An experienced and ambitious businesswoman, Christie Day is the driving force behind Women in Business Expo, the number 1 free-to-attend business event for women in the UK. It provides inspiration, guidance and business services to find your perfect career match or support your business journey over two-days.
After forging a highly successful career organising market leading events, Christie spearheaded the launch of the revolutionary Women in Business Expo in 2019, an event designed for ALL women at any stage of their career. Headlined by Karren Brady, Michelle Mone and Caprice Bourret, the event saw over 4,000 attendees and was sponsored by global brands including Sky, IBM, NatWest, HSBC and Vodafone. It featured on the BBC, Metro, Forbes, Grazia, Sky News, Wall Street Journal, Psychologies and more.
Christie was featured on the #SheStartedIt100 list of Top 10 women to watch in the UK and is nominated for the Exhibition News Awards 2020 as Best Event Director. Women in Business Expo is also nominated in two categories; Best Consumer Show and Show Rising Star.
Can you please tell us a little about yourself and your journey from graduate to now?
After graduating from Kingston University with a degree in Business with Media & Spanish, I went straight into the world of events in a sales/marketing role for an exhibitions company that also organised awards, published magazines and had many other platforms. Soon after this, Rob Sherwood (now Managing Director of Hub Exhibitions Ltd) and I worked together to launch Beyond Boundaries Live, an empowerment event for the disabled industry. Following this I was headhunted for the BBC Good Food Show and went on to join the Imago Techmedia team. I started in sales for IP Expo, the largest IT event in the UK (now called Digital Transformation EXPO) and progressed to Event Manager and eventually Sales Director of the IP Expo Series, expanding it to the Nordics and the US. Having worked on a leading tech event and reaching my career goals within 10 years at the same organisation, I was ready for a new challenge. The timing couldn’t have been better, as Rob Sherwood, my former boss, reached out to me about launching Hub Exhibitions Ltd, a new events company organising ethical and topical events. The first being Women in Business Expo, which was music to my ears as it was the first national dedicated event of its kind. The fact the start-up began during the economic uncertainty of Brexit, yet still received incredible support from sponsors, exhibitors, media partners and speakers, showed both the demand and calibre of the event.
What are some of your challenges/ experiences of glass ceiling and how did you manoeuvre your way around it?
Throughout my profession I’ve seen the differences in how women and men are treated in the workplace, including of course the gender pay gap. I developed my skill set with previous employers and learnt so much, however due to my successful sales career I was pigeonholed into that one department. This propelled me to take a big risk and leave. Going from working for a financially backed corporate to working for a start-up, is daunting and really pushed me to grow. I can honestly say I’ve learnt more in the past year and a half whilst being at Hub Exhibitions Ltd than I have through my entire career.
How did you make sure you stood out of the crowd?
Leveraging on the power of networking, being visible and putting myself out there. Having a big personality along with confidence has gotten me to where I am. Growing up I did not excel in school and always knew there was a place for me to shine in the business world. I was always taught to be independent and that empowered me to be driven and establish a strong work ethic.
What advice would you offer to others interested in doing a similar role as yourself?
Gain a combination of work experience, from being in a start-up and having exposure to all different functions of the business, to being in a corporate role and having that credibility of a recognised name on your CV. Build strong relationships with your customers and staff, as they will look after you and your business. Also finding a mentor is incredibly valuable. As a leader I have a very hands-on, collaborative approach. It’s not all about delegation. I find it truly rewarding when I get the best out of my team and a lot of that comes from encouraging their professional development and leading by example.
How do you make sure you have a good balance of home and work life?
I love travelling and make sure I visit a new country at least once a year. At home my husband and I have a rule of having no phones/TV on at dinnertime. The same goes for if we have guests round for dinner. I’m quite a social butterfly and enjoy making plans with friends at the weekends. Work hard, play hard.
What's next for your career?
I’ll continue to grow Hub Exhibitions Ltd into a market leading, award-winning events company. I’d love to see us launch shows internationally and across multiple industries. It’s amazing to look back on what we’ve already achieved in just over a year. I know we are in a very uncertain time right now, however events are not dead. They are temporarily at a standstill and I believe once everything returns to normality, they’ll be at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
Women in Business Expo South, 14-15 October 2020, ExCeL London
Women in Business Expo North, 3-4 November 2020, Manchester Central
Find out more and register your place here https://www.wibexpo.co.uk/
Connect with Christie on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christie-day-b06b6317/