As of the writing of this week’s blog post Executive Platforms runs ten annual events, and we have plans to launch five new series in the next two years. There are questions that we are asked over and over at each summit. This feels like as good a time as any to start putting our most frequently asked questions together in one place and answering them as concisely as possible.

For ease of use, we will list the questions from broadest and most general, narrowing down into specifics as we go. Questions will appear in BOLD CAPS so you can scroll down looking for the questions that interest you most.


Having promised short answers, we have to start off with a question that is not as straightforward as you might think. Executive Platforms was founded by a team of colleagues who had worked together at another events company that no longer exists, and we view most of our first events as both spiritual and in a way almost literal successors to event series we worked on together before EP became a thing. With that interpretation in place, there is no ‘first’ event, because we were organizing events for manufacturing, supply chain, biopharmaceutical technical operations, and food safety and quality executives for years before we were calling ourselves Executive Platforms. We were working with the same speakers, the same delegates, the same sponsors and partners. To say which came first, then, becomes a matter of who worked on which project at a now-gone company first, and no one has really gone looking for a definitive answer there.

With that disclaimer said, our first event under Executive Platforms branding was NAMES15, but we also ran a NASCES15 a few months after that and a BMWS15 a few months after that, so while the NAMES series gets the bragging rights if there are any to be had, from the very beginning Executive Platforms was up and running with three of its biggest series all starting across a six-month stretch.


As mentioned in the last answer, most of our first events were extensions of series we had worked on at other events companies earlier in our careers that we knew well and knew we could build better given the chance. Once we had a successful set of events up and running, we began looking for gaps in our content that would also compliment our existing network of senior executives and corporate partners. For example, we launched our NAHRES series and NAFES series and NASRS series with input from the attendees of our existing events who kept saying, “I wish there was one of these for our Chief Human Resources Officer/Chief Finance Officer/Chief Sustainability Officer to go to.” We had some HR and Finance and Sustainability content in our events already, but there was more than enough to build whole events around dedicated to people who held those titles, so why wouldn’t we? Our first NASRS event was launched virtually during COVID-19. We did not build a Delegate Registration Team for it. We told our existing network that it was happening and to please forward the details on to their relevant Sustainability leaders. We had more than 200 of the top Sustainability executives from the Fortune 500 attending a virtual event on the strength of word of mouth that first year.


Without getting into all the inside baseball of how a summit gets made, annual events really do take a year to build. For new launches, sometimes it’s more. I mentioned we have plans for five new events in the next two years? That means we are working on several events in one way or another two years out. For our long-running series, the next year’s event starts while the current event is still running. We are having conversations in our Exhibition Hall as sessions are happening in Conference Rooms 1, 2, and 3 that impact how our agenda will be laid out for the following year. We have had many events where all of one year’s sponsors and corporate partners have confirmed they will be attending next year again before the current year has wrapped up. It is a wonderful place to be in as an events company to know our partners are finding that kind of value in participating, and to know we have their support to do more and organize something even better for next year.


Many people when they think of going to an industry conference imagine a perk of attendance will be to see someplace fun, famous, exciting, or unusual. For many, many events companies, this is true, and Executive Platforms certainly isn’t against hosting our events somewhere fun, famous, exciting, or unusual as long as it does not get in the way of some practical considerations first.

To begin with, Executive Platforms respects our attendees are all busy people. For many of them, it is time away from work that is the thing they are most concerned about when they commit to attending an event. As such, first and foremost we seek out venues whose nearest airports offer as many direct flights as possible. Next, we do not want to choose a venue where part of our value proposition is delegates can plan to leave the event to enjoy some nearby attraction. We want to eliminate those distractions as much as possible to allow people to focus on the content that attracted them to the event in the first place, and for that reason you will find many of our events happen in resorts outside the city with a major international airport rather than in the downtown core.

Finally, it has been our experience that it is easier to get people to go to the southern United States in the winter, and some event series just make sense to have an East Coast venue or a West Coast venue based on the nature of the industries being served —our pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical series being the obvious example— many of our series should take place in the middle of the United States to try to balance out everyone’s travel distances.

With all that said, Executive Platforms is excited to say we are adding a number of new cities to our forward calendar, both as part of our plans for new events, and also because the ongoing success of some of our longest running events has seen them outgrow some of the venues we have enjoyed so much over the years to date. Stay tuned for updates on that!


This question gets worded a little differently depending on who is asking, but in broad strokes when you see hundreds of people coming to an event, you start wondering who they are and what they are getting out of participating. There is no one right answer, but there is an overview I offer that many people find helpful.

We start with what I call the speaker faculty, the people who have agreed to talk about something on the agenda. Some of these people are past attendees who asked if they could speak in the future. Some are senior executives from companies who hold leadership positions in their industries who we have approached to be good examples for other professionals with similar roles and responsibilities. Many are referrals from other speakers past and present who want to get colleagues involved in something they have found valuable.

Once we have a critical mass of speakers, our delegate registration team begins contacting the relevant senior executives from across the industries most connected to the agenda we are putting together. Again, many of the invitations are referral-based, and some are going to be invitations to the company as a whole to be included in these onsite conversations and activities between peers doing similar work. While the agenda and the speaker faculty is certainly a draw, the real value of attending is who else is attending, as no other event is going to put you in a room with someone who does exactly what you do at the level that you do it for two days. What can you learn, what can you say, what can you run by someone just like you in private and small-group conversations in a situation like that?

As we register our speakers and delegates, they fill in a form that includes questions about the business challenges and opportunities they are facing and some of the things they and their companies are looking to learn more about in the near future. We then take that information and make sure we are populating our Exhibition Hall with a selection of the service and solution providers best suited to meet the needs of our audience. These people are going to find enormous value in attending our events, because unlike a tradeshow, every single person they speak with is a senior decision-maker with the power to say yes if they see value in building a partnership.

That brings us to our next question.


Executive Platforms builds its events around the promise that before you even leave your work to attend the event, you know you are going to find value in attending. You are going to know that for certain, because you already know who you are going to meet with and what you are going to talk about. Of course there will be organic and spontaneous conversations as well, but in the months leading up to the event, we have coordinated the needs and wants of our attendees to put like-minded and well-suited people together in mutually beneficial opt-in pre-arranged delegate-to-delegate and delegate-to-solution provider meetings. We set aside a series of 20-minute blocks of time, and then we facilitate these meetings onsite to make sure they happen.

The meetings are not mandatory. Many people have attended other events in the past where these meetings have not been valuable, and so first-time attendees of Executive Platforms events often say, “I’d prefer not to do those,” and we do not schedule any meetings for them. Onsite, after seeing how many great, focused, productive conversations are happening, the majority of those who opted out express some regrets. Of course they are welcome to speak to whoever they like on site, but there is a lot of value to be had in scheduling it in advance with someone who knows you are coming and broadly what the discussion will be about.

Now very little is ever decided in a twenty-minute conversation in the middle of a busy day, but from these first conversations that may never have happened any other way, big things can come. Executive Platforms has been privileged over the years to have introduced people who have gone on to do great things together, and it all started with one of our pre-arranged one-to-one meetings.


For most of Executive Platforms’ existence, we had a printed showguide for each event, but there are drawbacks to physical conference literature. It is only up-to-date as of a print deadline many days before the summit runs. It can be set down and forgotten by people early on Day One before they recognize its value. They need to be physically put into everyone’s registration pack, and then those packs become burdensome to move around during event setup and registration. Of course, as well, anything made out of paper increases our carbon footprint —and an 80-page perfect-bound book for every one of hundreds of delegates is no small contribution— so anything we can do to reduce our paper consumption is a good idea.

Having an event app lets us make updates even as the event is running. It works on everyone’s mobile devices. It also adds interactivity in a way a printed event summary doesn’t. As one example, all the themed lunch discussions are now signed up for through the app rather than on sheets of paper by the registration desk.

Accessing the app is easy. Just download it from Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store. Attendees can log in using the email they gave Executive Platforms when they registered to attend.


For many years Executive Platforms called them some variation of lunch-and-learn speaker roundtables. Today we call them themed lunch discussions. Whatever the term, they are among the most popular features of Executive Platforms’ agendas. Each topic is chosen by a member of our speaker faculty who will host a lunch with ten other participants who are interested in the topic who sign up through the event app on a first-come first-serve basis. For an hour over a good meal in the middle of Day One or Day Two, like-minded professionals with common backgrounds and responsibilities can talk privately in a small-group setting about exactly what they want to talk about with a peer group who all opted in to discuss the same thing as moderated by someone who has been thinking deeply about the subject for quite a while. The only drawback is also the strength of the whole concept: Only ten people plus the host can participate, which both guarantees everyone gets a chance to contribute while also unfortunately limiting the number of people who can benefit from the takeaways. Executive Platforms’ bluEPrint Podcast Series does its best to do post-lunch interviews with some of the hosts whenever possible to share some of the discussions key points with a larger audience.


Absolutely not! The value of the themed lunch format is people want to be there. If it were mandatory, people would sign up for anything just to make sure they were getting something to eat. No, for people who are not interested in any of the topics available, there is general lunch seating for a less-structured networking meal.


Executive Platforms provides breakfast and lunch on Day One and Day Two of every one of our events. For some of our events a limited number of our attendees will be invited ahead of time to an Executive Dinner on either the evening of our Welcome Day or Day One hosted by one of our events’ corporate partners. These are private and informal networking affairs at very nice restaurants in or near our event venues, and they are very popular. That said, they are opt-in and by-invitation-only. Most of our attendees make their own dinner plans and are free to spend their evenings however they think best.


When we are permitted by our speakers, PDF copies of their slides will be made available 3-5 business days after the event ends. Attendees will be sent a feedback form, and information to access the presentations will be at the end of that form. Executive Platforms also records many of the sessions. Again, where permitted, these are shared within 10-14 business days on this website.

We could go on an on, of course, but as this blog post passes the 2500-word mark, it feels like fewer and fewer people are going to be reading what we add to the bottom of this already fairly long list. Perhaps we will do future additions to the FAQ idea, and we will link to the next blog post in a series here for people who want more? In the meantime, we hope this has been helpful and clarifying.

Geoff Micks
Head of Content & Research
Executive Platforms

Geoff joined the industry events business as a conference producer in 2010 after four years working in print media. He has researched, planned, organized, run, and contributed to more than a hundred events across North America and Europe for senior leaders, with special emphasis on the energy, mining, manufacturing, maintenance, supply chain, human resources, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, finance, and sustainability sectors. As part of his role as Head of Content & Research, Geoff hosts Executive Platforms’ bluEPrint Podcast series as well as a weekly blog focusing on issues relevant to Executive Platforms’ network of business leaders.

Geoff is the author of five works of historical fiction: Inca, Zulu, Beginning, Middle, and End. The New York Times and National Public Radio have interviewed him about his writing, and he wrote and narrated an animated short for Vice Media that appeared on HBO. He has a BA Honours with High Distinction from the University of Toronto specializing in Journalism with a Double Minor in History and Classical Studies, as well as Diploma in Journalism from Centennial College.