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Event Community for Mega-Company Planners Hires CEO

Former SAP VP Nicola Kastner to lead ELX, an organization focused on collaboration and sharing best practices among senior leaders in the world of corporate events.

The Event Leaders Exchange, a three-year-old community for global heads of events from major corporations worldwide, has named Nicola Kastner as its new CEO.

Responsible for shaping the organization’s direction, building on its thought-leadership role, and growing its membership, Kastner says she’s ready for the challenge: “ELX is already an amazing organization, and nothing else exists like this within the industry. It’s a global community that brings together only senior corporate-event leaders across all industry sectors from companies with annual revenues above $3 billion. It is a safe space for them to collaborate and share ideas with peers who are in similar roles.”

Launched in 2021, ELX now has close to 100 members in its invitation-only community, including event leaders from giants like Microsoft, Siemens, McDonald’s, Allianz, Cisco Systems, and Google.

“It is a community that I wish had existed when I was with SAP,” says Kastner, referring to her six years with the software and technology company where she served as vice president, global head of event strategy through early 2022. “I've had the unique opportunity to really understand the day-to-day environment that our members face because I've been in their shoes. This experience has given me a profound appreciation for the power of community and the incredible results we can achieve through collaboration.”

Kastner also brings entrepreneurial and consultancy experience to her new role. Most recently, she founded and led The Event Strategist, a boutique event-strategy advisory firm.

“My focus will be to continue to add value to our members, as well as expand our member base in a thoughtful in a way. As senior event leaders, I strongly believe that we have a responsibility to leave this industry better than when we joined. We will collaborate with the industry at large to advance strategic initiatives.”

The organization holds annual in-person events and monthly virtual think tanks and workshops, as well as an online community platform. Its next in-person events will be the ELX Forum, May 13-14, in Frankfurt, Germany, just prior to IMEX Frankfurt, and the ELX Annual Congress, July 10-12 in Las Vegas.

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