As the events industry shifted to primarily remote programming in the early weeks of COVID-19’s impact on the United States hospitality industry, CSI quickly began fielding questions and working with our partners to showcase the potential of virtual experiences. Recognizing the challenge in keeping attendees engaged throughout a virtual event, we knew that interactivity was key to making an impression. Our team decided on an adaptation of one of our favorite local Nashville offerings—an exclusive songwriter round led by one of Music City’s top lyricists. We had the format, thanks to our expansive library of experiential offerings, the platform, thanks to our amazing A/V partners, and the musical talent, thanks to our friend Lee Thomas Miller, the award-winning writer behind chart-topping songs recorded by Brad Paisley, Trace Atkins, Tim McGraw, and others.

On the day of the event, roughly 400 event-industry attendees logged on. After a private performance of a few of his hit songs, Lee talked them through the process of curating words and melodies to create the overarching emotion of the song. While he shared his experience and tips, a chat room was provided for guests to send feedback and ask questions, helping them stay engaged throughout the event and breaking the wall between attendees and the presenter. CSI DMC’s Sari Hill served as the moderator for the chat, passing questions along to Lee throughout the experience.

In this unique setting, guests found personal connections to their favorite songs, were inspired to listen and learn, and walked away with a better understanding of the creative process of writing a song and ultimately higher value for musical expression.

Special thanks to Lee Thomas Miller. You can find him across social media @leethomasmiller.