Breakout Sessions

Whether you want to immerse yourself in strategies for running your business throughout the event, or mix and match session themes to get actionable takeaways across all areas of the events industry, ILEA offers the variety of breakout session options for your needs.



Visual Strategy for Digital Marketing

In days gone by, creating a video marketing campaign was expensive. Today, everyone is a visual creator. Video content is by far, king. But how do you stay above the din of all those other viral (cat) videos? Hear from one of Calgary's top creative marketing teams how to build your video portfolio to create content that drives business.

Creativity Thought Talks Include:

20 Objects

Robert Dunsmore, Indepedent Creative Director

Creative relevance is sometimes achieved simply by "adding one new thing." In one of the most unique sessions of the conference, you will watch a process unfold that unleashes the creative potential in 20 simple objects. Follow the mind of one of England's most inquisitive creative directors as he trains you to find possibilities in the ordinary. By the end, you will be an expert at "using the C-word.

Beyond Four Walls: The Challenge of Space

Fritha Knudsen, Independent Producer: DreamForce, Virgin Galactic

When you take over a city, like DreamForce does, you have to design experiences with urban challenges. When you take over a desert, like Virgin Galactic, you get a whole other set of challenges. Listen to a producer of both to see how building experiences in uniques spaces comes with its own set of rewards and challenges.

Designing Powerful Stories

Terry Biddle, The Knell

Wedding: the families. Product Launch: the brand. Civic Festival: the city. It doesn't matter what market you are in, as an experiential designer, you have to be able to bring to life stories in a powerful way, subtly or directly. Building meaningful stories is a multi-step process that starts with listening and ends with emotion. Hear how this presenter uses principles from comedy, television and film and mixes in diverse viewpoints to create stories that resonate live.

Establishing and Selling Your Creative Value

Tahira Endean, CMP, DES, CED

The struggle is real. How to put a solid, accurate, defensible value on your creative output that clients understand and pay. As society algorithms human beings out of everything from building to logistics to information to inspiration, creativity has increased in demand and performance. Learn how to carve out your creative value and build on the new era of profitability.

Sponsored by: Mount Royal University

Creative Passion as a Healing Process

Bob Carey, The Tutu Project

A real life story of hope, survival and inspiration from one of our own. Life doesn't stop simply because we've opened a business. What we face can be unbelievably daunting and overwhelming. However, there is one mechanism we can employ to both overcome adversity and to inspire others the same way - our passion. Experience how one event professional learned to keep moving forward by employing the one thing he had been doing much of his life.

Developing an Idea Engine

Nigel Collin, Strategic Consultant

What if ideas weren't the products simply of inspiration? What if you could systemize idea generation? Draw from a developed "well" that produces stronger and stronger concepts? Listen to Australia's creative strategist, Nigel Collin, and absorb the process for powerful ideation. He may even divulge his next found secrets behind his Game of Inches business approach. Perfect for creative companies!

Finding Creative Courage

Dustin Westling, CSEP, OneWest Events

Being a creative professional comes with some uniquely challenging pressures and pitfalls. How do you continue to be inspired to do better work? How do you stay creatively relevant as your career continues? How do you bravely put your not yet fully formed ideas forward, time after time? How do you build an environment where creative empowerment is fostered daily? See how one of Calgary's top event agencies answers these questions every day.

Layered Immersion: Truly Engaging Guests

Paul Whitney, bluemedia
Dan O'Brien, Interactive Apparel 

The internet of things has given the world an unlimited ability to tap into human interactivity. But with that growth comes the difficulty in truly grabbing a person's attention. This session will look at key ways we can leverage the senses while implementing visual, digital and tactile stimulation to draw an audience in and give them memorable engagements.

Business Thought Talks Include:

Create a Thriving Company Culture

Taka Mukono, Shaw Communications, Takaboom

Ever wonder what makes people - good, strong, talented people - leave or stay at a company? It doesn't matter if its a company of four or four hundred. One thing matters most: company culture. Listen to the man who drives corporate culture for Shaw talk through how to build a powerful culture that lets people do what they do best - thrive. 

Successfully Adapting to Unwanted Change

Todd Hirsch, Chief Economist, ATB Financial

Every decade or so, the world faces uncertain and unwanted economic change. Sometimes we learn and avoid it. Sometimes we repeat it. As we gear up for another round of economic change, Alberta's top economist will show us how to adapt, survive, even thrive as small to medium-sized businesses. You might not be able to stop the change, but you can overcome it and stay on top!


Video Strategy for Digital Marketing

Peter Bishop, ZGM
Dan King, ZGM

In days gone by, creating a video marketing campaign was expensive. Today, everyone is a visual creator. Video content is by far, king. But how do you stay above the din of all those other viral (cat) videos? Hear from one of Calgary's top creative marketing teams how to build your video portfolio to create content that drives business.

Doing Good is Good for Business

Jim Button, Evans Hunt, Village Brewery

In a world where all things are equal, what drives customer loyalty? More times than not, social good. In a world of constant burnout, what keeps people motivated and inspired? More times than not, social good. Listen to an event marketer and beer entrepreneur tell how the best marketing you can own is community building. It will certainly change your business and quite likely, change your life.

Sponsored by: Mount Royal University

Meet Your Next: Client, Workforce, Audience

Matt Britton, CrowdTap

The "M" Word. Millennials are quickly becoming the largest block of event audiences, employees and consumers. You have heard a littany of descriptions of them. What is the real data behind them? What purchasing choices do they make? What motivates them to do better work? How do they like to be engaged at events? As experiential companies, you will be hiring, producing for, and designing to this generation. Get an expert's take on how business is about to change drastically.

Crisis PR: Control Your Messaging

Larry Lalonde, Calgary Stampede

The world of universally accessible content has made the task of controlling your message instantly easier... and amazingly more difficult. How do you handle your company's brand "out on the web" and in print when others can quickly and devastatingly control your message? Listen to the experts of the communications team at Calgary Stampede as they talk you through the best practices of "Crisis PR" - where to get your message out, how to stay ahead of issues and how to craft messaging. In a world where everyone can message, you have to be in charge of yours.

What's the Big Idea: A Dreamer’s Guide to Innovation

Mark Freeman, Microsoft

When you are responsible for the innovative output of food for a campus as large as Microsoft - a campus that hosts 30,000 events a year - you have to dream big. Listen to the man responsible for some of the most award-winning food programs in the US talk through the process of how to grow ideas that can be game-changing, not just to your audiences, but to your businesses and perhaps even your communities.

Your Brand, Their Experience

Johnathan Love, Mount Royal University

Educational Session Presented by Mount Royal University

We have all seen companies spend millions developing their corporate brand. Many of us do not control corporate branding efforts. But ALL of us create our own personal brands. Come speak with Mount Royal University's communications expert, Jonathan Love, as he helps you develop a strategy for personal branding. It's a strategy that will help you define your business, your relationships, your growth.

To Own or Not to Own

Harvey Cohen, Live Nation Media

The very real considerations of creating and owning a proprietary event. You see them everywhere, with thousands of attendees.  Festivals.  Pageants.  Concert tours.  Trade shows.  You’ve attended some.  As an event specialist, you may have even worked on some.  Are you ready for the next leap: designing and launching an event owned and operated by you?  Live Nation, the world's leading live entertainment company  creates proprietary events that drive a powerful revenue stream. Listen as Harvey Cohen, vice president of Live Nation Canada walks you through the very real considerations for any business, big or small, when jumping in to the proprietary event world.  It will create a very clear picture of whether you make that leap or stay where you are.

A Tale of Two Companies

Chris Gerhart, Crescent Event Productions Inc.

Imagine if you found yourself trapped in a business that was sinking and the captain of that business could not see it. Imagine the difficulty of having that business be a family business. Listen as Christopher Gerhart, interviewed by Lara McCulloch, describes the challenges and triumphs of purchasing a failing family business in order to save it from itself.  Going from debt to profitability, no calls returned to 97% client retention rate, a mutinous staff to a fully supportive and engaged staff, is no small feat.  Chris will openly and candidly share what it took to turn that ship around and how you can do the same.

The C Word… Your Biggest Battle

Jennifer Trethewey, JTG Global

The fear of change is very real.  It creates uncertainty, panic, and often times disruption.  Understanding why humans, and more specifically business owners, fear change so much is step 1 in a process to embracing a word that not only is a given, but is NECESSARY for the health of your business.  Global business consultant Jennifer Threthewey takes you through action items to shore up your management team’s communication systems, develop your company’s alignment model, and efficiently move through all the change you’ve been afraid to embrace

*Subject to Change