What women in live events wish they learned sooner

Emily Highstreet
Mar 29, 2024

Welcome to the second installment of our blog series celebrating Women’s History Month. If you missed it, two weeks ago we ranked the worst advice 4 female professionals in live events received (definitely worth a read). 

Today, we delve into the invaluable lessons these powerhouse women wished they’d learned sooner. As we dive into this discussion, we encourage you to reflect upon your own journey, regardless of your gender or profession. The lessons shared by these incredible women transcend boundaries and will resonate with anyone seeking personal and professional growth.

What do you wish you knew earlier in your career? 

1. It’s okay to make mistakes (AKA take more risks)

Mistakes are a scary part of every pursuit. Most of us dread the hiccups that disrupt our plans—especially early on in our careers. Everyone wishes they had accepted mistakes as part of the process earlier.

Dana Greer, Marketing Director at Good Vibez Presents, explained this phenomenon best: 

       “In school, we were taught we have to be correct and we have to do things the right way, and we usually take that into our careers by meeting our bosses expectations , but then you’re not taking risks which doesn’t generally translate to a big success—especially in functions like marketing. Having that willingness to take risks is important.”

Building a more positive relationship with mistakes can empower you to learn quicker and enable you to take risks that propel your career trajectory forward. But how do you know what risks to take? 

Dana shares, “It’s a very fine line, but manage risk by the potential outcome. If your risk could impact a brand or an artist, socialize the idea and ask for permission. However, if the impact is more controlled and fully under your responsibility, go for it.”

2. Speak up more. Don’t wait for someone else to give you a microphone

The live events industry attracts bigger and more outspoken personalities, so “I wish I knew to speak my mind more aggressively or assertively.” says Mandi Lo, Client Success Director at Jampack.

“That’s definitely something in the entertainment industry that you really need to advance in your career and I don’t think I did that enough. It’s still something that I’m learning.”

For some of us, speaking up in meetings or even in one-to-one conversations isn’t as easy as it is for others, but doing it anyway can pay off in your team’s output and your own relationships: 

“As a female in the industry, you really have to make your voice heard. I’d say most of the women who are super successful are those who speak their mind with conviction.” says Mandi Lo, Client Success Director at Jampack.

3. Set work boundaries and stick to them

One of the greatest challenges most of us face is learning to set work boundaries. Why? Well, usually, boundaries are a result of hard times spent without them.

Ariel Carmichael, Sr. Manager at Dear Media Live Events, shares her personal experience discovering a boundary after struggling with work-life balance: 

“Early in my career, whenever someone wanted something, I’d answer. But now, if it’s after hours and it can wait until the next day, I prioritize dinner with my partner or our time walking our dogs, and then follow up on the task the next day.”

Understanding when and how to leverage a boundary comes with seniority. For example, Ariel shares how she knows when and when not to stick to her after-hour boundary:

“Obviously, within live events, there are times when an immediate answer is needed, but not everything is urgent. Knowing the difference and sticking to my boundaries has helped build a work-life balance.”

4. Network more, entertainment is a small community

As much as we’d like to think work speaks for itself, there’s no doubt having connections will accelerate your career—especially in the entertainment industry. 

Mandi shared her biggest regret is not realizing how important networking was earlier in her career:

“I’ve always had the opportunity to know bigger players and ‘schmooze’ more, but I was so focused on the actual work and executing that I didn’t take advantage of it as much as I should have. I didn’t realize how important it was to network at the time.”

After 5+ years at MGM Resorts, Mandi scored a role on the Jampack team after a referral from someone in the industry. “The small networking I’ve done has really paid off.”

5. Delegating well is a super power 

Many high performers in their early career quickly move from individual contributor roles to management because of their ability to solve problems or tackle meaty projects themselves—making them an invaluable member of the team. However, once in management, these fixers have to become master delegators fast or both their new positions and mental health are at risk.

“Being invaluable is not necessarily a good thing.” says Venus Ranieri, Director of Marketing at Singularity.

Although this advice seems counter intuitive, Venus explains:  

“When all of the knowledge sits in your head, you’re not thinking as a team. It becomes impossible to do handoffs, especially as your organization grows, resulting in your team not being empowered to take your work and you not getting to move on in your career.”

Beyond the impact to your team, Venus shares how carrying such a big load is “really bad for you from a mental health perspective. I don’t think I’ve taken a real vacation in 5 years. If you don’t take care of yourself, it’ll show up in the work eventually.” (She did note that she’s committed to herself and her team to take a real vacation this year.) 

Hindsight is always 20/20

So, there you have it—lessons learned! Whether you’re building connections, finding your voice or setting boundaries, know you’re not alone. 

We hope the nuggets of wisdom shared by these powerhouse women in the live events industry have inspired you to reflect on your own career journey and have a new perspective on what’s ahead.

If you’re curious to see how Jampack can team up with you to bring fans extra best moments, get in touch with us.

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