When we announced our Women in Digital SXSW Meet Up in Austin we did so with zero connections in the city and nothing other then an EventBrite post that read:
Join the most powerful Women in Digital for our first ever Austin happy hour and mixer. Refresh yourself with a break from the SXSW madness and meet your amazing sisters in arms of Women in Digital. No conference badge necessary. Just your lovely selves and your brilliant digital minds. Meet the Women w/n digital media and marketing who are blazing a path toward a more equal future where all women in digital feel empowered, inspired and educated – by each other. Also, sorry guys, but no men allowed. Only women who work in the digital field.
Those words attracted 1200 women to RSVP. Attendees later told me the copy is what attracted them. So, I leave it there as something to study. What is it about these words and our group’s mission that continue to attract hundreds of women in every city we enter to sign up?
It happened in Columbus when our first event garnered 150 RSVPs in 5 days after one Linkedin post and when our second event sold out in two days and then the first conference sold out in 3.5 weeks. And now it was happening in Austin. Michelle and I watched in awe as the RSVP list grew by the hundreds each week.
When we arrived our SXSW Women in Digital meet up the mixing and mingling had already begun. We were a bit late having to record our live SXSW podcast with special guest, Kristina Durante. (After the show she jumped in the car to join us for the launch party). If you missed the podcast, catch it here. This is an instant favorite of mine. LOVED having the studio audience present. We’ll be recording in front of an audience from now on.
At the SXSW launch party the women had come from all over the country and the world. All drawn by those words on the RSVP, all drawn by the individual purpose that brings us together for collective change. I introduced the group, told the story and presented our absolutely amazing featured guests. Kerry Flynn of Mashable, Natalie DiBlasio of Wired Magazine, Kristi Daraban of Abercrombie & Fitch, Meredith Ulmer of Wendy’s Social Team and Hedy Long of Satellite Autoglass.
By the time we were finished we had women volunteering to start chapters in their respective cities, which spanned the globe from Montreal, Quebec to Cape Town, South Africa and San Francisco. Now the real planning begins as we put together our chapter roll out model. Stay tuned… and contact us here to start a chapter in your own city.
Here are some pictures from the event. Thanks to you all!