Smart Event Academy

Smart Event Foundations

for Smart Individuals

Digital event strategy and event tech project management training program

The Smart Event Foundations (SEF) program is a six-week hands-on training course and certification program to give you the leg up on understanding digital event strategy and event tech – even if you’re not technical. No confusing terminology, no complex systems.

Using our mock event — CoffeePalooza — we walk you  through an event technology implementation from marketing site to post-mortem. 

Digital event strategy and event tech basics are baked into every step in the process.

Accelerate Your Event Career – Join US!

Course Tuition: $1,795

Course Dates: August 5, 2024 - September 15, 2024

Registration will be opening again soon, so get on the waitlist today to secure your spot.

Become a Digital Event Specialist

Transitioning to a new industry can be a challenge — new terminology, rhythms, and best practices to learn. The events industry is fast-paced and most people learn by doing. This course lets you “learn by doing” in a safe, supportive environment where you can ask all of your questions and have plenty of time to learn at your own pace.


With a projected three-fold increase in demand over the the next five years and significant job flexibility, there is no better time to become an event professional.

Learn while doing with a mock-event style program and real event tech

Go at your own pace with online learning combined with live Q&A and community of practice to ask ALL of your questions

Meet a community of peers and mentors to help make your transition into event tech project management a successful one

The goal of the Foundations course is to give you all of the strategy, tools, and skills you need to confidently run a event tech project. You’ll get the documents and templates we use to manage event tech projects, as well as the answers to the questions we wish we’d have known to ask at the beginning of our event tech management journey.


Learning is reinforced by regular quizzes and homework — you’ll be building your own event with an easy-to-use event tech platform  and with a passing grade of 80% or higher you’ll earn a Smart Event Foundations (SEF) certificate.

Work for an Event Planning Agency?

From Event Brief to Event Delivery

As close to a real event as you can get without stepping foot on the show floor

The course uses a mock event format and real event tech for experiential learning — taking you through a complete event cycle from event brief to event execution. 
We combine self-paced online training with weekly live Q&A calls and a follow-on 90 day mentoring program to help with the transition from classroom to a live event. 

To ensure the growth, learning, and relationships continue, we also include one free year to deexpa (Digital Event Experience Professionals Association).

Cohort-based program

learn with and from a community of peers

Hands-on learning environment

set up your own event with real event tech

Complete event lifecycle

manage an event from event brief through to post-event reporting

Cohort-based program
learn with and from a community of peers
Hands-on learning environment
set up your own event with real event tech
Digital event strategy
understand how to design a digital event experience that aligns to event objectives
Complete event lifecycle
manage an event from event brief through to post-event reporting
Project management skills
learn THE key project management philosophy to keep projects on track and on budget
Effective communication
discover the keys to good requirements discovery and client communication and management
Life of an event pro
learn what means to be a digital event specialist and how to thrive while doing it
Supportive mentoring
build confidence in your digital event delivery skiills via weekly calls plus your year of deexpa
The course encompasses roughly 20 hours of online instruction, plus live calls and homework. Quizzes throughout the program ensure comprehension, and a certificate of completion for those who complete the course and pass all of the quizzes (80% or higher).

Course Syllabus

Using a mock event format, we’ll deliver the imaginary hybrid event, CoffeePalooza, taking it from event brief through to event delivery. We’ll go step-by-step through the planning process and build out our event from the ground up so you can see first-hand how all of the pieces — in-person, virtual, and hybrid — fit together.

Introduction and event management basics
  • The attendee journey and deciphering the event brief
  • Effective event requirements discovery
  • Mobile app considerations
  • The CoffeePalooza event tech platform
  • The event marketing platform and recording event metrics
Event registration and communications
  • Best practices for smooth deployments
  • Event registration do’s and don’ts that can make or break the event
  • Access control and badging
  • Types and timings of the most common event communications
  • PII, GDPR, and how to keep event data secure
Content tools and tool deployment
  • Content management strategies and tools
  • Speaker management tools and prep resources
  • Scheduling and managing tool deployments
  • Best practices for creating documentation that will support you event over event
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Attendee networking and event exhibitors
  • Features and gotchas of attendee networking tools
  • Exhibitor and sponsor management and tools
  • Exhibitor ROI and lead retrieval
  • Communication and collaboration tools and best practices to manage your team and client
Delivery and event prep, travel, and metrics
  • Tracking session admission and attendance
  • Session and event surveys and evaluations
  • Pre-event best practices to ensure a smooth event delivery
  • Travel and expense policies and procedures
Event delivery, reporting, and wrap-up
  • Monitoring event delivery and effective triaging techniques
  • Connecting the dots for meaningful event reporting
  • Delivering an effective post-mortem
  • Positioning yourself as an digital event strategist and event tech professional

Six-month Mentoring Program for Students

Six months of professional mentoring provides you the support you need to successfully take what you learned in the course and apply it to your first event.

Course Tuition: $1,795

Course Dates: August 5, 2024 - September 15, 2024

Registration will be opening again soon, so get on the waitlist today to secure your spot.

Your Head Instructor

With three decades of IT consulting and project management experience and more than a decade leading event tech at some of the world’s largest companies, Jen Santos brings a deep understanding of technology, project management, client management, and event strategy to the Smart Event Academy. Her clients call her the OG of the event tech space.

Event clients include Microsoft, GitHub, CES, Oracle, and Splunk.

What Colleagues are Saying

Respected throughout the industry, here’s what fellow event profs have to say.


In this case, event tech means the online components — from the marketing site to registration to the content system to the schedule builder to the digital venue — that’s required to deliver an event.

A/V (audio visual) and production are not a part of this program beyond integration tips and tricks.

If you are curious to learn more about how the in-person components of an event intersect with registration, session and speaker management, the expo and more, then this program will be valuable to your event management career.
Yes, this program will. The concepts remain the same, independent of the tech. While the event tech is an integral part of this program, this is not a technical event tech training program. The concepts taught in this program will translate to any event tech stack.
The Smart Event Academy Foundations course is designed as an intensive to help professionals quickly get up to speed. You can expect to spend roughly 3-5 hours per week on course material, including homework.
The program is specifically designed for non-technical event professionals. Easy-to-use event tech combined with in depth training videos means even if you’ve never touched a reg system in your life, you will be able to follow along.

Not the Right Time for You?

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