Womens Entrepreneur Festival Re-Cap

What an event.  If you go to Twitter, and put in the hash tag #wefestival you can actually read some of the highlights from the Womens Entrepreneur Festival.  The real highlight was the conversations that were had among all the attendees.  Of course those conversations were not taped but I heard from so many women who were there about the people they met, the businesses they heard about, the relationships they made, the ideas that started….I could go on and on and on.  It was quite a unique event.

What made it so unique was a mixture of things.  The panels were not only inspiring but educational.  Five women on each panel that connected horizontally but not vertically.  That makes for interesting conversation.  They might all be taste makers, community makers or knowledge makers but they are each in very different businesses.  What is of interest is that each entrepreneur has had many of the same experiences from raising money, to growing their businesses, to hiring the right people.  Hearing that from your peers confirms your experience.  It is really helpful because sometimes as an entrepreneur, even though you have investors and employees, you can feel very lonely. 

The audience was the key.  The beauty of having this event at ITP/NYU is that we can afford to charge only $250 a ticket.  That enabled us to have an audience where the ages range from 19-65 and that makes for some serious cross-mentoring and a lot of really interesting conversations.  Having only women there also creates a very different dynamic.  Everyone can put their guard down and talk about issues that are not all relegated to business.  That is healthy and helpful. 

All and all, it was just a fantastic event.  Round 2 is not always so easy to pull off but I bet if you polled everyone there they would say that Round 2 was pretty damn good.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Elinorec

    Long Live WE! Best conference I’ve ever attended!

    1. Gotham Gal

      Wow. Love that

    2. NancyVerve

      I second that emotion — best conference ever — and I’ve been to a few! Told Nancy H so in person, but I’ll put it in virtual ink here! Thank you, Joanne, Nancy, Midori for a stupendous effort — and outcome!

      1. TanyaMonteiro

        I third that statement with lots of emotion LLWe. 

  2. Deirdre

    Round 2 was excellent.  I kept a running list of ideas for my business that came out of conversations, panel discussions, etc–in Evernote.  Of course, the key is execution, but it was really a creative day.  I’ll let you know how many get finished and what the biz impact is.  Will be interesting to track.   Like last year, I came away fired up and re-charged.  Loved the energy and connections and the exchanges.  Big thanks to you, Nancy and Midori. 

  3. PMarchetti

    This looks like an amazing conference… and it’s going on my calendar next year. 

  4. Amy Bevilacqua

    What makes this “conference” different (and so valuable) is the permission to be vulnerable.  Reference Brene Brown’s TED talk on this (http://www.ted.com/talks/br…, recommendation from a WE Festival panelist!  In being open about our fears about entrepreneurs, we discover how we can help each other.

  5. Amy Cross

    I’ve been to tech conferences, women’s media conferences, startup conferences–but going to a women’s startup/tech conference was the best of many world.   I talked for 24 hours and still didn’t come close to meeting everyone I wanted to.You’ve tapped into this new economy of women doing, making and selling their own way through the world.  Its very exciting.Hechinger, Yasuda and you did a fab job and we really appreciate it.  Just lunched with someone today who I met.

  6. marketpublique

    It was a fabulous event and I felt lucky to be there. Everyone I met was very inspiring, each and every woman in different ways and at different stages in their careers. I also loved the openness and honesty of all the panel conversations. They definitely felt more real and useful that the same-old sunny PR tune that a lot of other conferences sometimes have. Running a business is hard and the conversation should reflect that. The WeFestival did this really well and gave everyone the guidance and energy to keep going. Thank you for putting together a fabulous event!

    1. Gotham Gal

      thanks for coming. each person that writes about how much the event was meaningful and educational means a tremendous amount to me.

  7. Sunchowder

    Your choices for panelists were excellent and that Keynote by Adrianna Huffington!!!  The venue could not have been better, the event was perfect, food was delightful, plenty of time for networking, great topics.  What can I say?  I met some fabulous women and came back really energized.  I am really looking forward to next year already and I can’t wait to see the business opportunities that were created in those rooms.  The willingness to share information and the vunerablity and honesty displayed by everyone is one huge takeaway for me.   

    1. Gotham Gal

      the honesty was amazing.

  8. hellosailor

    I would love to go next year. For some reason, I didn’t know about this until it happened. It’s great that you keep the tickets affordable, because my pet peeve is educational events that are really expensive. (I belong to a professional organization, and I feel like going to one of their lunch talks is always $175-$250, which is absurd for an hour talk. I think they think your company will expense it, but it’s not the economy for that right now and a lot of more junior people–who are the ones who probably need it most–won’t get that approved.)

    1. Gotham Gal

      that is why we keep it low. also it is at itp and believe it or not we make money. that money goes to the scholarship pool for itp students.

  9. Barbara Pantuso

    The first WE Festival was so inspiring and amazing that I kind of wondered if it was just a singular magical moment spun out of the great chemistry of the people there and the perfect timing for me personally. Now, having attended the 2nd WE Festival, I can say that it’s the magic of the conference and it can be repeated! In fact, it was even stronger this year. Ariana’s keynote was amazing and there were more attendees so it was just buzzing at all times. I’m honored to have been a part of it and very grateful to you, Joanne, and to Nancy and Midori. Can’t wait for the 3rd annual WE Festival!

    1. Gotham Gal

      you are the ultimate success story of the WE Festival!

  10. John Revay

    hi Gotham Gal – Looks like you had a great event – your subsequent post about viewing the event through the eyes of the guy doing the video confirmed what you said here in this post re: horizontal connection vs vertical – this is a great analogy.Question – do you let Males attend – or is there a check box on the application.> I do like the fact that you only charged $250> I think that allows for a lot of main stream people to attend vs just suits.  I wanted to send a good friend of my – she is two years out of school and and would have enjoyed this type of program.  >How quickly did the program fill up?

    1. Gotham Gal

      we do let males come but only one applied too late into the game. we filled up rather quick. i believe we had over 600 applications for 230 spots.

  11. Lisa Small

    Gotham Gal, You, Nancy and Midori really accomplished the impossible – a Festival as unique, inspiring and empowering as WEF1.  Congratulations and thank you!  While the keynote speaker and the panelists were each such accomplished women, they at the same were so honest, relatable and practical in the advice, learning and experiences they shared.  I am hopeful that with the support of the incredible women I met this year and last year, by the time WEF3 comes around, I will have officially joined the prestigious ranks of the WEF’ers who have launched.  

    1. Gotham Gal

      fingers crossed for you.

  12. drug rehabilitation california

    What an event. If you go to Twitter, and put in the hash tag #wefestival you can actually read some of the highlights from the Womens Entrepreneur Festival. The real highlight was the conversations that were had among all the …