Ascend Media and BKay Consulting Announce Partnership

JAN. 14, 2021


OVERLAND PARK, KS—Ascend Media and BKay Consulting today announced a partnership to provide retooled event strategies for associations and their meeting departments as the industry evolves virtual and hybrid components in conjunction with onsite meetings, and uses those components for member networking and engagement year-round.

“Barbara Kay is the perfect person to serve as strategic advisor to our high-level customers given her 17-year tenure as President and CEO of Ascend Media,” says current Ascend CEO, Blair Johnson. “Barbara is an accomplished strategic leader with a keen understanding of attendee and exhibitor behaviors, as well as a recognized and trusted convention industry thought leader.”

Through this partnership, Ascend and Barbara Kay will provide strategic event assessments and evaluations with an eye toward more profitable and expansive hybrid event approaches (to include year-round elements), while dramatically enhancing virtual attendee engagement and networking, as well as improved experiences and increased ROI for virtual exhibitors.

“As the meeting industry moves from the rush of pandemic approaches to more thoughtful and intentional hybrid events ongoing, it’s critical that associations and meeting organizers recognize and strategically prepare for the dual meeting approach that is in their future,” says Barbara Kay, CEO of BKay Consulting. “The Ascend team of meeting veterans has set amazing benchmarks in the virtual space throughout 2020, and together we will work strategically with associations to create new best practices for improved event performance and profits.”

As a part of the new partnership, and in tandem with another partnership between Ascend Media and JUNO, Ascend will soon publish its first Hybrid Event Playbook, creating a map for event organizers to follow to manage dual meetings simultaneously.

About Ascend
Ascend partners with associations of all sizes to produce high-quality, engaging products such as online and print daily newspapers and exhibit guides, digital communication tools, product theaters and sponsorship items for onsite/hybrid/virtual events that enhance the meeting experience for attendees and aid exhibitors in deriving a return on their investment, while driving non-dues revenue for association clients through the sale of exhibit space, advertising and sponsorships. Ascend’s clients include the American Heart Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Dermatology, American Thoracic Society, American Urological Association, American College of Emergency Physicians and the Professional Convention Management Association, among others.

About BKay Consulting
BKay Consulting is a New York-based consultancy specializing in providing strong strategic direction for association meetings, focused especially on the attendee and exhibitor experiences. Barbara Kay’s leadership skills in the convention industry, and extensive experience in media, communications and sales and marketing, aid her expertise in event turnarounds, building effective collaborative and nimble teams that move easily through changing environments.