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2024 Educational Sessions

Welcome to the Hospitality & Tourism Summit Educational Sessions Agenda! Discover captivating discussions led by industry leaders, tailored to elevate your expertise in this dynamic field. Explore our sessions below:

10:30 AM

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11:00 AM

Sponsored By

Chicago Does

Working With Influencers To Tell Your Story

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Introduction By: Carol Fox
Discover the power of influencers as the modern-day brand ambassadors in this highly engaging session. Connect with leading influencers from the Chicago area and gain valuable insights into the dos and don'ts of approaching them to showcase you, your business, or your event on their platforms. Moderated by Alex Jakubiak, a seasoned professional with extensive experience collaborating with influencers across North America, this panel guarantees practical guidance for leveraging influencer partnerships effectively.

Moderator

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Alex Jakubiak

Vice President

Carol Fox & Associates

Content Creator & Owner

Social Media Influencer

Social Media Influencer

Panelists

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Jessica Roe

Windy City Mama Creative

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Renee Koontz

Chicago By Ren LLC

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Sohail Khan

KhanFlicks

11:00 AM

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11:25 AM

Sponsored By

Carol Fox & Associates

Cutting Through The Clutter: How To Get Noticed By The Media

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Getting journalists to write about you, your business, or your event is a highly effective and affordable way to promote your business to potential customers. Led by DCASE's Jamey Lundblad, this panel will feature leaders in the public relations field, as well as travel and entertainment writers discussing how they determine which business and events to include in their stories. This panel will deliver actionable advice for getting on their radar.

Moderator

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Jamey Lundblad

Deputy Commissioner for Marketing & Development

City of Chicago DCASE​

President

Travel and Adventure Writer, Author

Reporter

Panelists

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Noreen Heron

Heron Agency

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Wendy Altschuler

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Monica Eng

Axios Chicago

11:35 AM

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12:00 PM

Sponsored By

Expo Pass

Sustainable Event Ideas: Making It Affordable, Accessible, & Practical

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Introduction By: Mark Dunlap
Gain valuable insights into the practical implementation of sustainable best practices, including cost-effective strategies and resourceful partnerships. From eco-friendly festivals to zero-waste conferences and inclusive community initiatives, discover inspiring examples that promote environmental consciousness while catering to diverse budgets and audiences. Whether you're a meeting or event planner, organizer, or enthusiast, this session provides a treasure trove of ideas and actionable tips to create memorable, impactful, and sustainable events. Led by PC Events and Experiences Sean Thorndike, don't miss this panel of experts as they unlock the potential for greener and more accessible event experiences.

Moderator

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Sean Thorndike

Partnerships & Sourcing

PC Events & Experiences

Catering Sales Manager

COO

Panelists

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Julie Walter

Paramount Events

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Lauren Kaszuba

WasteNot

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12:00 PM

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12:25 PM

Sponsored By

Big Bus | Choose Chicago

The 77: Chicago's Neighborhoods as Cultural Tourism & Event Destinations

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Introduction By: John Curran
Join this highly informative panel discussion with community leaders about strategies to curate unforgettable experiences in Chicago’s neighborhoods by integrating creativity, community, tourism, events, and culture. Led by Choose Chicago’s Rob Fojtik, you will also get a peek into Choose Chicago's innovative neighborhood marketing campaign. This panel will provide you with ideas and inspiration on how Chicago's neighborhoods can serve as hosts for your guests and events, offering uniquely Chicago experiences.

Speaker

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Rob Fojitik

Vice President, Neighborhood Strategy

Choose Chicago

Superintendent of Pullman National Historical Park

Director of Engagement & Partnerships

Panelists

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Teri Gage

National Park Service

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Sandria Washington

Choose Chicago

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12:25 PM

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12:50 PM

Sponsored By

Presenting Partner: Enjoy Illinois

Unique Tourism, Meeting, And Event Experiences Beyond Chicago

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Explore the unique and outstanding tourism, meeting, and event opportunities across different regions of Illinois. Spearheaded by Gina Speckman, this enlightening panel features experts from destination marketing organizations, offering valuable insights, inspiration, and access to unforgettable experiences and events that are not to be missed.

Moderator

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Gina Speckman

Executive Director

Chicago's North Shore Convention & Visitor's Bureau

Executive Director

President

VP Marketing & Community Engagement

Panelists

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Cort Carlson

Aurora Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

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Darlene Chapman

Discover Downstate Ilinois

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Terri Reifsteck

Experience Champaign-Urbana

1:00 PM

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1:05 PM

Sponsored By

Chicago Hotel Concierge Association

Hotel Concierge Update

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Join new Chicago Hotel Concierge Association President Ramon Gomez to get a quick update on the state of the hotel concierge community. He'll discuss how the community continues to grow post-pandemic, the continued impact they have on the experience of our guests, and why your support is so important.

Speaker

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Ramon Gomez

President

Chicago Hotel Concierge Association

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1:05 PM

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1:30 PM

Sponsored By

Presenting Partner: Enjoy Illinois

The Future of Tourism in Illinois: From Regional Meetings And Events To International Visitors And Everything In Between!

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The tourism space and visitor has changed dramatically and we must change with it. Join the Illinois Office of Tourism Deputy Director, Daniel Thomas as he shares insights, learnings, and opportunities that can help you, your events, and your business. Learn about the Illinois Office of Tourism’s brand and marketing strategy and how they are positioning for the future. Don't miss this chance to get cutting-edge industry information to help you, your business, and your event.

Speaker

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Daniel Thomas

Deputy Director

Illinois Office of Tourism

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1:30 PM

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2:00 PM

Keynote: The State of Hospitality, Meetings & Events, & Tourism in Chicago

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Introduction By: Marilynn Gardner
Join us for an enlightening panel discussion led by Richard Gamble, Acting CEO of Choose Chicago, as we delve into the current state of the industry and provide insights into what lies ahead. The panel will also explore the benefits and opportunities associated with hosting IPW in 2025 for our city and our businesses. Don't miss this opportunity to gain valuable perspectives and strategic foresight into the future of our industry from these insightful industry leaders.

Moderator

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Richard Gamble

Interim President & CEO

Choose Chicago

President & CEO

President & CEO

Deputy Director

Panelists

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Marilynn Gardner

Navy Pier Inc.

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Michael Jacobson

Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association

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Daniel Thomas

Illinois Office of Tourism

2:00 PM

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2:00 PM

Wrap Up

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Thank you and Enjoy the TradeShow!

Speaker

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Tim O'Malley

CEO

Ateema Media & Marketing

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Parallel Lines

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