Event Industry

Women Rising Up! Smart Women 2016 Industry Leaders

Written by Janet Amistoso


This content is an excerpt from Smart Meetings magazine and reprinted with permission.  This is truly an exemplary look at women leaders who are making new rules for themselves, the industry and their world at large.  As a female-run company, The Meeting Pool is pleased to present their stories for our readers.  Thanks Smart Meetings!







Often behind the scenes, predicting issues before they ever see the light of day, meeting and event professionals are doing the dirty work. There is no such thing as weekends, attendees are always going to be too cold and too hot, and it’s wise to have cab money handy just in case a CEO enjoys that Napa Valley wine a little too much.

According to a 2011 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, women make up 76 percent of meeting and event professionals. Designed to support the large number of women in the industry, Association for Women in Events (AWE) launched in 2015 to serve as a resource, provide mentorship and enhance careers.

“I’ve witnessed more driven, ambitious, dedicated and tenacious women than ever before coming out of the woodwork to form a community and support system for other women, especially in building the Association for Women in Events,” says Carrie Abernathy, CMP, CEM, CSEP, co-founder and president of AWE. “Now is truly the time for women’s professional advancement in the industry, for women to have a seat at the boardroom table.”

Smart Meetings wanted to learn more about these women, who they are and what makes them tick. Selecting from more than 200 nominations, we have identified 25 executive leaders, doers, innovators, entrepreneurs and rising stars who are making an impact in the meetings and events industry.

“Join me in congratulating these pioneers, who are paving the way for the next generation of empowered women,” Abernathy says. “I’m truly honored to know and work beside these amazing women in the industry.”

Content created by Smart Meetings, an integrated media company for the meetings, travel and hospitality industry. Resources include a monthly print and digital magazine, online news, an award-winning enewsletter, webinars, venue and destination directories, networking events and site selection tools.


The Meeting Pool is proud to partner with industry publications like Smart Meetings.  In addition to having some of the most timely and topical content for event professionals, they also host a legion of hosted buyer events that bring together top venues and tech companies so that planners can get one-to-one time to understand and discuss individual meeting needs.  Plus, every Smart Meetings event now has a SmartTECHbar to ask all of those burning tech questions and try gadgets while you enjoy these engaging networking events!  Join us next week at the fabulous Concourse Hotel at Los Angeles International Airport or apply for an upcoming session!

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Janet Amistoso

Janet Amistoso holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She has a marketing background in the medical device, publishing, and trade show industries. Her professional background has allowed her to be an organizer, exhibitor, and attendee of conferences and trade shows. Now, with her position at The Meeting Pool, she's excited to work with organizers as a vendor and consultant to the meetings industry.