MAY 11, 2020 | 10:00 AM-4:30 PM | MCCORMICK PLACE, CHICAGO

A half-day executive forum for senior client-side marketers, designed to accelerate the way brands approach, develop, and execute event strategies.



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Our pre-conference Executive Forum, available exclusively to client-side marketers, will bring together the industry’s most innovative brand marketers. You’ll discuss today’s most pressing issues with the brightest marketing minds, trendsetters, and decision makers. The Executive Forum is designed to advance the way organizations approach, develop and execute event strategies.

Discover how innovative companies are using events to transform the marketing mix

Find ways to define and capture disparate audiences with tailored brand experiences

Learn how to cut through the noise and ensure brand relevance in a crowded marketplace

Unlock proven strategies to utilize storytelling, thought leadership and attendee journey

Engage in facilitated networking to connect with your peers and gain valuable knowledge

2019 Speakers


Josh Arnold

Experiential Marketing Manager

Bob Bejan

General Manager, Global Events
Justin Boone

Justin Boone

VP of Creative Strategy

Alyson Griffin

VP of Marketing

Nicola Kastner

Head of Global Event Strategy
Kim Kopetz

Kim Kopetz

EVP, Marketing & Strategy

Beth Malafa

Head of Global Events

Leasa Mayer

EVP, Strategic Partnerships  

Erin McElroy

Program Director, Marketing Innovation

Zachary Papale

Global Head of Experiential Marketing & Brand Partnerships
Alessandra Sapiz

Alessandra Sapiz

VP Global Events
Shawn Silverman

Shawn Silverman

SVP, Brand Marketing and Events
Jamey Sunshine_Nestle

Jamey Sunshine

Experiential Marketing Team Leader


11:00-11:30 AM
Registration & Networking

11:30 AM-12:40 PM
Welcome & Lunch

12:40-1:15 PM
Opening Session: Inside Events at Intel

Speaker: Alyson Griffin, VP of Marketing, Intel
Learn how events and brand activations can actively shape the conversation for your brand’s perception. Alyson will discuss strategies to move beyond awareness and achieve true brand relevance in unique ways that appeal to multiple personas at a single event.

1:15-1:45 PM
Fireside Chat: Shawn Silverman, SVP, Brand Marketing and Events, Comedy Central/Paramount Network/TV Land
Shawn will share insights on how experiential strategies drive brand affinity. Topics will include immersive storytelling; the pros and cons of stunt marketing, using marketing to both reward “fans” and attract and engage “non-fans,” and the intersection between advertising, paid social, and events. Interviewed by Kim Kopetz, EVP Strategy & Marketing at Opus Agency.

1:45-2:15 PM
Panel: Storytelling Through Experiences
Event marketers are constantly balancing the goal of connecting on an emotional and relevant level with their audience, while also driving results with their spend. There is also the challenge of having too many stories to tell and how to justify or measure the impact. Hear the unique perspectives from our panel, which includes Josh Arnold, Experiential Marketing Manager at General Mills, Erin Mcelroy, Program Director, Marketing Innovation at IBM, and Zachary Papale, Global Head of Experiential Marketing & Brand Partnerships at YouTube. Moderated by Justin Boone, VP of Creative Strategy at MAS Event + Design.

2:15-2:30 PM

2:30-3:00 PM
Panel: One Event, Many Personas
Many marketers today are challenged with how to connect across many different audiences at one event or activation. Listen to some of the world’s most valued brands as they share how they define their audiences, attendee journeys, and create “find your tribe” strategies. This panel features Alessandra Sapiz, VP Global Events at Cisco, Jamey Sunshine, Experiential Marketing Team Leader at Nestle, and Nicola Kastner, Head of Global Event Strategy at SAP. Moderated by Leasa Mayer, Executive Vice President, Opus Agency.

3:00-3:30 PM
Table Topics: Dissect the day’s content through Interactive discussions with your tablemates, covering hot topics and trends including audience segmentation, social strategy, and portfolio development.

3:30-3:45 PM

3:45-4:15 PM
Afternoon Session: Adapting Event Strategy for a Modern Audience
Speaker: Bob Bejan, General Manager, Global Events for Microsoft
Bob will share the transformative journey Microsoft has been on over the past few years to build a comprehensive, theme-based portfolio that delivers results. Bob will discuss his approach to addressing increasingly sophisticated audiences, as well as their strategy around attendee journeys and content delivery.

4:15-4:45 PM
Closing Session: Insights from the Apparel World: Building a Brand through Events

Speaker: Beth Malafa, Head of Global Events, Under Armour
Details Coming Soon!

4:45-5:30 PM
Executive Forum Post-Event Reception
Join us for a drink and continued connections with your peers.

2019 Executive Forum Strategy Lab, hosted by Opus Agency!

Available only to our Executive Forum attendees, the Strategy Lab will host our post-forum reception, as well as exclusive content on Wednesday and Thursday. Join your peers to explore emerging trends and technologies in the experiential space with presentations from leading brand-side marketers and vendors. Full 2019 Executive Forum Strategy Lab schedule below:

Tuesday, May 14th
4:45-5:30 PM Executive Forum Reception

Wednesday, May 15th
8:45 AM Strategy Lab opens

9:00-9:30 AM Meet-Up – eSports and Why You Should Care
Brent Koning, EA FIFA Competitive Gaming Commissioner

2:00-2:30 PM Meet-Up – If you Furnish It, They will Come: Global Trends in Event Living Spaces & Design
Kevin Dana, Cort Executive Director of Marketing & Product Development

3:00-3:30 PM Meet-Up – Diversity & Inclusion at Events
Ylonda Davis, AnitaB.org VP Global Events & Experiences

Thursday, May 16th
9:00 AM Strategy Lab opens

10:00-10:30 AM Meet-Up – The Data-Driven Event: Battle-Tested Data Insights for Event Marketers
Allie Magyar, Hubb CEO

11:00-11:30 AM Meet-Up – High Performing Event Teams: Keeping Events in Front of Your CMO
Angie Smith, Atlassian Head of Event Marketing

12:00 – 12:30 PM Meet-Up – “Data Governance: GDPR, CCPA, and Other Four-Letter Words”
Chris Arrendale, Trendline Interactive Chief Privacy Officer
*The Executive Forum Strategy Lab is Exclusive to Executive Forum attendees and guests



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