Since graduating from The International School of Hospitality (TISOH) in 2013 with a Diploma in Hospitality Operations with a dual emphasis in Conference Management and Events, Thuy Diep has been trailblazing her way through the industry. She has achieved a number of certifications since then: Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP), Destination Management Certified Professional (DMCP), and Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP). In 2016, she was named to the 22 Millennials to Watch list by Meetings & Conventions Magazine. In 2019, Thuy became a board member of the SEARCH Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides financial support for events, meetings, and catering professionals in crisis. Most recently, Thuy was elected as President of the International Live Events Association, Los Angeles Chapter (ILEA LA). Based in Venice Beach, California, you can often find Thuy roller skating on the boardwalk.

We had a chance to talk with Thuy about her thoughts on the current state of the industry and to see what new developments might be on the horizon, particularly in virtual events.


What would you like to see happen in virtual events?

I would love for event planners and trusted supplier partners to have an awareness on how they once planned and contributed to live events, and that it is much different in the virtual world. Instead of checking off tasks on their ‘to-do’ list using prior industry knowledge, these creative creators should continue to seek additional education, provide a sounding board of collaboration with others, and rewire the brain to all the possibilities of these technology platforms – the new opportunities to truly create lasting experiences is breathtaking! Once that can be done, the audiences will feel more engaged, clients and stakeholders will see more ROI (return on investment), and maybe we as an industry won’t feel so exhausted mentally staring at a computer screen all day.

Are there any trends you anticipate with virtual events?

I see more unique topics surfacing and fun interactive ways to incorporate into team building, CSR (corporate social responsibilities), and charity fundraisers. For example: ILEA Los Angeles in collaboration with the Las Vegas and Portland chapters, are hosting a Virtual Drag Bingo, on Monday, August 31st at 6pm PST and proceeds go to local LGTBQ+ nonprofits in those destinations. Another trend is moving from virtual events to hybrid events as city regulations and safety protocols are being implemented. If you’d like to hear more about professional hybrid events and opinions, check out the “What is a Hybrid Event?” episode on Event Brew Podcast. Lastly, keeping virtual events concise, short, and sweet with more compassion and understanding of life outside our professional lives. We are all in this together and trying our best to get by. That is a trend I hope sticks!