A dreamer, a reveler, and a storyteller by nature, Ryan has spent a decade creating, engaging and taking smart risks to design and produce remarkable events. Captivated passionately with the powerful potential of people coming together on purpose, in late 2007, Ryan founded BeEvents, a creative, collaborative agency partner for brands and corporate clients who need to deliver experiences people love .
For his work, Ryan has been honored with a host of awards, including twelve International Esprit Awards for Event Design, Corporate Event Planning and Event Marketing. Event Solutions Magazine has thrice named Ryan as a finalist for their Spotlight Award in event production and design. As an industry thought leader, Ryan’s commentaries and work have graced numerous glossy pages including, Event Solutions Magazine and Special Event Magazine, and as he is a frequent contributor, commentator and speaker on Event Strategy, Design & Engagement.
Ryan is a member of the International Live Events Society (ILEA), currently seated as a member of the International Board of Governors. He served in 2010-2011 as the President of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Chapter. In 2009 he received the International Volunteer of the Year Award for his work on the ISES Pages for Special Event Magazine. In 2010 Ryan earned his Certified Special Event Professional (CSEP) designation, and in 2020, he added Digital Event Strategist (DES) and Certified Event Design (CED) credentials.
- How long have you worked in the events industry and what keeps you interested in it?
Formally, 17 Years. Informally, my lifetime (my 5th grade birthday party counts right?)
I am passionately committed to the powerful potential of engaged humans beings gathering together on purpose. To have the privileged to design experiences people love is a tremendous gift!
- Best (and worst?) moments working in the events industry?
As a designer the best experience is always watching a guests enter the experience – if they become struck with the wonder of a five year old, or if the experience is so seamless and natural they can’t really tell what we did, that is delightful.
This is a tough job – constantly balancing shifting personal priorities, designing for multiple stakeholders and running against a clock that is always in motion. It takes a lot of energy and efforts. The worst expereince is working on teams who fail to approach that experience with positivity and gratitude for the efforts of everyone involved. To do this work well, you need to be around a team of client / staff / vendors who appreciate the opportunity they have and the efforts of everyone involved.
- What was the last event on which you worked?
One of the things I delight in in this industry is the perpetually momentum // constantly working on events and experiences that in various stages of creation. The slow down of teat momentum was the thing I hated most about the COVID slow down. Latest projects include: designing the experience a virtual sales conference, designing and producing the interactive engagements for an 1800 person virtual med-tech conference, designing pop-up on-campus activations to enhance virtual graduations, and starting to design return to live events for a few clients.
- From your experience, what’s the best way to utilise tech at an event?
For me, tech works best when it serves t illuminate the human expereince and orchestr4a human connection. When you can use tech and integrate it with analogue touch experiences to better visualize data or drive co-createed, or collaborative content by attendees that is AWESOME. When tech is designed for me: it makes my experience personalized, it makes my experience seamless, it.helps me to connect with others more dynamically or solves my needs the way I need them solves (user-centric design / user experience focused) that is when tech helps.
- We all learn from our mistakes! What was the biggest lesson you learned from a mistake since being in the industry?
The value of a great team and in hiring “adults” to work for your company. Young folks may have more spunk, energy and trend, but they are a lot more work to manage. The best work has been created by a confident team of folks who are much better at many things than I am. Lesson: don’t confuse your role as leader in the organization with the idea of being the only one who can do any part of the work.
- What are you most looking forward to at Event Tech Live?
I am looking forward to the robust dialogue on timely, relevant topics. Teh evolution of this industry in the pause of the last 18 months has been radical. It is a new day in events as we return to live and figure out how to take the best of virtual forward. I am looking to be inspired by both new technologies and the global conversation.
- What do events, such as ETL, mean to you?
I am a never-stop-learning kind of guy. Conferences like ETL bring together passionate people in dialogue. That is never a bad thing.
- What can our delegates expect to take away from your session at ETL?
I hope delegates find the discussion of our panel on accessibility enlightening. We are driving for awareness and consciousness on the necessity of more inclusive events and how tech can help solve those challenges.
- Which one piece of tech couldn’t you live without?
It doesn’t exist yet. The robot that does all my household chores
- Most pointless tech you have purchased?
At the start of COVID, I had recently moved into a new house. With added time on my hands I got to exploring the outdoors and working in the yard (I had previously lived-in a condo where that wasn’t an option). As refreshing as it was, I didn’t know what half the plants in the yard were. I bought an app that was supposed to tell me from a photograph what everything was. It didn’t. :o(
Join Ryan for his session: Why We Need Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) in Events
at ETL US & Canada on June 8th on the Main Stage – Book your ticket here