Where are all the women entrepreneurs in event tech?

Women in events

On the show floor at IMEX America, more than 100 women (and supportive men!) joined the Event Tech Tribe at their booth to celebrate Women in Events. The event was spearheaded by Leonora Valvo, Founder/CEO of Swoogo and pioneer of the Event Tech Tribe, and entrepreneur Marie-Claire Andrews, Director of Operations for the Tribe and previously CEO of event app company, ShowGizmo.

Co-hosted with IMEX and the Association for Women in Events (AWE), the idea was to create a space in the noisy show for women to connect and be inspired by each other as well as forging new relationships that could yield positive results in the future.

“I truly believe every woman in our industry, as they climb higher in the ranks, should be looking about her to reach down and pull up the next wave of female leaders”, said Leonora, who was recently named in the Top 25 Women in the Meetings industry.  “I scan the industry and see that women make up the bulk of employees, but there’s a disproportionate amount of men holding the highest level exec and leadership positions, and that’s got to change”, she adds.

A show of hands at the event proved this to be true; less than 10% confessed to being managers or executives in their respective organisations.  And even more alarming to the entrepreneurial Event Tech Tribe team, only a scattering of women who’d taken the risk to strike out and start up a company. “We’re still adding to the Event Tech Tribe portfolio of best-in-craft event technologies”, said Marie-Claire “and I’d love for the next one to be women-led as we’re only at 1/3rd right now!”

It’s not for the lack of promoting, all the women in the Tribe are passionate advocates for women in the events industry; Marie-Claire serves as a Board member for AWE and Allison Magyar, CEO and Founder of Hubb and a two-time Inc.5000 winner, actively mentors several women entrepreneurs in Portland, Oregon, her company’s home base.  Yet of the fifteen companies that have approached the Tribe to be considered, only one was woman-led.

“I’ve seen this in the investment community and of course the technology industry too,” Leonora says - and as the original founder of etouches leading several rounds of growth capital, and an active angel investor she’s got the experience to back these statements up. “But it’s stark and shocking in the event tech space - I can name the women entrepreneurs on two hands” she adds sadly.  

But they’re not giving up - the Association for Women in Events is a strong voice in the community now, encouraging entrepreneurs and employees to assist women to achieve their full potential, and the Tribe leaders hope events like these will act as inspiration for women out there considering their next move, and perhaps make it a founding one.

TRC and Swoogo unite to create ShowSimple - DIY badge printing in a box

In continuous pursuit of the most seamless and satisfying experiences for event planners, TRC and Swoogo - best-in-craft service providers to the events industry for more than 15 years - have launched ‘ShowSimple’. It’s DIY badge printing in a box.

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TRC, already trusted to deliver stellar onsite event support for brands including Walmart, Ford, Shell and L’Oreal, spotted a gap in the market for great value badging services for smaller size events. Greg Lazzaro, Founder and President of TRC said, “We recognize that every event is different, and sometimes smaller is better! ShowSimple delivers all the great TRC magic, in a box to your door”.

The real magic though, comes from the integration with Swoogo - the next-generation event registration company making waves in the industry with their mobile responsive, fully flexible platform loved by the likes of Inc., Fast Company and Schneider Group. Customers of Swoogo need only enter a few details about the badges they want, within the Swoogo portal, and order directly for delivery onsite.

It’s a partnership through and through, says Swoogo founder and CEO, Leonora Valvo, “Our customers asked for it, and TRC delivered it. Our teams worked in concert to design the product and I’m delighted with the results”.

ShowSimple includes two bar code scanning stations, a full color printer, the customer's choice of badges, lanyards and even self-contained router with internet access. It’s simple, but it’s not hands- off - ShowSimple customers work with a specialist ‘virtual badge advisor’ and product manager to be confident of a quality experience.

TRC and Swoogo (along with their fellow best-in-craft event partners in The Event Tech Tribe) will be at IMEX Las Vegas 10-12th October to launch ShowSimple (booth G659) and are hosting their user conference/innovation forum “Unite” (open to non-Tribe customers) in San Francisco on 16th

Nighmare on Events Street: Common onsite disasters and how to avoid them

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For our September webinar, we've put our heads together and identified 10 common and nasty on-site disasters and how we prevent them from disrupting our events again. Our hard-won advice will be delivered by the Tribe's resident on-site expert Greg Lazzaro, President and Founder of TRC.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • Tips for managing vendors before the event to avoid issues during it
  • How to prevent speaker drama
  • The questions you should ask your stakeholders to ensure a smooth event
  • How to stay calm and deal when stuff does go wrong

Watch it on demand now