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TSE Featured Speakers: Teri Jakob, Troy Peters, & Vanessa Joy

Meet the speakers of Catersource + The Special Event!

Teri Jakob, Associate Director, Special Events, UPMC Pinnacle Foundation 


For Teri Jakob, creativity is science meets art. It is the language she communicates through. As an experienced event professional with over 25 years of experience with non-profit organizations, she has a passion to make a difference in the work she does. Teri is a leader and is sought after for her advice related to event best practices and health care knowledge in the event industry. Teri also has extensive experience with event planning from board meetings and virtual luncheons to sensational galas and golf tournaments. A lifelong learner, Teri has earned her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), Certified Meeting Manager (CMM), along with Pandemic Meeting & Event Design Certification and Pandemic On-Site Protocol Certification. She is designing the future of events for a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation supporting seven hospitals throughout central Pennsylvania, designing creative solutions for departmental and/or organizational problems. 

Unleash Your Creative Superpowers: The Art of Theme-ology! 
3:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 13 

This presentation focuses on the art of event theme development and its profound impact on creating unforgettable experiences. Through captivating storytelling, practical strategies, and case studies, attendees will gain insights into the process of crafting meaningful event themes that resonate with audiences, foster engagement, and leave a lasting impression. 

By attending this session, participants will: 

  • Understand the critical role event themes play in creating memorable experiences and fostering attendee engagement. 
  • Learn practical techniques for developing cohesive and captivating event themes that align with event objectives and resonate with target audiences. 
  • Discover innovative ways to leverage technology and interactive elements to enhance event themes and create immersive experiences. 
  • Gain insights from real-world case studies and success stories that illustrate the impact of well-executed event themes. 
  • Acquire actionable tips for effective collaboration and implementation of event themes within their own events. 

Troy Peters, CTS, Chief Experience Officer, SEAS Productions 

Peters_Troy CTS Professional Headshot.png

Troy's background began in motion picture and television production before migrating to association show management with the Society for Optics & Photonics. Here he took on the role of managing the Audio Visual logistics at their dozens of events across the globe including a 20,000 attendee conference and trade show. After successfully designing an award-winning immersive experience for the recognition of the 50th anniversary of the laser, he realized that he wanted to bring the skills he learned as an association planner to other associations and organizations across the globe. In 2010 he became a Certified Technology Specialist with the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA) and has been combining technology and story-telling experiences for his clients ever since. Troy is an active volunteer and speaker within our industry, having been a part of faculty or served on committees, BODs, and executive teams across North America. When not sharing his knowledge, he enjoys traveling and life in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and nine-year-old twins. 

Show Calling and Stage Management for Live Events 
1:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 14 

Whether in-person, virtual, or hybrid, the show caller or stage manager is responsible for directing an audio-visual experience that can have dozens or even hundreds of moving parts. From managing the onstage talent to the technical know-how, you'll learn how to engage with your onsite AV Team to design and deliver the ultimate live event. 

This session uses real and relevant examples from recent events including work with the President of the United States, major television sporting events, as well as more intimate, but highly produced audience experiences. We'll review challenges from the industry including Mariah Carey's microphone fail at the 2017 New Years Eve event in Times Square as well as the Academy Award mistakes including what to do when a speaker stays onstage too long. 

By working together we'll create a show flow, manage timelines, and learn how to bring your team together from behind the scenes. This is the perfect session for a seasoned event manager or team lead looking to better understand or even take on some stage management responsibilities, or someone interested in production and looking for a path to design and direct their own events. 

Vanessa Joy, Photographer, Vanessa Joy Photography 


Vanessa Joy is a Canon Explorer of Light that has been an influential speaker in the community for over a decade. Starting her photographic journey in 1998, she has since branched into public speaking, earned 5 college degrees, received a PPA Photographic Craftsman degree, been named a WeddingPro Education Expert, sponsored by Canon and Profoto to name a few. Vanessa has spoken at almost every major convention and platform in the event industry such as CreativeLIVE, The Wedding School, Clickin' Moms, WPPI, ShutterFest, Imaging USA, Wedding MBA, WeddingWire World, MobileBeat, in addition to hosting personal workshops and numerous small business and photography conventions around the globe. Recognized for her talent and more so her business sense, her clients love working with her and industry peers love to learn from her tangible, informative and open-book style of teaching. Find her at and on 

The Newest Ways to Maximize Marketing with Photographer Vanessa Joy 
4:15 p.m. Tuesday, February 13

Tired of the same old "post and share" method of displaying how amazing your work is? So are your clients. Join famed photographer and speaker Vanessa Joy as she unpacks new ways to reach your target market by astounding them with AI tech, getting them to engage in your social media efforts, and making your services more appealing to the right crowd. 

You can see Teri, Troy, and Vanessa LIVE at Catersource + The Special Event in Austin NEXT WEEK from Feb 12-15. 

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