• March 11, 2024

International Women’s Day 2024: highlights & top takeaways

International Women’s Day 2024: highlights & top takeaways

International Women’s Day 2024: highlights & top takeaways 1024 682 micebook.

A 140-strong crowd of event professionals celebrated International Women’s Day with micebook last Friday at our third annual IWD event, held at Tobacco Dock.

Female buyers and suppliers were joined by several male allies from the industry for the first time as we opened the doors to all, in keeping with the global IWD 2024 theme of #InspireInclusion, around which our event was themed.

How men can help elevate women

How to get more men involved in the conversation about gender was a key topic of discussion – while around 75% of the event industry is female, less than 20% are in top positions (IBTM Event Management Gender Equality Report 2022).

Our Women’s hour session saw two industry men engage in candid conversation with two industry females, exploring the pivotal question: How can men actively contribute to the elevation of women in the workplace?

Panellists for this session included Felicia Asiedu, marketing director, Cvent, Richard Bridge, CEO and founder at Top Banana, Martin Fullard, mentor from FastForward 15 and Haley Nicolson, mentee from FastForward 15.

“There is a lot to be said about a bit of learned empathy. We have a responsibility to create an inclusive and welcome industry and environment. But men must be willing to understand they don’t know all the answers. I would like to see many more men attend events like this and get involved in the conversation,” said Fullard.

The impact of tech on our lives

In partnership with Speakers Corner, Professor Elaine Kasket, leading psychologist, cyberpsychologist and author, gave an enlightening keynote on the impact of technology and digital media on our lives and mental health.

She told delegates that rather than focusing on how much time we spend on our phones and social media; we should focus more on what we are doing and how that affects our stress levels.

“The amount of screen time in minutes cannot tell you whether that time is good or bad. Only you can tell if your time on an app is nurturing you or tearing you down and when it is time to make a change,” she said.

“Tech can provide the connectivity, but it cannot connect us. It can respond but it can’t understand, and it can help you interact, but relational depth is your responsibility. Try to actively engage with communities that support your personal growth, your values, and healthy technological practices.”

Content highlights

The event was co-hosted by Neil Hudson-Basing, event manager at We Create Space and conference EMCEE with The Attendee Experience Company (atex) and micebook editor Susie Harwood.

It kicked off with an open, honest and engaging breakfast session for female agency leaders, led by Jennifer Jenkins, Director – somewhen, which saw participants share their challenges as female leaders, and discuss what’s next on their agenda.

The rest of the day featured a range of empowerment workshops, with Jade Fletcher, Founder and CEO of Special Projects at Jade Green Productions, and Rachel Belliere-Wilson, Access & Inclusion Educator covering Access and Inclusion for Everyone; leadership coach James Coombe sharing insights on Building trust through difficult conversations; and Carina Filek from Elevate Global leading a discussion on tackling resistance to change to elevate women in the workplace.

Karianne Levett, founder & creative director, Bespoke Events Management & Bespoke Venue Management, led a candid panel discussion on the challenges faced by women in the events industry and the decision-making process behind staying in traditional roles versus pursuing entrepreneurship. She was joined by Richard Bridge CEO & founder, Top Banana and Claire Gardner​​​​, MD at Eventful.

In a powerful session on eradicating microaggressions in the workplace, Zoe Tuffs, founder, Times Ten Coaching and Nicola Neal, Nic Neil Consultancy, explored on the everyday microaggressions that we so often turn a blind eye to, and gave some top tips to call out the exclusionary behaviours that drive inequality.

Other workshop topics include menopause, mindset and burnout, and there will also some wellbeing and energiser sessions after lunch, from tapping and breathwork to self-defence.


Thanks to our event sponsors Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre, Hoar Cross Hall, Singapore Tourism Board, as well as all our partners, including Tobacco Dock, MacroArt for the fantastic graphics, Speakers Corner, The Attendee Experience Company (atex), Blendology, Hozz Photography and One Take Shots.

Emily​​​​ Simmons‑Wright, head of venue sales at Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre, said she was delighted to support micebook’s annual International Women’s Day event, which “provides a vital opportunity for us to shine a light on not only the opportunities and challenges of the wider events industry, but also the incredible female talent that operates within it.”

She continued: “At Farnborough International, we are incredibly passionate about the development of the next generation of event leaders and look forward to collaborating with pioneers on how the industry can accelerate positive change.”

Check out our photo gallery from the event

Join Our Community

Join our community and receive the latest trending industry news in our weekly Departure Lounge and exclusive invites to events