The Connect Sports Diversity Events Summit marks the first time in the history of the sports tourism industry that global destinations that embrace diversity and are actively engaged in securing room-night generating sporting events can meet with LGBTQ and other inclusion-minded sporting event organizers to present their hospitality community, venues and facilities. The movement continues in Fort Lauderdale in 2019.




Expected to be the world’s largest gathering of LGBTQ and other inclusion-minded sporting event organizers, the event is designed to provide attendees with three days of education, best-practice sharing and networking. Education session presenters and keynotes will offer insights specifically targeted to promote the development and cultivation of diversity event planning.




"We are excited to share the evolution and connect LGBTQ sport organizations to NIKE's BETRUE work in our commitment to LGBTQ athletes. Supporting moments like Connect Sports Diversity Events Summit helps continue to move the conversation forward."


-Robert Goman, Nike Senior Director of Global Retail Brand Visual Presentation



2019 Agenda

Subject to Change

Thursday, Jan. 31
3-6:30 p.m.Registration
5-5:45 p.m.Welcome and Orientation
6-8 p.m.Opening Reception
Friday, Feb. 1
8-9:30 a.m.Networking Breakfast
9:45-10:45 a.m.Education Sessions
10:45-11 a.m.Break
11 a.m.-noonEducation Sessions
12:15-1:45 p.m.Lunch and General Session
2-3 p.m.Marketplace Appointments
4-5 p.m.Cocktail Reception
Saturday, Feb. 2
8-9:30 a.m.Networking Breakfast
10 a.m.-noonMarketplace Appointments
12:30-2 p.m.Lunch and Closing General Session

2018 Education (2019 Coming Soon)

Subject to Change

Wednesday, Feb. 7
10-10:45 a.m.

Presented by Patrick Higgins

Did you know that less than 50% of LGBTQ sporting events utilize the services of a convention and visitors bureau or sports commission? In this session, we’ll deep dive into how to create a mutually beneficial relationship with destination experts in the destinations that you would like to host your event. We’ll discuss how to create financial support, venue rental discounts or waivers, volunteer support, marketing assistance, local media coverage, hotel coordination and more.

11-11:45 a.m.

Presented by Catherine Kelly

In this panel, we’ll uncover what makes LGBTQ sporting events different from more traditional sporting events. We’ll discuss the economic impact of LGBTQ sporting events, the volunteer aspect and more. The LGBTQ sports community’s top event organizers will be available for your questions and discuss issues and topics that may be specific to your community



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