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The Future is Hybrid

Session Description 

The Future is Hybrid

We all know that the future of meetings and events will look different, but what will this really mean in our new reality? Join our The Future is Hybrid panel to learn about how New York City is preparing to welcome groups back to its venues. This session will spotlight various venues, large and small, and their plans to host meetings, conventions, and events safely and effectively. By introducing hybrid hosting programs, venues are reinventing the meeting experience to accommodate both remote and in-person attendance.

Learner’s Outcomes:

  • Understand the new capabilities of meeting venues
  • Discover recent successful hybrid events
  • Identify new strategies and opportunities for planning in-person events


 Eva Saha, Professional Host & Moderator

Eva Saha is a professional emcee, moderator and presenter. She is best known for having worked as a TV personality on the Emmy Award winning entertainment show, 190 North, on Chicago’s ABC7. Her natural, warm and commanding presence, both on and off-camera, has also made her the host of choice for a variety of live-event and virtual-event clients including Cardinal Health, Philips Healthcare, Women in IT and Thomson Reuters.

Eva is known to bring out the best in her stage guests. She has interviewed people from all walks of life, including political consultants James Carville and Mary Matalin, professional athletes Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Venus Williams and Jim Kelly, actor Michael J. Fox, author and activist Glennon Doyle, and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Eva’s ability to relate to all personalities and people of different backgrounds and cultures enables her to effectively interview and moderate discussions among Fortune 100 CEOs and customers of those companies alike.

A formerly practicing accountant for an international energy company and corporate attorney for a world renowned firm, Eva brings focus, dedication and depth to the job. Eva is an active volunteer and advocate for a plethora of causes, working to advance literacy and improve the welfare of disadvantaged women, children and victims of abuse and human trafficking.

When she’s not working, you’ll find Eva laughing, playing and traveling with her favorite people on earth (her husband and two daughters), sampling the culinary treasures of Chicago, or lounging on her couch reading a good book, watching a crime drama or cheering on (sometimes screaming at) the University of Michigan football team.


 Jessica Rothstein Berman, CMP, VP of Sales & Marketing, Manhattan Center

Jessica Rothstein Berman, CMP is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the Manhattan Center, home to the Hammerstein, Grand Ballroom, Television & Audio Studios and State of the Art full-service production house. Berman joined the Manhattan Center in November 2013 and has since led the sales and marketing team to extraordinary success increasing the revenue by 1300% in 2019. In additional to restructuring and reorganizing the sales direction of Manhattan Center, Berman recently spearheaded a movement towards massive renovations and upgrades to the ballrooms giving the historic spaces new life.

Berman’s sales and marketing experience spans over a decade from Director of Catering at the Millenium Hotel and Senior Sales Manager at the ESPN Zone to being Director of Sales for the BB King Blues Club, The Highline Ballroom and The Blue Note.

Berman received a Bachelor’s degree in Special Events Planning, Business Management, Recreation and Communication from Ithaca College. She is very active in the hospitality community and is a respected member of several industry organizations including HSMAI, MPI, NYC & Company, NYSAE and ISES and received HSMAI’s Berkman Award for Marketing Executive of the Year in 2018.

 Manni Sehmbi, Director of Sales, New York, etc.venues

Manni Sehmbi is Director of Sales New York with etc.venues; the UK’s leading provider of urban day meeting and event space which hosted 19,000 events in 2019.

Manni joined etc venues in 2008 and has successfully managed diverse sales teams and led new venue openings across the organization’s portfolio including London and, more recently, in New York – where she led an all-female leadership team to launch etc.venues’ first international venue at 360 Madison.

Manni has a natural passion for the hospitality sector and has sat on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Conference Centers and appears as a regular panelist on industry led events and marketing initiatives.

 Alan Steel is the President & Chief Executive Officer of the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation

Alan Steel is the President & Chief Executive Officer of the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation, which operates the Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side. Under Mr. Steel ‘s leadership, the Javits Center has launched an historic expansion project that will add more than 1 million square feet to the convention center, including more exhibition and meeting room space, a rooftop pavilion and a one-acre rooftop farm.

Upon his appointment in 2012, Mr. Steel led the completion of a comprehensive renovation and operational overhaul that included significant investments in energy efficiency, security and technology. As a result, the Javits Center has emerged as a nationwide model of sustainability, partnering with research institutions and community groups to study and reinforce the positive impact on the local environment. Prior to the Javits Center, Mr. Steel spent more than 30 years as an event management executive and United Kingdom trade development official. He is the former President of George Little Management (GLM), a major producer of trade shows in the United States and Canada, where he was responsible for the creation of new events, oversight of corporate strategic planning, marketing programs and the direction for various company events including NY NOW (formerly New York International Gift Fair), the National Stationery Show, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair and SURTEX.

Mr. Steel also was active in developing domestic and international markets for the company. Before joining GLM in 1982, Mr. Steel worked for more than 15 years with the British government in a number of trade-related positions at the Department of Trade and Industry in London, the British Consulate in Chicago and the British Trade Development Office in New York. In these roles, Alan bought and sold exhibit space to participants in trade and consumer shows, conferences, and special events. In 2014, Mr. Steel was awarded with the King’s Glove award by the International Association of Exhibitors and Events (IAEE) for his enriched contributions to the trade show industry in New York and beyond. An avid environmentalist, he currently serves on the Board of Directors for New York City Audubon and New Yorkers for Parks.

John Williams, President, American Guest USA

John is the President and co-founder of American Guest USA, recognized leaders in corporate incentives, concierge, and transformative events for clients across the country. With nearly two decades of industry experience – including 10 years running numerous hotel concierge desks – he brings together a robust network of relationships with a reputation for integrity, accessibility, and results.

Involved in the hospitality industry from an early age, John has the skills and know-how to tackle the most challenging tasks and seemingly impossible requests. He co-founded American Guest in 2002 alongside his father Richard, leveraging years of experience and a passion for hospitality dating back to his early roles in the service industry. He currently leads a team of multinational/multilingual staff in delivering customized hospitality programs, concierge services, and experiences around the globe.

John is a native New Yorker and graduate of Saint Joseph’s University with a bachelor’s degree from the Haub School of Business Management. He currently resides in New York with his wife and three children.

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newyorkpcmaorgThe Future is Hybrid