WEC Keynote Speaker Says Innovation is a Must, Not an Option

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WEC Keynote Speaker Says Innovation is a Must, Not an Option

By Rich Luna | Mar 29, 2021

Agile business practices, digital transformation, the future of work—all terms that certainly are not new to the lexicon of the business world.

The evolution of the technology revolution has never wavered in casting new opportunities for learning and revenue while at the same time raising doubts about past practices and causing disruption in nearly every aspect of our lives.

Some have embraced the change. Others have fought bitterly to hold onto the way things have always been done. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic and our world was transformed in ways unimaginable. As meeting professionals, the devastation to the meeting and hospitality industries was without a doubt the worst economic crisis ever.

Now, with the arrival of vaccines and U.S. states beginning to loosen restrictions to allow for larger meetings and events, how will the industry respond following a year in which virtual meetings took the place of face to face and the need for social interaction?

WEC Vegas, June 15-17, 2021. Make your future.

Lital Marom, an innovation strategist and visionary who will be a keynote speaker at MPI’s World Education Congress (WEC) this June at CAESARS FORUM in Las Vegas, believes the biggest lesson coming out of the pandemic is an increased focus on innovation.

“The biggest thing that we’ve learned is that operational excellence or running your business really, really well, is not enough,” she said. “My biggest message is always telling companies you constantly need to explore setting the foundation of your future business.

“Before the pandemic, innovation would be like this nice to have thing that if you have a little bit of budget and you have a little bit of time, you might delve into it. Today, we understand that innovation is not an option, It’s a must. It should be an integral part of your business and I tell all leaders I talk to, your job as a leader is to spend 50 or 60 percent of your time on the future of your business, not just on your existing business, because we live in a world where everything is changing so fast.”

It’s a mantra Marom has been delivering as an entrepreneur, speaker and investor based out of Toronto. She’s originally from Israel and spent time in the U.S. as child due to her father’s work before returning to Israel, where she served in the army and earned her first degree.

“A lot of people don’t spend the time, don’t invest, don’t really understand how to use a lot of tools that we have today in their events.”

“My career path was not very linear,” she said. “Like every entrepreneur, it’s been a lot of up and down, to the side and around, and it’s not that I woke up and said, ‘This is what's happening, and this is what happened.’”

Marom earned computer science and business degrees from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, eventually moving to roles in research and development, marketing and sales. She later managed a global sales team for an American company and then started to do professional speaking. She also studied investment banking at NYU’s Stern School of Business, transformative strategies and artificial intelligence at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and is a fellow of the THNK School of Creative Leadership.

“I started when I was 26, where you hardly saw any women on stage talking about technology,” she said. “It was very, very new. I literally tried everything and nothing excited me. I don’t want to be the product person, I don’t want to be the engineer, I don’t want to be the salesperson, I want to do different things all the time. I need diversity. I need to know what I’m bringing to the world. So, this is my life. It’s constantly embracing change in the sense that I never do the same job all the time. I do so many different things, and I feel that that’s how I stay interested. I’m just wired that way.

“If I do something on repeat, it’s like death, slow death for me. I make my life so much more difficult, but it’s like the only way I can be happy somehow. Happy is a big word. I won’t go there.”

Lital Marom, WEC keynote speaker. Learn more about her.

Marom has spoken at events such as TEDx Amsterdam, Mobile World Congress Asia, Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference and iHollywood.

She’s currently the founder and president of the consultancy UNFOLD and works closely with leading global brands to drive digital transformation through the integration of new business models and the application of emerging technologies, such as distributed ledgers (blockchain), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

Marom is also founder of The Academy of Tomorrow, where she helps young professionals with the skillsets needed to become creative leaders.

She said she plans to encourage the WEC audience to shift the way attendees run their businesses by embracing innovation.

“A lot of leaders say that they are very digital savvy and that it’s very important for leaders to be digital savvy,” Marom said. “But in reality, I think it’s something like 48 percent of companies actually develop digital-savvy teams and 31 percent of companies actually assess and improve their leaders’ digital skills. So, yes, we might have been talking about those things, but in reality, we’re not doing it. There’s a lot of lip service to a lot of those things.”

She said leaders need to understand that if they want to transform their companies, they need to transform themselves, and the same goes for event management companies and leaders.

“If you want to transform your industry and you want to make sure that your industry is on the cutting edge of technology, using everything that’s available to it, then start with yourself, because you are the one that’s leading the change,” she said. “It sounds obvious, but you’ll be surprised how not obvious it is in reality. A lot of people don’t spend the time, don’t invest, don’t really understand how to use a lot of tools that we have today in their events.”



Rich Luna

Rich Luna is Director of Publishing for MPI and Editor-in-chief of The Meeting Professional.