Ask anyone who has been in this business for a few years and they will tell you: experiential marketing isn’t for the meek, the weak or those with an aversion to the occasional all-nighter. Indeed, this industry serves up challenges, stress and the thrills of an event well executed in equal measure, regardless of your age, sex, race or background.
What this industry doesn’t always do, however, is effectively rid itself of the systemic challenges that still affect many women in business. Whether it’s the client who brings his “old boy network” culture to the pitch meeting or the well-meaning but clueless colleague who discounts your ideas (or worse, takes credit for them), women—especially those in the agency community—still have some glass ceilings to break through.
In this, our second annual Women in Events agency roundtable, we assembled seven of the industry’s top female agency executives to find out what skills and talents women need to have, or acquire, in order to thrive in the industry. From getting noticed to getting heard to getting the promotion and more, the women shared their best tips, anecdotes and personal stories of what they’ve learned on their way to the highest reaches of their agencies. What follows are some of the candid insights collected from our luncheon event, co-produced with leading staffing partner The Hype Agency, and moderated by Content Director Jessica Heasley.
TITLE: Account Director, GSD&M
ONE THING EVERY FEMALE EVENT MARKETER SHOULD NEVER DO: Let the word “no” keep you down. There’s always going to be challenges and hurdles that get in the way, but at the end of the day there are going to be alternate solutions. Keep working on something if you feel strongly about it and try to go about it through a different avenue.
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT PROFESSIONAL TOOL: I have Google alerts set up for nearly every single sponsorship that my clients are involved in. It helps me keep tabs on the conversations that are happening.
MOST LISTENED-TO SONG ON THE PLAYLIST: My all-time favorite artist is Tom Petty. I love all of his songs, especially “I Won’t Back Down.”
FAVORITE MOTTO OR MOTIVATIONAL QUOTE: “Sometimes it’s better to be kind than to be right. We do not need an intelligent mind that speaks, but a patient heart that listens.” –Gautama Buddha
BEST CAREER ADVICE, GIVEN OR RECEIVED: Never over promise and under deliver. In account services, we always want to be able to say yes to the client right away or always have the answer. But it’s important to take a step back and think, OK, is this really something that we need to agree to? I think it’s important to manage their expectations. And usually at the end of it you’re able to over deliver.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE FACING WOMEN IN BUSINESS TODAY: Equal pay for equal work. It’s …read more