Connect Sports launched the inaugural Women in Sports Tourism Forum at Paradisus Resort in Cancun, Mexico, Nov. 2-4. The intimate event hosted a dozen professionals from across the industry, including NGBs, event companies, CVBs and sports commissions. Deep-dive discussions included hot topics like how to gain respect in a male-driven industry, equal pay and how to rise to the executive level. Attendees experienced a more relaxed vibe than typical professional development events. Other talks on grant programs, stay-to-play options and general best practices were held poolside with tropical drinks in hand. Theresa Wenzel, president of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, and Beth Porreca, director of events at USA Football, gave inspirational and motivational keynotes. Wenzel shared her story of moving up in the sports industry, with the message: “Value your worth and have the confidence to ask for it.” Porreca candidly discussed her fight with breast cancer, sharing the roller coaster of emotions she has experienced over the past year and how she continues to work through it. Attendees came away excited for the event to continue next year as an invaluable tool for women in sports. “The Connect Women in Sports Tourism Forum provides a unique opportunity for women of the industry to connect on a more personal level about best practices, professional development, business opportunities and elements women experience in the industry,” says Ally Pawarski, sports sales and services manager at the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission. For more information on Connect Sports Women in Tourism Forum, visit connectmarketplace.com/women-in-sports.html.
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