When Joseline Hernandez decided to gather up the ladies of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta for a “women’s empowerment video shoot,” I knew the phrase women’s empowerment had officially become overused—like that the push-up bra your bestie always wears because it uplifts the “girls” and motivates the boys! The idea of a united front among Black women is certainly appreciated, but this new wave of girl power has gotten more agitating than empowering, especially when it comes to business events and conferences.
According to statistics, Black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs and it seems that everyone wants to capitalize of this movement. So what we have now are a plethora of events held by “boss chicks” who want you to believe their rags- to-riches, 12 years a corporate slave narrative while selling you an expensive coaching program that is guaranteed to generate six figures in 30 days. I’m not saying this is totally impossible. But if it took her a while to get her thing going… then how, Sway?
And although brunch and mimosas are a plus, it’s going to take more to fill an audience of women hungry for purpose as an entrepreneur. Hosting a business empowerment function is the new hustle, but can it at least be a legit one? If you are looking to make an impact with your next live event here are some things attendees are not checking for.
1. Celebrity fluff. While having a celebrity at your event adds glamour and makes tickets sell quicker, it should not be the core of your event. Many reality TV stars are headlining empowerment events and panels, but have no relevance to the subject matter being taught. To make things legit, seek panelists who can authentically provide what your attendees needs.
2. General information. When entrepreneurs decide to attend your event, they expect to get more than general info that they can Google. Instead of a workshop on how to publish a book, opt for something of more value such as how to get paid speaking engagements from your book.
3. Outrageous sponsorship levels. So you really think someone is going to give you $10,000 to have their logo on your website that gets little traffic? Consider how a potential sponsor would be able to capitalize from participating in your event when determining how much money you will ask for. How will exposing their brand to your audience ultimately help the sponsor?
4. No receipts. Before you put down a deposit for your venue and announce anything on Facebook Live, make sure you are actually qualified to present your event. Are you actually proficient in business? Has your clientele doubled since your first year in business? Or are you still struggling to see profits and secretly working a 9-5 because you have to, not because you want to. True, you don’t have to be perfect to start, but there’s a fine line between stepping out on faith and misleading people about your success.
Nothing’s wrong with empowerment events, but a rule of thumb is they should empower the audience far more than they do the host.