Women in Exhibitions board member and Montgomery Group PR director Nicola Macdonald says it has been a joy to watch the empowerment of female leaders in the industry.
What a two years it’s been since Women in Exhibitions UK Chapter launched at International Confex 2020, just a few short weeks before the UK entered lockdown. It’s been a challenging time for our board as they’ve battled to manage their own business challenges while building the Women in Exhibitions UK brand and community, but the hard work and commitment is beginning to pay off.
We were thrilled to win the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Award at the EN Awards in March. It was fantastic to have Women in Exhibitions celebrated in this category and to have the UK Chapter’s progress recognised by the industry. Diversity and inclusion are incredibly important topics and in many ways we’re just at the start of our journey to drive real change in the exhibition industry and to ensure our chapter and membership are as diverse and inclusive as possible.
This is a conversation that involves everyone in the industry and our door is always open to discuss how we can do more to support diversity goals and initiatives across the exhibition industry.
After the success of our end-of-year members Christmas party, we have a packed calendar of events, educational programmes, seminars and more to look forward to in 2022. We recently held our first UK members’ networking event of this year (5 May). If you’re considering joining Women in Exhibitions as an individual or corporate member our events are a great opportunity to get stuck in, network with our other members and grow your network in the industry.
Since the UK chapter launched, we’ve been pleased to welcome a number of corporate members to the ranks of Women in Exhibitions, which now include Informa, Montgomery Group, Messe Frankfurt, Clarion Events, Mash Media, Nineteen Group, ExCeL London, MA Exhibitions, Whitespace, Circdata, dmg events, and our newest member CloserStill Media.
We’re thrilled that these businesses have seen value in what we offer and have leapt at the chances to network, learn and socialise with Women in Exhibitions. The UK is home to many of the world’s most successful and influential exhibition companies who are committed to maintaining cultures of equality and opportunity in their businesses and we’re delighted to be a part of that effort.
We also have our wonderful individual members, many of whom are incredibly successful female business owners and entrepreneurs in the world of exhibitions. Running a business is challenging in any circumstance and over the past two years our members have benefitted hugely from our regular off-the-record fireside sessions discussing everything from ‘standing in your own success’ and self-PR to the menopause and returning to work post maternity leave to topics such as imposter syndrome and effective negotiation.
These discussions are pressure-free environments to engage with fellow industry professionals facing similar challenges, hear the experiences of peers and often include an expert guest speaker.
In June, our 2022 layered development programme will return for members. Created and curated by The Rego Group, the programme is a series of interconnected sessions designed to support, enhance and develop approaches to leadership.