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IPA Leadership: How to Craft and Serve Flavor Full Event Experiences

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By: Barbara Rozgonyi, CoryWest Media LLC | Jun 27, 2017

What’s an IPA?

Your first thought was probably not the International Phoenician Alphabet. Was it India Pale Ale - the most popular type of craft beer?

Now that you’re feeling thirsty, here’s a three-part recipe to craft and serve flavor full event experiences.

First presented at MPI Potomac’s MACE17 conference, IPA Leadership stands for Influence, Purpose, and Advocacy.

Infuse with Influence

Infuse: to cause to be permeated with something (such as a principle or quality) that alters usually for the better

Influence: the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways

Think of Influence as the first stage of writing your IPA recipes. While you don’t need the exact ingredients yet, you do want to have a menu that appeals to your ideal participants.

When I met up with a friend from Belgium in Chicago, he ordered a summery craft beer. After a small tasting sip, he sent it back – too much of too many flavors. A replacement Belgium beer brought back the flavor of home.

What flavor of people are you trying to reach – traditional, creative, academic, adventurous, innovative? Why do they need to know about you and your events? How will you quench their thirst for knowledge, connections, inspiration and fun?


One study shows social influencer marketing delivers 11x higher returns than any other form of digital marketing ROI. Social influencers can unlock many benefits for event marketers, including. . .

  1. Focused promotion
  2. Closer engagement
  3. Colorful personalities
  4. Reduced team stress
  5. Live coverage
  6. Measurable impact

For more information on events and influencer marketing, check out a previous MPI-CAC post


You, yes you, are highly influential.

People are watching and following the way you lead. Every comment you make, every post you like, every move you make is on social air.

Own your own influence!

Packaging with Purpose

Package: a collection of related items; especially: one to be considered or acted on together 

Purpose: something set up as an object or end to be attained

Now that you’ve crafted your recipe collection for your ideal influencers, it’s time to think about packaging.

Who else loves craft beer branding? While the names tip you off to the experience ahead, sometimes the taste doesn’t live up to the hype. Like my friend from Belgium, you get to judge the flavor.

Today we live in a consumer-focused world where personalization is everything. Whether you’re drinking coffee, craft beer or water, plain is not where it’s at. All it takes to test this theory out is waiting in line at a Starbucks for a few minutes. How many people drop in for plain coffee?

IMHO, packaging with purpose is one of the biggest opportunities for meetings and events. It’s okay to be passionate about your meeting’s purpose, who you are and what you do!


The IMEX theme for 2017 is “Purposeful Meetings: How to plan with deeper meaning, innovation and insight in mind.” Here’s a guide from IMEX:

Some meetings and events can feel overwhelming, unexciting or unhealthy. Purposeful meetings are exactly the opposite - engaging, inspiring and enjoyable with long-lasting, positive outcomes. Planned with specific outcomes and attendee behaviors in mind, they prioritize these five aspects:

  1. Meeting design for the human experience
  2. Behavioural science
  3. Health and wellbeing 
  4. Leaving a positive legacy
  5. Technology


How do you serve a purpose? With marketing, of course.

Purpose and marketing strategy go hand in hand.

We use a WIRED strategy structure to design events and experiences.

Here’s how it works . . .

  • Words - Search
  • Intentions - Goals
  • Routes - Communications
  • Experiences - Stories
  • 3D Design: Digital, Direct, Dynamic

Acting with Advocacy

Act: the doing of a thing

Advocacy: the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal or event

Advocacy is where Influence and Purpose come together. As event participants share updates, images and videos, they become advocates. What do you want people to share – where?


Who are your advocates now? Tap into their influence with exciting event news and updates they can’t wait to share with their social networks.

Map out three origination maps:

  • Industry MPI, Meetings Mean Business
  • Organization or Company
  • Advocates: Participants, Associates, Media, Influencers, Community

And, three destinations:

  • Meeting App
  • Social Networks
  • Community Forums


Create, like, comment and share! Meetings Mean Business suggests these ways to get involved as a meetings industry advocate:

  • Spread the industry’s value message using MMB’s toolkit and resources
  • Share your story about why meetings matter
  • Engage in the conversation online by using #MMBusiness

Cheers to all the creative meeting and events brewmasters! Who’s ready to craft and serve new IPA recipes for more flavor full experiences and engagement?


Barbara Rozgonyi presents experiential marketing and leadership programs for meeting and event professionals that focus on creativity, strategy, and results. For more information, visit Looking to upgrade your social media and digital marketing skills? Barbara will be teaching an immersive class on August 7-8 at Ascend Training in Chicago.

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