Jury

All entries will be assessed by an International jury of respected professionals in the meeting and event industry in order to discover the gems of 2013. The jury will be looking for talented dedicated teams that show creativity and professionalism. The jury panel will be assessing carefully each entry and will take into consideration every aspect of event planning in submitting their final score.


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Stefania Conti-Vecchi

Stefania Conti-Vecchi

Founder and CEO of EVENTagist

Founder and CEO of EVENTagist, a selected community of international experts with a specific know-how in the Meeting Industry, besides organizing events, Stefania also assists and supports meeting owners and organizers to create and manage meetings & events applying the most innovative solutions in each single stage of the process. Specialized on new technologies topics and creative marketing strategies, her expertise ranges, particularly, across hybrid meetings, social media and all the web and mobile tools that can facilitate the life of the organizers.

Stefania speaks at international conferences, trade shows and training courses and write as blogger. She has been involved in the meetings industry for more than 20 years, being also the director of the regional Convention Bureau.

Twitter: @contivecchi and @EVENTagist

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James Morgan

James Morgan

Principle Consultant at James Morgan Associates

James is the principle consultant at James Morgan Associates, a brands marketing and communications consultancy based in London, United Kingdom. He is also the affiliate chair of the International Special Events Society EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, Nigeria, Turkey and United Kingdom), and a visiting lecturer at the University of Westminster, teaching on the master’s course in Event and Conference Management.

His vast event marketing and production experience began in 1989, and he has produced countless events and marketing strategies for new products and brands in the UK and Europe. He is a respected speaker and commentator on event industry issues and trends, and has presented evidence, on numerous occasions, to British parliamentarians. 

James has judged industry awards and also volunteers his time to manage the ISES EMEA region. He is passionate about educating the event professionals of the future and takes an avid interest in promoting quality standards and professionalism in the events industry. James has a PhD in cultural regeneration is currently studying toward the ISES Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) qualification.  

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Teresa Matamoros

Teresa Matamoros

President at Meetings Partner LLC

Teresa Matamoros is the President of Meetings Partner LLC. Former Director of Incentive and Corporate Meetings for the Mexico Tourism Board, she has extensive experience in the tourism industry, and she an expert in the areas of product development and destination marketing. Her previous responsibility as Deputy Director, Midwest at the Mexico Tourism Board Office in Chicago; position she obtained thru an extensive open selection process, allow her to gain a great understanding of the opportunities for Mexico and develop a relationship with the market place.

From 2001 to 2006, Teresa was Marketing Director of the Baja California State Tourism Secretariat, being responsible for the promotion efforts and marketing of the State as a tourist destination, and of the integration of products that could be placed in the international tourist offering. From this period is important to highlight the development of the Wine Route in the Ensenada Municipality, where together with the natural characteristics of the place and in coordination with the local resources, it became an attractive experience that today receives a growing number of tourists. 

In addition, Teresa has always been related to the tourism sector, performing duties in the hotel industry in the border city of Tijuana, Baja California, as well as, in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco; experiences that have developed into an broad knowledge of the national tourist offering and of the challenges that are faced.

Teresa holds two respected industry certifications as: Certified Meetings Professional and Certified Incentives Specialist.

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Stephen Johnson

Stephen Johnson

Founder & CEO of eunèv.com

Stephen Johnson is the Founder & CEO of eunèv.com. He is a social business strategist with over 15 years experience advising global brands in their use of social media and emerging technologies. Stephen brings a remarkable blend of ideas and analytics to commercial and not-for-profit sectors. He is passionate about industries in-transition and crowd-sourced innovation – a context where his expertise in social impact movements is widely sought.

Stephen is also a highly experienced keynote presenter and workshop facilitator. HisA-list of appearances includes SXSW Interactive, SWARM Conference, Ad Tech and London Design Festival. Professional accolades include Ci2013 Creative Innovation Scholarship, Cannes Cyber Lion, AIMIA and Webby. Since 2006 Stephen has held non-executive board and strategic council positions with high profile organisations including One Girl, the Alliance For Climate Protection and UN Malaria Envoy, where he is actively engaged on environmental, health and education projects.

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Michael Heipel

Michael Heipel

Managing Director of spring Messe Management

Since more than 20 years, Michael has a passion for events, conferences and trade shows. He held various managing positions e.g. at an international association in the media industry, one of the leading German PR and event agencies as well as at a venue (Koelnmesse).  

Now, he is Managing Director of spring Messe Management, a subsidiary of Deutsche Messe, staging exhibitions and conferences in Austria, Germany, Hungary and Russia. Michael also works as a trainer and consultant for social media and event marketing and runs a blog about event innovations and technology. He has been a speaker at industry events like EIBTM, IMEX, ICCA. Among other assignments, he was responsible for staging the World Newspaper Congress, World Editors Forum, started the first Carbon Expo, launched the XMA Cross Media Awards and won the International Sponsoring Award 1999 as the Project Manager of Volkswagen Sound Foundation, a music sponsoring initiative. 

Twitter: @michaelheipel

Blog: michaelheipel.wordpress.com

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Julius Solaris

Julius Solaris

Director at Social Coup | Editor Event Manager Blog

Julius is the editor of Event Manager Blog. Started in 2007, Event Manager Blog is a popular blog for event professionals, covering topics such as event planning, social media and events, event technology and event trends. His missions is to give event professionals advice, reports and tools to face one of the most stressing jobs on earth.

In 2008 he started the Event Planning and Management LinkedIn Group. A few years later, with more than 116,000 members a team of 12 moderators, it became the de-facto largest gathering of event professionals online.Before becoming a 100% dedicated blogger and speaker, I have been working as Social Media Consultant for FTSE250 companies in the UK.

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Adrian Segar

Adrian Segar

Founder | Conferences That Work, Marlboro, Vermont, USA

Adrian Segar has designed, organized, and facilitated events for over thirty years. Until a few years ago, his conference work coexisted alongside a variety of other professions, including research in elementary particle physics, co-owning and managing a solar manufacturing company, teaching computer science, and information technology consulting.

In 2007, Adrian switched to working full-time on the design, organization, and facilitation of participant-driven conferences. Since the 2009 publication of his book Conferences That Work: Creating Events That People Love he has become an energetic champion for participation-rich and participant-led meetings that uncover and satisfy actual attendee needs for relevant content, education, answers, and connections.

Adrian has been named one of The 68 Most Innovative People in Events by BizBash Magazine, and one of The Top 10 Event Professionals Worth Knowing on Social Media. He writes regularly on event design and related issues on his blog, and is the community manager of the Google Plus #eventprofs community.

Currently, Adrian is writing his next book (working title Conference Sessions That Work: Harnessing the Power of Participation to Transform Your Events), designing and facilitating peer conferences, presenting on participant-driven and participation-rich events, facilitating The Solution Room and Personal Introspective plenaries, and running experiential workshops on using participative techniques to transform conference sessions.

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Rosa Garriga Mora

Rosa Garriga Mora

ROI Consultant at Event ROI Institute

Rosa Garriga Mora is an events professional with special interest in designing effective meetings whose results are measurable and aligned with an organisation’s strategic objectives. Rosa combines her work as trainer and ROI consultant with different projects related to meeting design. Working with clients from Europe and the United States, she researches and implements solutions to create more effective meetings, from speaker coaching to the use of interactive meeting formats.

In her role with Event ROI Institute, she coaches companies and associations in the implementation of the ROI Methodology in their organisations, setting objectives and measuring results. Clients come from a wide range of industries, including the pharmaceutical and medical sectors.

She is also a lecturer and speaker at several universities and industry events (EIBTM, FRESH, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, ESDEN, Universidad Europea de Madrid, etc.)

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Elling Hamso

Elling Hamso

Managing Partner at Event ROI Institute

Elling has spent most of his career as a senior executive in the Norwegian oil and gas industry and later as a management consultant. He started an event agency in Norway in 2000 and Event ROI Institute in 2005.

He has been Chapter President and a member of the European Council of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and is currently a member of the jury of European Best Event Awards (EuBEA), Meetings Industry Marketing Awards (MIMA) in the UK, Evento Awards in Finland, Irish Event Industry Awards and Estonian Best Event Awards.

Conference & Incentive Travel Magazine ranked him 5th on their list of the 50 most influential people in the UK meetings and events industry in 2006 and Eventbranche magazine named him third among the 30 most influential in the meetings and events industry in the Netherlands in 2012. He consults and speaks frequently on subjects such as ROI, events industry trends, meeting architecture, procurement and risk management.

Elling has a B.Sc. in Management Sciences and a Ph.D. in procurement strategy from Manchester University.

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Adam Parry

Adam Parry

Editor of Event Industry News

Adam Parry is the Editor of www.eventindustrynews.co.uk (EIN) - a worldwide online news portal for the events industry.Experienced in feature writing and journalism, Adam, over the last six years, has developed EIN into the dynamic 'go to' title for the events industry, building relationships with trade associations, suppliers, promoters and organisers - whilst delivering the perfect interactive platform for the market.

 

Adam is also the Co-Founder of the Event Technology Awards that, for the first time in the UK, recognised the use of technology across many event disciplines.
In 2013, Adam was invited to be a committee member for the UK Chapter of the International Special Events Society (ISES) to partner with the existing marketing team to give advice on social media.
Adam’s email address is editor@eventindustrynews.co.uk

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Bo Krüger

Bo Krüger

Owner of Moving Minds

Bo Krüger is a writer, speaker and meetingdesigner. Bo is the co-creator of the Danish Meeting Design Concept Meetovation. He has designed and facilitated numerous meetings and training sessions on meetingdesign and active involvment of the meeting participants.

Bo Krüger is the owner of Moving Minds and has a master degree in education and is also a skilled impro-comedy actor.

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Kevin Van der Straeten

Kevin Van der Straeten

Founder & Managing Director of eventplanner.tv

Kevin Van der Straeten is founder and managing director of the specialist online magazine eventplanner.tv. Since its inception in 2002, the portal website has grown into the online reference for clients and organizers of (corporate) events. Kevin is also your host at eventplanner.tv, the online TV channel targeted at the event industry. To conclude with: he is also the writer of the bestseller EVENTS - How to organize a successful event?

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James Mcgregor

James Mcgregor

Creative, Sales, Marketing, Digital

James is currently working as a freelance marketer and strategist. Prior to this, James was a co-owner of three start-up brands; A LIST Guide – The A-Z Guide for Organising Events, FOOD WINE SLEEP – Australia’s ultimate guide to food wine and sleep experiences, and the newest addition, JUPITER AGENCY – A full service, creative communications agency. 

 Responsibilities across all businesses include: website design and implementation, business strategy, planning, budgeting and development, sales and marketing strategy, planning and implementation, the creation of new marketing initiatives and driving a national growth agenda. James and his team set themselves a goal; to sign 100 new businesses to the A LIST Guide website within 3 month period. This goal achieved, the product took on a new life in a printed format to support the website. The product grew nationally over 3 years, resulting in over 700 clients and the honour of representing some of Australia’s most respectable brands in the MICE and Hospitality industries. A LIST Guide became an industry bible for marketing and event professionals nationally and achieved an industry best nomination for Best Product & Service at the Australian Event Awards in 2011. 
Along the way, James’ team diversified their focus to a business-to-consumer model with the creation of the FOOD WINE SLEEP website directory. This involved the creation of an iPhone mobile App. to support the popular website and growing trend of mobile use across the country. FOOD WINE SLEEP also enjoys a healthy social media following for all lovers’ of food, wine and travel. 

Jupiter Agency was then born, a culmination of 15 years working in and around the various and ever changing worlds of events, media, communications, advertising and marketing. 


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Michael Granek

Michael Granek

Management Consultant at Granek Solutions

Michael Granek, MBA,CSEP,PID is a successful entrepreneur and an award winning event producer with over twenty years of experience in business and the special events industry, producing corporate events for local and international clients. Aside from his business acumen, he has built an outstanding reputation for his professionalism, attention to detail and dedication to customer service. Joining an elite group of professionals, Mike has achieved his CSEP (Certified Special Events Professional) designation. He has also served on the board of the International Special Events Society Vancouver Chapter for eight years, three of those as President.

With a passion for industry growth, Mike sold his event production company in 2007 and accepted a position as the Academic Director for the Event Management Diploma Program at The Art Institute of Vancouver. In this position, he managed the department and faculty, designed and developed curriculum, as well as instructed various event related courses. He achieved numerous successes including significant program growth and a milestone articulation agreement with the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council, bringing unique opportunities to students and advancing education and certification in the event industry. To complement his experience as a teacher, Mike completed a Diploma in Adult Instruction (PID), expanding his skills in training and development.

The Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council has invited Granek to provide his expertise by joining a prestigious panel of experts on an international advisory panel that has lead the way in developing international standards & certification for event management. With his work in integrating these standards into curriculum, MPI has also invited Granek to participate in the Meeting and Business Events Competency Standards (MBECS) Faculty Forum, furthering his involvement in the advancement of the industry.

Mike has also designed and delivered numerous seminars at industry trade shows and conferences including the Canadian Special Events & Meetings Expo, Event Sensations Conference, and “The Special Event” – the industry’s largest conference in North America. He has published articles in various industry magazines and has been interviewed by Business In Vancouver, CBC Radio and CBC television on his event and production expertise.

Most recently, Mike has completed the executive MBA program at Royal Roads University, specializing in Management Consulting. Following this significant achievement, Mike made a decision to depart from academics and return into business management, opening an event and business consulting firm – Granek Solutions Inc.

 

Follow Mike… 
Twitter: @mikegranek   
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Tatiana Mikhankova

Tatiana Mikhankova

Head of the Events Department at R&C Market Research Company

Tatiana graduated from the St.Petersburg University, the Faculty of Tourism and MICE industry with specialist degree in Economics in Tourism and MICE industry and Master in Management.

She entered the R&C Market Research Company as a project manager in 2011. Since this year she is a Project Director of the International Europe+Asia Event Forum at the company. 

In 2012 she was awarded for her activity as a best Project Manager. She participated in numerous events as conferences and exhibitions concerning the events and tourism industry. Has a good theoretic knowledge and large practical experience in ogranising events.

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Patrizia Buongiorno

Patrizia Buongiorno

Vice President of AIM Group International

Patrizia serves as Vice President of AIM Group International and Managing Director of the Congress Division of the Group and has over 25 years of experience in congress management. She has been  President of IAPCO (International Association of Professional Conference Organisers) and a member of the IAPCO Training Academy and treasurer and partner  of INCON (Global Partnership in Conferences & Events)she also teaches tourism management and marketing at the Universities of Economics of Rome and Milan. 
AIM Group International is among the leaders in the organisation of conferences and events. The full management of congresses, meetings and events on behalf of associations, corporations and institutions is the Group’s core business which employs more than 400 permanent staff and offices in Brussels,  Budapest, Florence, Lisbon, Madrid, Milan, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Prague, Rome, Sofia, Vienna, Vilnius.

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Anna Górska

Anna Górska

CEO at Gdańsk Convention Bureau, Chairman at ICCA Central Europe, MPI Poland Club Vice President of Membership

Anna holds Master from the University of Gdansk, Faculty of Management and Marketing. She graduated with honors from State University of New York (SUNY), Major: Associate Degree in Business Administration (major subjects: marketing, human resource management, accounting, law)

Since May 2007 working in Gdańsk Tourist Organization and Gdańsk Convention Bureau, initially as Director of the Bureau, since September 2009 as Chief Executive Officer. Before that, between 2002 and 2007 she was Sales, Conference & Banquet Coordinator at Hotel Holiday Inn in Gdansk. 

Under her management Gdańsk Convention Bureau received many achievements and rewards. Among others: three times in a raw the title of the Regional Leader of Innovation and Development,  twice in a raw the National Leader of Innovation and Development, the Best PR at EIBTM 2012 trade show. She  was also awarded for her activity in international associations related to business tourism and work for the benefit of Polish tourism by Ministry of Sport and Tourism.

Anna also holds a certificate of achievement of the Destination Marketing Association International’s Destination Sales Training I & II (Destination Pro). 

She actively participates in the promotion of Gdansk and the Pomerania region as an attractive destination for business tourism. She used to be a representative of the City of Gdansk in the Baltic Sea Tourism Commission.

Now she is the member of Meetings Professionals International (MPI) and the Vice President of MPI Poland Club. Just recently she has been elected as the Chairperson of the International Congress & Convention Association ICCA Central European Chapter for a two years term.  

She participated in many national and international conferences on marketing tourist destinations, where she acted as an expert in this field. 

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Ovanes Ovanessian

Ovanes Ovanessian

CEO at Web and Events

Ovanes Ovanessian is a Bulgarian entrepreneur with rich international background and experience. In 2009 Ovanes co-founded Web and Events Ltd which is now the leader on the Bulgarian business events market. By combining his longstanding experience in event production and IT project management, Ovanes is now focused on his work in developing Weemss – The intelligent event management software. This ambitious project will assist event professionals globally in creating, managing and promoting their events. 

In his personal life, Ovanes focuses on expanding his worldview through travelling and experiencing new cultures.  

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David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott

Marketing and Leadership Strategist, Bestselling Author, Speaker

David Meerman Scott is a marketing strategist, advisor to emerging companies, bestselling author of eight books including three international bestsellers, and a professional speaker on topics including marketing, leadership, and social media. He is a recovering marketing VP for two U.S. publicly traded companies and was Asia marketing director for Knight-Ridder, at the time one of the world’s largest information companies. David has lived and worked in New York, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. He currently lives in the Boston area.

David serves as an advisor to emerging companies in the marketing technology category including HubSpot, Libboo, VisibleGains, Speakerfile, GutCheck, and Newstex, as well as varied nonprofits that interest him including the Grateful Dead Archive at UC Santa Cruz, HeadCount, and Nashaquisset. Previously, he was on the boards of directors of NewsWatch KK (successfully sold to Yahoo Japan) and Kadient (successfully merged with Sant) and the board of advisors of Eloqua (successful IPO in mid-2012 and sale to Oracle in early 2013).

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Francesca Manzani

Francesca Manzani

Business Manager of AIM Group International | Board Member of ICCA

Francesca Manzani is the Business Manager and Head of Florence Office of AIM Group International, the leading PCO company in Italy. She entered the company in 2011. Francesca has been a Board Member of ICCA since 2010; re-elected for the second mandate as Co-Chair of the Meetings Management Sector of ICCA, who represents within the Board. With over 15 years of experience in the field, Francesca has a multi-sector background as Marketing & Sales Manager. 

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Milos Milovanovic

Milos Milovanovic

Director | Serbia Convention Bureau

Milos Milovanovic was born in Serbia 1977th. He finished Faculty of Economics, University in Belgrade and Master study at Ecole Centrale Paris in France. Since 2007 Milos Milovanovic has been appointment as director of Serbia Convention Bureau (www.scb.travel). During this period Serbia Convention Bureau has managed to gather most important stakeholders in Serbia and started to perform all the tasks of Convention Bureau responsibilities. From the foundation of SCB Serbia is making constant progress in ICCA rankings and represents one of the new and emerging convention destinations in Eastern Europe. 

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David Benitez

David Benitez

Project Manager in Reed Exhibitions’ World Travel Market Latin America

David Benitez is an expert in connecting people to do business in the Travel and Meetings Industry market place. Last year David launched successfully the award winning educational summits called “IBTM Talks”. These tailor made events have provided insight to Meeting Planners and Suppliers in various regions across Europe and have been a very important influence in the regional Meetings Industry.  He is very dedicated to support the different Regions in Europe to better adapt and to reach out to the Global Meetings Industry community in the most effective way through the Reed Travel Exhibitions IBTM Meetings Exhibitions.  Previously, David has experience in launching and Project Managing "Evento Days", the Leading Meetings Industry Exhibition in Spain.

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Alexander Mihaylov

Alexander Mihaylov

Head of Client sector St. Petersburg at RESTEC EVENTS Company, Client manager at EFEA

Alexander graduated from St. Petersburg State University, Department of Geography and Geology.

After University radically changed the view to the future profession and entered RESTEC Group of Companies  as the client manager in 2011.

Within 2 years of working with clients Alexander became the Head of Client sector in St. Petersburg. Since 2013 Alexander worked as Creative Director on Europe + Asia Event Forum.

In 2013 he was awarded as the 1st Finalist of EFEA EVENT TALENTS.

Has a large experience in taking part in the various bidding processes, coordination and management of the suppliers. Responsible for the projects maintenance, project planning, scheduling all aspects of the Event / MICE, ensuring adherence to budget and timeline.

Participated in numerous international events.

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Michael Frick

Michael Frick

President at Speaking.com

As president and founder of Speakers Platform, Mike has created one of the most popular, friendly, resourceful, client-oriented speakers bureaus in the United States. As a successful entrepreneur, Mike believes that good business hinges on "committed personal relationships, social responsibility and integrity."

Mike has a hands-on commitment to Speakers Platform and often personally involves himself with the day-to-day booking process to guarantee clients will be completely satisfied with Speakers Platform services. He stays up-to-date on all industry trends, current events and new speaker candidates. He is an active member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), Meeting Planners International (MPI), International Association of Speakers Bureaus (IASB) and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

Mike graduated with honors in the Social Sciences, with a minor in Communications and major in Rhetoric (yes, we appreciate the irony of a Rhetoric major owning a speakers bureau), from the University of California at Berkeley. He has published hundreds of articles on meeting technologies, management, entrepreneurship, customer service, keynote speaking, the speakers bureau industry and leadership.

Out of the office, Mike can be found competing in triathlons, water polo and long-distance ocean swimming; hiking / camping; gardening; creating sculpture; and supporting youth and environmental groups.

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Dahlia El Gazzar

Dahlia El Gazzar

CEO and Founder at The Meeting Pool

Dahlia El Gazzar defines herself as a supplanner. As a CMP, and with more than a decade of experience in the meetings industry, Dahlia has been on the planner side as well as on the supplier side. Dahlia just recently launched The Meeting Pool a source for event professionals gain intel on everything event tech related, social media, and apps. Check out the event tech decision engine where you can make your smart tech choices, side by side, and based on your peers reviews and ratings!

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