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White House photographer Pete Souza to be guest of honor at Content Marketing World 2021


When Content Marketing World power back as an in-person event at the end of September, it will do so with a keynote speaker known for documenting the work of powerful people.

The Cleveland-based Content Marketing Institute on Wednesday morning August 25, announced that the photographer, author and documentary maker Pete Souza will be the keynote speaker for the 2021 version of Content Marketing World. The event runs from September 28 to October 1, both in person and virtually. Souza will perform on stage at Cleveland Huntington Convention Center Thursday, September 30.

Souza was the principal official White House photographer for President Barack Obama and an official White House photographer from 1983 to 1989 for President Ronald Reagan. His two books on his time in the White House, “Obama: An Intimate Portrait” and “Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents”, were New York Times bestsellers. Souza also made a documentary, “The Way I See It”, based on his books.

Announcing Souza as the keynote speaker, the Content Marketing Institute noted that he “was an eyewitness to the unique and enormous responsibilities of being the most powerful person on Earth.” In the eight years he photographed Obama, Souza estimates that he took approximately 1.9 million photographs. He witnessed key moments, including the White House’s reaction to the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Stephanie Stahl, executive director of the Content Marketing Institute, said in a statement that Souza “is a master visual storyteller. Her iconic photographs tell powerful and moving stories. We are delighted to welcome her to the stage of the Content Marketing World to share his experiences of being the “eyes” of the White House and his journey from renowned photojournalist to award-winning documentary storyteller. “

Souza will be part of a big moment for Content Marketing World, which will again take place in person – but also with a strong online component – after the coronavirus pandemic forced it to be a fully virtual event in 2020.

“We may not want to go back to Cleveland,” Stahl said in a telephone interview. “For a lot of people, it will be a bit of a homecoming.”

Stahl said that Content Marketing World will feature over 100 speakers, 20 educational tracks, networking and a party at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The Content Marketing Institute and its parent company, Informa Connect, have strict rules security protocols for the event which includes the requirement for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, Stahl said. Doctors will be available on site for tests, she added.

Past Content Marketing World events have drawn 3,000 to 4,000 people, but in-person expectations for this year’s event are much lower, around “1,000 and up,” Stahl said.

“We’re perfectly comfortable with it,” she said.

Last year’s virtual event drew around 2,000 attendees, Stahl said, and those who experience Content Marketing World in this way will not only see live event streams, but also sessions and opportunities to. networking designed specifically for a virtual audience.

She said that despite the challenges of the past year and a half, the content marketers who will be presenting or participating in Content Marketing World “have done incredible work” and “continue to innovate and move the industry forward.”

Registration information is here. Stahl said attendees can change their pass from virtual to in-person, or from in-person to virtual, until September 3.

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