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Creating new ways for companies to connect to customers physically and digitally

Melissa Gonzalez

travels from USA

Innovator, entrepreneur, Chief Pop-Up Architect™ and retail expert guiding companies through change and the future of retail

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About Melissa

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Speaker Melissa Gonzalez is the founder The Lionesque Group, an award-winning creative strategy firm, and Clark, an interactive platform that empowers consumers to connect with digital and physical brand experiences. Drawing on her success as a Wall Street executive, Melissa advises high-level entrepreneurs on how to lead with innovation and grow their companies with creativity, amplifying their strengths and elevating their weaknesses in the process. Employees leave enlightened. Owners leave energized and ready to put Melissa's business insights into practice.

Why you should book speaker Melissa Gonzalez

  • She is an award-winning innovator. Melissa’s retail strategy firm, Lionesque Group, was awarded the Grand Clio Award for Experiential Events and was a finalist in the One Show Awards for Experiential Design and Indoor Spaces . Additionally, her firm was shortlisted in The Glossy Awards for Best Pop-Up/New Concept Store.
  • She is a seasoned visionary. Melissa has curated 150-plus pop-up events, earning her the distinction of being called one of the top 10 Women in Design by Design:Retail/Contract Magazine/Hospitality Magazines. She knows the business market, and she can help your business develop a niche and grow.
  • She builds a bespoke brand experience. As your keynote speaker, Melissa will lead your team through building a custom brand experience, converting customers to clients and creating a better brand experience for your business’ target audience.

Continually pushing the boundaries of experiential retail, Melissa Gonzalez is an award-winning innovator, seasoned visionary, and brand storyteller. As Principal at MG2 and Founder of The Lionesque Group, an MG2 Studio, she and her team have pioneered the integration of physical environments and cutting-edge technologies, helping companies such as Tempo, Nordstrom, and Burrow foster foundational consumer engagement and evolve their offering.

Melissa is the author of The Pop-up Paradigm: How Brands Build Human Connections in a Digital Age and has produced more than 200 brick-and-mortar experiences across the country for both fast growing DTC and digital native brands as well as established retailers looking to think differently. Her projects are dedicated to creating immersive moments in a way that drives ROI and helps clients convey compelling stories to their audience.

She has received prestigious recognitions including: one of WWD’s “25 Most Influential Women Leaders of 2022”, one of the ‘Top 10 Women In Design’ of the year award by Contract Magazine, was recognized as one of the Top Voice in Retail by LinkedIn in 2019, and as design:retail’s ‘Top 10 Retail Design Influencers of the Year’ in 2018. Melissa has also been quoted in The New York Times, Morning Brew, Forbes, Glossy, and The Wall Street Journal and is creator and host of the Retail Refined podcast which explores the in-store technology of the future. A sought-after speaker, Melissa has presented at Shoptalk, World Retail Congress, NRF’s Retail’s Big Show, and Vogue Business Summit. When she’s not recording podcasts or dreaming up innovative retail spaces, Melissa can be found seeking inspiration in unexpected places (like skydiving from 10,000 feet).

See keynotes with Melissa Gonzalez
Keynote by speaker Melissa Gonzalez

Entrepreneurial Leaders: Unlocking the entrepreneurial spirit with in yourself and your team

From a trading desk to leading the industry’s shift to pop-up retail, learn how speaker Melissa leverages her skill set in business and finance to transition to a more creative endeavor. As your keynote speaker, Melissa will walk you through the twists and turns of her career and  how her experiences along the way constantly informed her decisions and path to success.

Topics covered in this session include:

  • Why “failing” along the way is sometimes the most critical path to success, and how to learn and iterate at a quicker pace
  • Building a team that builds you and your company, the appropriate time for growth and the time to leap!
  • How to determine the right path to scale your business by understanding what you need
Keynote by Speaker Melissa Gonzalez

Thriving as a Woman

As the owner of multiple business as well as working and thriving on Wall Street, in a male dominated industry, Melissa understands the strength in takes to be a leader, an award-winning business owner and a woman all at the same time. In this keynote, she shares her experiences, her challenges and her triumphs.  In this keynote she shares:

  • How to maintain an exceptional work-life balance
  • Why failing is not your enemy
  • Understanding the nuances of timing and using them to your benefit
Keynote by speaker Melissa Gonzalez

Building Environments for an Experiential World: How Real Estate Can Transform Tomorrow's Brands & Consumers

The consumer is evolving at a record pace. As a result, commercial real estate is being completely overhauled. Curating multi-use environments is helping but isn’t enough on its own to attract the brands and retailers of tomorrow.

In this session, speaker Melissa Gonzalez dives into strategies to position your company for the future of retail, including:

  • How to achieve long-term value and increased NOI (net operating income) through the incorporation of experiential retail
  • How re-engineering the leasing structure for more flexible leases can work for your business
  • Learning how to define the new “white box” and how to create a holistic property experience
Keynote by Speaker Melissa Gonzalez

The Future of Retail

With technology advancing and reshaping today’s consumers at the speed of light, keynote speaker Melissa will lead you into the future and examine the forward-thinking trends that will impact the world of retail tomorrow. Customers want brands and retailers to know them better than they know themselves, regardless of how quickly they are evolving.

In this session, your team will learn how to leverage the key trends of today to answer the questions of tomorrow, including:

  • How to create fans, not just consumers of your brand and the benefits of doing so
  • Balancing automation vs. humanization of retail. The outcome may shock you!
  • Rethinking the in-store format
Keynote by Speaker Melissa Gonzalez

Digital Transformation is not just for retail

Technology is ever changing and your business should change with it.

In this informative talk, Melissa will share how your business can evolve along with the future of your organization’s market. You will learn:

  • Learn how to leverage your client interactions to maintain brand loyalty
  • Get tips on how to enhance team think, to help your team with innovative thinking
  • Review omni-channel approaches to the client experience and how it can lead to the growth of your business
Keynote by speaker Melissa Gonzalez

Living in a Phygital World: Optimizing the Consumer Buying Experience

Learn how an omni-experience approach to brick-and-mortar retail help brands unlock “super consumers” by bridging their online business to the physical world.

Via a dive into best-in-class examples of multi-channel retailers strategically meshing e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail, your audience will learn:

  • How to integrate the digital landscape with physical improvements
  • A look at our consumers today and how they affect your market and industry
  • Key behaviors of today’s consumers that inform the types of environments that brands should create and key metrics that illustrate the true impact of physical retail
Keynote by speaker Melissa Gonzalez

Physical & Digital Store Design

  • What Personalization and AI mean to the in-store experience 
  • Capturing the HALO effect: How the store is a driver for online growth
  • Survey work: What data validated insights inform design thinking
  • Making moments to collect a moment to connect (BOPIS)
  • How we re-engage shoppers in creative ways that embrace technology and meet them where they are
Keynote by speaker Melissa Gonzalez

What's Next in Experiential Retail: How Building Emotional Connection Drives Customer Lifetime Value

  • The Store as a Point of Loyalty
Keynote by speaker Melissa Gonzalez


  • Top opportunities to reduce your carbon footprint in design
  • Key materials for 2022 
Keynote by speaker Melissa Gonzalez

Agile Environments: Why Flexible Store Design is Critical to Success

  • Pop-up retail and flexibility in design
Melissa Gonzalez shares gems on business innovation

See speaker Melissa Gonzalez in action

See keynotes with Melissa Gonzalez
April 18, 2019

Interview with Melissa Gonzalez:

Recently we have had the pleasure of having a conversation with our exclusive speaker Melissa Gonzalez, here are some nuggets that she shared with us.

Why do clients typically hire you to speak?

Thought leadership in retail, especially in the physical world. There is a titanic shift happening in the way in which consumers interact with brands and retailers and I sit at the intersection of how that shift is changing brick-and-mortar retail. We help brands and retailers rethink what’s possible, how to reposition the purpose of physical real estate assets.

What are your 3 habits for success? How do you implement these habits into your everyday or weekly routine?

I make lists, prioritize and focus. We are constantly pulled in so many directions that it’s hard to keep track without lists. I am also sure to prioritize the items on my list, and then I carve out blocks of time on my calendar to ensure I allocate the space in my day to dedicate focus to key deliverables. I also interweave open windows of 30 min blocks to allow for space for things like lunch or spontaneous calls or conversations.

What keeps you inspired?

On a daily basis my daughter’s fluid creativity keeps me inspired. In retail, I carve out time to read design magazines, blogs and visit stores weekly. I love seeing what’s happening in the world on an international level and across sectors and industries. We can learn a lot from the hospitality world when it comes to retail for example; as with the entertainment world and retail.

What is the most unique experience you’ve had as a result of your job?

A couple of years ago I was invited to the White House to ideate around how initiatives can be implemented to help small businesses and entrepreneurs in this country. It was two power packed days of meetings with senior executives in business and government with individuals like Shari RedstoneKal Penn, Senator McCain, founders of Dannijo and others. It was a unique opportunity to sit with leaders, innovators and decision makers to help affect change on a national level.

What are your tips to individuals who are struggling with creativity?

Leave your desk and go for a walk. Allow yourself to engage in real life, in your 3D world, and allow it to inspire you. There are a lot of great online tools like Instagram and Pinterest to provide inspiration but daily interactions, nature and life can be the best way to fuel creativity.

If you were to start your own retail business, what would it be and what would be the 5 key components that you believe would be fundamental for that business’s success?

I am currently really intrigued with the possibilities in the CBD space. We are so early in the trajectory of the sector but I would focus on the unique problem we are solving, a clear POV on customer personas, partner with a top branding agency to solidify our visual identity, conduct focus groups and small pre-launch pop-up events to test and iterate before our official launch.
See keynotes with Melissa Gonzalez
Non-binding request for Melissa Gonzalez

Send a simple request. You’ll get a quick reply with fees and availability

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Keynote topics with Melissa Gonzalez