The AVIXA Women’s Council, founded by the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association, with a mission to provide a global community for supporting and empowering women in the AV industry, has experienced a surge in the formation of local groups following InfoComm 2018. In just four months, the AVIXA Women’s Council has more than doubled the number of groups and now has 32 worldwide.
Local groups provide the opportunity for technology professionals to meet regularly with peers in their communities through networking, education, philanthropic causes and more. Brandy Alvarado, marketing and business development manager for rp Visual Solutions, and Cory Schaeffer, director of systems solutions for QSC, are leading the initiative to grow the council’s local groups.
After InfoComm 2018, many attendees of the show’s annual council breakfast took knowledge gained from the event to form their own local groups. Since its inception, the AVIXA Women’s Council has added groups across the United States and globally, including in the U.K., India, New Zealand, Brazil, Mexico and Australia. The most recent group to be added is in Denver.
“Someone once said, ‘We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are,’ explained Alvarado, co-founder of the council’s local groups program. “That has been our goal since starting the first local group in Southern California. We wanted to gather more than once a year at the InfoComm breakfast. After starting the Southern California group two years ago, we set our sights on New York, and at this year’s InfoComm breakfast in June, we were up to 15 groups. Since then, the momentum has picked up considerably.”
Many of the local groups gather to network, learn from featured speakers, and support the community. The Southern California group recently hosted a headshot photo event and collected donations of gently worn work clothes for nonprofit organization Working Wardrobes. The pro-AV industry sponsors and supports each local group, whether through funding, event space or speakers.
“The idea to begin the AVIXA Women’s Council local groups program came from members and continues to be a member-driven initiative,” said Amanda Eberle Boyer, senior director of member services, AVIXA. “As with all AVIXA Women’s Council initiatives, everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. In the two years the local groups program has been in existence, it has been exciting to see these close-knit AV communities grow. The support, encouragement, and learning opportunities are valuable for everyone who participates, no matter the stage in their career.”
“We saw the potential for growing the AVIXA Women’s Council,” said Alvarado. “When we began planning the InfoComm 2018 breakfast, we called upon our council leaders to help make this an activation year. The results are great, but even doubling the number of groups is still shy of where we see the council going. I urge anyone who’s looking to be a part of this groundswell to reach out and start a new group in your area.”