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IAEE Women’s Leadership Forum breaks records

International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) confirmed another successful Women’s Leadership Forum, held May 13-14 at the Washington Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C.

Debuting last year, the Forum sold out to an audience consisting of more than 100 women at all stages of their careers who attended a variety of education sessions.

Keynote speakers Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins, authors of Own the Room: Discover Your Signature Voice to Master Your Leadership Presence, coached attendees on developing their presence and creating a personal brand that can be carried forward in their professional and personal lives.

IAEE Chief Operating Officer Cathy Breden, CAE, CMP; 2014 IAEE Woman of Achievement Award Recipient Julia Smith, CEM, CTA; and Jamie Hillegas, CMP, CEM, 2014 IAEE Women's Leadership Task Force Chair.
IAEE Chief Operating Officer Cathy Breden, CAE, CMP; 2014 IAEE Woman of Achievement Award Recipient Julia Smith, CEM, CTA; and Jamie Hillegas, CMP, CEM, 2014 IAEE Women’s Leadership Task Force Chair.

Breakout sessions included insight into conducting business on an international level, business etiquette and dress, standing out among the crowd in a business interview, navigating the job market at an executive level, and media interviewing techniques to look and sound one’s best on camera.

The closing session panel of executives included Peggy Daidakis, executive director, Baltimore Convention Center; Mary Logan, JD, CAE, president, Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation; and Tammy Routh, vice president, Global Sales, U.S. Marriott International, discussing their leadership journey.

“The response from the attendees at the Women’s Leadership Forum has been phenomenal,” said David DuBois, president and CEO, IAEE. “Every stage of a career – from the young professional to the seasoned executive – was represented at this event, which shows us how valuable of an education opportunity this really is. We are already developing next year’s program with this in mind.”

This year’s Women’s Leadership Forum also presented the first Woman of Achievement Award to Julia Smith, CEM, CTA, senior vice president of National Sales at Global Experience Specialists (GES). This award recognizes a woman who has led the way in the advancement of women in the exhibitions and events industry, exhibited outstanding leadership, and made significant contributions to the industry and her community.

“I’m extremely honored to be recognized for my role in the industry that has been my home for most of my career,” said Smith. “I’m fortunate to work for a company that supports me, to have a family that deals with my crazy schedule, and to have co-workers and clients who make coming to work exciting and gratifying.”

Criteria for the award include being a woman currently employed or retired from an IAEE member company in good standing; having been employed with one or more IAEE member companies for a minimum of eight years and spanning at least 15 years; having demonstrated exemplary leadership abilities through years in the exhibitions and tradeshow industry; having made significant and/or noteworthy achievements or contributions to the exhibitions and trade show industry resulting in a breakthrough, or milestone, made at any time within the nominee’s career; having contributed time and talents to IAEE; having demonstrated services as a role model, or mentor, that shows dedication to the advancement of women in the exhibitions and tradeshow industry.

Sue Ralston, CEM, director of Events for the National Automatic Merchandising Association nominated Smith for the award.

“Julie is a true inspiration to women in the exhibitions and events industry. She has had an impressive career with GES spanning more than 25 years, was one of our very first CEMs and is a current member of the IAEE board of directors,” Ralston said. “Her enthusiasm toward the advancement of women in our industry has been very motivating. I feel extremely fortunate to have Julie as both a reliable supplier partner and a good friend.”

IAEE is the largest association of the exhibitions and events industry in the world. The next IAEE Women’s Leadership Forum will be held on Apr. 8, 2015, at the Washington Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.iaee.com/WLF.

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