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Educational Sessions

The 2019 FFEA Conference will be August 20-22, 2019 at the Naples Grande Beach Resort. The call for speakers will be available in November 2018. The 2018 Educational Sessions can be viewed below.


Opening Session

Wednesday, August 22nd | 8:30am - 10:30am

How is the Weather in Your Kingdom?
Presented by: Dan Cockerell, Vice President, Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort

Culture is like the weather. They are both environments that are created by multiple forces and that surround us everyday. However, unlike the weather you can influence and change your culture for the better, or worse.

Dan will discuss his experiences from his 26 year career with the Walt Disney Company, and how he thought about and influenced the culture of the Magic Kingdom Park and 12,000 Cast Members to deliver world class experiences for Guests 365 days a year.



Tuesday, August 21, 2018 | 9:00am - 12:00pm

Security Starts Here: Homeland Security Starts with Hometown Security - Partnering with DHS to Increase Resilience and Security
Presented by: Matthew Frost, Protective Security Advisor at U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Connect-Plan-Train-Report
  • Active Shooter Training
  • Security Walkthrough
  • Infrastructure Survey Tool
Separate Registration Required. There is no fee to attend this class for registered conference attendees. CLICK HERE to register.


Wednesday, August 22 | 10:45am - 12:00pm

How to Increase Your Sponorship Revenue
Presented by: Sylvia Allen, Allen Consulting
For so many people, sponsorship is low on their list of what they would like to do with their time! However, it is a necessity so why not do it successfully! This session provides you with logical, easy-to-follow directions for generating more sponsorship dollars. Who do you talk to, how do you talk to them, when do you talk to them ... all the basics of good sponsorship sales. Come prepared to learn, to ask questions and to walk away with the answers. Taught by sponsorship guru Sylvia Allen also come prepared to have fun!
Type: Sponsorship | Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Music Licensing - Keep the Music Legally Flowing at Your Event
Presented by: Jessica Frost, BMI
Music helps set the stage your festival, but you need permission for these musical performances. BMI, ASCAP, SESAC… huh? If you didn’t know that these are some of the organizations responsible for collecting music royalties you are not alone. Understanding music licensing can be complicated and many event professionals don't know where to start. However knowing the rules is an important aspect of ethical event planning and can keep you and your organization out of legal trouble.
Type: Operations | Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Motivating Volunteers - Seven Must-do's for Success!
Presented by: Lorna Kibbey
Volunteers are indeed one of our most valuable resources - sometimes, one of our most challenging! How do we keep them happy and get their best performance when it counts? What must we do to effectively motivate our volunteers? In this session, you'll learn seven must-do's to ensure your volunteers exceed your expectations, stay fully engaged, and enjoy the experience! And, you'll learn how to ensure your best volunteers want to come back and help again and again.
Type: Operations | Level: Intermediate

Event Influencer Marketing – The Most Powerful Strategy You Aren’t Using
Presented by: Nick Borelli, Borelli Strategies
Learn why industries like fashion and travel have been benefiting from influencers for years. Credible authorities with engaging platforms have earned trust and under the right circumstances that trust can be used to increase your event’s attendance. Learn responsible and holistic methods for working with influencers beyond just increasing messaging impressions but also as avatars of your attendee’s personas and part of your planning team.
Type: Marketing | Level: Intermediate

ChatBots – Realtime text with attendees and volunteers
Presented by: Sharon McAllister, ArtFest Fort Myers
Think of EventBots as Siri or Alexa but tailored to your festival or event. Event ChatBots let you communicate quickly with festival attendees and volunteers – pre-festival and on-site. Artificial intelligence enables real time text messages anytime, anywhere without the need to download or learn a new app. Respond to the true needs of every attendee, deliver exceptional customer support, empower volunteers and have instant emergency communication. Meet GABI, the ArtFest Fort Myers Chatbot. Learn how easy & affordable it can be and the secrets of a successful launch.
Type: Operations / Marketing | Level: Intermediate

Wednesday, August 22 | 1:45pm - 3:00pm

Keeping Up with Facebook
Presented by: Kevin McNulty, Netweave Social Networking
Review some of the recent changes to the world's most popular social media platform, especially the latest changes to the News Feed Algorithm. How do you keep your fans informed and engaged when Facebook keeps moving the target on what posts get picked up and favored by their ever-changing algorithm?
Type: Marketing | Level: Intermediate - Advanced

Get Out of the Office and Into the Community
Presented by: John Melleky, FIG Solutions
Community relations is a way to promote your organization and its mission throughout the year. Learn about what is involved and how to build a good community relations program to expand your community impact. Hear about examples of community relations ideas and how such a program was developed for an organization.
Type: Operations: | Level: Intermediate

Tips & Tricks on How to Tame Your Inbox
Presented by: Tess Vismale, Dahlia+
As email is becoming more commonly used, the number on a lot of people’s unread messages count is out of control! How many emails do you get in one day? 100? 500? In this session, learn how to manage incoming messages and old ones alike. Establish organization system for emails, Determine alternatives for sorting and becoming comfortable with them (e.g. using search to find messages, archiving read messages). Learn to be available through email, but not overly so! You need time for yourself too.
Type: Personal Development | Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Driving Event Sponsorship Revenue in a Social, Digital and Content Age
Presented by: Dan Kowitz, JSB Partnership Consultants
This session will give attendees a better understanding of the sponsorship industry of today and arm them with new ways to implement revenue generating sponsorship strategies.
  • Aligning assets to brand needs
  • Creating, borrowing and growing assets
  • How to package benefits to meet brand marketing objectives
  • Driving value through social
Type: Sponsorship | Level: Intermediate

Wednesday, August 22 | 3:15pm - 4:30pm

Content Curation Walkthrough
Presented by: Tess Vismale, Dahlia+
With the amount of content available on the internet nowadays, it becomes difficult to curate the right content for your audience. This session is designed to help you learn about the content curation process and introduce you to tools that might help you with content curation. Determine what kind of content you need for your audience, Learn about the content curation process and Learn how content curation tools fits into the process.
Type: Marketing | Level: Intermediate

Home to Show
Presented by: Jeffrey Shapiro, Solutions Event Services
Your customers' experience begins long before they take their first steps onto your event site. Traffic, parking, ticketing and security are often singled out by event goers as the areas most in need of improvement at events throughout North America. This session will take you off the event site and outside of the gates of your event, focusing on how the customers experience your event as they travel to your site, park their cars, pass through security and surrender their tickets. This interactive, multi-disciplinary presentation will explain the challenges of maintaining improved spectator flow at your event and demonstrate how to ensure the customers' experience is positive as they begin their day involvement with your event. From traffic/parking and event access flow considerations to ticketing and security screening, you'll learn about proven methods for improving this very important, often neglected aspect of your events logistical planning.
Type: Operations | Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Tips, Tricks and the "How-To" of Creating a Sponsorship Deck That Actually Sells
Presented by: Teresa Stas, Green Cactus Event Sponsorship and Marketing
No more “menu” sponsorship one sheeters! We will cover the process of how to create a successful deck that actually has the information that national sponsors want and need to partner with your event. You will also learn a few tips and tricks to make the process easier for you in the future.
Type: Sponsorship | Level: Intermediate

Event Safety & Security - Working with your local departments on an EAP and keeping costs in line

Presented by: Lieutenant Gary Martin, Collier County Sheriff's Office, Chief Eloy Ricardo, North Collier Fire Rescue, Retired Lieutenant Mike Jones, Collier County Sheriff's Office, Rhonda Ward, Fair Manager, Collier County Fair
Safety and security are a huge priority for both event producers and local emergency personnel – but how you collaborate can make all the difference in both your overall plan and the financial impact of increased security recommendations. This panel of local leaders from the Collier County Sheriff’s Department, Fire Rescue and the Collier County Fair will discuss how they work together to create and execute a plan with preparation and communication as a team and how you can do the same with your local agencies. The group will share some unique ideas to help reduce costs while keeping safety and security a top priority for event participants.
Type: Operations | Level: Beginner - Advanced

The "90 Second" Sponsorship Pitch

Presented by: Dan Kowitz, JSB Partnership Consultants
This session will guide attendees on how to pitch their sponsorship value proposition in less that 90 seconds. The session focuses on providing attendees live practice and feedback.
  • 90 Second Pitch sales philosophy
  • How to make it about the brand
  • Learn to use these skills as a guide for how you pitch over the phone and write emails
Type: Experiential

Thursday, August 23 | 10:15am - 11:30am

Cooking Up Innovative Sponsorship Activations
Presented by: Kevin Grothe, Memphis in May Festival
This session will take an in-depth look at the steps necessary to involve a sponsor in developing activation that benefit both the client and the event. Creative and successful activations involving the Big Green Egg, Academy Sports+Outdoors, Home Depot, Kingsford, YETI and Sailor Jerry Rum will be highlighted.
Type: Sponsorship | Level: Intermediate - Advanced

Maximizing Your Mobile Marketing
Presented by: Jessica Bybee-Dziedzic, Saffire
Put your phone down for just a minute and listen to THIS: in 2018, more people will be browsing your website from their mobile device than a computer. This means the future of the web is NOW, and it's in the palm of your customers' hands. So it's high time we all make it a priority. Jessica is going to talk to you about the current state of mobile marketing, what to expect in the near future and why it's absolutely essential to the success of your organization. We'll even chat about tools to enhance your very own mobile presence, sites vs. apps and of course, "sticky" strategies that'll keep your customers coming back for more.
Type: Marketing | Level: Intermediate

Do You Need a Liquor License for Your Special Event? Find Out From the Expert
Presented by: John Harris, Gray Robinson
Requirements for temporary liquor licensing for special events that counties, municipalities, nonprofit civic organizations, charitable organizations need to know. John Harris, a 49 year veteran in FL alcohol laws/rules/policies will review the requirements for these special event permits as well as answer questions to help you understand the privileges and restrictions of these permits when issued. He was with the Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco and participated in the original language creating these permits in 1972.
Type: Operations | Level: Intermediate - Advanced

Stress to Resilience -Mindful Strategies for Balance in Work and in Life
Presented by: Jo-Ayne von Born, Ready Set More
Build a resilient mindset to the inevitable stressors of work and life and create more balance and well-being with mindfulness and other mindset strategies. A research-based interactive workshop on the stress cycle and how to utilize simple mind and breath practices that can be easily integrated into your day. Learn practical tools that help you gain perspective and stay engaged through challenges. Mindfulness practices are being utilized by corporations and individuals alike and can positively impact communication, relationships, and decision-making both professionally and personally.
Type: Professional / Personal Development | Level: Beginner - Advanced

15 Must Have Productivity Apps
Presented by: Tess Vismale, Dahlia+
You hear about new apps every single second of the day. Life is too short and data is too precious. So which ones do you download? Which ones work and don’t, and more importantly, how would they work for your needs? All of these questions answered in this session and then some. Come learn of great apps that can rock your world! We’ll share the apps, and show you exactly how to use them. Catapulting your productivity using the latest apps and online solutions, Getting comfortable with new apps and learning how to choose what works best for you and Finding out if you already have downloaded the cool apps, or are missing some!
Type: Experiential

Thursday, August 23 | 1:30pm - 2:45pm

Expanding Your Revenue Streams
Presented by: John Melleky, FIG Solutions
Festivals and events rely on revenue streams that relate directly to the event and can be prone to industry downturns, weather conditions, and other factors. Learn about other ways to increase your revenue streams that are not specific to the day of your festival or event. Ideas such as membership programs, grants and development programs will be reviewed so you can build other revenue ideas to help with your overall organization and operating costs.
Type: Operations | Level: Intermediate

Social Media 434
Presented by: Robert Smith, Robert Smith Presents
Social Media 434 is an advanced level session on digital marketing in the modern world. It's purpose, to help your group move beyond the, "what and how," and understand the, "why," of today's digital marketing.
Type: Marketing | Level: Advanced

Click on Clever: Designing the Attendee Experience
Presented by: Tonisha Landry
From the first promotional ad to event check in, a cleverly designed approach enhances the overall event experience for attendees. This session will engage you in a process to map the experience before the experience.
Types: Operations | Level: Intermediate

Thursday, August 23 | 3:00pm - 4:15pm

Analyze This: Tracking Success in Social Media
Presented by: Kevin McNulty, Netweave Social Networking
Great social media campaigns can trickle down into increased website visitors, better search engine placement, stronger customer engagement, and even new customers. But how do you track the results of your various social media platforms so you can determine which are being successful? Learn the difference between metrics and analytics and how to make that information work for you. Make sure your efforts are paying off by getting your social media strategy on track and yielding results!
Type: Marketing | Level: Intermediate - Advanced

What Sponsors Want
Presented by: Mark Harrison, The T1 Agency
The world of sponsorship marketing is far too focused on impressions, logos, and money can’t buy experiences - experiences which are miraculously secured with money. Does any corporate sponsor really believe that more logos are what their consumers want? Do organizations selling sponsorship believe they have nothing more valuable to sell than digital and physical signage? The traditional bronze, silver and gold packages of sponsorship is a model of the past. In this talk Mark Harrison will dive into his five principles of what sponsors want for you to take on your next sponsorship challenge.
Type: Sponsorship | Level: Intermediate

Soup to Nuts: The Ingredients for an Integrated Marketing Campaign
Presented by: Erin Bryce, City of North Port
What are the ingredients to cook up a dynamic communications and marketing plan for your event, program, or festival? Learn the basics on how to create an integrated campaign - including print, broadcast, event, and digital (including social media) marketing strategies. Attendees will receive a variety of takeaways that they can implement right away, from identifying and understanding their target audience, selecting the right methods to reach that audience, matching their goals to measurements, and more.
Type: Marketing | Level: Beginner

Leveraging Technology and Best Practices for a Safer Event
Presented by: Mike Johnson, Clearpath Alerts
Event safety and security is top of mind for every event producer and planner and this is a session you don't want to miss. From festivals to conferences and concerts, learn the key strategies that can make a critical difference when mitigating risk and developing a safer event. Join safety and security expert, Mike Johnson for an engaging and interactive session where you will take away implementable strategies to optimize safety at your next event:
• Identifying and mitigating risks
• Understanding threats and vulnerabilities
• Preparedness planning best practices every event planner needs to know
• Leveraging today's technology for scale and safety
• Communication Strategies
• Increasing situational awareness at your venue
Type: Operations | Level: Beginner, Intermediate
Sylvia Allen
Nick Borelli
Erin Bryce
Jessica Bybee-Dziedzic
Dan Cockerell
Jessica Frost
Matthew Frost
Kevin Grothe
John Harris
Mark Harrison
Lorna Kibbey
Dan Kowitz
Tonisha Landry
Lieutenant Gary Martin
Sharon McAllister
Kevin McNulty
John Melleky
Chief Eloy Ricardo
Jeff Shapiro
Robert Smith
Teresa Stas
Tess Vismale
Jo-Aynne von Born
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