The Power of Networking

"There's No Better Place to Connect than at WFEA's Annual Conference"

Our members say that the No. 1 reason why they belong to WFEA is to learn and to network.

Social networks like Linkedin are useful, but they are no substitute for direct personal connnections and the kind of history you develop with people when they have known you, when they have learned to trust you, and when they have come to value the relationship.

Yes, networking can be a power tool, and there’s no better place to connect than the Washington Festivals Events Association Annual Conference, which will be April 3-5 at Red Lion in Bellevue.

You will have the opportunity to mingle closely with some of the top festival event professionals and suppliers in the country. And the great thing about our industry? Most of us don’t compete with each other, so everyone is willing to share ideas that worked for their festival and event.

You can grow your network considerably if you attend the 26th annual WFEA Conference. You not only will be able to learn from people during educational sessions at the event, but also to develop a relationship where you can pick up the phone or email them to ask questions and share ideas way after the conference is over.

Red Lion , Bellevue WA

11211 Main St
Bellevue, WA 98004

Reservation Counter Call Center: 

(425) 455-5240

Reserve Online:
Washington Festival and Events

The Group code is WAFE0402

REGISTER NOW: 2019 WFEA Educational Conference


Wednesday, April 3, 2019


9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

These pre-conference sessions will qualify for Washington Certified Festival and Event credit. (REQUIRES SEPARATE REGISTRATION)

  • Sponsorship Marketing Plan
  • Outstanding Events and Leadership Sell Sponsorship
  • Researching Potential Partners
  • Benefit Packages
  • Activation and Being Creative
  • The Keys to Successful Sales
  • Sponsorship Fulfillment
  • How to Keep Sponsors Coming Back

Instructors: Mike Berry, Kentucky Derby Festival; Melissa Jurcan, Compass Group, USA; John Thorburn, Bold Hat Productions; Beth Knox, Special Olympic Games USA


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Round Table Sessions

4:00 - 5:30 PM

Industry veterans moderate rotating round-table discussions on timely subject matter

  • Working With Vendors
  • Booking Musical Acts
  • Event Production
  • Sponsorship Fulfillment
  • Board of Director Development
  • Working With Your City
  • Risk Management
  • Non-Profit Accounting
  • Effective Social Media

New Comers Session

5:30 - 6:00 PM

First timers are urged to come and meet WFEA Board members and learn how they can best learn from the conference experience.

Opening Reception

6:00 - 8:00 PM

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Opening Keynote

9:00 - 10:00 AM

Deal or No Deal: Mike Berry, CEO, Kentucky Derby Festival

Professional Development SEssions

10:15 - 11:15 AM

Nuts and Bolts of Building and Strike: Mike Prebezac, Event Management Services 

Sponsorship Activation: Mike Berry, CEO, Kentucky Derby Festival

Stretching Your Entertainment Dollar: Craig Cooke, Pacific Rim Talent

Event Disaster Management: Robert Ezelle, Washington State Emergency Management Director, Robert Mitchell, Director of Community Disaster Medicine

NEtwork Supplier Lunch

11:30 AM - 1:30 pM

Building Connections – Expo Speed Dating

Discover the latest trends in our industry with many top event suppliers and producers. 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 four different suppliers, who will discuss four different topics.

Professional Development SEssions

1:45 - 2:45 PM

Pass the Pepper: Spicy Ways to Increase Food and Beverage Sales: Jody May, Festivals Inc.

Website Visibility: Jon Stone, CEA Partners

The Volunteer Staff Partnership: Trevor Lane, WSU Ferry County Extension

Events and Municipalities: Chris Swenson, Film + Special Events Program Manager/Chair, Seattle Special Events Committee

Professional Development SEssions

3:00 - 4:00 PM

Understanding Insurance: Dale Johnson, Francis L. Dean & Associates

Practical Project Management: David Doxtater, The Workshop

Standout-ness: George Sharp, Rural Program Manager for the Thurston Economic Development Council Center for Business and Innovation

What Kid’s Want: Microsoft Panel

Professional Development SEssions

4:15 - 5:15 PM

Building a Marketing and Communications Plan: John Thorburn, Bold Hat Productions

Benefits of Minimizing Waste at Events: Heather Teegarden, CSEP, Natural Resources Outreach Programs Coordinator, WSU Snohomish County Extension

Your Legislative Voice: Mike Brennan, Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, State of Washington

Why We Sponsor What We Do: Corporate Sponsorship Representatives

WFEA AWards and Auction Dinner

5:45 PM

Help us recognize the best of our industry, as we welcome new inductees into the WFEA Hall of Fame, the State’s Volunteer Year, and the winners of the Summit Awards, which embodies the best of the festival and events industry.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Professional Development SEssions

8:30 - 9:30 AM

Measuring Economic Impact: Scott Nagel, Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival, Port Angeles

Presenting Microsoft’s Chief Story Teller

Developing Programming for Your Event: Peggy Doering, Spokane Valleyfest

Operations From Vision to Reality (Part 1): Becky Genoways, Genoways Event Management, Rockford, IL

Operations contributes significantly to the success of any event or festival. This session covers four main elements of operations: site selection and design, event infrastructure, support services, and planning and implementation tools. Successfully planning for these essential operations elements can make or break an event and the planning tools provided will make the event planning and execution appear seamless.

Professional Development SEssions

9:45 - 10:45 AM

Beginner’s Panel: Ask the Experts (Fireside Chat Room): Bruce Skinner, WFEA, moderator; David Doxtater, Workshop Events, Beth Knox, formerly of Special Olympics USA Games

Liquor and Marijuana Update for Event Organizers

Learning From Your Mistakes: Craig Cooke, Pacific Rim Talent

Operations: From Vision to Reality (Part 2): Becky Genoways, Genoways Event Management

Closing Keynote

11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Ten Steps to Maximize Your Revenue: Becky Genoways, Genoways Event Management, Rockford IL

In an industry that is constantly looking for new revenue streams and how to maximize current streams, this is a “Top 10” checklist of critical areas to revisit at your event for increasing non-sponsorship revenues.

REGISTER NOW: 2019 WFEA Educational Conference


Bruce Skinner, Executive Director
Washington Festivals & Events Association
Mailing Address
1015 Georgiana Street
Port Angeles, WA 98362

Membership Rates

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

$75 / $100 / $150

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