The 2019 conference program was the most highly attended in our entire 35 year history! Ready to relive the experience and gather actionable insights? Keep an eye out for an email from us to download all presentation materials. In the meantime, view, browse and sort the list of conference sessions and show floor programming by pass type, track, and format.
Charly McDonald, Principal, Spark
As the driving force behind providing customer-centric strategic client strategy, Charly handles all things client direction at Spark Cooperative. With his finely-honed view and laser focus on overall program execution, his expertise in business development, client relations and creative direction all come together to provide a cohesive perspective that is evident in his work. Every position, every client, every experience has led Charly to his post at Spark. His dedication to his clients is evident as is his hands-on approach throughout the duration of a project.
With a career spanning well over 25 years in the entertainment and hospitality industry, Charly’s knowledge of designing experiences, entertainment conceptualization, programming, flow of human traffic and everything in between, reaches far and wide. He has been intricately involved in a bevy of award winning, industry firsts in the cruise industry. From creative development and execution of Broadway shows, ice shows, aqua shows, aerial shows and live music, as well as guiding the creation of unique sport, youth and family entertainment programs and facilities, Charlyhas done all the buzz words - groundbreaking, disruption, world class, state-of-the-art, cutting-edge and then some. He is the embodiment of career longevity, a rare breed in today’s market and spent more than two decades at Royal Caribbean International before making a move to build Spark Cooperative from the ground-up with his partners. Charly’s knowledge of people, their travel habits and how they spend their time is second to none. Over the years, he has developed a keen ability to effortlessly meld food and beverage, entertainment and revenue generation. For unrivaled design and programming, from soup-to-nuts, Charly is the guy you want at your side when developing new concepts.
Charly had a large hand in the design experience of the largest and most revolutionary cruise ship to date, Oasis of the Seas in 2009, as well as the design and launch of more than 25 cruise ships across the world. Throughout his career, Charly has collaborated with many top international brands to bring experiences to life. He possesses expertise in launching and expanding products internationally throughout Latin America, Europe and China, which earned him a spot on the top 40 under 40 travel professionals list by Travel Weekly magazine.
His experience in programming is unparalleled after spending more than two decades immersed in vacation experiences to gain an authentic understanding of how people vacation, from singles to couples and families. He has intricate knowledge of the guest experience, the types of programming that resonates with a variety of demographics, and how to create the most optimal flow from the time guests walk through the doors until they leave.
When this proud father of two isn’t designing meaningful and memorable guest experiences, he clocks a lot of time with his family at home in Miami and traveling (this time for pleasure). And if there is any sport tied to Philadelphia, he’s all in.