Haute Dokimazo: A New Kind of Event Conference
Liz Lathan, Tom Spano and Nicole Osibodu are three event marketing industry professionals who saw a need for a new kind of conference for event and experiential marketers. Leveraging their own expertise along with that of fellow industry professionals, they decided to create the event that represented their visions. Thus, Haute Dokimazo was born.
“All the event industry conferences we were going to had the same format: keynotes, breakouts, etc.,” explained Lathan.
She continued, “The value in true peer-to-peer interactions that are not pre-planned is so wonderful and that was missing. So, the three of us decided to create an event that was focused on those engagements.”
Open to just 100 attendees, the conference follows a model that is a hybrid of traditional and participant-led, peer-to-peer engagement. Some content is prepared in advance to help prospective attendees understand what kind of topics would be addressed and to decide if the event would be the right fit. The rest is determined by the attendees themselves.
Rather than having a full presentation-driven agenda planned-out in advance, participant-driven (aka “unconference”) event content is predominantly organized by the attendees to meet their own specific needs.
First, attendees get together for a crowdsourcing session. During this time, they write down the issues they are trying to solve and mark the areas where they feel their own expertise could help others. From that, the peer-to-peer portion of the agenda is built.
While this approach is contrary to the control that most event professionals are taught is crucial to event management, it fosters a spirit of community and inclusivity. Having the ability to shape the direction of the content makes attendees feel a greater level of ownership by having control over their own destiny versus being controlled by the event.
The inaugural Haute Dokimazo was held May 22 in Austin at Thinkery, to incredibly positive acclaim. Attendees, along with those who were not able to make it to the conference, asked for more in the form of 3-4 events each year.
Industry sponsors who believe in the event’s value include Notion Live, AlliedPRA and Event Farm.
The next Haute Dokimazo is scheduled for December 4-5 in San Diego at the New Children’s Museum, and applications are now being accepted. Only 100 spots are available: 50 for brand-side event marketers and 50 for agency and industry supplier marketers.
The attendance cap and planner-to-supplier ratio are in place to ensure a collaborative, non-selling environment. If you are a brand-side event marketer with a low budget for professional development, you may qualify for a scholarship.
If you are interested in receiving an invitation, submit your application here.
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