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11-13 March 2024

Toronto, Canada

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Monday, 11 March

All Day



6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Opening Reception

Princess of Wales Theater

Join fellow CMPs and make new connections at this beautiful theater in the heart of the Toronto’s Entertainment District. Enjoy cocktails and canapes in the CAA Lounge.

Tuesday, 12 March

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Quiet Room​​

If you need to take a break or want a moment to collect your thoughts, please know that we are holding space for you to do just that. A Quiet Room is available on the convention floor in Salon B.

8 - 8:50 a.m.

Mentor & Me Breakfast​​

New this year, CMP Advance will include a CMP Mentor & Me Breakfast. A curated networking opportunity where CMP Fellows share their experience and expertise with our global CMP community. Sign up in our event App.

9 - 10:00 a.m.

Morning Welcome

Opening Keynote

The Age of AI and Infinite Leverage

Shawn Kanungo​​


We are on the brink of a revolution based on the meteoric rise of ChatGPT and Generative AI. These exponential technologies are transforming the way we communicate, collaborate, and create, revolutionizing industries around the world. However, when everyone has an AI co-pilot, who will stand out? In this provocative and counter-intuitive keynote, Kanungo dives deep into the age of artificial intelligence and infinite leverage. He explores why this will shape the future, and how it will impact culture, business, technology, and individuals.

10:00  - 10:20 a.m.

Networking Break and Innovation Exchange

10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Scenarios and Contingency Planning: Current Pragmatic Approaches to Budget and Risk

Kyle Jordan, CAE, CEM-AP, CMP, DES

Kathryn Meagher, CMP, CMM

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Forecasting tools, inflation predictions and previous event or meeting data are the basics of analysing budgets for future events. In this session, we’ll first compare how we’ve examined budgets and attendee expectations in the past, what we’ve learned and review the newer methods we now have in our repository to become nimbler with realistic budgets to satisfy both business objectives and audience needs.

10:30  - 11:30 a.m.

All Around the World: How Certifications Make Global Connections

Amy Calvert, CEO, Events Industry Council (moderator)

Marsha Flanagan, M.Ed., CEM

Tim Glanzer, CMP Fellow

Annette Gregg, CMM, MBA

Naomi Tucker, CMP

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Naomi Tucker

EIC’s certifications focus on setting the professional development and global standards as our industry continues to host meetings globally. During this session, we’ll review some regional certifications as well as verticals in the event industry, the differences, and similarities between them, and how they build a bridge of knowledge sharing. In addition, our panelists will share how certifications can enhance professional development and open career paths with real-life examples of how the credentials are viewed and put to use.

10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Heightening Attendee Senses: Beyond Education and Activations with Food and Beverage

Trevor Lui

Trevor Lui

When planning food and beverage, often we think in high level terms such as quantity and variety, but do we consider a more meaningful purpose or the sense of local culture that can be found in the form of our meal options? In this delectable session, we’ll hear from a Trevor Lui, a Principal at Highbell Hospitality group and the agency Quell, restaurateur and author, who weaves his own story into menu items and the presentation for a unique experience that creates bonds, evokes memories, and enhances the meeting and event experience even further. 

11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Success Stories - Main Stage

1:00 - 2:00 p.m.


2:15 - 3:15 p.m.

The Mental Health Imperative: How Onsite Wellbeing is Critical to Effective Learning

Stephanie Harris, CEO, The Incentive Research Foundation


Mental health and wellness are an imperative for people and critical to effective learning. However, as meetings and events professionals, we often struggle to incorporate practices into our events while still achieving the corporate objectives. In this session, attendees will discuss the 8 areas of mental health and wellness found in the Wellness Wheel created by the World Health Organization.


We'll talk about the opportunities each of the areas represents for event owners. Attendees will discuss and map how each area can be applied to their own meetings, events, or incentives in an effort to deliver more balance in their programs and provide more balance to themselves and their teams as they work to plan and execute effective events.

2:15 - 3:15 p.m.

Navigating Uncharted Waters: Contract Negotiation Tactics to Combat Inflation

Yolanda Simmons Battle, MA, NCC, CMP

Cornelia Horner, CMP Fellow

Richard Jannuzzi

Joyce Paschall, CAE, CMP-HC, CMM

​Cornelia Horner
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Inflation has definitely become more of a pain point than ever before when planning events. Hotels charging higher rates because of utility costs, venues increasing the cost for sustainable materials… the list goes on. During this session, we’ll explore current contract situations and explain how to approach the negotiation to receive the best deal possible for your organisation and attendees.

2:15 - 3:15 p.m.

Agree to Not Disagree: Adjusting Event Frameworks to Align Success Goals Across the Board

Megan Finnell, CMP


Priorities and goals for an event are often interpreted differently among leadership and meeting professionals and in some cases, communicated very late in the game.

In this session, Megan Finnell will walk us through her experience of transforming conference goals and expectations, while at the same time developing an event business model framework to unite all stakeholder groups on successful event priorities and what a “win” actually looks like.

3:15-3:30 p.m.

Networking Break and Innovation Exchange

3:45 - 4:45 p.m.

Cultivating “Teams” During a Gig Economy Boom

Amy Calvert (moderator)

Tracy Judge, MS, CMP

Amy Calvert EIC headshot.heic

Priorities, schedules and skills have changed drastically in the last couple of years. Such things as working in preferred environments, flexibility and the ability to control project assignments has given way to a gig economy model as opposed to a full-time, team-based workforce model. In this session, we’ll hear from leaders and experts that have opted to build small, nimble teams to accomplish their organisation’s goals and objectives.

3:45 - 4:45 p.m.

Complementing Each Other: Partnering With Your Destination to Create Immersive Experiences

Melissa Cherry (moderator)

Eduardo Chaillo, CMP, CMM,DES, CITP

Jason Dunn

Melissa Riley

Dan Williams


A likely story: our leadership and attendees want a bigger and better event than last year, and… the budget has been cut. Meeting and event professionals see their fair share of hurdles, and a decrease in budget is nothing new, however time and money can be the enemy of creativity. Let’s go deeper….your organization is looking to align organizational values with the host destination, and there is no obvious place to initiate that conversation. In this session, we’ll explore how involving your DMO in your planning, early and giving them a more active role in creating engagement and immersive events can result in different opportunities for all your stakeholders and the community.

3:45 - 4:45 p.m.

Strategic Planning vs. Project Management: What’s a Skill and What’s a Function?

Andrea Peterson, MTA, CMP Fellow


With experience comes wisdom, and no one knows that better than a meeting professional. Project management doesn’t exactly teach us how to decipher between a skill and a function. In this session, we’lll analyze how the strategic elements built into the practice of project management impact and affect not only the planning, but various business objectives, when recognized and managed effectively. In addition, we’ll use realistic examples of planning tasks and debate what we interpret as a skill and what we interpret as a function that can be delegated to team members.

6 - 7:30 p.m.

Networking Reception Fairmont Royal York

Wednesday, 13 March

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Quiet Room​​

If you need to take a break or want a moment to collect your thoughts, please know that we are holding space for you to do just that. A Quiet Room is available on the convention floor in Salon B.

9 - 10 a.m.

The Future of Sustainable Events: Challenges, Benefits & Impacts

Hannah Deters

Marina Elsener

Meredith Flanagan

Peggy Fritz

Annick Liamani

Rachael Riggs

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Annick Liamani.jpeg

Take your knowledge of event planning to a new level with insight from sustainability industry experts. This panel will highlight event strategies for introducing sustainability into industry meetings, events, spaces and attendee experience. Through case studies we will unpack the challenges and impacts of infusing sustainability and elements of social impact into your meetings and events and how doing so positively impacts EIC's pillars of People, Planet and Purpose.

9 - 10 a.m.

The Party Scientist: Design for Joyful Interpersonal Interactions to Design for Impact

Jacques W. Martiquet


In this interactive talk, The International Party Scientist will give you tools to uplift your relationships with customers, friends, and colleagues. That's not all, you will learn to apply the same tools to shape your guests' interactions at your event. Consider this a masterclass in 'human connection design.' You'll leave with an understanding of the physiological and neurochemical imprints of human connection. And you'll gain a practical framework for implementing the science at your event and in your own social interactions. You'll leave with a greater ability to foster customer and community loyalty.

10:00  - 10:20 a.m.

Networking Break and Innovation Exchange

10:30  - 11:15 a.m.

Closing Keynote

Dr. Lisa Bélanger, PhD, EMBA, CSEP-CEP

Conscious Connections: Unlocking Transformative Potential Collaboration and Community


In this captivating and thought-provoking keynote, Dr. Lisa Bélanger explores the profound influence of community and connection, both within and beyond the realm of work. She emphasizes the undeniable impact of human connections on mental well-being, career advancement, and overall life satisfaction.

11:15  a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Event Organisers are Community Builders: Understanding Our Role in Duty of Care and Flourishing

Dr. Lisa Belanger, PhD, EMBA, CSEP-CEP (moderator)

Yolanda Battle, MA, NCC, CMP

Tahira Endean, CITP, CMP, CED


In Dr. Bélanger’s keynote session, we learned how important human connection and collaboration are to our wellbeing, both personally and professionally. As event organisers, we are creating community in our organisations and certainly at our events both digitally and face to face.


During this expert-led panel, we will explore the aspects of community from creating joy, eliminating stress, and perhaps helping us flourish. Next, we will focus on the duty of care event professionals need to examine when creating communities, and where that duty resides. Where is the balance between the event organiser and the individual when it comes to duty of care?

12:15 - 1:15 p.m.


1:15 - 1:30 p.m.

Networking Break and Innovation Exchange

1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Event Marketing When Budget is Top of Mind

Loren Maisels, CMP

Loren Maisels

We all plan events year round. Fiscal year beginnings, ends and budget approvals fall differently for organisations across the industry. How do we successfully market events to budget conscious audiences in order to achieve business objectives? During this session, we’ll explore resourceful and inventive ideas for event marketing campaigns as well as new ways to partner with sponsors in your marketing journey.

1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

DEIB is More Than an Acronym: It's the Future

Melissa Cherry (moderator)

Jake deHahn

Megan Henshall


As the EIC continues on its journey of DEI accountability, we have put together a panel of experts and drivers to review actions that have been taken by the industry to further DEI and belonging. In addition to real-life cases, we’ll analyse issues that we are facing that do not have an easy or budget friendly solution… yet.

1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

A Ringing Endorsement: Affirming the Value of Your Events

Mahoganey Jones

Mahoganey Jones

Tired of planning the same events that produce the same results? Avoid death by meetings by efficiently validating your event to ensure it is one your audience wants to attend. Every event is an opportunity to generate revenue for your association or organization while reinforcing your business goals and objectives.

This session will teach you how to validate your event to ensure you get buy-in from your members, board, staff, and attendees while maximizing your ROI.

2:30-2:45 p.m.

Networking Break and Innovation Exchange

2:45 - 3:45 p.m.

Event Marketing and Engagement Trends for Motivating Multi-Generational Audiences

Keneisha Williams


The goal of meeting professionals in the position of a planner or as an attendee is the same: a memorable experience. During this session, we’ll dive headfirst into key marketing trends as well as how to take sponsors along on the marketing journey of learning and adapting to new engagement ideas and tactics to better serve all demographics in your audience base.

2:45 - 3:45 p.m.

Deeper Than an Obligation: Building Trust, Revenue and Relationships in Strategic Partnerships

Connie Cay-Santos, CMP, SEPC, DES/VEMM, CSPO, CSM


Fulfilling the terms of strategic partnerships is straightforward. It’s connecting and constructing deeper relationships through trust, creativity and collaboration that can be complicated and time consuming, and ultimately worthwhile to transform partnerships. In this session, we’ll examine the process of how strategic partnerships are formed and how to grow them with human connection to form a bond that develops good faith and increases revenue for all stakeholders. ​

All times and events subject to change. 

Earn up to 10 CEs at CMP Advance!

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