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WFEA’s Annual Conference:
Attend In Person or Virtually

Featuring the Most Powerful Sessions in WFEA History

Per mandates from King County, all in-person attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination.

November 2 - 4, 2021

Embassy Suites in Bellevue

Book your stay now:

Go to the Embassy Suites website below and use the code WF2 in the "group code"

Embassy Suites Bellevue near Seattle, Washington (hilton.com)

Embassy Suites by Hilton Seattle Bellevue

3225 158th Avenue SE

Bellevue, WA 98008

Phone: 425-644-2500


Tuesday, November 2
9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Building a Marketing and Communications Plan: More Important Than Ever

9:00 – 10:30 A.m

John Thorburn, Boldhat Productions

The success of every event hinges on an effective plan to attract guests or ticket buyers, especially in a COVID world. Learn how to develop a comprehensive marketing and communications plan, building trust and sharing safety protocols with your guests, while remaining focused on proven metrics of engagement and attendance growth.

Learn How to Make the Most Out of Traditional and Non-Traditional Media

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Terry Ward, Publisher, Sound Media

Not only do events have to continue to work with traditional media like print and broadcast, they also need to best utilize digital marketing. Hear from the Publisher of Sound Media, who works in both areas.

Optimizing Your Social Media Event Presence

1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Natalie Maitland, Senior Sales and Marketing Manager, Fort Worden Public Development Authority

This session will explore tools and tips for amplifying the social voice of your organization and your events. As the social space becomes increasing crowded, it is important to look at creative opportunities to amplify your social voice. How can your event pages complement audience building year round for your social profiles? Bring your devices as we will be taking a hands on approach to social management by applying in session some of the tools and strategies being discussed. There will be a focus on the Facebook and Instagram platforms along with some third party tools to help with creating and managing content.



Tuesday, November 2 

Round Table Affinity Sessions

3:45 – 5:30 p.m.

Meet like-minded professionals in your area of expertise, and exchange ideas in an informal setting. It’s a great way to get to know your fellow professionals

  • Fundraising Events – exchange ideas on fundraising galas, golf tournaments, and other unique fundraising events that you organization can conduct
  • Sponsorship
  • Performing and Visual Arts
  • Parks and Recreation Departments
  • Healthy Active Lifestyle Events
  • Event Production

Newcomers Session

5:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Opening Reception

6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Hospitality Suite – Networking After Hours

8:00 – 11:00 p.m.


Wednesday, November 3

Opening Keynote

8:30 – 9:30 A.M.

If It Ain’t Broke, Break It, Now is the Time to Change

Whether we were able to stage our events or had to cancel due to COVID, we learned a lot and came up with new ways to produce them. SunFest in West Palm Beach, Florida – one of the largest music festivals in the U.S. – had to cancel their event twice. But they survived the pandemic and are looking to produce their event differently in 2022.




9:45 – 10:45 A.M.

Producing Events in a COVID World (Part 1 of 2)

David Doxtater, The Workshop

As the incidence of COVID and the regulations surrounding the pandemic continue to change, event organizers need to continually adjust. Learn how to develop a COVID plan and what should be included in it.

Looking into the Crystal Ball for Sponsorship in 2022

Paula Beadle, Caravel Marketing

The coronavirus has drastically changed how corporate America is viewing sponsorship. Learn what sponsors are thinking about for 2022 from the company that discusses sponsorship with many companies nationwide.

Annual Fundraising Events  -- Once back in person, should events be the same or different than before Covid?

Shelly Tolo, Tolo Events

Many of us have spent the last several months conducting galas and raising money virtually. We are thankful that we were among the few events that could be held, but are now looking forward to conducting more hybrid/in person events. Shelly Tolo of Tolo events and top non-profit organizations will give you ideas on how you might shake things up as you plan for events for 2022, fully realizing that COVID hasn’t gone away.

Oh, the Mistakes I’ve Made

Craig Cooke, Pacific Rim Talent

As event organizers, we all make mistakes. Look at these mistakes as opportunities to learn a better way. Craig will share some of his blunders and then discuss the lessons learned and the remedies moving forward. Blunders include incorrect placement of vendor booths as they pertain to water drainage, fire lanes, power lines, and facing the sun. Handling signature gatherers, service animals, and public nuisances. Placement of Port a Potties and generators in relation to the neighbors.


11:00 a.M.– 12:00 P.M.

Booking & Buying Entertainment in 2022

Jon Stone, Gigs4U, Moderator
Jason Lajeunesse, Capitol Hill Block Party
Craig Cooke, Pacific Entertainment
Erika Olsen, Winthrop Rhythm and Blues Festival and Waterfront Portland

As events are cancelling and acts are testing positive for COVID, booking entertainment has become trickier than ever. Hear from the experts as they discuss:

  • Should you have an all-vaccinated event (including entertainers)?
  • What does cancellation insurance actually cover?
  • What should be in contract Force Majeure clauses?
  • How much should you budget for COVID expenses, which will vary by County.
  • How to drive home important COVID messages
  • Why relationships are important

Building and Training the New Team

Phil Megenhardt, Matt Kelly, Bold Hat Productions

Who is needed on your team as you reboot – learn how to recruit and train and maintain your operational systems with your new staffing.  Hear how Bold Hat Productions, who produces several events in the Northwest, has found qualified personnel.

Producing Events in a COVID World (Part 1 of 2)

David Doxtater, The Workshop

This interactive workshop session will discuss what just completed events have done to minimize COVID impacts and produce events safely.

Best Practices for Booking Suppliers in 2022

Anthony Zavada, Stages Northwest
Denise Rice, Honey Bucket
Eddie Redman, Grand Event Rentals
Tim Medved, U-Cool Refrigeration

Hear from four of the top vendors/suppliers in the business, who will guide you through ordering/booking in 2022 for the items you need to run your event. There have been a lot of changes during COVID, and here’s how you can stay ahead of them.

Networking Supplier Lunch

12:15 – 2:15 p.m.

Discover the latest trends in our industry, including those developed during COVID that will still exist post-pandemic. Each table at the lunch will be hosted by a vendor/exhibitor, who will distribute materials and discuss the merits of their product with fellow table members. During the four course lunch, each table will be visited by 24 different suppliers


2:30 – 3:30 P.M.

The Ever Expanding World of Event Technology

Eric Corning, Seattle Seafair, moderator
Jamie Nassar, EventHUB
Joshua Dirks, Project Bionic

One of the few good things about COVID is that there have been an explosion of new event technologies that help us do events in lieu of conducting them in person. It has caused us to look at our programming differently, and taught us new tools so that we can collect data to help plan and to sell sponsorship for in person and virtual events. Also explore how you can make your event more nimble, so your software and data works together, so that you can pivot easier from virtual to in person event planning.

The Importance of Events to Arts and Culture

Karen Hanan, Executive Director, Washington State Arts Commission, Governor’s Cabinet

Nothing exposes arts and culture to the general public like a festival or other type of public event. That’s why the Washington State Arts Commission has helped guide us through the pandemic and is/will make funding available for festival and event producers.

Grant Opportunities for Festival and Event Organizers

Miguel Guillen, Washington States Art Commission

Annually the Washington States Arts Commission offers funding for events that offer arts and culture. However, their focus has shifted from offering funding through their normal pool of funds to the myriad of federal grant programs that have been made available due to COVID. Learn about those opportunities from Miguel Guillen, the State’s expert on administering grants from the Washington State Arts Commission.


3:45 – 4:45 P.M.

Re-Imagining Your Event, or, If It Ain’t Broke, Break It

Terry Morgan, Modern Enterprises

Terry Morgan’s company Modern Enterprises has been called the most creative and innovative event company in the Northwest. Hear him tell why it’s important that event organizers need to constantly improve and upgrade their events, and to think outside the box. “People like new stimulation are excited to see what’s new.”

It’s Time to Walk in the Sponsor’s Shoes

Todd Pietzsch, Sr. Business Development Manager, BECU

Molly Middlekauff, Sr. Manager Sponsorship Portfolio, BECU

Never has there been bigger changes in sponsorship during COVID, especially from the sponsor’s point of view. It’s more important than ever to see sponsorship “through the eyes of the sponsor.” More than ever, brands are looking to sponsor events that are making a social impact – learn about that and how you should plan for 2022.

Keeping Community at the Center of Fundraising

Pamela Oakes, The Profitable Non-Profit

All too often, funders fall into the trap of leveraging their wealth to manipulate “thirsty” nonprofits into conforming, shifting, emphasizing and refocusing on outcomes of importance to the FUNDER versus the outcomes that are most important to the communities being served.  It is a hard reckoning to admit that some of the tried-n-true, fundraising philosophies and practices may actually be contributing to the harm of the very communities being served.  In this illuminating and informative workshop, participants will re-examine and re-imagine nonprofit fundraising practices through a racial equity lens and explore shifting their own fundraising activities in ways that help to build community and further social justice.

WFEA Awards Dinner and Auction

Presented by U-Cool Refrigeration

5:15 P.M.

Help us recognize the best in our industry, as we welcome new inductees into the WFEA Hall of Fame, the State’s Volunteer of the Year and the winners of the Summit Awards. Also recognized will be the first graduates of the WFEA Certification Program, the Event/Event Organizer of the Year, and the Citation of Merit Award, presented to an organization or individual outside of the industry that has benefited the festival and event industry.

Hospitality Suite – Networking After Hours

8:00 p.m.


Thursday, November 4

WFEA Annual Meeting

7:00 : 7:45 a.m.


8:00 – 9:00 A.M.

The New Look for Food and Beverage at Events

Aaron Shook, NACE

COVID has caused event food purveyors to make changes, some of which will continue on post Coronavirus. They are using technology to solve problems, and are streamlining menus and service to overcome staffing issues.

How Sports Are Leading Through, And Beyond, The Pandemic

Beth Knox, President/CEO - Seattle Sports Commission

Nothing exposes arts and culture to the general public like a festival or other type of public event. That’s why the Washington State Arts Commission has helped guide us through the pandemic and is/will make funding available for festival and event producers. When the pandemic ground sporting events to a halt in 2020, Seattle Sports teams doubled down on new technologies, safe COVID-19 protocols, and customer engagement strategies that ultimately created a better fan experience. Hear some of best ideas implemented by the Seahawks, Mariners, Sounders, and Storm over the past 18 months, as well as what it took to launch NHL's Seattle Kraken while simultaneously opening a new Arena. Beth will also offer a sneak peek into major sporting events on the horizon for Seattle.

Events, Sponsorship and Social Justice

Krystal Marx, Seattle Pride

Many events and sponsors are expanding the purpose of their organizations by sharing a commitment to social responsibility. Hear the first executive director of Seattle Pride tell how that organization provides strategic year-round programming that expands beyond the famed 400,000 person Pride Parade, and why all events need to consider including a social justice platform.

Update on Liquor and Cannabis Laws for Festivals and Special Event Organizers

Beth Lehman, Customer Service Manager

Here’s what all event organizers should know about this very important subject coming out of COVID. The WSLCB Licensing and Enforcement Visions will educate you on how to have safe and legal events with alcohol, the deepest dive yet at a WFEA conference on this important subject. They will cover types of licensing permits, ways to obtain and sell alcohol, and relationships with alcohol industry members at events. Although cannabis can’t be sold at festivals and other related events, they will discuss the new world of cannabis related events such as trade shows.


9:15 – 10:15 A.M.

Working With Your City in 2022

Kala Dralle, Program Development Specialist, City of Tacoma


As the next year approaches, cities want to help events take place, including simplifying the permitting process. However, there will be changes – learn how you can better connect with various city departments as hopefully COVID cases start to decrease.

COVID and Other Legal Issues

Selena Linde, Perkins Coie

As our world has changed, so has legal issues surrounding them. Learn what our exposure might be during our COVID world and going forward.

Fundraising Event Ideas Learned During COVID

Liz Sexton, Tolo Events

While conducting events virtually in 2020 and 2021, we learned a lot of things that we’ll continue to do once we’re back to fully holding events in person. Liz Sexton of Tolo Events has conducted events for some of the top non-profits in the State. Hear her perspective in this interactive workshop – bring your own ideas to share as we look to 2022.

Closing Keynote

10:30 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.

Event Safety and Security:

Planning for and Managing the Unexpected at Your Event

Attendees of this three-part series will be presented with a Certificate of Completion from Washington Festivals and Events Association and Emergency Management Group – Washington.

Session 1: Best Practices and Contingent Planning for Events.

This session will examine and guide the event organizer on the best practices and contingencies encountered to provide for an expected level of safety and security at an event. The presentation will cover advance planning, threats assessment, public safety agency engagement and interoperability, risk management, security management, and all hazards response. The primary focus is the four fundamental principles consisting of Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.

Session 2: Weather Impacts: Event Planning and Response

Weather and climate can significantly impact the operation and safety of an event. This session will examine the meteorological planning and decision-making capabilities needed by an event planner, and management of a weather incident at an event. This session will discuss a multidiscipline approach to successful weather hazard response.

Session 3: Active Shooter Preparedness: Training and Recovery

Active shooter incidents are often unpredictable and evolve quickly. In the midst of the chaos, anyone can play an integral role in mitigating the impacts of an active shooter incident. This session aims to enhance preparedness through a "whole community" approach by providing training, tools, and resources to help you prepare for and respond to an active shooter incident. This course is based on the FEMA syllabus and prepares the attendee to take the IS-907 certificate exam.

Frank Sebastian and Ted Buehner, Emergency Management Group


We offer 3 different membership rate levels. For students, individuals and organizations - each based on annual budget.

$95 / $125 / $195


Bruce Skinner: 360-808-3204
Jeremy Gilchrist: 360-477-6556


1015 Georgiana St
Port Angeles, WA 98362

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