Meeting/Event Information

Taming the Beast - Strategic Meetings Management Case Study and Killing the RFP for Small Meetings

June 08, 2017
11:30 AM to 1:30 PM
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Holiday Inn San Jose-Silicon Valley
1350 N. First Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Venue Website

**Please Note the following notes do NOT apply to any Special Events such as the Golf Classic or E-Day:

Registration closes at 5pm on the Monday before the event. We are unable to take a waiting list, however we will accept payment at the door for walk-ups at the event on an availability only basis, we regret we cannot verify additional capacity ahead of time.  

GBTA All Access Members from OTHER CHAPTERS are entitled to the SVBTA Community Member Discount for regular monthly events. Please contact for the coupon code to get $10 off Guest registration prior to the early registration.

PLEASE NOTE:   Registration fees are non-refundable after the Friday prior to any event.  

Taming the Beast - Strategic Meetings Management Case Study and Killing the RFP for Small Meetings

BTN recently featured local member and Informatica buyer Marjan Ghaffari's journey in getting her Strategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP) off the ground with zero internal support or budget. Marjan will share more details of her successful journey  in launching her SMMP. With regards to SMMP, most companies want proof of concept before they agree to fund and support the initiative. One of the best practices for this proof of concept is to launch a small/simple meetings initiative using technology to showcase and support the case for the investment of a SMMP.  Ron Shah, CEO of Bizly will share his technology's entry into this marketplace, offering his unique omni-channel approach to showcasing small/simple meetings technology and its benefits to both buyers and suppliers.  Our panel discussion will be moderated by former GBTA President & CEO and SVBTA member, Kevin Iwamoto, GLP, GTP of GoldSpring Consulting.  With Kevin's own diverse industry experience and knowledge as an award winning global buyer and supplier, the audience will get a balanced view of the challenges and opportunities that exist in launching a SMMP.   


 Marjan Ghaffari was recruited in 2014 by Informatica to centralize and globally manage the procurement of the company’s meetings and events. Since assuming the role, she developed and designed a cost-neutral business model to serve as the basis for the global strategic meetings management program she launched two years later.  Prior to her current position at Informatica, she served as the Global Travel Manager for two years at TIBCO, where she managed travel sourcing and procurement, the global commercial card program and meetings management. Marjan began her career as a consultant in financial and procurement analyses, working for over a decade within the technology industry, after graduating from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A in Economics. 


 Ron Shah is the founder and CEO of Bizly, a platform for your entire company to book their own small meetings and events in a decentralized self-serve model, providing instant booking access to over 10,000 of the best hotels, restaurants and activity venues without RFPs.  Prior to founding Bizly, Ron was a venture capitalist for 15 years, investing in over two dozen technology companies with several IPOs under his belt.  Ron left the VC industry when his conference room got flooded in 2014 and he experienced the pain of trying to book private meetings are nearby hotels and restaurants.  


  Kevin Iwamoto, Senior Consultant at GoldSpring Consulting, an independent travel management consultancy, brings more than 35 years of experience in corporate travel and meetings/events management to clients.

Following his retirement from Lanyon in May 2016, Iwamoto joined GoldSpring to work on select projects and consulting engagements, specializing in global procurement, category management, strategic sourcing, meetings and events, Strategic Meetings Management Programs (SMMP), and SMM Maturity Indexing for programs.

Prior to joining GoldSpring, Iwamoto served as vice president of industry strategy at Lanyon, where he was responsible for guiding the global strategies for engaging with buyers, associations and suppliers for Lanyon. He also worked with global key influencers across industries to raise awareness of the benefits of Strategic Meetings Management (SMM). He is considered one of the original founders of SMM and is acknowledged globally as a leading subject matter expert in the discipline.

Iwamoto is a former President & CEO of the Board of Directors for the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).  He has served on numerous association boards, most recently as a Board member for the US Council for the MPI Foundation.

Iwamoto has won almost every major industry award in both business travel and the meetings and events industries. Recent accolades include the 2016 MPI Rise Award for Meetings Industry Leadership and the Changemakers Award for MeetingsNet in June 2016, where he was also featured on the magazine’s cover.  He has two published books to his credit, Strategic Meetings Management:  From Theory to Practice published in April, 2011 and most recently, Your Personal Brand, Your Power Tool to Build Career Integrity, published in October of 2016. He also maintains a popular award winning industry blog (Gold Magellan Award for Best Industry Blog from Travel Weekly), published though Meetings & Conventions on-line.

Prior to joining Lanyon, Iwamoto was a senior global category manager in the Hewlett-Packard Global Travel & Meetings Team. He has also served as a senior travel account manager with the Walt Disney Company, as well as a corporate sales manager with Northwest Airlines.

Iwamoto holds a bachelor of arts degree in business administration from the University of Hawaii, a Global Travel Professional (GTP) designation from GBTA and a Global Leadership Professional (GLP) Masters designation from the Wharton School of Business via GBTA.

GBTA All Access Members are entitled to the SVBTA Community Member Discount for events.  Please contact for the coupon code to get $10 off Guest registration prior to the early registration.


Thank you to our sponsor:

CLICK HERE for Sponsorship Opportunities


$50.00 Member Ticket
$40.00 Earlybird rate before June 2

$60.00 Non-Member or Guest Ticket

$25.00 Student Member Ticket

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