Past Conferences

Join us as we get “Back In Full Swing”!

The 13th Annual Sport & Social Industry Association Conference is heading to Kansas City, MO from February 21st-24th, 2023! This is the premier opportunity to learn, network & collaborate with those inside of the Social Sports Industry. 

This year will again feature specific “learning tracks” for those interested in Operations, Management, and Sales topics.

Don’t miss out!

Please note that the SSIA Conference is open to SSIA Members, Sponsors, and Partners only. Please contact Krissy Greenleaf at if you are interested in learning about membership, sponsorship or partnership opportunities.

Thank you to our Conference Hosts

Conference Registration
Book Your Room
Seminar Registration
Social Star Nominations
Facebook Event

Conference Pricing


First Attendee

First attendee is FREE for SSIA Members, Platinum Sponsors and select Partners.

Additional Attendees 

Early Bird Fee:

$500 / Attendee if booked by midnight EST on November 1st, 2021 (For SSIA members only)

If booked after November 1st:

Tier 1: $650

Tier 2: $585 (10% discount)

Tier 3: $520 (20% discount)

Platinum Sponsors and select Partners get one free attendee. The Conference rate for sponsors and partners is $700/ person.


$200 / Guest  – Bring a friend or spouse to attend SSIA receptions and the Social Star Awards. Please note that this option is not available for SSIA members, partners, sponsors or their employees.


In the event that you need to cancel, refunds for Conference Registration fees will be provided if requested on or before January 20th, 2023. Refunds for the hotel will be provided if requested at least 24 hours ahead of attendee check-in date. 

In order to be included in conference materials and receive a shirt, attendees must be registered by January 20th, 2023.


The 2023 Sport & Social Conference will be hosted at the Crowne Plaza Kansas City! Click HERE to book your room(s) directly and receive our room block rates through January 23rd, 2023.

HOTEL ROOM RATES (per night)

Single / Double       $154.00

Triple                            $164.00

Quad                             $174.00


  • The above quoted room rates are subject to the Kansas City Development fee of $1.50 per night and any applicable city, county, state, or federal taxes that may apply at the time of room occupancy. Currently, the tax rate is 17.1%.
  • Check-in time is 3pm and checkout time is 12pm.
  • The group rates are extended two days prior and two days after the program dates, based upon availability.
  • Cancellation will be accepted up to 24 hours prior to arrival. Cancellations received within 24 hours prior to arrival will be assessed one-night room and tax.
  • The reservation cutoff date is January 23rd, 2023 for attendees to receive the group rate. Only those group rooms reserved with guest name and guaranteed as of the Reservation Cut-Off Date will be considered reserved Group rooms. Any Group reservations and substitution requests received after the Reservation Cut-Off Date shall be handled on a space available basis.
Book Your Room

Speakers & Seminars

Sunjay Nath, MBA, CSP, HoF, Conference Keynote Speaker 

“Strength-Based Leadership: The 10-80-10 Principle”

Delivered in a high energy, high content and highly humorous manner, the 10-80-10 Principle is a framework that allows you to increase your performance and results by focusing your energy and efforts on highest yielding activities. It helps individuals and teams operate at a dynamic level.

Every person or group already exhibits behaviors that are Top 10 (percent) — those behaviors that lead to high performance and achievement. What people lack is the knowledge and a framework to consistently operate at that dynamic Top 10 level. The 10-80-10 Principle program provides a methodology to reward and grow Top 10 behaviors and neutralize Bottom 10 actions.

Filled with practical examples and engaging content, the audience is able to identify their Top and Bottom 10 and then A.C.T. with the 10-80-10 Principle to create greater performance levels in both their personal and professional lives. It has direct application to employee management and it helps to reduce stress and increase fulfillment on the job.

In addition to the keynote speech, all conference attendees will receive a copy of Sunjay’s book, “The 10-80-10 Principle: Unlocking Dynamic Performance”! Visit to learn more about him and the 10-80-10 Principle.

Cassie Cope, Cassie Cope Consulting 

After rave reviews at the 2022 SSIA Conference, we are excited to welcome Cassie Cope back as a speaker! With over 10 years of experience in the marketing industry, Cassie has provided proven results through her innovative and award winning market strategies. Working with professional sports leagues, national acts, high profile clients and corporations, along with overseeing the marketing department for a $17M entertainment and event district in front of the Truist Park has given Cassie an elevated expertise with entertainment marketing.

Some of Cassie’s more exciting projects have been featured on Jimmy Fallon and Good Morning America, while reaching billions of people across the globe. Coming from a background in entertainment and digital strategy, Cassie has an experimental and custom marketing approach for all of her clients’ success.

Cassie will be leading the following seminars:

  • Social Media Trends in 2023 – Cassie will be showcasing some of the latest social media trends in 2023. We will be looking at which type of content works best on which platform, how to build stand-out campaigns, and recent updates with paid social media.
  • How Best to Market & Advertise – In this seminar, Cassie will be leading attendees through the best ways to market and advertise in 2023. From social media, community initiatives, and strategic content creation, we will uncover what you need to implement in your marketing strategy to strengthen your initiatives.
  • Consumer Behavior Trends in Ticketed Events – With the industry-wide change in purchasing trends in ticketed events, Cassie and Kevin Cregan with Atlanta Sport & Social Club will be discussing how you can combat delayed decision-making and rising costs, and how to manager your impact on cash flow due to the new sentiment in the marketplace.

Katie Greene, Inclusive Leadership Consulting 

Katie Greene is the Assistant Athletic Director for Operations and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Greene has extensive collegiate athletic administrative background work in both Division 1 and Division 3 institutions across New England. In addition to her athletic administrative background, she also coached collegiate women’s basketball for 15+ years. Her past work in support of DEI initiatives includes years of work at the Center for Inclusive Leadership and Social Responsibility at Pine Manor College and teaching first-year seminars at multiple institutions on ILSR as well. Most recently, she works to help share skills on how to build a more inclusive work environment as a part of Inclusive Leadership Consulting.

Katie will be leading the following sessions:

  • Inclusion Skill Building and Work Environment Evaluation – This presentation will walk you through a system to help self-evaluate your work environment and how to support an inclusive leadership management style. We will review examples of how to support inclusion within your organization and work to share ideas to help build skills and provide tools to creating and inclusive community.
  • DEI Breakout – Join Katie and your industry peers for an open discussion on DEI-related issues.

Justin Jacobs, Come Play Detroit 

Justin Jacobs is the founder of ComePlayDetroit (CPD), Detroit’s largest Sport & Social Club. CPD was founded in 2010, offering intramural sports leagues, social and corporate events, and recreational facility management and staffing. Justin graduated from DePaul University in Chicago, IL. Upon returning to Detroit, he quickly became bored by the lack of opportunities to meet people and have the type of social life he was accustomed to in Chicago and started organizing intramural leagues and social events for his friends. CPD has over 10,000 annual participants, has managed a state park athletic complex, and has 40+ staff working at park activations around the city.

Justin will be leading the following seminars:

  • Community Engagement – Learn how to become a resource to your community, from grassroots events, fundraisers, and staffing solutions. Engage people of all ages, communities and backgrounds, including programs that raise money for community-based organizations, as well as free events hosted by your cities. You have the resources and experience that others need. Learn how to get involved with these opportunities, and get to do more of what you love!
  • Diving Deeper into Alternative Business Models – Justin will share his path from hosting intramural leagues to hosting NFL half-time shows, and becoming a preferred vendor for professional sports teams including the Detroit Pistons and Detroit Lions. In addition to events, Justin has expanded his business offerings to include staffing solutions for companies, events, and community-based programs. Put your network of league participants to work for you! From flag football tournaments and kickball games at pro stadiums, to working with municipalities to run programs in the community, expand your offerings and revenue streams. Hear about how you can become a resource to all!

Corporate Events & Wellness

Partners in life and in business, Omid and Andrea Rafiei with Houston Sports & Social Club, will team up to discuss the different types of corporate events they offer, along with tips on how to coordinate staff and volunteers, and their tactics for pricing, sales and marketing.

Andrea Rafiei
Andrea RafieiHouston Sports & Social Club
Omid Rafiei
Omid RafieiHouston Sports & Social Club

Sponsorship Best Practices for Seasonal Events & Annual Deals

Strategies and tactics for securing local, regional, and national partner brand support will be presented. Case studies of successes and failures will be shared to provide examples of the dos and don’ts for successful sponsorship programs.

Chris Hastings
Chris HastingsChicago Sport & Social Club
Melissa Cooney
Melissa CooneyEventHub

10 Lessons from an Underdog

Enjoy a fun walk-through of ten key quotes about business and life from Shawn D. Madden, founder of Underdog Sports Leagues and LeagueLab Software. Hopefully these ten lessons can help you with a better perspective of history, entrepreneurship, and a little bit of motivation for wherever you are right now in your career and business journey.

Shawn D. Madden
Shawn D. MaddenUnderdog Sports Leagues

Tech & Apps MUSTS: A Case Study on Leveraging Technology to Make Life Suck Less

The digital tools we implement are just as critical at defining our player experiences and driving growth as the bases, balls and paddles we provide in our leagues. From managing our league & event registrations, marketing & promotion and internal tools for team productivity & collaboration, choosing the right tech stack can quickly become overwhelming and at times can feel like an impossible task. The right mix of tools can save you time and promote growth.

While the tech stacks we each implement to solve our business needs can vary greatly, the fundamental strategies in assessing and successfully implementing these tools share a lot of common foundations. In this seminar we will approach the difficulty of choosing the right technology and apps for your business. We’ll discuss strategies in choosing technologies and apps that are aligned with your business goals, defining metrics to measure success and balancing the upfront tradeoffs in investments of time & money against the potential long term savings through efficiencies gained. Finally, we’ll look at various ways we can attempt to integrate these tools together so that they play as nicely together as our players do on the field.

TLDR; We will touch on:

  • Common challenges faced by Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 companies
  • How to choose & implement your software
  • Tech & Apps that we love and have helped the organizations we work with grow
Juan Bermudez
Juan BermudezWit Sports Consulting
Rich von Rauchhaupt
Rich von RauchhauptLI-Kick

Step-by-Step on Running Pub Crawls

From initial conception to the nitty gritty details, event organizers of all sizes will walk away with helpful ideas on implementing a great pub crawl! Discussion items covered in this seminar include:

  • How to come up with the theme
  • Optimum number of bars to involve
  • How to price tickets and what to include
  • Street closures – What to do?
  • Staffing – From hiring a DJ to staff and volunteers
  • Supplies list
Kevin Cregan
Kevin CreganAtlanta Sport & Social Club
John Pantzer
John PantzerCircle City Athletics
Katy Wade
Katy WadeKC Crew

Building & Operating Your Own Facility 

Following up on the case studies presented at the 2022 Conference, this seminar will provide some blueprints for starting your own facility. From searching for the land or property , securing financing, navigating liquor laws, to opening, staffing, programming and operating. We will go over common pitfalls as well as the different types of facilities that a social sports club should consider.

Chris Giebner
Chris GiebnerClub Sport
Luke Wade
Luke WadeKC Crew
Paxton Wunsch
Paxton WunschOklahoma Sports & Social

Recruiting & Training Part-Time Field Staff 

Every organization, regardless of size, is struggling to return to pre-COVID staffing levels. This presentation will cover how to find better methods for training, recruiting and retaining officials.

Mitch LaMendola
Mitch LaMendolaKC Crew
Paxton Wunsch
Paxton WunschOSSO Sports & Social

Fight & Injury Procedures

Everyone in the industry dreads the headaches associated with injuries and discipline. This seminar will go over suggestions for dealing with these issues. It will focus on these aspects as they relate to customer service, public relations, and insurance considerations. Dealing with these challenges incorrectly can lead to real problems down the road.

Chris Giebner
Chris GiebnerClub Sport
Dayne DuVall
Dayne DuVallHitCheck
Jason Webb
Jason WebbBell-Anderson Insurance
Bradley Lach
Bradley LachClub Sport

Trending Sport: Pickleball Panel

The #1 trending sport in the last year is Pickleball. We’ve heard about it, possibly played it, even become really good at it! This sport has gone viral on courts and gyms across the nation at a speed like no other. Come hang with some of our best clubs, as they talk about their own experiences and will share their tips to being successful in the Pickleball game! Come have fun with us! 

Trevor Penick
Trevor Penick
Sal Farruggia
Sal FarruggiaLI-Kick
Sammie Burchill
Sammie BurchillAtlanta Sport & Social Club
Kate Kerins
Kate KerinsVOLO
Greg Malloy
Greg MalloyKC Crew

Mini Seminar: Youth Sports

Although the SSIA serves owners and operators of adult social sports, many members are beginning to consider entering into the youth sports market. This mini seminar will feature a Q&A panel with several SSIA members who have made the transition to running youth sports. The will answer the questions:

  • Is it worth it?
  • What are the headaches?
  • What different models are there?
  • Q&A as time permits
Chris Giebner
Chris GiebnerClub Sport
Felix Goodson
Felix GoodsonVOLO
Marc Tucci
Marc TucciAustin Sports & Social Club

Mini Seminar: Soft Selling Through Email Marketing

In a noisy world, email still stands as the best way to market to current and prospective players.  However, not every email can be a ‘sign up now’ ask.  Through seft selling, clubs will be able to engage, keep attention and delight their player base, ultimately setting up prospects to take the action you desire.  This min-seminar drawas on 4 years of data to discuss hard selling vs soft selling, storytelling, strategies that get emails opened, segmenting and important metrics to track.

Sal Farruggia
Sal FarruggiaLI-Kick