21 of the Most Influential Women in Events

There are people that work hard and get it done, and then there are a select few who consistently shine. This is a list of 21 women in the events world that you should be following for education and inspiration as they always deliver above and beyond, with endless drive and world-class communication skills.

Ryan Dornfeld, March 8, 2021

March 8th is International Women's Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It's a day of celebration, awareness and gratitude, and also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

We wanted to take this opportunity to highlight and thank some of the most empowering and influential women in the global events industry today. Their unique achievements and talents inspire leadership, innovation, compassion and much more.  

Here's our list of 21 influential women in events (unranked).

21. Vanessa Lovatt linkedin-sm-ojtwitter-sm-oj

a779b55dd8f5dae9d89ad6411736f865_400x400We'll just get this one out of the way right now – The Glisser team is incredibly fortunate to employ Vanessa as our Chief Evangelist. She is an established virtual and hybrid event leader and an advocate for workplace diversity, inclusion, and equality. She founded Time 4 Equality in 2019. Anyone who has worked closely with Vanessa knows that she is not only intelligent and capable in her many workflows but is also full of kindness and can-do attitude.

20. Sophie Ahmed linkedin-sm-ojtwitter-sm-oj

Sophie AhmedSophie is the CEO & Co-Founder at The Virtual Events Institute - a company founded on the belief that the future of events is year-round communities connected through a blend of digital and physical experiences. Sophie's background includes experience in driving exhibitor, sponsor, subscription and delegate revenue from both new and retention business; from strategy, execution and follow up for increased year on year renewals.

19. Bre Donofrio linkedin-sm-ojtwitter-sm-oj

breBre, a.k.a the Queen of Clubhouse (the latest buzzworthy social platform), has 15+ years experience in event planning and founded her own company, V.E.E. Virtual Event Experiences by Bre. After 1K+ planned events across the globe with audiences surpassing 40,000+, Bre is now distributing her knowledge by running training webinars, summits, and masterclasses.

18. Juliet Tripp linkedin-sm-ojtwitter-sm-oj

jtrippAs Deputy Head of Global Events at Chemical Watch, Juliet organizes and manages international, virtual and hybrid B2B conferences and events through strategic content production and end to end event delivery.  Accolades include a Conference News 30 under 30 award in 2019. Juliet has also recently launched the 'Like an #EventBoss' Podcast which is published on most social channels every Wednesday.

17. Dahlia El Gazzar dahlia-el-gazzar-glisser-event-influencertwitter-sm-oj

dahliaelgazzarDahlia is the founder of DAHLIA+Agency providing full-service marketing agency for virtual+hybrid events production, branding, event tech, and content strategy. Dahlia has been dubbed the "coffee-fuelled ‘go-to’ source for branding, trend-setting tech solutions, tech news, and social media expertise." She has amassed a healthy social following on LinkedIn and Clubhouse with her insights into events and branding. 

16. Laura McCartney laura-mccartney-glisser-event-influencer

lauramccartneyAs the Head of Exhibitor Experience, EMEA at Informa Markets, Laura has seen nearly everything the events world has to offer and has dealt with nearly every possible hurdle an event can face. Her day-to-day includes working as supplier liaison, entertainment and production liaison, creative development, new business proposals, budget management and company processes for one of the biggest global players. Her pivotal role in the end-to-end management make her a bright star in the events universe.

15. Liz Caruso liz-caruso-glisser-event-influencertwitter-sm-oj

liz-carusoAfter many years running Liz King Events, planning conferences and meetings, branded events, and product launches, Liz (King) Caruso now spends the bulk of her time as the CEO of her influential thought leadership group for event tech, techsytalk. She has built an authoritative following of event leaders, engaging primarily through her Techsytalk Community facebook page

14. Chloe Richardson chloe-richardson-glisser-event-influencer

chloe-richardsonWorking with business leaders all over the world, Chloe is a multilingual Master of Ceremonies at GDS Group, business development coach, event strategist and EN 30UnderThirty winner with unique expertise in putting commercial communication at the heart of all business events.  Chloe has supported events for the biggest players including Reed Exhibitions, Informa/UBM, Comexposium, Messe Frankfurt and Clarion Events.

13. Annette Naif annette-naif-glisser-event-influencertwitter-sm-oj

annette-naifIn addition to her position as an Adjunct Professor at NYU, Annette is the founder of Naif Productions where she puts to use her 25+ years in events planning with expertise in strategic negotiating, on-site management and crisis management skills.

12. Tahira Endean tahira-endean-glisser-event-influencertwitter-sm-oj

tahira-endeanTahira is a self-proclaimed "Alligator Wrestler" – that is, she thrives in a situation full of complicated moving pieces. Her mission is to create environments which act as an incubator where dialogue, creativity and innovation can percolate. Beyond her time as an instructor and author on event design, Tahira is now the Head of Events for SITE - The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence.

11. Abi Cannons abi-cannons-glisser-event-influencertwitter-sm-oj

abi-cannonsAbi is the Global Innovation Success Manager for Reed Exhibitions where she works with digital teams around the world to help them find and implement the best event technology on the market. Abi believes audience interaction tech (live Q&A especially) is of critical importance to virtual and hybrid events, and we can certainly agree with that!

10. Charlotte Culley charlotte-culley-glisser-event-influencer

charlotte-culleyCharlotte has fifteen years experience in the events industry, developing a wide variety of skills in sales, event logistics and customer relations. Now working as Sales Manager for etc.venues, she manages the venue sales team and function (reactive and proactive) ensuring the highest standards of sales and customer service are delivered at all times.

9. Rachel Wimberly rachel-wimberly-glisser-event-influencertwitter-sm-oj

rachel-wimberlyRachel is a bit of a legend in the events world. She spent many years writing about the events world including a stint as President and Editor-in-Chief of the Trade Show News Network. After 10 years at global trade show company Tarsus Group, Rachel is now in charge of business development and acquisitions for Tarsus in North America.

8. Sandy Hammer sandy-hammer-glisser-event-influencertwitter-sm-oj

sandy-hammerWith over 20 years of experience in the international event industry, Sandy Hammer is the founder of AllSeated, an award-winning VR Technology platform with the goal to revolutionize and digitize the event planning process. In addition to being a national speaker, Sandy is Vice President of the WIPA New York chapter and a regular contributor to Catersource, WeddingIQ and NACE.

7. Julia Brand julia-brand-glisser-event-influencer

julia-brandJulia is the Global Director of Events for Unit4. She has 14+ years’ experience specializing in events and project management. 

One of her previous coworkers says that "Julia is a systematic, smart and perceptive manager - she is incredibly dedicated to her team, committed to reaching the end result and always strives to bring out the best in her people."

6. Michelle Bruno michelle-bruno-glisser-event-influencertwitter-sm-oj

michelle-brunoMichelle serves as president of Bruno Group Signature Services, where she and her team develop content, technical marketing collateral, and content-marketing programs for technology companies, marketing agencies, and firms in the live-event industry. She is also the publisher of EventTechBrief, a newsletter and website for event organizers and event technology companies interested in building the events of the future.

5. Ashanti Bentil-Dhue ashanti-bentil-dhue-glisser-event-influencerashanti-twitter-sm-oj

ashanti-bentil-dhueCEO of EventMind, Ashanti is a speaker, diversity expert and researcher. She is the co-founder of the global network, Black In Events, and co-creator of Diversity Ally, the first HR, Training & Search partner dedicated to creating a diverse and inclusive culture in the global events industry. There are few to none in the events sector who are more driven on teaching organizations how to invest in black millennials and generation Z females within the corporate structure.  

4. Sofia Altuna sofia-altuna-glisser-event-influencersofia-altuna-twitter-sm-oj

sofia-altunaSofia Altuna works on Global Product Partnerships for Google Assistant. Her focus is on launching new platform capabilities, helping developers with discovery and reengagement, and delivering excellent user experiences. 

The best way to stay up-to-date with Sofia is to tune into VOICE Talks, the program that touches on the latest trends, tech and updates for the voice enabled technology industry.

3. Claire Tulloch claire-tulloch-glisser-event-influencer

claire-tullochClaire is an experienced conference director with 20 years' experience working in the events industry.

In addition to running Tulloch Consultancy, Claire is content director at Tembo Ltd. where she connects event companies with freelance conference producers.

If you're looking for event management, conference production, seminar content delivery at exhibitions and managing high performing conference production teams, Claire can do it. 

2. Judi Holler judi-holler-glisser-event-influencerjudi-holler-twitter-sm-oj

1606406513784Author, speaker, and entrepreneur Judi Holler owns a creative company that uses humor to help companies + teams live braver lives, protect their mental health, and build high-performance habits that last.

Judi’s Mantra: Simplify to AMPLIFY!!!

1. Sue Pelletier sue-pelletier-glisser-event-influencertwitter-sm-oj

sue-pelletierSue is an award-winning professional writer/editor with a focus on the meetings and events industry. She has been assigning, developing, editing, and copyediting features, news, editorials, and columns for 20+ years. At present, she is Senior Editor at Trade Show Executive Magazine

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