In Case You Missed It: PlannerPalooza 2019

Planner Master Class hosted its first-ever PlannerPalooza event on November 13, 2019 where nearly 200 meeting and event planners, Chicago's hottest vendors and venues, and industry experts gathered to share ideas, network, and discuss business and partnership opportunities.

The event, held at Kaplan Institute, consisted of two sessions of rapid-fire pitches from vendors and venues including restaurants, nightlife, venues, transportation, entertainment, and more.

After 10 rapid-fire pitches to kick off the event, meeting and event planners had the opportunity to sit in on a choice of two expert panel discussions. The first panel discussion, titled "Follow the Money: Trends in Procurement & Vendor Relationships" was moderated by Jackie White, Director of Events & Conference Services at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Industry experts who offered their professional insight included Bailey Shultz, Account Manager of Sourcing at NHS Global Events and Jay Weidner, Managing Partner of On The Scene. The second discussion, titled "Innovation in Events: Planning Through Production" was presented by Convene, and was moderated by Maria Dillon-Kemp, Vice President of Marketing at Convene. Expert panelists included Taylor Podgorny, Event Production Designer of Frost Chicago, Casey Crisenbery, Art Director of Agency EA, Annie Eaton, CEO of Futurus, and Sean Thorndike, Director of Business Development of CSI DMC.

Meeting and event planners heard from 10 more venues and vendors during rapid-fire pitches before the final panel discussion, titled "The Green Rush: Weed Legalization and Its Effects on Meetings & Events", moderated by Ryan Crane, Founder and CEO of Tempo. Panelists included Donna B. More, Partner at Fox Rothschild LLP, Josh Schonwald, award-winning journalist and futurist at PlanetWise Communications, and Doug Lambert, Managing Partner at Scale Momentum, LLC.

The event culminated with networking and refreshments sponsored by Motor Row Brewing and City Winery.

PlannerPalooza Vendor Presentations

From venues and catering to entertainment and services, PlannerPalooza was teeming with some of Chicago's hottest businesses in the meetings and events industry. Attendees included nearly 200 meeting and event planners who had the opportunity to hear short presentations from 20 businesses, as well as expert panel discussions on the most top-of-mind industry topics. Take a look at each of the vendor presentations for more information like pricing, capabilities, offerings, and key contact information when you partner with these businesses:


All Events Photography

Aries Charter Transportation, Inc.

Balloons By Tommy

Catalyst Ranch

Chicago Magic Company

City Winery


Hospitality & Tourism Summit Chicago

IO Theater

Kuma's Corner

Live Art International

Motor Row Brewing


Riva Crabhouse


Spa In Your Space

Vanille Patisserie

Venue ND

If you would like to connect with any of the panelists from PlannerPalooza, just click here!