The Impact Award was established to recognize an individual who is making a change for good in their community or within the entertainment community regardless of whether it is through their employer or on a personal level. In the words of John Lewis, we encourage all of you to go out and get into “good trouble.” Whether it is fighting for social justice, feeding the hungry, helping the disabled, influencing a diverse hiring process, or any other great cause, we all need to make an impact.
The inaugural Impact Award will honor a professional in the live entertainment industry who has made a positive impact as a contributing member in their community in 2020. The submission should describe how the nominee contributed to the improvement of their community and the organization or cause that was impacted. Submit a 500 word description by April 30, 2021. Self-nominations are welcome.
To nominate an individual, please click HERE.
EAMC Spotlight: Kosha Irby
Name: Kosha Irby (pronounced Co-SHAY ER-BEE)
Years in industry: 18 years
Most Recent Job Title: Chief Marketing Officer, SVP Business Development & Consumer Events (Professional Bull Riders)
City/State You Currently Live in: Colorado Springs, CO
Superpower: Telepathy, and this applies to both the superhero and live event worlds
What was your first job in the industry?
Event/Marketing Coordinator at Conference USA
Who was your most influential mentor and what advice did they give you?
This will sound cheesy, but my mother reigns supreme in terms of my most influential mentor. She was a single mom raising two boys and taught me the value of hard work and perseverance. However, one of my first bosses, Cheryl Levick, once told me, "If you're going to take a seat at the table, you better use it!" That has stuck with me. Some people tend to be afraid to speak up in meetings or even ask to be in a meeting. Screw that!
What is your most memorable event that you worked and why?
I have been fortunate to work everything from the NCAA Final Four to WrestleMania. However, our inaugural "PBR Cowboys for a Cause" event aboard the USS Lexington will rank high on my chart. The idea of bucking bulls on an aircraft carrier in 2020 was unthinkable. We found a way and raised $250,000 for Operation Homefront and other deserving military charities.
What's the biggest mistake you ever made? How did you handle or recover from this mistake?
I once read that, “experience is the name we give our mistakes.” Therefore, I have a ton of experience. As long as we are making new mistakes, then we are learning and progressing.
Looking back, what's the one thing that you today would tell yourself when you were just starting out in the industry?
There will be many times when logic and your heart will diverge. Life is a blast when you stop thinking and start feeling!
What year and city was your first EAMC?
2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia
What role/roles have you held with EAMC? N/A (unless being a panelist counts)
What has been the most valuable aspect of your participation in EAMC?
Being able to ideate, learn, vent, and celebrate with people that “get me and my opportunities/issues” is something I will always hold dear. This is a unique industry with unique challenges comprised of unique people, and EAMC is a glue that keeps us together.
If you could attend an EAMC in any city in the world, where would it be and why?
London because I tend to admire cities that are ethnically diverse, offer great food, and provide great backdrops for shared experiences!
What is your favorite event you've ever attended and why?
Excluding my daughter’s first gymnastics showcase, I would say it’s a tie between Coachella and Comic-Con. Both pushed the barriers on what an immersive experience looks like, and they never seem to miss. In terms of concerts, I think I would have loved to take in the Jay-Z and Kayne West – Watch the Throne Tour live in Paris, France. I also want to attend Burning Man, but that is another topic.
What's your best piece of advice to anyone starting out in the industry or attending their first EAMC?
First, the best job or career is one that allows you to use the skills you enjoy, but not all of your early jobs will address your passions. Therefore, use every job opportunity to learn and prepare for the next step in your journey. Secondly, the live event business is not all sellouts and trade shows. Lots of blood, sweat, missed special occasions, and sleepless nights go into creating memorable “experiences.” Make sure you know what you are signing up for, use EAMC to network, and learn from your peers!
Is there anything else you would like us to include?
This recent pandemic has somewhat killed serendipity in our industry. In today’s world of virtual everything, too many ideas are trapped in socially distanced minds. Once we clear this, and we will, let us make the next EAMC in person conference the best one ever. Let us use the chance encounters, casual conversations, and large bar tabs to make our industry future proof!