Ladies, we’re a week out from Women in Events Week, our nationwide, multi-day program designed to connect, inspire and acknowledge women in event marketing. Are you ready?
If you’re new to our program, the story began a decade ago when Event Marketer launched its Women in Events Special Report, an annual feature that over the years grew to include bicoastal roundtables and has resulted in more than 100 women in events featured in the magazine. Flash forward to today, and women across the country are preparing to gather in 20 cities for the second annual Women in Events Week, Oct. 21-24, a platform for networking, community-building and insights-gathering.
Women in Events Week is designed to be a choose-your-own-adventure-style program, where you can select into experiences that fit your schedule and goals. We need more of those, don’t we? There are a few spots left—discover what’s near you, here.
The stage is set for an epic reunion and in this special sneak peek, we are excited to share a few details on what you can expect this year.
WOMEN IN BUSINESS
We are proud to share that 12 of our venues during Women in Events Week are woman-owned or woman-led, and many of the restaurants we partnered with have a female executive chef at the helm.
In St. Louis, MO, women will gather for our networking meetup at Tree House Restaurant. Owner and Executive Chef Bay Tran built the business from the ground up, including acquiring the historic property the restaurant is located in and leading its restoration.
“My mentality is, we can do anything. We’re already doing it,” says Tran. “I’ve embraced the challenge of being in a leadership position and learning to manage and motivate people and keep them invested in the small business that we run.”
In Portland, women in events will gather for their networking meetup at Irving Street Kitchen, managed by partner and Executive Chef Sarah Schafer.
“Male-dominated kitchens existed 10-15 years ago when I was coming up as a cook in New York City,” Schafer says. “I never tried to look at it that way. I just wanted to get all I could and dreamed that someday I would have a kitchen and a business that focuses more on teamwork and equality.”
WOMEN SUPPORTING WOMEN
At networking meetups in Atlanta, Detroit, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, San Jose, Seattle and Nashville, and at our mini-cons in Chicago, L.A., San Francisco, Austin and New York, women will not only have the opportunity to mingle with other women in events in their markets, they’ll have the opportunity to do some good as well. Women attending these events are invited to bring a new or gently used bra to donate to I Support the Girls, an organization that provides these items as well as menstrual hygiene products for girls and women experiencing homelessness. In exchange, you’ll be served a complimentary cocktail on the house (think: the “Ruth Bader Gin-sburg” or the “Margarita Thatcher.”)
As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Women in Events Week has teamed up with Unite for HER, a nonprofit organization that cares for women after their cancer diagnosis with resources, support and wellness initiatives. Women in Chicago, L.A. and Austin will have the opportunity to gather before our mini-con for two hours to assemble wellness care boxes for these women, and get to know one another in the process.
“We launched Her Care Box last December. We knew women newly diagnosed with breast cancer wanted to get something that was more meaningful and had a really good self-care component and resources at their fingertips instead of getting flowers or pink boxing gloves,” says Sue Weldon, founder and ceo at Unite for HER. “Now, when people say, ‘I don’t know what to send someone,’ Unite for HER can answer that need by giving them access to some of the components we have in our wellness day event—a spring-boarding event that starts their integrated therapies.”
Unite for HER is based in the Philadelphia area and has primarily served that region, but through this initiative with Women in Events, Unite for HER is expanding to markets across the country, working with Women in Events Week presenting partner Sparks to identify underserved hospitals and centers beyond its geographical area where women can benefit from the care boxes.
“Women at Women in Events Week are allowing us to, really, go nationwide by doing this initiative. You’re giving other people ideas with this innovative type of gift giving—products that are healing and restorative and educational, things women might not have been exposed to before that details this whole new world of wellness and self-care,” Weldon says. “You’ll hand-pack everything and at the same time, you’ll learn about this world wellness, too, and ideas for prevention and lifestyle practices, knowledge that you can then pass along to other women in your life.”
Special thanks to our presenting sponsor Sparks for leading these two important programs for Women in Events Week.
In our signature programs in San Francisco and New York City, you’ll experience a lineup of empowering speakers that will have you thinking about motivation and brain conditioning, as well as the steps you’re taking to strengthen your career skills.
Jess Ekstrom, author, speaker and founder and ceo of Headbands of Hope, will talk about optimism and taking our preconceived notions about success and “throwing them out the window.”
“We often think success comes from a certain skill or expertise, or a fancy degree or a business background, but, really, success has to start with a voice of ‘better,’” says Ekstrom. “We have to walk through the world with a lens that we can fix it and take that responsibility within ourselves to have a role in ‘better.’”
Jenn Monahan, senior enterprise business development specialist at The Financial Gym, will lead an interactive workshop on money—how to earn it, how to ask for it and how to get more of it for the hard work that you do.
“It can be very overwhelming to advocate for our worth and say, ‘You know what, it’s time to brag about all the things that I can do and it’s time to put a dollar sign next to that,’” Monahan says. “We always say that salary negotiation is like flexing a muscle. When you’re joining a gym, you’re not going to get on that treadmill and start plugging away at the highest speed. You’re going to train gradually, you’re going to feel really sore after you go through that first workout, and when you keep coming back, it’s going to get easier. The more you do it, the more that you understand what your strengths are and the more confident you become.”
WOMEN ROCKING EVENTS
Across our signature and mini-con markets, in San Francisco and New York City, and Chicago, L.A. and Austin, we will lead candid panels and fireside chats with women in events from Activision, Empire State Development, Facebook, GitHub, IBM, Mountain Hardwear, Reebok and Ulta. They’ll talk getting into experiential, tips and tricks for rocking the job, experiences in the field and in their personal lives. We’ll also talk industry happenings and what’s ahead.
And that’s just a sneak peek.
This community will stay connected year-round through our new Women in Events membership program. Among the benefits of joining the community: private group chats, newsletters, meetups and retreats. Learn more here. We’ll see you soon!