Back to Denver for Dykema 2022

Move over, John Denver, because this event emcee is ready to take over the Rocky Mountain High! That’s right, I’ve returned to the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center for the second year in a row to host the ninth annual Dykema Definitive Conference for DSOs. I could not be more excited to touch down in Aurora, Colorado for the big event!

Now that we’ve spent the past three days celebrating the contributions of women in the dental industry, navigating new frontiers in private equity investments, and refining tools for future growth, I’m here to share the key differentiators that made this conference the best yet. Here’s a look behind the scenes at Dykema’s Definitive Conference for DSOs! 

Two-Time Professional Event Emcee for Dykema 

Dykema is a leading law firm in dental services. Each year, for the past eight summers, the group holds their Definitive Conference for Dental Support Organizations (DSOs). This award-winning conference brings together hundreds of the greatest thought leaders in the industry, all in the same place, for three action-packed days. 

I first joined Dykema for their Definitive Conference in 2021. Also held in the Gaylord Rockies, I had a total blast serving as the group’s event emcee in Colorado. I got to bring some of the event attendees on stage to try their hand at juggling, and had the pleasure of introducing the keynote speaker (and Olympic gold medalist!) Mia Hamm.

When I arrived back at the Gaylord on the Tuesday before the event, I was curious how they could possibly top last year’s conference. Afterall, they brought an entire group of wrestlers on stage last year — and left me, the professional emcee, to break up the scuffle! They must have thought the WWE in my bio was for wrestling… not Win-Win Entertainment

Three Key Differentiators for Dykema 2022

Though there were no wrestlers in the mix this year, there were key differentiators that made the ninth annual Dykema Definitive Conference for DSOs incredibly special. Take a look!

1. Enhanced (and Expanded!) Speaker List

I have to admit, as a keynote speaker myself, I’m always intrigued by an event’s speaker lineup. Well, Dykema 2022 sure delivered — and then some! Of course, last year featured Mia Hamm, whose keynote came right on the tails of “The Power of Women in Dentistry: A WinDSO Panel Discussion.” This year, we had another Olympian take the stage: Lindsey Vonn!

Lindsay Vonn Keynote Speaker

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, Lindsey Vonn is a three-time Olympic medalist and former World Cup alpine ski racer. On day two of Dykema, Lindsey served as the celebrity keynote speaker alongside two co-interviewers, McKenzie Fagan and Samantha Glucksman, and hosted something akin to a fireside chat. 

On the third day of Dykema, the group deviated from last year’s schedule and brought in another celebrity keynote speaker to drive engagement from the beginning of the event to the end! Attendees were treated to a motivational and moving talk from none other than Michigan State University Basketball Coach Tom Izzo. Talk about a double threat!

Keynote Speaker Tom Izzo

2. Insanely Creative Engagement Pieces

Aside from the buzzworthy keynote speakers, Dykema 2022 definitely turned up the dial on other engagement pieces. Whereas last year we had a group of wrestlers, this year, we had the most incredible drone show ever! I have to give the biggest shout out to Sky Elements Drone Shows, who absolutely knocked this entertainment piece out of the park!

Folks, it is hard to describe how awesome this drone show was. The drones were completely customizable, so they flashed between the Dykema logo, names of sponsors, and even conference themes. I never knew that a coordinated drone show could be so spectacular, but it was certainly a unique engagement piece that attendees will be raving about!

Sky Elements Drone Show

3. Incredible Teamwork in Action

Some might say it’s always sunny in The Mile High City, but when the skies open up in Denver, it is not pretty! So, it was quite a surprise when it was time to head outside for the Party on the Lawn on Thursday evening… and the lawn was soaking wet. Fortunately, the Dykema event crew took the weather in stride and made the night even more special.

Natalie Lundstrom of Sweet Pea Meetings absolutely crushed a last-minute pivot. Her team instantly sprung into action and set up shop in the Gaylord foyer, decking out the area with swaggy tables and refreshments. They literally doubled the wait staff and shifted the meet and greet for Lindsey Vonn from outside to inside in minutes! All the while, attendees were none the wiser. 

Emcee Jeff Civillico at Dykema

Why Flexibility Was the Highlight This Year

Many successful elements of Dykema 2022 were pre-planned — like the speaker lineup and designated event planners, for instance. However, several truly spectacular aspects of the conference were decided at the spur of the moment. That’s why the main highlight of Dykema 2022 wasn’t any of the above differentiators, it was flexibility

As the event emcee, I’ve watched Dykema problem-solve incredibly well from one year to the next. For example, the team wanted to engage attendees until the very last moment of the conference last year. So, this year, they included an additional speaker on day three to keep audience attention high. And, not-so-coincidentally, this year was the biggest conference yet

Another fantastic example of flexibility was the drone show this year. As many of you know, the Denver and Aurora area can be pretty dry and windy, especially in the summer months. After a firework snafu last year, the Dykema team masterfully navigated the situation to switch to a much safer (and even cooler!) alternative with the drone show. 

At the end of the day, things happen. No matter how much planning goes into an event, obstacles are inevitable. This year, I watched Dykema and Sweet Pea Meetings get all hands on deck to make attendees’ experiences completely seamless. They even got the party back on the lawn after the rain stopped and cleared the stage for the band! Bravo, team! 

“Jeff is a world class emcee, host and entertainer. He brings incredible energy and enthusiasm to any event and is down to earth and really easy to work with. We are really fortunate to have him as the host of our industry leading dental conference.” 

— Brian A. Colao, Member & Director of the Dental Service Organizations Industry Group at Dykema

Remain Nimble with a Professional Event Emcee

This most recent Dykema Definitive Conference for DSOs was the perfect example of how a flexible team can make an event work, no matter what. You’ve really got to have solid people on the backend to adapt on the fly and ideate creative solutions. Of course, it helps to have a professional event emcee to guide attendees along the way, too!

As an event emcee with a robust entertainment background, I know how to roll with last minute changes, whether that be script updates or a whole location switch. I help make the experience more organic for attendees, so that they never have to know of the mad dash that goes on behind the scenes! A professional emcee like me keeps your team nimble.

Are you planning an upcoming event or multi-day conference and need a responsive host? Send me a booking inquiry today to learn how I can aid in a seamless event experience!