As a woman leader in the events industry, it’s often assumed that by events – I am part of a planning or recruiting organization. While there is no shame in either of those fields – as any event professional knows, being an event planner is probably one of the most time consuming and dedication required fields. However, when I begin to explain that I am actually the owner of an event app company, i.e. I’m part of the event technology world – suddenly the eyebrows begin to raise.
Having both an MBA and a Master’s of Science, and working for years in corporate America – I know how hard it is for women to find not only a seat at the table – but how uncomfortable it can be even should you find that seat.
Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook is famous for her empowering support for women in the work place. Knowing firsthand what it was like to not only find a seat at the table, but to see my counterparts and higher-ups even who were women struggle to find a seat, I often reflected on many of Sandberg’s thoughts.
Today as a woman leader and owner of an event technology business, I wanted to offer a few tips. Tips not just for women, but for anyone who may feel that they don’t deserve or will never find a seat at that event table of c-level execs.
4 Quotes to Help Every Event Tech Professional Rise
1.) “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” -Sheryl Sandberg
Far too often we as event professionals, no matter what our title, talent, or trade may specifically be – feel hindered by fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of offending. Fear. What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
Living in fear – whether in our personal lives or our professional lives, is no way to live, and only hinders our ability to grow and become more successful. Instead of living in fear – live in gear. Move. Go. Do. Even if you get knocked down, focus on that ‘gear’ and keep moving forward
2.) “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on” -Sheryl Sandberg
While I have no interest, personally, going anywhere off this earth J – I do think that when a seat (or an opportunity) opens up – take it. Sure, if you had asked me even 5 years ago – my answer may have been a lot different. But when we learn to truly know our strengths, talents and abilities – and stop putting ourselves down – we know we deserve a space on that rocket ship (or c-level table, or that event tech position!). Should one truly have the skill and know how to do something – we need to stop letting others that we think are better or ‘just because of XYZ’ step ahead – take the seat!
3.) “When you put the helmet on, it doesn’t matter if you are woman or man: your mission is to compete to win. The important thing is your ability, your intelligence and your determination.” – Milka Duno
This empowering quote by Ms. Duno goes hand in hand with my thoughts about being willing to take that seat at the table (or board, or rocket ship). If you truly have the ability and knowhow, do it. Don’t let anything hold you back.
4.) “Surround yourself with a trusted and loyal team. It makes all the difference.” -Alison Pincus
One of the most important aspects of being a leader, whether it’s in event technology, or any industry – is to know your strengths and know your weaknesses. In other words, knowing what I truly excel at has helped me know what I truly don’t excel at. This awareness has allowed me to employ and work with some of the best of the best event planners, event app developers, marketers, and more.
Being the owner of a mobile event app, in the event technology world, as a woman, is not an easy task. It’s not an easy task for anyone, however. Yet if we learn to not let fear stand between us and our goals, surround ourselves by those who are ‘A Players’, commit to always growing and learning, and most importantly refuse to let failure stand in our way – anyone can learn to rise above and be truly successful!
Lisa Vann is the owner of MeetingPlay – a mobile event app that helps build engaging, custom apps for events, conferences, and seminars. When not ensuring the success of event professionals and companies that utilize the MeetingPlay app – odds are you will find Lisa playing “Shark Tank” barbie style with her two young daughters and husband of 12 years, connecting with her community, or rooting on the Florida Gators!