This year’s class of Meetings Trendsetters, compiled through a survey of our readers, industry outreach and input from past Trendsetters, features a stellar lineup of forward-thinking planners, educators and suppliers—with a few that blur the line between!

Looking for previous years' lists? Follow the links below!

We encourage readers to share the good news and make sure to keep an eye out (and vote) for future trendsetters!

 THE PLANNERS 

Desiree Knight

 

Desiree Knight
Director, Education & Meetings // AREMA
Specialties: Association planning

Besides expertly tackling myriad meeting planning duties for the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association, Desiree gives back to the association meetings industry through her work as an ASAE DELP (Diversity Executive Leadership Program) scholar, which supports people from under-represented identity groups advance into leadership roles in the association management profession.

Maxx Lebiecki

 

Maxx Lebiecki
Account Executive // Association of Equipment Manufacturers
Specialties: Exhibition/tradeshow planning

Named one of the “20 Under 30” by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, Maxx knows how to handle exhibitions on a grand scale, working with companies that exhibit at AEM tradeshows such as the CONEXPO-CON/AGG international construction industries exhibition, which packed some 2,500 exhibitors in 2.5 million square feet of space for its 2017 event at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Antwone Stigall

 

Antwone Stigall
President & CEO // West Wing Events
Specialties: Meetings management, event design

Teaching meeting and event management and designing engaging experiences for his clients’ participants is where Antwone spends the bulk of his work and free time. He strongly believes that because the future is always changing, we should learn from our best practices, but continue to innovate and design our next practice. Antwone currently serves as the international chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force for MPI, which assists in understanding the multicultural communities underrepresented in the industry and MPI, as well as advise the association on its diversity initiatives and raise awareness around issues that may affect minority groups in the industry.

Amy Ledoux

Rhonda Payne

 

Amy Ledoux
Senior Vice President, Meetings & Expositions // ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership
Specialties: Association industry meetings management

Rhonda Payne
Chief Learning Officer // ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership
Specialties: Association industry meetings management

Amy and Rhonda joined our 2017 Trendsetters list for their work leading ASAE’s Xperience Design Project (XDP), an innovative endeavor to replace its annual Springtime Expo. XDP turned the traditional association event on its head with a theater-in-the-round concept featuring five Lab Zones occurring simultaneously, with small groups moving through each and collaborating during breaks. The two-day event also featured a Business Exchange where pre-scheduled meetings were held in a variety of environments. See our story here.

Deb Gee

 

Deb Gee
Experience Designer, Mindful Performance // Lululemon Athletica
Specialties: Event design, wellness

Known for weaving super unique sensory experiences into every event she activates, Deb has crafted everything from a “Breathing Room” for TED to a custom farmers market at a leadership retreat. Deb imparts her signature sense of experience design as a teacher and as a presenter at industry events. Look for the profile on Deb in our August In Balance wellness section.

Christy Lamagna

Christy Lamagna
President and Chief Strategist // Strategic Meetings & Events
Specialties: Strategic meetings, speaking

A nearly 30-year industry veteran, Christy has participated in the strategic revolution that has reshaped the meetings and events world, and firmly believes the wise interpretation of analytics is the key to success. Christy has also taught two college courses on strategic planning, is a frequent source in industry publications and is an active volunteer for a variety of charitable efforts.