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The Hive 2020

29 September, 2020
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Virtual Conference


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Registration is open now.
Registration Rate: Complimentary!

2020 Hive Agenda:



2:00 pm – 2:10 pm


2:10 pm – 2:30 pm

State of the Industry Update

2:30 pm – 3:20 pm

Panel Discussion and Q&A

3:20 pm3:30 pm


3:30 pm4:00 pm

Cocktail Demo & Virtual Networking Activities


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The Hive – Collectively Building a Stronger Meeting and Event Industry

Once again, our industry has been turned upside down. The global pandemic has hit the meetings, events and hospitality industries harder than most other professions. We’ve been forced to be creative, innovative, resourceful, and insightful to find our way toward our eventual recovery.

Where are we now? How is our region and state positioned to move forward? What can we anticipate happening over the next year? And how can we position ourselves, our companies, and our industry to be ready to adapt to the new normal?

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Who Makes up the Colony?

  • YOU the members and guests of MPI Washington State Chapter, ESPA, ILEA, NACE, and PCMA.

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 NACE Logo ILEA Logo 

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What's In The Hive?

  • State of our Regional Industry:Industry veteran Howard Wright, CEO of Seattle Hospitality will deliver an opening keynote, sharing insight on the state of our industry in the region and state and what we can do to help position ourselves for the eventual recovery.
  • Panel of Experts:The keynote address will set the stage for a moderated discussion answering your questions and discussing the impacts of our changing industry from a multitude of different perspectives: sourcing, technology, venues, event management and more.
  • A Virtual Networking Opportunity:The Hive will offer dedicated time for attendees to network, stay tuned for exciting details coming soon!
  • Benefit to our Industry: The Hive will provide an opportunity for attendees to support two important industry causes: The SEARCH Foundation and the MPI Foundation.

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Learning Objectives:

By attending The Hive, attendees will:

  1. Gain a better understanding of the current state of the meetings and events industry in our region and state;
  2. Learn about the challenges and solutions to address the industry changes brought about by COVID-19; and
  3. Understand how we can position ourselves to bring about a speedier recovery.

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Keynote: "State of the Industry"

Howard Wright, CEO, Seattle Hospitality Group

Howard Wright III HeadshotHoward Wright, an entrepreneur and executive with extensive experience in the transportation, logistics, tourism and hospitality sectors will share insight as to the state of our industry in the region and state and what we need to do to help position ourselves for the eventual recovery. A recognized consensus builder, Mr. Wright’s ability to bridge divides through his extensive network has helped advance numerous public initiatives via his community involvement and philanthropic work.

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Panel of Experts:

Industry Panel Speakers

Allison DeLeone, President & CEO, The Production Network

Allison DeLeoneAllison began her career at TPN 20 years ago managing multimillion dollar projects worldwide. Now in her role as CEO, Allison is focused on understanding the changing landscape of events and customer needs. Headquartered in the up-and-coming Seattle tech hotbed, TPN’s superpower is marrying the deep technical and content production experience of TPN’ers with access to technologies and ideas that fuel distinct approaches to the digital, hybrid and live event scene of today.

Mike Ditter, Senior Vice President / Team Director, ConferenceDirect

Mike Ditter HeadshotMike Ditter’s career spans thirty-four years in the hospitality industry. Prior to joining ConferenceDirect in 2001, he served in various sales capacities with Hilton and Starwood from 1986 to 2000. Currently, Mike is in ConferenceDirect’s Hall of Fame and leads a team of 13 ConferenceDirect Associates. He is a graduate of Washington State University with a double degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management and Business Administration.

Brian Flaherty, COO, Columbia Hospitality

Brian Flaherty HeadshotBrian Flaherty is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Columbia Hospitality, a leading hospitality management and consulting company based in Seattle. He has over 35 years of management and leadership experience in a variety of branded and independent hospitality industry settings. As COO of Columbia Hospitality, Brian oversees and guides companywide operations at the organization’s headquarters and across more than 50 properties in nine states across the country. Additionally, as Managing Director of the Port of Seattle Conference and Event Centers, he provides oversight of event related activities at the Port of Seattle owned assets: Bell Harbor International Conference Center, the World Trade Center Seattle and Smith Cove Cruise Terminal on the Seattle waterfront.

Dena Lowery, COO, Opus Agency

Dena LoweryAs Opus Agency's COO, Dena Lowery is responsible for the agency's operational performance. She has the opportunity to lead a tenured team of executives to individual performance and client success, and thrive at developing teams that run with a foundation of operational excellence and a vision and drive toward innovation. After 20 years in the event marketing industry, Dena enjoys being active within the industry, having formerly served on the board of CEMA (Corporate Event Marketing Association) and several local philanthropic boards.

Audrey Fan, Panel Moderator

Audrey Fan HeadshotAudrey Fan is a 30-year veteran of the hospitality industry, having started in sales & marketing at hotels such as Paramount Hotel and Grand Hyatt Seattle and served as a Corporate Account Director with Visit Seattle. For the past ten years, she has created, produced, and managed street festivals, community events, conventions for 20,000 people, exhibits, incentive programs both national and international, choreography and execution of FlashMobs, and a host of other engagements that maximized her diverse creative and logistical skills and experience.  In addition, she has managed onsite logistics for high level executives and talent at special events such as Super Bowls and major international sporting events. In 2020, she is focusing on the positive opportunities that appear at any time of disruption, and providing support to an industry she loves.  

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Details to come!

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Our Charities:

The SEARCH Foundation:
The SEARCH Foundation was formed in 1997 to assist event, meetings and catering professionals faced with a life threatening illness. Since that time it has expanded to include not only illness, but also catastrophic occurrences.

The MPI Foundation:
The MPI Foundation’s mission is to advance our industry by strengthening our people, growing our communities and championing our causes. The Foundation awards individual scholarships and membership grants, chapter grants and more to support MPI members globally.  


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