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IAEE’s Women’s Leadership Forum has been designed to focus on topics that are unique to women in the exhibitions and events industry. It is tailored for all women regardless of age, individual situation or current position held within their company. The forum will provide knowledge and strategies for attendees to succeed in their current positions, as well as motivation and inspiration to take your career to the next level. The Forum will give you the tools and resources while balancing life along the way.

Be sure and check out the Must See Moments video recap of the 2017 IAEE Women’s Leadership Forum!

2018 Women’s Leadership Forum Program



2018 Women’s Leadership Forum
Monday, 30 April
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM CEM Learning Program Course #1 Facilities and Site Selection – Seaport 1
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM CEM Learning Program Course #2 Security, Risk and Crisis Management – Seaport 2
10:00 AM – 10:30 AM CEM Learning Program Courses AM Break – Potomac Hall
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM CEM Learning Program Courses PM Break – Potomac Hall
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM WLF Registration – Potomac Hall
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM 2 Optional Breakouts – Waterside 2

  • How to Negotiate Your Life – Tips for Quintastic (those who believe 50 is the new 30) Women in the Workplace with Linda Swindling, Esq.
  • Leadership vs. Management – What Younger Professionals Need to Know
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Networking Activity – WLF only – Waterside 3
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM Women’s Leadership Forum Reception with Chapter* – Algonquian
(*included within WLF registration – all others must register through the chapter)
Tuesday, 1 May
7:00 AM – 4:30 PM Women’s Leadership Forum – Waterside 1, 2, 3
7:00 AM – 8:00 AM WLF Breakfast – Potomac Hall
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Opening /Session – Emilie Aires – Waterside 1, 2, 3
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Session – Linda Swindling – Waterside 1, 2, 3
10:00 AM – 10:30 AM AM Break & Networking – Potomac Hall
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Session – Anna Akbari – Waterside 1, 2, 3
11:30 PM – 12:45 PM Luncheon & Awards – Waterside 1, 2, 3
12:45 PM – 1:15 PM Networking Activity – TBD
1:15 PM – 2:15 PM Session – Gina Rudan – Waterside 1, 2, 3
2:15 PM – 2:45 PM PM Break & Networking – Potomac Hall
2:45 PM – 4:00 PM Panel Discussion / Close – Waterside 1, 2, 3

2018 Speakers

Emilie Aires
Founder and CEO
Bossed Up

Emilie Aries is a nationally recognized speaker, writer, and podcaster, and the Founder and CEO of Bossed Up, an innovative personal and professional training organization that helps women craft sustainable careers.

Emilie is a political organizer turned award-winning women’s leadership consultant. She has helped hundreds navigate career transition and prevent burnout. Her TED talk, “The Power of No,” shows how to set healthy boundaries and invest in sustainable long-term achievement.

Session: Beat Burnout: Invest in Sustainable Success
Effectively overcome the overwhelm. Understand how burnout affects men and women and review the research behind the business case for sustainable success. Emilie will help you focus on implementing cognitive strategies for effective multiple, long-term goal pursuit, keeping in the specific gendered pitfalls women often face.

Linda Byars Swindling, JD, CSP
Journey On

Linda is a “recovering” employment and corporate attorney, negotiation expert, and strategic consultant. She is a Certified Speaking Professional, a Board-Certified Coach, and the President of Journey On, an executive development company. Her clients include MetLife, Ericsson, and the American Heart Association. She is the author of several books including The Manager’s High-Performance Handbook and Stop Complainers and Energy Drainers.

Ask Outrageously is based on original research and Linda’s twenty-five years of experience in helping people make high-stakes requests and achieve outrageous outcomes in negotiating deals, business launches, raises, promotions, and even marriage proposals.

Session: Ask Outrageously!
Ever find yourself on the edge of doing something phenomenal and wondering if it is the right decision and the right time?

In a culture that encourages sensitivity and “good” manners, you need tactics and strategies to show up powerfully to negotiate for the best deals at work and in life with confidence and integrity. It’s possible to achieve breakthrough results just by asking.

Anna Akbari, Ph.D.
Sociology of Style

Anna Akbari, PhD is a sociologist, writer, and entrepreneur. She is the Founder of Sociology of Style, an image and life coaching company, and a partner in HVCK, a Silicon Valley innovation consultancy. A former instructor at New York University and Parsons School of Design, she is a frequent public speaker and media personality and has written for and been featured by Forbes, CNN, The Atlantic, Time, The Economist, Financial Times, TED, Bulletproof Executive, and dozens more. Her book, Startup Your Life: Hustle and Hack Your Way To Happiness, teaches people to enhance happiness and success by living their lives like a Silicon Valley startup.

Session: Digital Happiness: Can Technology Make Us Happier?
We are merging with technology— techno-bodies engaged at work and play. Most of us struggle to manage our connection to technology in a way that feels healthy and balanced, often at the peril of our personal relationships, the work we produce, and even our own sanity. How do we reclaim some “sacred space” and allow ourselves to find flow in an overly mediated world? Navigating the ever-changing landscape of technology/human connectivity can overwhelm even the savviest of techies and frazzle even the most zen amongst us. This presentation offers rules to guide you toward digital happiness, personal well-being, and enhanced productivity in a hyper-connected world.

Gina Rudan
Genuine Insights Inc.

Gina is an author, thought leader and the President of Genuine Insights Inc., a contemporary professional development training practice whose mission is to leverage the genius within every individual and organization. She is the author of PRACTICAL GENIUS: A 5-Step Plan to Turn Your Talent and Passion into Success.

Gina has been a guest lecturer and trainer for organizations including TED, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Merck Co., Summit Series, the BET Network, the Interpublic Group, Nike, LinkedIn, and Stanford University, among many others.

Session: The Art of Convergence
The mash-up of how we live and work requires a new approach. Success and happiness depend on learning how to blend career and life priorities—not to achieve balance, which is no longer a viable or even desirable objective, but instead to achieve convergence. Convergence is about achieving an intriguing condition of freedom at the intersection of your assets and aspirations, which are leveraged and expressed together. In this high-impact talk, Gina teaches audiences how to integrate the needs and desires of the heart and the mind by unifying and activating interests, goals, natural resources, networks, intuitive capabilities, and communities into one highly convergent life. Masterfully combining provocative storytelling and actionable insights, Gina inspires her audience to move from the ordinary to the extraordinary by embracing conscious convergence to craft a deeply rewarding, gratifying future.

Event Location

InterContinental Washington, D.C. – The Wharf
801 Wharf Street Southwest
Washington, D.C. 20024

More information coming soon!

Thank you to our 2018 sponsors!

Diamond Sponsor


Emerald Sponsors


Ruby Sponsors




Supporting Sponsors