EMEC17 has a fantastic lineup of speakers and subject matter experts to give you fresh ideas, keep you current on trends and create exciting new pathways for your events —and your career. View our education >

Sean Blair
EMEC17 facilitator

Founder of ProMeet

Sean Blair is the founder of a ProMeet, an international professional facilitation business. He facilitates learning, growth and change in meetings, workshops, conferences all over the world. Sean has written, spoken and broadcast, on TV and radio on design, innovation and creativity in the UK and overseas. Sean also lectures on MBA programmes.

Sean is a certified LEGO® Serious Play® Facilitator and one of the LEGO® Serious Play® community's most active practitioners. He set up the first LEGO® Serious Play® MeetUp group in London, there are now over 40 groups globally. His new book, ‘Serious Work’ explains how to facilitate LEGO® Serious Play® meetings and workshops.

Sean is part of the leadership team of EMENA International Association of Facilitators (IAF), an organisation that promotes the power of facilitation. He is an IAF Professional Facilitator and a winner of an IAF 'Facilitation Impact Award’.

David Beckett

Creator of The Pitch Canvas©

David Beckett is a former Country Director at Canon, where he spent 16 years in a corporate career. At the age of 42, he took a 180 degree turn in his personal and professional life, spending two years travelling the world and writing a book about his chosen home city, titled ‘Amsterdam… The Essence’. He turned to his two passions of Coaching and Presentation in 2013, and quickly began working with Startups and Innovation teams.

He is the creator of The Pitch Canvas©, and author of Three Minute Presentation. He co-authored a book in Dutch, ‘Zet Jezelf Op De Kaart (Put yourself on the map)’ with his wife, journalist Sheila Schenkel. He balances coaching assignments across Europe with a busy family life, as the father of two young children.

Jessie States, CMM

Meeting Professionals International

Jessie States has been a part of the meeting and event community since 2006 and is currently the manager of professional development for Meeting Professionals International, where she delivers education in support of MPI’s global live event portfolio. She designs and facilitates the interactive 1:1 and one-on-few experiences at MPI’s live events, showcasing unique learning experiences and personalized education. She works with MPI partners to create industry-leading case studies and educational courses, sharing best practices from companies across the globe. She also works with the professional development team to create certificate programs, specifically in the areas of determining business value, designing engaging experiences and creating a sense of place at meetings and events.

Jessie earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of North Texas in 2001, and she has won several honors for her writing from the Texas Press Association, the Society of Business Publication Editors and APEX.

Janet Sperstad, CMP

Madison Area Technical College

Janet Sperstad’s 25-year global professional history reflects her lifelong vocation: driving excellence in meeting and event management execution and education. She has dedicated her career to defining the competencies and career pathways that articulate meeting planning as a design discipline requiring skills in the social sciences, executive leadership, and the cognitive sciences. She has an Executive Masters in Neuroleadership and is a Certified Meeting Professional.

She currently leads Madison College’s Meeting and Event Management Associate degree program, which she founded in 2002. This program has been selected as a Competency Model Champion by the U.S. Department of Labor. Ms. Sperstad has written for and been featured in a variety of industry publications, academic journals and authored a leading industry white paper on neuroscience and event design.

Kristi Casey Sanders, DES

Meeting Professionals International

Kristi Casey Sanders passionately believes in the power of curiosity, the magic of technology and the alchemy of human connections. As Director of Professional Development for Meeting Professionals International, she helps design the content and educational programming meeting professionals’ need to succeed and advance in their careers. Kristi loves exchanging ideas about event design, storytelling, strategy, innovation, digital marketing and the neuroscience of human behavior, engagement and deep learning.

Elena Rodríguez Blanco


Elena Rodríguez Blanco is a social entrepreneur and is currently the CEO and co-founder of Authenticitys. She grew up in Central America and has worked in three different continents including over a decade of experience in projects for public and private institutions such as Deutsche Bank (NYC), the European Central Bank (Frankfurt) and General Electric International. She has honed her expertise in social innovation and has served as a mentor and coach for more than 300+ organisations and entrepreneurs through ESADE-BBVA Momentum Project, StartupPirates, Sustainability Jam , Service Design Jam,Team Academy Start Up Process, and MakeSense amongst others.

Elena has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Università Bocconi (exchange in Wharton School) a Masters in Development Management from London School of Economics and a Masters in Team Coaching Entrepreneurship pedagogy from Team Academy and Partus.

Ruud Janssen,CMM, DES

EventCanvas.org Foundation and Event Model Generation

Switzerland-based Ruud Janssen is driven to help teams in NGO’s, membership based organisations and corporations discover how to design better events to create change that matters. As a globe-trotting innovator, he is a trusted trainer and advisor to inspired clients like the International Olympic Committee, UN and Internet Society. He believes in delivering innovation by thinking differently based on functional, social and technological advancements using business and event model innovation. Together with Roel Frissen he created the #EventCanvas and is the co-founder of EventCanvas.org Foundation and Event Model Generation-the event design consulting & training firm.

Roel Frissen

EventCanvas.org Foundation and Event Model Generation

Roel Frissen is an entrepreneur, speaker, facilitator and event designer for corporations and associations. On a quest to create a common and visual language to ease the conversation between Event Planner and Event Owner, he created the Event Canvas together with Ruud Janssen. Roel is the co-founder of EventCanvas.org Foundation and Event Model Generation-the event design consulting & training firm.