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ILEA Connects 2024 Heads to Grand Rapids

Register now for the April 16 and 17 event

By Kathy Gibbons

Tracy Magoon, a Michigan wedding and event planner, connects with others at the 2023 ILEA Connects event held in northern Michigan. || Photo by Wandr North

The third annual ILEA Connects Conference moves to Grand Rapids for the first time. Scheduled for April 16 and 17 at the Harris Building downtown, ILEA Connects features experts presenting in a range of topics specifically designed for event professionals with this year’s theme focused on productivity.

“Last year when we changed our name from ILEA Detroit to ILEA Michigan, it was our goal to spread into all event industries across the state,” says Connie Seibt, director, operations and business development, for E3 Detroit and president of International Live Events Association Michigan. “We have members in Traverse City and the Detroit area, so Grand Rapids is a good halfway point for both of these markets to meet and gives us an opportunity to … expand our membership into Grand Rapids.”

ILEA Connects opens with a lunch followed by a full afternoon of education. Presenters include Kristen Seaholm, owner of The KS Experience, with the theme “Unleashing Productivity, Organization, and Strategic Planning Mastery”; Beth Schnabel, director of strategic events at Community Financial Credit Union, speaking on “The Run of Show—An Event Planner’s Best Friend”; and Patrick Crosson, CMP, DES, CEO of PC Events & Experiences and current president of ILEA Chicago, whose topic is “How to Run an Agency—What’s in Store for #agencylife in 2024?”

Dinner is on your own, with attendees invited to an afterglow at The Ballroom at McKay. Day two of ILEA Connects brings a roundtable session covering the themes from the previous day’s presentations. Grab-and-go lunches will be provided.

ILEA Connects offers opportunities for networking. || Photo by Wandr North

“We want to be known as the leader in the event industry for associations and we want people to know the name ILEA Michigan,” Seibt says. “We believe this Connects conference sets us apart from others and sets the bar high as we elevate the importance of connecting with others in our industry, learning from one another, growing together, and walking away with new things to implement in our day to day.

Tickets for ILEA Connects are $155 for members, or $135 if registration is completed before March 17; email to obtain the discount code. Nonmembers pay $200, or $160 early bird before March 17 using the code EBConnects.

Accommodations are available at Hyatt Place Grand Rapids/Downtown, with March 20 as the deadline to be eligible for the ILEA Connect group rate.