Building bridges, breaking ceilings

2nd Women in Exhibitions World Summit?

Following the resounding success of its inaugural edition in Maastricht, Women in Exhibitions is proud to announce the eagerly awaited second edition, set to take place on 18 – 19 November in Milan, Italy. The summit, dedicated to empowering and advancing women professionals in the exhibitions and events industry, promises to build upon the success of the previous edition and deliver an even greater impact.

The first edition of the Women in Exhibitions World Summit, held at the MECC in Maastricht in June 2023, garnered widespread acclaim for its insightful discussions, networking opportunities, and commitment to fostering gender diversity and inclusivity within the sector.

Attendees from around the globe praised the summit for its thought-provoking sessions, dynamic speakers, and great atmosphere: “What a great event: such a positive vibe! It gave me so much energy. I was touched by the generosity of the speakers in sharing their personal experiences. The 2nd edition is a “not-to-be-missed”!

Milan, a global hub of fashion and design, is increasingly embracing diversity and inclusivity.

Milan: a perfect city for our community to meet and make friends in the industry.

Programme 2024

10:45 am – 11:00 am

Welcome Coffee

11:00 am – 5:30 pm

1st Day Women in Exhibitions World Summit

During the two days of the summit, participants will have the opportunity to gain valuable insights, share experiences, and connect with fellow professionals passionate about driving positive, sustainable change. Like last year, a high level of interactivity with the delegates will be encouraged. There are also a few surprises in store! This event is subject to Chatham House Rules wherein the content may be shared, but never the identity of the person (not information pertaining to the person).

11:30 am – 12:15 pm

Kick-off with Keynote: Inspirational Women of Today & Tomorrow

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Networking Lunch

A moment to relax, enjoy some Italian cuisine, and facilitated networking.

1:15 pm – 2:00 pm

Panel Discussion: Planning Your Course, Stepping Up and Moving Forwards

During this session participants will share their experiences in navigating their career paths and transforming challenging circumstances into valuable learning opportunities. Discover what fuelled their confidence to persist, break barriers, and aim for the sky. The panellists will offer insights on the best strategies to secure promotions and advance your career. Additionally, they will provide perspectives from their respective business sectors, including practical advice and industry-specific knowledge.

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm

A Journey of Courage: Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges

Michèle Tiley-Hill, Chief Financial Officer of RX Global, was born into a world where tolerance was low and stereotyping widespread. Michèle’s journey is one of courage, of overcoming life’s often tough obstacles to build her career while respecting her values and employing her strengths. During this session, Michèle will share valuable insights on how she dealt with prejudice, coped with tragedy and built bridges to forge ahead.


2:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Networking Break and Refreshments

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Workshops in breakout rooms

Delegates will have the chance to choose between different themes such as: – Speaking in public/confidence building – Embracing cultural differences – Workplace harassment & unwanted attention – Period pains & menopause – How to have difficult conversations – How to ensure psychological safety in the workplace

4:00 pm – 4:45 pm

Panel Discussion: Giving the next generation a voice!

Join us for an insightful panel discussion on what the next generation is seeking in their careers. Our panellists, representing the voices of the emerging workforce, will share their experiences and aspirations. We will explore their expectations from senior leaders and discuss actionable strategies that organizations can implement to attract and retain top talent. Discover how to align your company’s values and culture with the needs of the next generation to create a thriving, innovative workplace.

4:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Fireside chat – Breaking ceilings

Lori will reflect on the different experiences in her career and how she managed to break through the glass ceiling, and change business sector. Lori will provide insight into the catalysts in her career, and the role that building bridges has played. Sometimes we all need to take bold action and go somewhere different.


7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Olive Oil Tasting & Networking Dinner

9:00 am – 2:30 pm

2nd Day Women in Exhibitions World Summit

This event is subject to Chatham House Rules wherein the content may be shared, but never the identity of the person (not information pertaining to the person).

8:00 am – 8:30 am

Welcome Refreshments

9:00 am – 9:45 am

Women Speaking Up from Different Regions!

Representatives from different regions across the globe will discuss the challenges and opportunities in their own regions and how they have accommodated those differences. They will also share region-specific information that will be of high interest to everyone.


9:45 am – 10:30 am

Panel Discussion: Embracing Diversity: Strategies for Inclusive Success

As our client base becomes increasingly diverse and inclusive, it’s imperative that we follow suit. Beyond the ethical responsibility, there are significant commercial benefits to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment. In this session, we will delve into the concrete measures organizations have taken to promote diversity and inclusion. Our panel will share what has proven effective, what hasn’t, and the lessons learned along the way. Join us to explore practical strategies for creating a more inclusive and successful business.


10:30 am – 11:00 am

Networking Refreshments

11:00 am – 11:30 am

Keynote: Be Inspirational, Be You

11:30 am – 12:15 am

Panel discussion: Stronger Together: How Women & Men Move Mountains Together

12:30 am – 2:00 pm

Networking Lunch

With a little olive oil surprise or two.

Who should attend the 2nd WiE World Summit?

This summit is open to all exhibition industry professionals, regardless of gender. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or just starting your career, if you’re passionate about empowering women and driving positive change in the industry, this event is for you. Be part of a movement that is reshaping the exhibition industry. Register now to secure your spot at the Women in Exhibitions Network World Summit and be inspired to build bridges and break ceilings.

Together, let’s create a more inclusive and equitable future for all in the exhibition industry.

Women in Exhibitions

The Women in Exhibitions Network was set up in 2018 to fulfill the mission of empowering women in the industry whilst helping to nurture the next generation of female leaders.

This community is the result of a joint effort of inspirational female leaders from our industry who are our founding members and ambassadors.

The Women in Exhibitions Network welcomes as members professionals representing exhibition organisers, venues and suppliers in the event industry whose business is related to the organisation and facilitation of exhibitions or trade fairs

With chapters in UK, The Netherlands, North America and DACH region, the community is a growing voice in promoting diversity and inclusion in an innovative industry.

Tip of the Day

Are you also attending the UFI Global Congress in Cologne?

There are many flights between Milan Linate airport and Frankfurt airport. From Frankfurt airport, you can take a high-speed train to Cologne city centre or Koelnmesse.