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#Expochat – Putting an End to "Manels"



Despite all of the pushing and prodding of conference organizers to create gender-inclusive panels and speaker lineups, “manels” – all-male panels – still happen. What can we as an industry do to become self-aware of this practice and make sure that the inclusion of women becomes a priority?

In this #Expochat discussion moderated by Michelle Bruno, we’ll talk about ways to ease the #tradeshow industry into a more progressive gender-parity posture.






  1. What are some recent instances in which you have noticed all-male panels or mostly make speaker lineups at tradeshow-centric conferences?
  2. Should speaking ability, industry experience and job title be more important than gender in speaker selection?
  3. Why do or don’t women’s forums, women’s conferences and other female-focused programs remove the need for gender-diverse panels?
  4. What do you think about some kind of “inclusion rider” in speaker contracts?
  5. What would/could an “inclusion rider” for event speaking contracts look like?
  6. Where can we find good female panelists/speakers on #tradeshow topics?
  7. What could an industry resource for female panelists/speakers look like?
  8. What can the #tradeshow industry do to train and nurture women panelists/speakers?
  9. What are the appropriate ways to “call out” show management for lack of gender diversity on panels?
  10. What might internal programming policies concerning gender diversity include?

When: March 21, 1-2 p.m. ET

Where: Use hashtag #Expochat and any Twitter chat tool! (Tweetchat, for example)

NEW: Come to the chat with questions about anything trade show-related. We will use our community to address your issues or maybe even hook you up with some help.

What is #EXPOCHAT?

Expochat is a Twitter-based conversation on topics related to the trade show industry. It takes place most Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time (new time slot) and tackles a single topic each week - a recurring pain point, innovative ideas, evolution of the industry, best practices, and what works. Expochat is alternately moderated by four industry thought leaders: Stephanie Selesnick (International Trade Information, Inc.), Terence Donnelly (Experient), Michelle Bruno (Bruno Group Signature Services) and Michael Doane (CadmiumCD).

Expochat has been reformatted from previous years. The discussion (new format) will last a very fast-paced 30 minutes, followed by 15 minutes during which participants may ask questions of the group on any topic. To participate, sign up on and follow the #Expochat hashtag at the appointed time. Questions will be identified as Q1, Q2, etc. Responses from participants should be written as A1, A2, etc. Tools like and others can make it easier to participate. Ideas are welcome on Expochat but commercialism is not.

Trade Show News Network, the leading online exhibition industry news resource, sponsors the chat, and topics are listed in advance on Reminders will be tweeted out prior to each week's discussion, but if you miss a chat, Storify transcripts will be available on TSNN after each chat. We gladly accept requests for topics at Guest moderators are also welcome. #Expochat, now in its fourth year, works because the community supports it. Join us for the best live conversations about the industry that signs your paycheck. Rants welcome!

Missed #Expochat? No Problem!

Check out our past chats:

March 7 – The Evolving Art of Collecting Data Before, During and Post Event –

​​​​ Feb. 28 – Developing the Sponsor/Planner Relationship:

​​​​Feb. 21 – Revisiting Social Networks –

Feb. 14 – What’s Old Is New Again – Or Is It? –

​​​Feb. 7 – To Exhibit or Not to Exhibit…That is the Question! –

​​​​Jan. 31 – Understanding & Addressing GDPR –

Jan. 24 – How to Take Advantage of Digital Data and Analytics –

Jan. 17 – Remedies for the Exhibition Industry’s #MeToo Moments –

Jan. 10 – #CES2018 and Its Impact on Trade Shows –

Jan. 3 – 2018 Predictions & Resolutions for the Exhibitions Industry –

Dec. 13 – Crowdsourcing the Best and/or Worst of Expos & Events in 2017 –

Dec. 6 – The Pros and Cons of Using Technology at Events –

​​​Nov. 15 – Non-Traditional Methods and Strategies for Attendee Growth –

​​​​​Nov. 8 – Free Advice for Trade Show Professionals: What to Keep, Start and Stop! –

Nov. 1 – What Could/Should Machines Do in the Trade Show Environment? –

Oct. 25 – Current Political Attitudes and Their Impact on U.S. Exhibitions –

​​​​Oct. 18 – Leadership, Diversity and Career Goals –

Oct. 11 – Experience Design: Is Your Trade Show Ready? –

Oct. 4 – Digital Transformation in the Global Exhibition Industry –

Sept. 27 – Disruption in the Event Industry –

Sept. 20 – What’s on Tap for IAEE’s Expo! Expo! in San Antonio? –

Sept. 13 – Hosted Buyer Events –

Sept. 6 – Disaster Preparedness and Recovery –

April 26 – Tricks of Attendee Acquisition for Events –

April 19 – Creating Education that Excites –

April 12 – Is Your Event Technology Secure? –

April 5 – Is the Old Conference/Educational Session Model Dead? –

March 29 – How Attendee “Personas” Impact Trade Shows & Events –

March 22 - Trends In Exhibition Sponsorships –

March 8 - Taking Your Brand Overseas –

March 1 - Trade Shows and the Gig Economy –

Feb. 22 - Bringing Up Baby: How to Prepare the Next Trade Show Industry Workforce –

Feb. 15 - How "Green" is the Trade Show Industry, Really? –

Feb. 8 – Are You Leaning In? –

Jan. 31 – How Might Travel Ban, Changing Trade Pacts Impact Trade Shows? -

Jan. 24 – How Are Shows ‘Giving Back?’ –

Jan. 18 – Using Hackathons to Re-Invent & Grow Your Trade Show –

Jan. 11 – CES Review - What can we learn from our shows? –

Jan. 4 – New Year’s (Event Technology) Resolutions –

Nov. 30, 2016 – Is the Trade Show Industry Ready for Artificial Intelligence? –

Nov. 9, 2016 – What Makes a Good Leader in Today’s Environment? –

Nov. 2, 2016 – TSNN Awards: Education, Inspiration, Celebration –

Oct. 26, 2016 – “Matchmaking: Can Technology Bring Exhibitors More/Better Matches and Leads?” -

Oct. 12, 2016 – All There Is to Know About IAEE's Expo! Expo! –

Oct. 5, 2016 – How Can You Build Community on the Show floor? –

Sept. 28, 2016 – How Can We Increase International Attendance at Our Shows? –

Sept. 21, 2016 – Does Gamification Work for B2B Trade Shows? –

Partner Voices

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