I’m thrilled to have been included in this blog that orginally appeared in Cvent.

We all need a little inspiration from time to time. Whether it’s a personal pick-me-up or to stay current, there’s no better place to turn than social media. Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are powerful platforms that create communities. The question is, what community do you belong to?

In the meetings and events industry, there is no lack of talented individuals to follow. We’ve rounded up twenty of the best meeting and event influencers out there who provide inspiration, education, and foster connections on a daily basis. Follow them today for all new tech trends, ideas on virtual, hybrid, and in-person events in a changing world, and more.

20 Event Professionals to Follow

Marissa Pick

The Founder of Marissa Pick Consulting, Marissa Pick has been named one of the Top 29 Event Industry Influencers to Follow by G2 Planet, An Influencer by Hubilo in their 2020 Ode to Women In Events Industry, nominated as one of Eventex’s 100 Most Influential People in the Event Industry, and more.

Follow Marissa Pick

Twitter: @marissapick

Corbin Ball

Principal of Corbin Ball & Co., he has over 20 years of experience running international technology meetings, Corbin Ball is a well-recognized name in the event tech industry. Named in 2012 as one of “The 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry” by Successful Meetings and MeetingNews magazines. He runs one of the longest-running meetings tech websites which offers great content and tools.

Follow Corbin Ball

Twitter: @corbinball

Dahlia El Gazzar

With a mission to empower, Dahlia El Gazzar, Tech Evangelist + Idea Igniteur of

The DAHLIA+Agency, is a source of inspiration. Providing guidance on how to take the impossible and make it possible, she specializes in attendee acquisition, virtual events design, and more.

Follow Dahlia El Gazzar

Twitter: @DahliaElGazzar

Kate Patay

Chief Strategist of Patay Consulting, Kate Patay helps businesses and individuals identify and amplify their distinctive brand and voice. A recognized thought leader in the industry for over 20 years, she was named the Top Changemaker from MeetingsNet in 2020 as well as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Global Events.

Follow Kate Patay

Twitter: @KatePatay

Instagram: katepatay

Annette Naif

CEO & Creative Director, Naif Productions, Annette Naif has more than 25 years of experience planning events. With this expertise comes a vast knowledge of strategic negotiation, on-site management, and crisis management skills, as well as a focus on pulling creativity into every event.

Follow Annette Naif

Twitter: @AnnetteNaif

Instagram: annettenaif

KiKi L’Italien

A Senior Consultant at Tecker International, KiKi L’Italien is an expert of online community strategy for the association industry. KiKi serves as the editor-in-chief and host for Association Chat, an online community, podcast, and media platform for the association industry, that reaches over 72k industry professionals monthly.

Follow KiKi L’Italien

Twitter: @kikilitalien

Irina Graf

Founder of THE MICE BLOG, which connects the global online community, while providing inspiration, education, and networking opportunities, all by highlighting the industry’s best work, Irina Graf is an event management professional and blogger with an international focus.

Follow Irina Graf

Twitter: @themiceblog

Instagram: themiceblog

Rachel Wimberly

The editor-in-chief of the Trade Show News Network, TSNN.com, the No. 1 online trade show industry news source in the United States, Rachel Wimberly, the EVP of Business Development at Tarsus Group, has more than 15 years of experience in the global trade show industry and now writes about that experience.

Follow Rachel Wimberly

Twitter: @TSNN_Rachel

Robyn Davis

Owner and Trade Show Consultant at Exhibitors WINH LLC, Robyn Davis teaches exhibitors the strategies required to win at trade shows, whether in-person, virtual, or hybrid. Robyn started working alongside exhibitors in booths, now Robyn trains them, bringing a new perspective to trade show success to make your exhibitors happier, more engaged, and more successful.

Follow Robyn Davis

Twitter: @Robyn_WINH

Jessie States

The Director of the MPI Academy for Meeting Professionals International, Jessie States received the Pacesetter Award from the Events Industry Council, an honor that recognizes emerging leaders and industry supporters. Jessie has also earned spots on the lists of 25 Most Influential People in Meetings and Events (Successful Meetings magazine) and Trendsetters (Meetings Today magazine).

Follow Jessie States

Twitter: @Jessie_States

Howard Givner

The CEO at Event Leadership Institute, Howard Givner has over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience and a proven ability to identify key industry trends. With over 100 blog posts written on BizBash, Cvent, LinkedIn, Event Solutions, and more, Howard is a nationally recognized expert on entrepreneurship, event marketing, and online education. Howard was named to 2013 EXPO Magazine’s Elite, honoring “the best of the best” in the trade show industry.

Follow Howard Givner

Twitter: @hgivner

Jonathan Spero

CEO at InHouse Physicians, Jonathan Spero has spent more than three decades in the meetings industry. Jonathan is an expert on medical risk management in the meeting industry. He was featured in Northstar Meeting Group’s Top 25 Influencers of the Meetings Industry for 2020.

Follow Jonathan Spero

Twitter: @jonathanspero1

Jason Dunn

The GVP Diversity Sales & Inclusion at Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jason Dunn develops and manages the Bureau’s comprehensive Diversity Sales & Inclusion strategy. Jason has been at the forefront of that revival and continues to be the region’s strongest voice for Multicultural Conventions. He took over as chairman of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (NCBMP) in late 2019.

Follow Jason Dunn

LinkedIn: @JasonDunn

Aleksandra Panyukhina

Head of Events and Experiences at parcelLab, Aleksandra Panyukhina creates experiences, whether virtual or in-person, for tech companies, connecting event results to marketing and revenue metrics. Aleksandra shares her experiences on her blog, Event Madness, and LinkedIn.

Follow Aleksandra Panyukhina

Twitter: @apanyukhina

Jenn Artura

The Senior Director, Global Strategic Events, Incentive Programs & Experiential Marketing at Veritas Technologies, Jenn Artura is an events leader specializing in results-driven experiential marketing. Jenn received the “2020 Planner of the Year Award” from Smart Meetings magazine for contributions to the industry during COVID-19 and was named “1 of 10 top Women in Experiential Marketing” by Event Marketer Magazine.

Follow Jenn Artura

Twitter: @JennArtura

LaToya Williams

The Manager of Global Accounts at HelmsBriscoe, LaToya Williams has more than 23 years of hospitality experience, creating and executing anything from small events to large conferences.

Follow LaToya Williams

Twitter: @mrscwilliams56

Naomi Tucker

Account Director and Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Naomi Tucker is the past president of MPI-WI and forever an #eventprof who loves to share tools and ideas on how to become a better leader with a great work-life balance.

Follow Naomi Tucker

Twitter: @Naotuck

David Kliman

The Owner of The Kliman Group, David Kliman is known for maximizing profitability for trade associations, hospitality, and travel industry organizations by providing a strategic understanding of market trends and customer expectations.

Follow David Kliman

Twitter: @davidkliman

Lindsay Buchanan

The Manager, Meetings, Association Management, and Groups at Travelink, American Express Travel, Lindsay Buchanan has been a Certified Meeting Professional for more than five years and has more than 12 years of experience in meetings and conferences.

Follow Lindsay Buchanan

Twitter: @BuchananLindsay

Lori Wildman

The Senior Marketing Manager at DMA, Lori is a seasoned marketing professional with a passion for digital marketing, customer experience, and strategy to drive a successful customer journey.

Follow Lori Wildman

Twitter: @loriwildman


Following the right accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn is about curating a community that will enable you to learn and grow. By following all or some of these 20 influencers, you’ll get tips and tricks from experts who have done it all before and love to let others learn from their experiences. Happy following!


This article was written by Madison Howard for Cvent.

WE’D LOVE FOR YOU TO SHARE THIS IN YOUR NEWSLETTER OR WEBSITE BUT PLEASE INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING COMPLETE INFORMATION: Event Producer Strategist, Entrepreneur, Speaker, and Coach, Annette Naif, CEO & Creative Director of Naif Productions

                                                                                               # # #

About Naif Productions:

Naif Productions is a strategic event planning, design and production firm specializing in corporate, live coaching sales events, social, non-profit, and weddings. Based in New York City, we produce events worldwide from Fortune 500 clients and coaches to families and charities. Naif Productions specializes in helping clients attain their goals, realize return on investment, and achieve the most unique, creative experiences.

About Annette Naif:

Since 1986 Annette Naif has been designing and producing custom events, helping clients create their unique style that translates into a memorable and profitable experience. Annette spent 17 years producing events in the motion picture industry where she helped coordinate numerous productions for film and episodic television programs. Since then Annette’s been running her own event production company, coaching other event planners, teaching an event operations and production course at NYU, and now is the CEO & Creative Director of Naif Productions.

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