Angela Harar, Senior Director of Shows for The Vision Council, and Christine Flanagan, Vice President of Operations for Reed Exhibitions, are to be honored by two esteemed event industry publications, BizBash and Trade Show Executive (TSE) respectively, for their work that contributes to the ongoing success of the Vision Expo portfolio of shows. Co-owned by Reed Exhibitions and The Vision Council, Vision Expo East and Vision Expo West are global conferences and exhibitions for eyecare and eyewear that draw more than 30,000 eyecare professionals each year.
Harar was named to the BizBash inaugural list of Top 500 People in Events that consists of event professionals from the United States and Canada who lead the largest trade and consumer shows, orchestrate global brand campaigns and plan high-visibility cultural events that garner heavy traffic on social media.
“I am honored to be recognized by BizBash alongside contemporaries I am continually inspired by,” said Harar. “Every day I strive to fulfill two goals: motivate myself and my team to bring passion and precision to ensure the success of our shows and serve as a role model to my family.”
In her role at The Vision Council, Harar is responsible for strategy, marketing and communications for Vision Expo and works closely with the team at Reed Exhibitions. In 2015, Harar served as the youngest chairperson on the Major American Trade Show Organizers Council (MATSO) within the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE). Harar regularly speaks at industry events, including BizBash’s Elevate, a conference for event and meeting professionals that addresses topics such as using new event technology tools and improving association events and trade shows.
“Narrowing the world of event professionals down to just 500 standout individuals was not easy,” said BizBash editor in chief Beth Kormanik. “Some are well known, while others work strategically behind the scenes, but all are deserving of recognition for their leadership, creativity, and results.”
Flanagan was named to Trade Show Executive’s inaugural Women to Watch – a program that identifies and encourages the next generation of leaders in the trade show industry. The six honorees were selected by a panel of TSE editors based on various criteria, including recent professional achievements within the last year, demonstrable leadership qualities and/or having demonstrated a high level of excellence in show management. In her role as the second in command for operations for Reed Exhibitions’ portfolio of shows, Flanagan is responsible for overseeing the logistics of Reed’s operations teams, including the team dedicated to Vision Expo. From 2011–2014, Flanagan served as the Director of Operations where she directly managed pre-show and onsite logistics for several events including Vision Expo. Flanagan will be honored at TSE’s Gold 100 Awards & Summit this week.
“Receiving the Trade Show Executive’s Women to Watch award is an honor, it is exciting to be recognized alongside such likeminded women,” said Flanagan. “This award brings to life the influence that women have in our industry and I am proud to help pave the way for the generations to come. I love what we do and the impact I can make to our industry while also being a wife and a mom.”
Trade Show Executive cited in its announcement of the Women to Watch report that according to a recent survey by the Society of Independent Show Organizers, women make up 64 percent of the workforce among independent show organizers with 9 percent of companies having a female CEO, compared to a 6.7 percent average for the Fortune 500 list. Additionally, women represent 35 percent of senior-level management of those companies surveyed, and 51 percent of mid-level management positions.
TSE’s Gold 100—a list that recognizes events that set the gold standard in trade shows—regularly honors Vision Expo East for its excellence. Several other shows produced by Reed Exhibitions are also regularly included on the TSE Gold 100 list including G2E—Global Gaming Expo, International Security Conference & Exposition West, JCK Las Vegas, National Hardware Show and the Professional Golfers’ Association of America Merchandise Show.