August 6, 2013

Women in Events

Did you know that 60% of the people employed in the events industry are women?

Neither did we, and it truly inspired us. Then we wondered, since there is obviously no issue with women in events, what inspiring qualities do women have to tip the scales more female?  Sandra Bertsch, owner of Sandra B. Events for over a decade knows what it takes to be successful in this industry. She explains that the ideal event planner must possess organizational skills, social skills, creativity, listening skills and time management.

We couldn’t agree more.  Emily Chalk, Senior Managing Partner at EOE says, “In the events world you hire for a personality, not a resume.  Of course there are serious skills that a planner needs, but it’s something inside a person that makes them right for events.  You know when you see it.”

Our founder Emily Chalk has proven this enough to have been recognized by winning the Fairfield County’s 40 under 40 award for creative young professionals who are dedicated to personal and professional development, as well as community involvement.  Hard working women that possess the qualities most wanted in the events industry can become successful when those traits are put to work. Don’t stop challenging yourself until you have reached your full potential in the workplace!

The women below have applied their skill sets to climb their way to the top. Successful Meetings rates them among the Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry.

Shawna Suckow, Founder and President, Senior Planners Industry Network (SPIN). Spin is the largest network of senior-level meeting, event and exhibition planners. Suckow started the organization as a social media site for senior-level planners to network that has since evolved to include 40 live events a year.

Deborah Sexton, President and CEO, Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). In addition to being a key player in the Economic Significance Study for the U.S. Meetings Industry — which was conducted with PricewaterhouseCoopers and released in 2011 — under Sexton, the PCMA annual meeting continues to be an incubator for cutting-edge ideas that further the advancement of the meetings industry. The 2011 meeting alone drew record numbers of virtual attendees, underscoring the importance of virtual meetings by co-locating with the Virtual Edge Summit.

Christine “Shimo” Shimasaki, Managing Director, Under the banner of DMAI, Shimasaki has been the driving force behind, a web portal that aggregates information from destination marketing organizations. Last year, unveiled a destination profile section to further aid planners in site selection. The website added enhanced mapping functionality, destination-services checklists, contact information for local experts and destination news, all designed to facilitate site research and help planners and suppliers get to faced-to-face negotiations faster.

Kirsten Strand, Creator and Co-Founder, Strand, (BSc, CITE, CMM), had a vision of making it easy for planners to instantly find apps relevant to the meeting industry. In August 2011, her online app directory reached its 2,500th app. As this new tool continues to develop it’s obvious that people like Strand will be crucial in pointing users in the right direction for using it.

Click here to view our info graphic about women in events.

To see women who inspire us to continue challenging ourselves every day, see our Inspiring Women Pinterest Board here.

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