Show cover of GatherGeeks by BizBash: The Event Industry Podcast

GatherGeeks by BizBash: The Event Industry Podcast

Welcome to GatherGeeks, a place where people passionate about the power of live experiences come together. Join David Adler, chairman and founder of BizBash, as he discusses the latest news and trends affecting event marketers, meeting strategists, nonprofit organizers, and everyone in between. This podcast by BizBash is the destination for information, innovation, and inspiration for anyone involved in planning events and meetings, from conferences, trade shows, and fund-raising galas to product launches, festivals, award shows, weddings, and birthdays. Look for GatherGeeks in your favorite platforms: iTunes, Audible, Spotify, and iHeartRadio, with more on the way. Connect with us on Twitter at @BizBash and join the conversation using the hashtag #gathergeeks.

Tracks

How Are Global Exhibitions Changing Today?
Host: David Adler Guest: Doug Emslie In this episode of GatherGeeks, BizBash chairman and founder David Adler sits down with Doug Emslie, CEO of Tarsus Group (one of the largest exhibition companies in the world), to get a global perspective on trade shows and exhibitions. How have things changed since the pandemic? How do they differ culturally between markets like Europe, the Middle East, and North America? Emslie also discusses how to bring back attendees each year, how the global structure of events is becoming more regional, the rise of bleisure travel, and why technology and sustainability will be positive disruptors to the industry.
36:31 09/26/2022
A Virtual Event Platform's Path to Global Recognition
Hosts: David Adler, Claire Hoffman Guest: Vaibhav Jain In this special edition of GatherGeeks—recorded live at the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity—hosts David Adler and Claire Hoffman (BizBash’s senior contributing editor) sit down with Vaibhav Jain, CEO of event technology solution Hubilo, to discuss how he took the company from a local in-person event solution to a global behemoth. He also touches on how he realized events could be life-changing, how he raised money and pivoted strategy, and how he knew the platform had to involve agile, fast development to meet client needs.
23:22 08/01/2022
Behind the Scenes of Meta Beach at Cannes 2022
Hosts: David Adler, Claire Hoffman Guest: Damien Baines In this special edition of GatherGeeks—recorded live at the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity—hosts David Adler and Claire Hoffman (BizBash’s senior contributing editor) sit down with Damien Baines, the experiential marketing lead at Instagram. They go behind the scenes at Meta Beach where, for the first time, the company has used Meta branding at the festival. Baines also discusses what inspired many of the elements for this year’s beach, planning a superbloom-themed dinner for the event, and how Instagram aims to highlight all types of creativity and passion on the platform.
31:18 08/01/2022
How Creativity Shined at Pinterest’s Cannes 2022 Activation
Hosts: David Adler, Claire Hoffman Guest: Judy Lee In this special edition of GatherGeeks—recorded live at the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity—hosts David Adler and Claire Hoffman (BizBash’s senior contributing editor) sit down with Judy Lee, head of global brand experiences and programs at Pinterest. She breaks down her team's strategy and execution of Pinterest Beach, which put creatives front and center. She also discusses being a jury member for this year's festival, Pinterest's approach to face-to-face marketing, and creating spaces that reflect a multitude of different communities.
32:00 08/01/2022
Inside Spotify's Daytime/Nighttime Approach at Cannes 2022
Hosts: David Adler, Claire Hoffman Guest: Keyana Kashfi In this special edition of GatherGeeks—recorded live at the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity—hosts David Adler and Claire Hoffman (BizBash’s senior contributing editor) sit down with Keyana Kashfi, the global senior director of experiential and content production at Spotify. Kashfi, who is also a BizBash Event Master, was in charge of the creation of Spotify Beach at this year’s festival. She brought in some of the world’s top musical talent not only to grab attention at Cannes, but to prove that live experiences are critical to Spotify. In this podcast she also discusses the daytime/nighttime approach her and her team took to create Spotify Beach, differences she’s seeing in audiences post-2020, and advice for event pros just starting out.
22:11 08/01/2022
Inside the World of High-Stakes Gatherings
Host: David Adler Guest: Steve Clemons In this episode of GatherGeeks, BizBash chairman and founder David Adler sits down with Steve Clemons, who has begun a role as a senior executive in charge of events at Semafor, a new global news organization launching this fall. Clemons was previously editor at large of The Hill. He also served as the Washington editor at large of The Atlantic, where he was the editor-in-chief of AtlanticLIVE, the brand’s live event series. He specializes in high-stakes gatherings, and in this episode, he gives a master class on connecting people. Clemons also discusses why he believes the best events reach people’s hearts and not just their minds, embracing uncomfortable conversations, and how event pros can engineer moments that bring about change.
31:40 07/11/2022
Corporate Event Departments Now Have a Seat in the C-Suite
Host: David Adler Guests: Jennifer Savica, Sophie Ahmed In this special sponsored episode of GatherGeeks, BizBash founder and chairman David Adler sits down with longtime event pros Jennifer Savica, vice president and head of corporate events for New York Life Insurance Company, and Sophie Ahmed, senior vice president of market strategy for Hubilo. The trio discusses the newfound clout of corporate event organizers and how C-suite executives’ perception of events is changing. They also touch on the pain points of engagement strategies, navigating new formats for producing events, the inclusivity of event technology, and building upon the momentum created by the return of live events.
35:16 06/20/2022
How Lockdown Mentality Is Changing Event Design
Host: David Adler Guest: Kristin Banta Sponsored by CORT Events, this episode of GatherGeeks is part of season two of our “Royal CORT” podcast series, which includes insightful convos with top event and experience designers. BizBash founder and chairman David Adler sits down with award-winning celebrity event designer Kristin Banta, owner and creative director at Kristin Banta Events. A teacher and mentor to the industry, Banta’s clients have included Justin Bieber and Oprah Winfrey. In this conversation, Banta touches on how everyone is craving tactile experiences—but warns event pros not to overstimulate the senses—how multiculturalism and aspirational travel is having a huge impact on events, the art of hosting and how to make guests feel special, and designing for introverts.
34:07 06/14/2022
Must-Haves for Luxury Events and Activations
Host: David Adler Guest: David Beahm Sponsored by CORT Events, this episode of GatherGeeks is part of season two of our “Royal CORT” podcast series, which includes insightful convos with top event and experience designers. BizBash founder and chairman David Adler sits down with David Beahm, founder of event design firm David Beahm Experiences, who has designed weddings for high-profile clients like Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, as well as Fortune 500 corporate events for clients like Target, Victoria’s Secret, Christian Dior, and McDonald’s. In this conversation, Beahm discusses supply chain issues, the importance of budgets to help constrain your creativity to actually be more creative, how luxury is about aspiration and scarcity, must-haves for luxury events, and more.
39:06 06/14/2022
How to Think Like an Attendee for Successful Event Design
Host: David Adler Guest: Todd Fiscus Sponsored by CORT Events, this episode of GatherGeeks is part of season two of our “Royal CORT” podcast series, which includes insightful convos with top event and experience designers. BizBash founder and chairman David Adler sits down with Todd Fiscus, founder of Todd Events, whose clients include Tom Ford, the Dallas Cowboys, Audi, and Neiman Marcus. In this interview, Fiscus discusses navigating the waters of a post-pandemic world, his definition of the new VIP experience, strategies on how to think like a guest when walking into a room, differences between social and corporate events, and the state of gifting.
41:36 06/14/2022
Why Storytelling Is So Important in Events Today
Hosts: David Adler, Lilian Shen Guest: Larry Abel Sponsored by CORT Events, this episode of GatherGeeks is part of season two of our “Royal CORT” podcast series, which includes insightful convos with top event and experience designers. BizBash founder and chairman David Adler and CORT Events’ director of marketing Lilian Shen sit down with Larry Abel, CEO and “dreamer in chief” at Abel McCallister Abel, a full-service experiential agency. In this interview, Abel talks about how the industry is rebuilding back better than ever and taking more risks, and how he strives to create a journey with his events. He also touches on the importance of surprise-and-delight moments with recent examples—edible glitter! a surprise bounce house!—and why he moved his 17-year-old company from LA to Nashville.
35:02 06/14/2022
Podcast: Secrets of Smart Events in a Post-Pandemic World (Episode 217)
Host: David Adler Guest: Gianna Gaudini In this episode of GatherGeeks, BizBash chairman and founder David Adler sits down with Gianna Gaudini, head of events for Airtable, for a master class in planning events and experiences—whether you’re an old pro or just starting out. The pair discusses Gaudini’s work for companies like Amazon Web Services, Google, and Softbank Vision Fund, along with what went into creating her best-selling book and e-learning course. Gaudini believes that people want to attend events to experience some sort of catharsis or transformation—and she shares tips for how to accomplish that, along with insights into driving global event strategy, brand awareness, diversity and inclusion, and more. Sponsored by Hopin.
47:53 05/09/2022
The Biggest Event Industry Pain Points—and How to Solve Them (Episode 216)
Host: David Adler Guests: David Landgraf, Allison Pieter In this episode of GatherGeeks, BizBash founder and chairman David Adler sits down with industry veterans David Landgraf, the founder and chief experience officer of Make It Happen Management in New York, and Allison Pieter, the founder and president of Cassis Productions in Los Angeles. The group shares real-world pain points—and solutions—for the event industry, diving into topics like the impact of new technology, whether traditional events have given way to unproven experimentation, the frustration of supply chain issues and labor shortages, and more. They also discuss whether the so-called “great resignation” is having an impact, how budgets and costs have changed, their insights into the future and much more. Sponsored by Hopin. Running time: 43:33.
43:34 05/02/2022
How Do You Define Event Success Today?
Host: David Adler Guests: Tim Groot, Natasha Wood, Carolyn Dawson In this special sponsored episode of GatherGeeks, BizBash chairman and founder David Adler sits down with Tim Groot, CEO and founder of AI-powered event success platform Grip; Natasha Wood, head of strategy for FT Live at the Financial Times; and Carolyn Dawson, CEO of Founders Forum. This powerhouse panel sets out to define what event success means today—and quickly realizes there are no clear answers, and that we continue to be in an era of experimentation and growth. In this candid conversation, the group asks the hard questions about what we have learned, how we can form smart strategies based on data and how we can reimagine what’s next.  Sponsored by Grip. Running time: 42:48.
42:49 03/30/2022
Navigating the New Importance of Partnerships in Today's Event Industry
Hosts: David Adler Guests: Erica Boeke, Austin Johnston, Nancy Shaffer In this episode of GatherGeeks, BizBash founder and chairman David Adler sits down with a powerhouse panel of event industry professionals: Nancy Shaffer, chief creative officer at RJ Whyte Event Production and the president of the Live Events Coalition; Austin Johnston, CEO of AKJOHNSTON and president of the Experiential Guild of America; and Erica Boeke, the founder and CEO of Liberty & Co. The group dives deep into how partnerships of all kinds have impacted their event businesses and shares key learnings on how to collaborate effectively. They give practical tips and takeaways for using partnerships—with both internal and external teams, with brands and artists, with the industry as a whole and even with event guests—as one of the most important principles of our post-COVID era. Sponsored by Hopin.
44:30 03/07/2022
How to Bring Mosh Pit-Inspired Energy to Your Events and Activations
Hosts: David Adler, Cathy Song Novelli Guest: Cliff Rigano In this special sponsored edition of GatherGeeks, BizBash founder and chairman David Adler is joined by Cathy Song Novelli, SVP of marketing and communications at virtual and hybrid events software platform Hubilo, to chat with Cliff Rigano, creative director and head of culture, content and experiential marketing for Mast-Jägermeister US. Rigano shares how he brings mosh pit-inspired energy, enthusiasm and a unique ethos to Jägermeister’s events and activations. He also discusses how he leads his team, outlining why he thinks of them as an indie band on the verge of making it and why every activation is just another song on the album. Don’t miss these literal “Cliff Notes” for effective team management and innovation.
39:21 02/14/2022
What It’s Like Designing Gatherings for the Largest Event Producer in the World
Hosts: David Adler, Lilian Shen Guest: Mo Husseini Sponsored by CORT Events, this episode of GatherGeeks is part of our “Royal CORT” podcast series, which includes insightful convos with top event and experience designers. BizBash founder and chairman David Adler and CORT Events' director of marketing Lilian Shen sit down with creative mastermind Mo Husseini, senior vice president of design at Freeman Company based in Portland, Ore. Husseini reveals how his design-led thinking helps him successfully manage the complex ecosystem at Freeman, the world’s largest event producer. He also divulges details on understanding the needs of audiences, employing segmentation and utilizing data in order to create smart strategies and execute events at the highest level.
41:12 02/07/2022
Reinventing the Post-COVID Gala Format
Hosts: David Adler, Lilian Shen Guest: Shelly Tolo Sponsored by CORT Events, this episode of GatherGeeks is part of our “Royal CORT” podcast series, which includes insightful convos with top event and experience designers. BizBash founder and chairman David Adler and CORT Events' director of marketing Lilian Shen sit down with Shelly Tolo, president of Tolo Events LLC in Seattle. The group traces Tolo's history in the industry, ranging from her high-school days as a synchronized swimmer to her time as a development officer for nonprofits. She shares what works in nonprofit events and gala fundraisers now, particularly in terms of design and decor—and why she's on a mission to end the 10-top table format. This episode is a must-listen for anyone hoping to reinvent the traditional gala fundraiser in a post-COVID world.
34:55 02/07/2022
Developing Event Trends With an Eye for Space Design
Hosts: David Adler, Lilian Shen Guest: John Fuhr Sponsored by CORT Events, this episode of GatherGeeks is part of our “Royal CORT” podcast series, which includes insightful convos with top event and experience designers. BizBash founder and chairman David Adler and CORT Events' director of marketing Lilian Shen sit down with business development expert John Fuhr of CenterCircle Creative in Phoenix. With his acute awareness of emerging trends and market conditions, Fuhr offers up a host of insights into his own observational research. He talks using white space to spread out and escape the prison of the cubicle, feeding people’s desires to connect at events, what should be included in every event strategy and more.
45:29 02/07/2022
Exploring the Business Side of Event Design
Hosts: David Adler, Lilian Shen Guest: André Wells Sponsored by CORT Events, this episode of GatherGeeks is part of our “Royal CORT” podcast series, which includes insightful convos with top event and experience designers. BizBash founder and chairman David Adler and CORT Events' director of marketing Lilian Shen sit down with André Wells, founder and CEO of Events by André Wells in Washington, D.C. In this candid interview, Wells talks about everything from how the management of his 19-year-old event company has completely changed as a result of the pandemic, to how he’s designing events for audiences that want to be reached where they are. He also shares why our newfound craving for intimacy is calling for new strategies and the changes he’s seeing in his event and design consulting business. This episode is a must-listen for any event entrepreneur.
40:34 02/07/2022
How Careers in the Event Industry Have Shifted
Host: David Adler Guests: Dawn Penfold, Travis Pham In this episode of GatherGeeks, BizBash chairman and founder David Adler sits down with recruiting veteran Dawn Penfold, president of Meetingjobs, a Cadre Company, and up-and-coming event professional Travis Pham, global business director for 360 Destination Group. The group discusses why passion is the defining characteristic for career success, and why we’re in an employee market where staffers are reexamining their purposes and goals—plus, what that means for hiring managers right now. They also share their thoughts on corporate outsourcing solutions, how employers are attracting talent right now, how technology is changing the game and much more. Sponsored by Hopin. Running time: 34:15.
34:14 01/31/2022
The Digital Event Platform Revolution
Host: David Adler Guest: Julius Solaris In this special sponsored episode of GatherGeeks, BizBash chairman and founder David Adler sits down with Julius Solaris, vice president of marketing strategy, events, for digital and in-person event platform Hopin. The duo traces Solaris’ journey in the event industry, discussing why he left the media sphere to join the massively popular tech platform. They also explore how the new event platforms are empowering the participant and are influencing post-COVID event design in dramatic ways. Solaris shares why he thinks technology will continue to be where major investments are made that enable connections both online and in-person—and why the future belongs to the flexible visionaries who want to keep up with the latest tech tools for events of all types. Sponsored by Hopin. Running time 37:00.
37:01 01/24/2022
The Engagement Dilemma: What Captures Attention Now?
Host: David Adler Guests: Brendan Brown, Sohini Mitra In this episode of GatherGeeks, BizBash founder and chairman David Adler sits down with Brendan Brown, vice president of strategy for George P. Johnson, and Sohini Mitra, the vice president of experiential at ImpactXM, to tackle the ever-relevant question of engagement at virtual, hybrid and face-to-face events. The group discusses what keeps the attention of attendees at events of all types right now, exploring whether it’s true that attendees pay attention to novelty, and if entertainment is the cost of entry for engagement. The world is changing rapidly, and this episode offers key ways to understand the audience, brand and context of any assignment—and to challenge all your prepandemic assumptions about engagement. Sponsored by Hopin. 
41:42 01/10/2022
How Top Designer Tom Kehoe Is Navigating a Post-Pandemic Event World
Hosts: David Adler, Lilian Shen Guest: Tom Kehoe In this episode of GatherGeeks, we’re kicking off our “Royal CORT” series, sponsored by CORT Events, which focuses on experience designers. BizBash founder and CEO David Adler and CORT Events’ director of marketing Lilian Shen sit down with powerhouse designer Tom Kehoe, the owner of Kehoe Designs in Chicago, who has completely refreshed his outlook on events over the last two years. Kehoe discusses how his company has survived and thrived through experimentation and core fundamentals; he also shares his design philosophy, insights into his company culture and passion for collaboration, his approach to sustainability, future trends he's excited about and much more. Sponsored by CORT Events. Running time: 36:34.
36:35 12/15/2021
The Future of Events and Meetings, Through the Eyes of the Next Generation
Host: David Adler Guests: Brittany H. Anderson, Bella Day, Dr. Stuart Levy, Latoya Lewis, Gwen Loeber This special episode of GatherGeeks was recorded live on Nov. 30 at Connect DC, where BizBash chairman and founder David Adler conducted an insightful focus group to find out what's really next in the world of events and meetings. He’s joined by a variety of students, professors and other leaders from George Washington University and the local Washington, D.C. school system. Guests include Dr. Stuart Levy—who has nearly two decades of experience in management, teaching, consulting and research within a range of organizations like PricewaterhouseCoopers Global Hospitality and Leisure Practice—as well as Latoya Lewis, the executive director of EnventU, and Brittany H. Anderson, coordinator of the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism at Frank W. Ballou Senior High School. This discussion offers an in-depth look into how the event world has changed during the pandemic, and the insights and lessons the next generation of event leaders can teach the industry as a whole. Sponsored by Brandlive. Running time: 36:09.
36:09 12/08/2021
David Tutera on What Works in Event Design Now
Host: David Adler Guest: David Tutera In this episode of GatherGeeks, BizBash founder and chairman David Adler sits down with celebrity event designer and lifestyle guru David Tutera. The globally known event expert and television personality shares personal anecdotes, discussing his first-ever job and what he learned for it, how he fell in love with the event industry and more. He also discusses the importance of asking questions, why leading with positivity is crucial, what works and what doesn’t in a post-COVID world and how the industry has changed, and much more. Sponsored by Social Hour. 
43:53 11/15/2021
A Masterclass in Making Your Business Stand Out in an Ever-Changing World (Episode 210)
Host: David Adler Guest: Colin Cowie In this episode of GatherGeeks, BizBash founder and chairman David Adler sits down with event industry icon Colin Cowie to discuss his new book, The Gold Standard: Giving Your Customers What They Didn’t Know They Wanted. Through compelling anecdotal-style stories, Cowie's new book is a must-read to make sure your business stands out in this ever-changing world, diving into ways to up your game to think about the intangibles that separate you from your competition. This episode is a one-man masterclass on doing it right, explaining how Cowie is using event thinking in all aspects of the hospitality, retail and service industries. He and Adler also explore themes of passion, elegance, failure, style, conflict resolution and the power of proactive customer service. Click here to order Cowie's new book.  Sponsored by Ticketbud. Running time 40:00.
40:01 10/04/2021
How Micro-Influencer Marketing Can Play a Role in Any Type of Event
In this episode of GatherGeeks, BIzBash founder and chairman David Adler chats with Connor Stewart, the director of social media at mdg, a marketing and public relations agency specializing in audience acquisition for live and online events. Stewart offers case studies of the influencer marketing strategy for B-to-B events like FabTech, a trade show for the welding industry—proving that the practice isn’t just for consumer brands and big-level celebrities. The duo gives an overview of why tapping into paid influencers and micro-influencers is so effective for events, and how to find the right partners for your brand. They also do deep dive into how to execute these new must-use marketing strategies—sharing the processes, tools and measurements needed to justify the expense. Sponsored by Ticketbud. Running time 43:22.
43:23 09/20/2021
The Power of Being Second in Command
Host: David Adler Guest: Christina Matteucci In this episode of GatherGeeks, we're bringing you another live presentation from BizBash's hybrid conference in Las Vegas. BizBash founder and chairman David Adler introduces Christina Matteucci, executive director of David Beahm Experiences, who discusses how number-twos will lead the post-COVID bounce back. Like celebrity event designer David Beahm, successful entrepreneurs have become veritable superheroes in American culture. However, data suggests that society’s obsession with entrepreneurship as the vehicle for professional recognition could spell disaster for the future of the U.S. workforce in a post-COVID landscape—if the struggle for acknowledgment continues to wipe out the value of collaboration. From unifying the political divide to healing race relations to solving our global climate crisis, solutions for our world’s biggest problems won’t come from one hero—they’ll be the product of many minds working together. The prototype for that alliance begins in the workplace; it begins with the “number twos.” In this educational discussion, Matteucci, aka "TeucciMama," will show us why we should be giving a second thought to our second in command. Running time: 50:50. Sponsored by Evolution Event Solutions.
50:51 09/06/2021
The New Strategies for Events and Meetings
Host: David Adler, Cathy Song Novelli Guests: Dahlia El Gazzar, Sara Gorlick, Robert Thompson In this special sponsored edition of GatherGeeks, BizBash founder and chairman David Adler teams up with Cathy Song Novelli, SVP of marketing and communications at virtual and hybrid events software platform Hubilo, to host an in-depth discussion on the new strategies for events and meetings. The pair chats with Dahlia El Gazzar, an event industry veteran and tech expert; Sara Gorlick, vice president of events at Rakuten Americas; and Robert Thompson, VP of sales at AV Canada. This international group of planners and vendors takes off their gloves to frankly discuss the new purpose for events and how that's changed and evolved in the virtual and hybrid world and again with the rise of the Delta variant. They also dive into the importance of merging content, contact, community, intimacy and activism from all participants, as well as why event organizing is about managing feelings more than anything else. This episode is a must-listen for anyone planning events and meetings in our new normal.   Running time: 53:54. Sponsored by Hubilo. 
53:55 08/24/2021