Michelle Obama at Connect 2021 Tampa

Michelle Obama to Keynote Connect 2021 in Tampa

Former First Lady Michelle Obama will be the keynote speaker at Connect 2021, taking place Aug. 30-Sept. 1 in Tampa, Fla.

The announcement further solidifies Connect as the premier industry event for one-on-one business opportunities and unforgettable experiences, as the company helps to bring about the full recovery for business events.

This year’s event at the Tampa Convention Center comes at a crucial point for the meetings and events industry. After 18 long months of battling COVID-19 and the related disruptions across the board, the U.S. is moving beyond the worst of the pandemic. Business travel has yet to match its pre-pandemic pace. Events like Connect underscore the value of face-to-face events, facilitating future business between elite planners and top-of-the-line venues and destinations.

As a person who has shown grace under the greatest of pressure and a leader who appeals to our better side, Michelle Obama will undoubtedly inspire and encourage hospitality and event professionals that there is no challenge we cannot overcome.

As a transformative First Lady, Mrs. Obama launched and led four key initiatives: Let’s Move!, to address the challenge of childhood obesity; Joining Forces, to support veterans, service members and their families; Reach Higher, to inspire young people to seek higher education; and Let Girls Learn, to help adolescent girls around the world go to school. Mrs. Obama’s work on girls’ education continues through the Girls Opportunity Alliance at the Obama Foundation.

Before becoming First Lady, Michelle Obama attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School. She started her career as an attorney at the Chicago law firm, Sidley & Austin, where she met her future husband, Barack Obama. She later worked in the Chicago mayor’s office, the University of Chicago and the University of Chicago Medical Center. Mrs. Obama also founded the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an organization that prepares young people for careers in public service.

“We are humbled that Michelle Obama has graciously accepted our invitation to be part of Connect 2021,” said Connect President Chris Collinson.

“We are eager to bring the events industry back together in person to spur new business and enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences. Mrs. Obama’s presence makes our event all the more special.”

The Former First Lady joins an illustrious list of keynote speakers at Connect events, including Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as sports and pop culture stars like Shaquille O’Neal, Peyton Manning, Cal Ripken, Michael Phelps and Nicole Kidman. Only at Connect are event professionals able to hear first-hand from these leaders while also conducting key business meetings with individuals perfectly matched with their needs. It’s this blend of business and unrivaled experiences that sets Connect apart as the industry leader of events.

For more information about Connect 2021 or to schedule interviews about the conference, contact Matt Swenson, Connect Communications Director, [email protected]

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