In an attempt to foster inclusive leadership and acknowledge women’s contribution across the exhibition industry, Indian Exhibition Industry Association (IEIA) in collaboration with the India Chapter of International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), has pioneered the Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF)- the first of its kind for the exhibition industry in India. The 1st edition of ‘Women’s Leadership Forum’ titled ‘Connect Now India’ was held at the Sheraton, Saket, New Delhi on Oct, 30, 2018. The forum was fashioned to focus on topics unique to women in the exhibitions and events industry. It featured women, regardless of age, individual situation or current position held within their company. The occasion ensured knowledge sharing for the participants that will not only help them succeed in their current positions, but also motivate and inspire them to take their career a notch higher.
The one-day event was an open platform for the exchange of ideas & focused on subjects like encouraging growth led environment for women, nurturing women’s leadership, creating mentorship and recognising the outstanding achievements of the women professionals in the industry as part of the long term agenda.
The forum featured critical issues of discussions on gender diversity, leadership, financial equality for women professionals, entrepreneurship development etc and was marked by the presence of who’s who of the industry along with high profile names in the corporate world. Bharti Ramola Gupta, Former Partner PwC shall delivered Key Note address at the forum, Savita Mahajan, Mentor & Advisor; Former CEO ISB, Mohali enlightened the attendees on Leadership Skills, through their rich experiences and knowledge.
Dr. Poonam Sinha, Joint Director, NIESBUD also shared the schemes and programmes initiated by Govt of India for supporting the women entrepreneurs from the industry. Many other eminent leaders from the Indian exhibition industry including the Chairperson of the WLF advisory committee, Sonia Prashar, CMD NuernbergMesse and DDG, Indo German Chamber of Commerce, along with Advisory Committee members – Seema Srivastava, Executive Director, India ITME Society, Monimita Sarkar, MD. KW Conferences and Anitha Niranjan, MD, CIM Global. Other prominent speakers from the industry include Aparna Bhargava, Regional head, Messe Muenchen India, Himani Gulati, Director, Mex Exhibitions, Vandana Malhotra, VP, Lotus Exhibitions, Writuparna Dutta, Founder DWP Publications, Rucheeka Chhugani, Asstt Director NuernbergMesse, who also participated in the Panel discussions and activities planned for the event.
Various activities were organised at WLF ,to achieve goals of Bringing in Inclusivity in the industry, Fostering Leadership- Encouraging Women to take up Leadership roles in the industry, attracting new talent to the industry, facilitating more Networking Opportunities for women, nurturing talent- developing and enhancing skill sets to take up diverse and challenging roles, Community Building- help knowledge exchange, Case studies- sharing personal stories for building the future roadmap, identifying and recognising role models in the industry etc.
The next editions of the forum will be held in Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad; as part of the agenda to promote gender diversity and inclusive leadership in the exhibition industry in India.