DEI Spotlight: Stuart Ruff-Lyon, CMP, DES

Author: Curt Wagner       

Stuart Ruff-Lyon, vice president of events and education at New York City–based Risk Management Society (RIMS), oversees event design, strategy, and education for all face-to-face and digital programs, including webinars, online courses, and other events. Ruff-Lyon looks forward to using his DES certification to lead the company further into hybrid events this year. He earned his certification in 2015, thanks to a scholarship provided by Meetings + Conventions Calgary.

What prompted you to pursue DES certification?
The DES certification shows that an individual is committed to digital events and understands the opportunities that this area offers for education delivery, member engagement, and revenue generation. It’s important to me to be the best business-events strategist that I can be, and having the DES adds value to my professional life.

How are you using digital and hybrid events at your organization?
We are just beginning to tap into hybrid events. In 2017 — a transitional year at RIMS — we purchased a new LMS (Learning Management System) that gives us a greater ability to stream and produce interactive hybrid events. We developed two new online courses and conducted the most webinars we’ve ever had. In 2018, I plan to add more global content that is region specific. Creating customized content for our customers around the world is integral to our global development strategy, and it’s a cost-effective way for us to engage and educate the broader risk-professional community.

What is the future for digital events?
I think we’ll continue to see more digital events. As Convene just reported, the China market offers tremendous opportunities for reaching new members and customers. I see a world of events where digital enhances live events by enabling business-events strategists to create meaningful experiences for those unable to attend those live events. As research from PCMA shows, face-to-face attendance increases as a result of digital and hybrid events.

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