FestForums – New York City, NY – Many of the festival industry’s most elite minds gathered for the bi-annual NYC event conference FestForums® this past May 11-12.FestForums emphasizes the influential role festival and live event producers currently play as catalysts for change within the immediate festival community, and on society at large. FestForums® NYC addressed a myriad of social issues and causes, provided a platform to explore cutting-edge technologies, and afforded entertainment industry leaders and live event producers the opportunity to forge alliances and explore new collaborative ventures — in the family-style environment that has become a benchmark of the FestForums brand.

FestForums® NYC honored esteemed speakers from AEG/Panorama, Boston Calling, Global Citizen Festival, Live Nation, MOMA, C3 Presents, Sundance, Tribeca, SuperFly, Rolling Stone, The Confluence, South Beach + New York City Wine & Food Festivals, Pebble Beach Food and Wine, SnowGlobe Music Festival, Woodstock Music Festival and Woodstock Film Festival, in addition to over 300 industry insiders in the festival and live event industry. Opening keynote included actor/director/Academy Award Winner FIsher Stevens (“The Cove”) and former Director of Sundance and ex-Chief Creative Officer of Tribeca, Geoffrey Gilmore. The closing keynote was a moving, heartfelt delivery by Life is Beautiful Founder Rehan Choundry.

Of the many illuminating speakers presenting, the last three spoke brilliantly with one distinct voice in synchronicity. In particular, Founder of Lesa Ukman Partnerships, Lesa Ukman introduced the idea of how prosocial sheds light on “cause-marketing” in addition to being a new method to measure the value of social causes during her session, ‘Good is the New Black: How to Build Prosocial Offers That Increase the Value of Your Partnerships’. Directly preceding the enlightening session on cause-marketing was the session ‘Documentary Films: Can They Change the World’, led by moderator and CEO/President of PEI Film, Food & Idea Festival, Colin Stanfiel. Rounding out the day was the impactful session, ‘The Challenge of Engaging the World in the Sustainable Development Goals’ featuring Dan Thomas, Communications Director and Spokesperson of United Nations alongside Jerry Cope, Founder of Lost Armadillo Prods.

The sessions left lasting impressions on both attendees and fellow speakers. Founder and Director, of The New Media Film Festival Susan Johnston was especially moved by the United Nations presentation, noting “I was so inspired by the UN session, that I asked if I could share their global initiative at our Awards Ceremony June 8 (World Ocean Day), they said yes!” Other outstanding aspects of the conference included the FestForums® NYC Lifetime Achievement Award Ceremony, where honorary recipient George Wein received his award presented by Jay Sweet, Executive Producer of the Newport Folk Festival/Newport Jazz Festival and Co-Founder of Humans For Oceans. In addition to celebrating the accomplishments of George Wein, TOURtech founder Alan Cook announced the TOURtech 15 Summit happening at FesForums Santa Barbara on November 17th.

Enlightening for all participants involved with FestForums NYC®, this year’s response was overwhelmingly positive, with several of the speakers giving additional praise:

“I enjoyed being on the panel with other leading festivals and event producers. The opportunity FestForums® provides to industry professionals to share their level of expertise as well as learn from peers is unmatched.” – CR Capers, CEO and Founder, Hip Hop Film Festival

“Festivals are experiences designed to ignite our senses, stir our emotions, and help us celebrate being alive… So, this is why what Laurie Kirby and Stuart MacNaught have created in their spectacular FestForums® is so meaningful. It gives these experience professionals a chance to come together to learn from each other and discover new ideas that will elevate the festivals they are involved in. This is a holy mission. Festivals are the celebratory communal and spiritual rituals of our generation. So, the better the festivals get around the world, the better our lives will be. What FestForums® is doing is both profoundly fun and important.” – Barry Ross Rhinehart, Executive Creative Director, Multi Image Group.

A key event for anyone involved in the festival industry, FestForums® NYC 2017 encompassed all things education, networking, and entertainment, creating an immersive environment in which festival producers can inspire and in turn, be inspired. Looking ahead, FestForums® will move to the West Coast at The Fess Parker Resort in Santa Barbara this November 16-18, 2017 for its fourth bi-annual event. Tickets for Santa Barbara FestForums® are available via the conference website.

FestForums® would like to extend a special thanks to the 2017 NYC Sponsors: Vendini, Delta Air Lines , Brown United, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, The Confluence,, TOURtech, Eventbrite, Hotels for Hope, Connect & Go, SquadUp, govino, Buzzplay, Feathr, Boomset, IPME, Ticketfly, Degy Entertainment, Capalino+Company, Access Event Solutions, Tentnology, pc/nametag, TicketForce, National Event Services, All Aces Promotional Staffing, Greenberg Glusker, Sugarlands Distilling Company, Access Event Services, XI Media Productions, SparkPlug, TicketIQ,, FilmFreeway, The Vyater Group and more.


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About FestForums®
FestForums® is a festival conference for food, beverage, music and film festival industry leaders that takes place biannually in Santa Barbara, CA and New York City. Addressing cutting-edge technology, talent, ticketing, sponsorships, scheduling, merchandising, operations, sustainability, charitable work, innovation, and safety, FestForums® brings together festivals and events of all sizes for collaboration and professional development.








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