Editor, and "Employee Numero Uno" at Skift! Skift are pioneering a new model: a hybrid of industry-leading digital and in-person content, powered in large part by tech and data analysis that enables a deep global impact with a small footprint.
Will's goal in life is to remove the stigma from event technology being expensive, confusing and unhelpful:
"I want to turn event technology into your biggest asset to grow your events. He is the Founder and Chief Event Einstein at Endless Events.
Abi is the Global Innovation Success Manager for Reed Exhibitions where she works with digital teams around the world to help them find and implement the best event technology on the market. Abi believes audience interaction tech (live Q&A especially) is of critical importance to virtual and hybrid events, and we can certainly agree with that!
A seasoned executive with 22 years of developing, transforming, growing, and leading public and private sector organizations. Issa is now Executive Vice President at Emerald - a leader in building dynamic market platforms that integrate live events and media into uniquely rich experiences.
As Founder and CEO of Hopin, Johnny's PR machine has certainly put event technology on the radar of influential Venture Capitalists - great for further development of the industry.
Vanessa as our Chief Evangelist here at Glisser. She is an established virtual and hybrid event leader and an advocate for workplace diversity, inclusion, and equality. She founded Time 4 Equality in 2019. Anyone who has worked closely with Vanessa knows that she is not only intelligent and capable in her many workflows but is also full of kindness and can-do attitude.
Corbin is a meetings technology speaker, consultant and writer, helping clients use technology to improve events and trade shows.
Adrian is the Founder of Conferences That Work, where he designs, convenes, and facilitates in-person and online meetings globally. I have written three books on meeting design:
In his role as Group Marketing Manager, Alex has helped Informa Markets to invest in and deliver highly successful digital events this year. He's had senior marketing roles at leading events companies including The Telegraph and Contentive.
With over 20 years of experience in the international event industry, Sandy Hammer is the founder of AllSeated, an award-winning VR Technology platform with the goal to revolutionize and digitize the event planning process. In addition to being a national speaker, Sandy is Vice President of the WIPA New York chapter and a regular contributor to Catersource, WeddingIQ and NACE.
Julia is the Global Director of Events for Unit4. She has 14+ years’ experience specializing in events and project management.
One of her previous coworkers says that "Julia is a systematic, smart and perceptive manager - she is incredibly dedicated to her team, committed to reaching the end result and always strives to bring out the best in her people."
He may be less independent than he once was but there is no doubt Julius commands a lot of respect in the industry (he has over 15,000 Twitter followers!). He founded EventMB back in 2007 and speaks at events around the world on event tech, trends and innovation.
Dave is Founder and Managing Director of Velvet Chainsaw Consulting - a business improvement consulting firm that helps conference and tradeshow organizers grow or transform their programs.
Miguel describes himself as "a curious creator and caring curator of computerised content and conscious connector of charismatic characters"! Earlier this year he joined EventMB as Editor-in-Chief.
How can AI-driven event tech vastly improve audience engagement? Read our interview with Wordly on Removing Barriers to Engagement.
Padraic is Managing Partner at SoolNua & Chief Marketing Officer at SITE - the only global organization dedicated to strengthening and supporting the incentive travel industry.
Michelle serves as president of Bruno Group Signature Services, where she and her team develop content, technical marketing collateral, and content-marketing programs for technology companies, marketing agencies, and firms in the live-event industry. She is also the publisher of EventTechBrief, a newsletter and website for event organizers and event technology companies interested in building the events of the future.
James is an event tech expert and he founded Event Tech Lab in 2014. He is Digital Experience Lead at the School of Architecture, University of Westminster.
Charlotte has fifteen years experience in the events industry, developing a wide variety of skills in sales, event logistics and customer relations. Now working as Sales Manager for etc.venues, she manages the venue sales team and function (reactive and proactive) ensuring the highest standards of sales and customer service are delivered at all times.
Brandt is a Technical Producer, Consultant, and Educator for the meeting and events industry. He currently works for Event Technology Consulting and is also an instructor at the Event Leadership Institute where he leads a 'Virtual Event and Meeting Management' certificate course in collaboration with MPI.
CEO of EventMind, Ashanti is a speaker, diversity expert and researcher. She is the co-founder of the global network, Black In Events, and co-creator of Diversity Ally, the first HR, Training & Search partner dedicated to creating a diverse and inclusive culture in the global events industry. There are few to none in the events sector who are more driven on teaching organizations how to invest in black millennials and generation Z females within the corporate structure.
Sofia Altuna works on Global Product Partnerships for Google Assistant. Her focus is on launching new platform capabilities, helping developers with discovery and reengagement, and delivering excellent user experiences.
The best way to stay up-to-date with Sofia is to tune into VOICE Talks, the program that touches on the latest trends, tech and updates for the voice enabled technology industry.
Tim is CEO and Founder at Grip - the leading AI-powered event networking solution. Their proprietary technology drives intelligent recommendations through Grip’s self-learning matchmaking engine.
Dave heads up the Technical Production team at the ICC Belfast, the city's iconic venue which was named the most innovative and tech-friendly venue at the 2020 Event Technology Awards.
Claire is an experienced conference director with 20 years' experience working in the events industry.
In addition to running Tulloch Consultancy, Claire is content director at Tembo Ltd. where she connects event companies with freelance conference producers.
If you're looking for event management, conference production, seminar content delivery at exhibitions and managing high performing conference production teams, Claire can do it.
Carrie co-founded the Association for Women in Events, an inclusive community that elevates women in business. She host a monthly virtual show called 'Events: From Black to White' that discusses all things related to equality in the events industry.
Mike is Editor of Digital Event News, a new quarterly publication and website from Mash Media. He's been writing about the MICE industry for 20 years as a former editor at Haymarket Media Group, and then freelance. Mike also runs his own content agency, Slippy Media, catering for a wide-range of client requirements, including social strategy, long-form, event photography, event videography, reports, blogs and ghost-written material.
Author, speaker, and entrepreneur Judi Holler owns a creative company that uses humor to help companies + teams live braver lives, protect their mental health, and build high-performance habits that last.
Judi’s Mantra: Simplify to AMPLIFY!!!
Sue is an award-winning professional writer/editor with a focus on the meetings and events industry. She has been assigning, developing, editing, and copyediting features, news, editorials, and columns for 20+ years. At present, she is Senior Editor at Trade Show Executive Magazine.
"The best technology educator around" say those who have seen Jim's seminars and keynote addresses. He is the owner of Meeting U. which is dedicated to teaching technology applications so people are not intimidated by ever-changing technologies.
Dan produces live & on-demand video & audio content for the events & exhibitions industry, and he is the creator & host of 'Event Relief' which raised funds for EventWell earlier this year.
In his role as CEO at The Live Group, Toby has transformed one of the most respected and successful full service event agencies in the country into a leader in the field of stakeholder communications.
Michael launched NMR Events in 1983, starting life as a computer rental company. Over nearly 40 years. they've grown into a nationwide collective of innovators in the technical production space.
Our list wouldn't be complete without our Founder Mike! Here at Glisser we believe in making every event count and giving our clients the power to wow through unique event experiences - after all, life's too short for boring company events!
Book a discovery call to find out more about Glisser - the award-winning tech platform powering unique company event experiences, anywhere.