Skip navigation
for Sue_1.jpg

Two Minutes with Tripp Mahan

The industry veteran has joined Inizio Engage XD to head up event production in North America.

Inizio Engage XD, the experience-design division of Inizio Engage, has appointed conference veteran Tripp Mahan as head of event production in North America.

Mahan’s two decades of meeting- and conference-design experience has included a number of event leadership roles, including director of corporate events at Herbalife, vice president of global conferences and strategic partnerships at the Global Entertainment Marketing Academy of Arts & Sciences, and chief events officer for the Young Presidents’ Organization.

Mahan brings that experience to Inizio Engage XD, working alongside executives at Inizio's events agencies: Helen Davis, head of exhibitions in North America for WRG, and Katie Coleman, head of Ashfield Event Experiences. We caught up with Mahan to get his industry perspectives as he start this new career chapter.

MeetingsNet: You’ve had a long career bringing people together. Looking back, what are the biggest changes you’ve seen in attendee expectations?
Mahan: Even before the dramatic changes we saw because of the pandemic, there has been a shift towards personalized journeys at events. That means different things to different people, but the essence of the concept is that we can create an event with enough options that someone can chart their own journey. This can be done in everything from food and beverage (plant-based menus vs. sandwich platters) to conference programming (D&I is critical) to the design of special events (have you thought about the introverts?).

MeetingsNet: What are your favorite new event production technologies or techniques that more event organizers should be aware of?
Mahan: From an environment-design perspective, I think the advances in projection mapping are stunning. There are so many examples of captivating work that transform venues with little to no impact on the environment. And of course, I would be remiss to not mention VR and AR technologies. The ability to immerse attendees in experiences in both in-person and virtual events has changed the landscape.

MeetingsNet: What’s the most memorable conference you’ve ever attended from the perspective of conference design, and what made it stand out?
Mahan: Naturally, I am partial to some of the events I was instrumental in creating like Beautycon Festival Los Angeles and New York, YPO’s EDGE, and The Global Entertainment Marketing Academy of Arts & Sciences Annual Conference. However, I drew inspiration from ComplexCon and Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit. ComplexCon created a completely different attendee journey through a trade show that I found quite immersive. You didn’t even realize you were on a tradeshow floor. All the booths, activations, and aisles were unique. The New Establishment Summit chose the Wallis in Beverly Hills as its venue and that alone was a win. The programming was thought-provoking (think Bob Iger and Ava DuVernay), and the sponsors were perfectly activated without being in your face.

MeetingsNet: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Mahan: Probably that I thought I wanted to be an entertainment lawyer, but working as an assistant in the Columbia TriStar Television department cured me of that—#boring.  Events are much more fun!


Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.