Organisers of the inaugural Women in Exhibitions World Summit, which takes place 13-14 June at MECC Maastricht, Netherlands, have released the programme and speakers list.
The summit, which takes place just before the UFI European Conference at the same venue, has as its main theme ‘Beyond Bias: Breaking Business Barriers’ with the agenda featuring some of the most inspirational women in the industry.
Key sessions include a Day 1 panel discussion: ‘Route to leadership: navigating the roadblocks’. During this session a panel of senior female leaders will share the details of their journeys to a senior management role, covering the challenges en route. This includes difficulties in plotting that path with fewer role models than their male counterparts and frequently fewer internal networking opportunities.
The speakers – Martha Donato, founder and president, Mad Event Management; Laura Purdy, general manager, Exhibition Place, Toronto, and Julie Driscoll, chief executive officer Olympia, London – will also address how to be an authentic leader, training and development and mentoring opportunities, and how to help ensure work/life balance.
Ashanti Bentil-Dhue, CEO and founder, Good Soil Leaders®, will lead a session on diversity and inclusion, citing examples of what is being done to ensure better representation and inclusion of women and minority groups.
There will also be a panel discussion on Intergenerational exchange involving young, middle management and C-level panellists, who will discuss together their perceptions of the exhibition industry, and the challenges and opportunities that they encounter. Speakers for that session include Cornelien Baijens, head of event business/CCO, Easyfairs Netherlands and Toni Piela, vice-president of corporate development/M&A and The Americas Chapter chair, RX US Women Connected, RX.
The programme also includes plenty of networking opportunities, an evening dinner and workshops, including one on how we implement change, led by EW’s very own US columnist Stephanie Selesnick.
The Women in Exhibitions Network (WIE) was set up to fulfil the mission of empowering women in the industry while helping to nurture the next generation of female leaders. Professionals members represent exhibition organisers, venues and suppliers in the event industry whose business is related to the organisation and facilitation of exhibitions or trade shows.