Josh Shepherd, event veteran and Swoogo’s VP of Business Development, is taking on another role within Swoogo as the Hybrid Team Leader. With 20 years of event experience and as a person who thrives on change, Josh is pumped to take on this challenge of helping people network, share, and experience in a hybrid world.
We asked him a few questions so you can get to know him a little better...
Q: What is your professional background?
JS: A long time ago, in a university far far away, I graduated and immediately landed a contract to manage technical operations for all major Microsoft events across Canada. That contract has opened the door to a wonderful 20-year journey through the events industry—primarily within the tech-enterprise space. That time I split between technical operations, business development, and agency work.
I think my passion and contribution to the world is seeing unique technical and business elements that fit together, then creating something new where the sum is better than the parts. I also come from a belief that life is what you put into it. Experience absolutely everything you can—from backcountry kayaking to firefighting to inventing virtual venues. Never stop learning something new. I still try and put these beliefs into what I do every day.
Q: Why are you excited about being Swoogo’s Hybrid Team Leader?
JS: The pivot to virtual events was forced on the world like flipping on a light switch, and we all did amazing things. Hybrid is going to be like a long sunrise. We have no fixed pivot date— in fact, it's not a pivot, it's learning, merging, and expansion! There's going to be fluidity in the combinations of in-person and virtual events that will ultimately make up hybrid events. We have discoveries from virtual events (including vast audience reach), which we can now incorporate into our hybrid strategies. We have only scratched the surface on what is possible in hybrid. Why am I excited about this role? I couldn't ask for a more challenging and exciting opportunity than this journey together.
Q: What excites you about the events industry?
JS: Since Mesopotamia held an event to show off the new wheel and axle, this is perhaps the most exciting time in history for the events industry! If you thrive on change and love seizing new opportunities, now is the time. Events touch every business in some way, and businesses are changing and adapting massively in our current environment.
I have said for a long time now that I don't think that COVID changed the business world as much as it accelerated it. We have done things in a year that might have naturally progressed over 10-15 years. Now is the time the event industry can help people network, share, and experience. I’m totally pumped for right now!
Josh will be working closely with Abby Foutch, Swoogo’s Digital Content Manager, to develop hybrid resources for event profs who aren’t exactly sure how to proceed, whether new or vet. If you don’t want to miss a beat, subscribe to our blog below.
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