Nicola Kastner Appointed CEO of Event Leaders Exchange

Skift Take

ELX, an invite-only community for global heads of events, gains new leadership as it looks to expand its member base.

Nicola Kastner, founder of The Event Strategist, is the new CEO of Event Leaders Exchange (ELX). As CEO, Kastner plans to help expand ELX’s member base. “I am honored to join ELX as CEO and excited to contribute to this vibrant community of event leaders,” said Kastner.

“ELX’s commitment to providing a safe space for the industry’s most senior leaders to collaborate and share best practices is unlike anything in the industry. It is a community that I wish had existed when I was with SAP. I look forward to working with our members to foster a vibrant future for the industry where corporate events not only meet, but exceed, their strategic potential,” said Kastner.

Kastner created The Event Strategist, a boutique event strategy advisory firm, after leaving her role as SAP‘s global vice president of event marketing strategy. Kastner joined CEMA’s board of directors in January on a two-year term.

“Her dynamic leadership and profound understanding of the events industry from the most senior levels will be instrumental in steering our community towards new heights,” says Mark Brewster, chairman of ELX. 

Gathering Global Heads of Events

ELX formally launched in July 2022 as an invitation-only community for global heads of events working for corporations. The community is the brainchild of co-founders Kimberly Meyer and David Kliman in partnership with Explori. Senior event executives from Allianz, Cisco, Microsoft and Siemens are part of its steering committee.

Co-founder David Kliman explains the thought behind ELX in this episode of the Skift Meetings Podcast.

ELX ran its first invitation-only think tanks in September 2021 and held its inaugural congress in February 2023 in Chicago. It regularly holds events co-located with the IMEX shows, including the upcoming ELX Forum at IMEX Frankfurt 2024. ELX promotes a safe space at its events and in its community, which operates under the Chatham House Rule.

ELX has intentionally limited its size to 250 members to ensure a close-knit community. Its steering committee is currently reviewing the community guidelines. These are set to include in-person event guidelines, gifting guidelines and the ELX global service level agreement.