speaker at event

Washington, D.C. — mdg, A Freeman Company hosted an Executive Roundtable on Thursday, November 10, sponsored by SISO, the San Diego Tourism Authority and Freeman. This executives-only forum focused on the ways B2B organizers can draw inspiration from consumer events. Session and speaker info can be found below.

Attendance is by invitation only, limited to executive-level (VP and above) professionals from associations or organizations that own, produce and/or manage live events. Space is limited to maintain an atmosphere conducive to networking, so reserve your spot. Registration for the roundtable is complimentary. Reserve your seat by Thursday, November 3.

In addition, an invitation from Fast Forward to attend the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival has been offered to roundtable attendees should you wish to extend your stay and experience the show’s GRAND WEEKEND which includes:

Nov. 11: Grand Decant Wine Experience
Nov. 12: Grand Tasting presented by Sub Zero, Wolf & Cove
Nov. 13: Grand Fiesta

Event descriptions, locations and times can be found on the event website. Roundtable attendees can purchase tickets at a 50% discounted rate here.


9:30 am

Pre-Event Networking
Show up at the San Diego Convention Center, Room 10, for a little pre-event networking.

10:00 am

Sessions Begin
Let the fun — and learning — begin with these sessions. Includes a break and roundtable discussion.

Drawing Inspiration from Consumer Events and Festivals

Connecting the Dots Between B2C and B2B

12:15 pm

Break for lunch, provided, and get a chance to connect with session speakers and fellow event executives over some casual bites.

1:15 pm

Sessions Continue
The insights keep rolling with these additional sessions. Includes a break and roundtable discussion.

Event Industry Data, Trends and Insights, Fall 2022

Great(er) Expectations: How Elevated Consumer Expectations Should Elevate Trade Show Experience Design

Thinking Outside the Inbox

4:30 pm

Post-Event Networking
Wrap up the afternoon rubbing elbows with the industry’s best and brightest.

6:00 pm

Evening Activity
Join us for a night of tequila, tacos and wines from Mexico’s famed Guadalupe Valley for a relaxed reception at Puesto (walking distance from Convention Center).


Drawing Inspiration from Consumer Events and Festivals.

Leading consumer event organizers will share their top strategies for building and nurturing community and engagement, including activations, activities and approaches to audience acquisition that are adaptable for B2B events. They’ll talk about the importance of understanding the psychographic profile of an audience and giving them what they want, illustrated with thought-provoking, idea-inspiring case studies and examples.


michelle metter

Michelle Metter
Owner and Festival Producer, San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival

Michelle Metter is a partner of Fast Forward Events and the co-founder of nationally award winning B2B and B2C events in food and beverage, including the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival and wine conference and trade show SommCon. @michellemettersd 

david glazer

David Glanzer
Chief Communications and Strategy Officer, San Diego Comic Convention

Overseeing all advertising, sponsorship, promotional associations and over 3,500 members of the domestic and international media, as well as being the spokesperson for the organization, Glanzer is responsible for the public image of the organization and also serves as a key strategist. Additionally, Glanzer has served as the Communications Director for a California State Assembly campaign and later as Press Secretary for the Assemblymember. He has been a featured presenter at TEDx, given testimony to the California Assembly Select Committee on San Diego Trade, Tourism and Job Creation and has been a featured lecturer at the International Conference of the Public Relations Society of America and TPEC, the Television Publicity Executives Committee. Glanzer was invited to address the Asian Manga Summit in Yokohama, Japan and has spoken at various colleges, universities and organizations in the United States, Mexico, Japan and the Middle East. He has also been a guest speaker at the United States Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs.

yinka freeman

Yinka Freeman
Owner, Triple Pocket Events

Yinka Freeman knows how to WOW. With over 15 years of event planning, coordination, and design has proven to be the perfect playground to hone her expertise and learn a thing or two about creating unique and dynamic experiences. From events of all sizes to the recent need of virtual experiences, she executes concepts flawlessly with her think outside the box approach. With a keen eye for detail, creative imagination, contagious enthusiasm, and willingness to go above and beyond, Yinka thrives in producing experiences that are mission and value driven. Her unique coordination style comes from years of national and international hospitality experience, restaurant and catering management and an extensive sales background with companies that include the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, Hilton Hotels, Wyndham Hotel Group, and Behind the Scenes Catering & Events. When she is not creating one-of-a-kind events and experiences, Yinka loves traveling and enjoying nature. You can find her searching for the local hotspots and attractions, or relaxing on the beach with her dog, Rose.

kevin leap

Kevin Leap
Director, Fully Charged LIVE North America

Kevin Leap has resided in San Diego for over 35 years after a weekend trip from Phoenix. Phoenix was 112 and it did not take much for him to realize San Diego was the place to be. Kevin has served on over 16 local and statewide non-profit boards, the most recent as Chairman of the San Diego Fire and Rescue Foundation. His career most recently is as Director of North America for Fully Charged LIVE, a clean energy and EV show out of the UK. Prior to that, he was Director of the San Diego International Auto Show for 14 years. He was also Publisher of San Diego Magazine, West Coast President of Modern Luxury Magazines and Associate Publisher of the North County Times. Kevin also works with the La Jolla Concurs D’Elegance and was a co-founder of the San Diego International Film Festival. When asked what he does for a living, Kevin simply tells people “fast cars and movie stars”.

Doug Richter
Founder, Meritage Entertainment

Doug is an industry-recognized advisor for live events, festivals and tours with a focus on sponsorships for music, culinary and lifestyle properties. As founder of Meritage Entertainment, he curates relationships between entertainment properties, brands and talent that drive creative and financial success for all stakeholders. Doug was previously Managing Director/Global Partnerships for Time Inc.’s live media agency, INVNT, where he was on a core team that developed a national platform of event properties for its iconic brands including Entertainment Weekly, People and Sports Illustrated. Doug has managed sponsorship sales programs for many national culinary and music festivals and producers, and spent more than 10 years in the music industry, holding executive marketing roles at BMG Entertainment, Triad Artists and Wherehouse Music, where he was Director of Online Marketing for the nation’s third largest entertainment retailer. He spent three years as Tour Manager for soul icon world tour Barry White and recently acted as the Personal Manager for Motown legend Mary Wilson of The Supremes. Doug sits on the Advisory Board for FestForums, the leading industry conference for festival producers.

laurel mcfarlane

Laurel McFarlane
CEO, McFarlane Promotions

Laurel offers her clients over 20 years of hands-on event planning experience and relationships. With a flawless reputation in the community for executing the most popular and prestigious events, Laurel offers her clients her creativity, contacts and most professional attention to detail. As Founder and President of the San Diego Event Coalition, she is a leader in the industry and always spearheading new trends and innovations for her clients.

Connecting the Dots between B2C and B2B

Do the two seemingly incompatible disciplines of tradeshow production and consumer/festival staging really  have anything to do with each other? Greg Topalian has decades of experience in both B2B and B2C events and will tell us why the answer is unequivocally, yes.  He’ll demonstrate how organizers of professional events and conferences can appropriate the ideas gleaned from consumer events and operationalize them in ways that lead to increased satisfaction among attendees, exhibitors and sponsors, as well as increased revenue for organizers.


greg topalian

Greg Topalian
CEO, Clarion

With over 25 years of experience in exhibition and enthusiast events, Greg brings an entrepreneurial approach to building the North American business across a wide variety of sectors. Greg was with Reed Exhibitions for 17 years, creating the ReedPop division, which launched NY Comic Con in 2006 followed by a series of fan-based consumer events. After leaving Reed, he founded LeftField Media, a boutique events company focused on developing experiential events rooted in contemporary culture and shared passion. In 2016 Clarion acquired LeftField, and in 2017 Greg was named CEO of Clarion Events North America. As CEO of Clarion for the past five years, he has accelerated the North American portfolio by focusing on strategic acquisitions for both B2B/B2C Events, New Launches, Media, Digital Products and Learning Management. Some of the market-leading events Clarion has acquired during Greg’s leadership include FDIC, DISTRIBUTECH, InsureTech Connect and Mobile Apps Unlocked. In addition, the LeftField Media portfolio includes Anime NYC, AwesomeCon, Crunchyroll and Rose City Comicon. Greg is an active participant in the event industry as a whole, and is a former Chairman of the SISO (Society of Independent Show Organizers) Executive Board. 

Event Industry Data, Trends and Insights, Fall 2022

Back by popular demand and fueled by Freeman’s ongoing industry research, Ken Holsinger will present the first industry look at recent research and highlight the hottest trends that are impacting event organizers. This high-level briefing is a curation of brand-new data covering attendee and exhibitor sentiment, changes in consumer and societal behaviors that will help shine a light on the future of live events, and strategies for operationalizing the insights shared. From inflationary pressures (and how to offset them) to changes in registration pacing and verification rates, to the impact the “great reshuffle” is having on direct marketing efforts and more, this information-rich presentation will provide critical data to help inform your next event’s planning, budgeting and promotional efforts.


ken holsinger

Ken Holsinger
SVP, Strategy, Freeman

Ken has over 25 years of experience in technology, media and event production as a lead executive, consultant and speaker. He currently leads the Data Practice for Freeman, bringing together teams that are building innovative data tools for integration and business intelligence with data science, consulting, research and industry benchmarking. Ken has been named on multiple hardware, software and process patents and is a frequent presenter on numerous topics in the events, technology and data science space. Ken is also actively involved in his local community in Boise, Idaho as a startup mentor and tech workforce development leader. 

Great(er) Expectations: How elevated consumer expectations should elevate trade show experience design

How should the expectations that consumers have of brands influence the way we create more enriching trade show experiences? Two senior experience design experts from Freeman will answer this question with practical solutions and real-world examples addressing everything from health and wellness to sustainability to the festivalization of experience. They’ll share why it’s not just about engagement, but about creating experiences that surprise, inspire and delight.


dan carter

Dan Carter
SVP, Creative+Design, Freeman

Dan Carter oversees all Freeman creative and design teams across North America. He brings with him nearly two decades’ worth of experience managing award-winning creative, strategy and design teams in the US, China, Southeast Asia and Australia, working to build and launch many of the world’s best and brightest brands through a mix of B2C and B2B campaigns, digital and real-world experiences, activations and events. In addition to the world of digital and live events and experiences (where he’s worked with Google, Porsche, IBM, Amazon, LEGO and Oreo), Dan also led media strategy for Diageo and Mondelez, with stints in advertising, digital creative and PR agencies along the way. Dan possesses a rare and unique combination of strategic insight and creative vision, which is put to use across B2B and B2C campaigns, platforms and moments.

Stephen Kellogg
Executive Creative Director, Freeman

As an ECD at Freeman, Stephen leads multidisciplinary teams of creatives and designers, capturing the vision of a client’s diverse experiential and event needs and bringing them to life in the most imaginative ways possible. For more than two decades, Stephen has been inspiring design-led teams through blue sky thinking and open collaboration, delivering best in class and award-winning work for clients including SAP, McDonald’s, Allstate and Harley-Davidson. His favorite part of the work is intimately understanding client strategies before aligning them to cultural, interactive and design-led trends and thinking, in the process creating the next generation of events and experiences in smart and exciting ways — exponentially moving experiences forward, together.

Thinking Outside the Inbox 

It’s not just the events that need to evolve to meet changing audience expectations – it’s the way we reach and market to event audiences. Two attendee acquisition experts will discuss the innovative ways they use content marketing, influencers, community engagement, Partners in Promotions programs and other strategies and tactics to discover and attract event attendees.


joe mathieu

Joe Mathieu
group director, paid media, mdg

With over 15 years of experience leading strategy and digital media execution for some of the largest consumer and B2B brands worldwide, Joe and his team of digital activation experts develop tactical campaigns across Search Engine Marketing, paid social and display channels and actively optimize for maximum acquisition and return on clients’ dollars. Joe and his team have converted hundreds of thousands of attendees to events all over the world.

tyler day

Tyler Day
account strategist, mdg

Tyler Day is a strategist at mdg, a 100-person agency focused on growing bigger, better events. Tyler is responsible for the development and execution of effective marketing strategy for clients across a wide range of industries. An insatiable curiosity and relentless pursuit of marketing innovation propels a mindset that continually delivers new ideas to clients and colleagues to overcome their most intractable challenges.