This month the CF:G team got to speak to the awesome Michaela Jeffery-Morrison, who is the Co-founder and Head of Production at Maddox Events, but also the brains behind the amazing Women of Silicon Roundabout conference!
Read on to find out more about her, as well as the amazing Maddox Events and Women of Silicon Roundabout Conference taking place this October 2016.
So, what do you do?
I am one of the co-founders of Maddox Events and the Head of Production. I am responsible for recruiting speakers, researching topic areas, creating the agendas and the organisation of the events we run. I also lead the events management services side of our business where I help other companies organise and host events.
Can you tell us a bit about what Maddox Events is and how you founded the company?
Certainly, so in short Maddox Events creates business to business conferences dedicated to technology, internationally. We host a number of events within software engineering, fintech, the sharing economy, martech, virtual reality and diversity in tech.
My business partners and I have always had a burning desire to be entrepreneurs! Together we have over 15 years of experience in event creation and management and with this we wanted to create a new type of conference experience in areas that we are passionate about. In our previous roles we felt we had reached a point where it was time to take the next step so we decided to compile a team of highly skilled tech savvy event professionals and it was from there that Maddox Events was created.
Maddox Events has had an impressive amount of success in a short amount of time. Can you tell us more about being & entrepreneur & what advice would you give to someone considering founding their own company?
Being an entrepreneur is a roller coaster; no matter your industry, skill set and motivation levels. Everyday is different and will bring with it challenges, highs, lows, successes and failures. Successful entrepreneurship is about how you deal with the aforementioned turbulence. It is essential to have an overarching goal or vision and to keep this objective at the forefront of your mind throughout the lifespan of your company, but particularly in its infancy when risk and uncertainty are at their most prominent.
In terms of advice, first of all it essential to have rock star Co-Founders, who have different skill sets to you. A complimenting range of experience across the founding partners is indispensable. Secondly, in the early days your entire existence should be focussed on reducing risk and uncertainty, the more you can predict and control, the better your company will do. Lastly, your clients are your oxygen; find them, develop a relationship with them and look after that relationship at all costs.
Maddox Events launched the incredibly successful Women of Silicon Roundabout conference this year. Could you tell us more about this conference?
Thank you! We held our first event in January this year and owing to the popularity have organised this as part of an event series. We have our London addition in October and the Amsterdam European Women in Tech Conference in November.
London will host 550+ attendees at Kings Place, in London on the 27th October, this one day, interactive multi-track conference is made up of presentations, panel sessions, deep dive sessions, workshops and networking opportunities. It’s an industry agnostic event with those in attendance from the tech, media, financial industry, gaming, e-commerce, gambling, telco and retail industries.
The event # is #WinTec16 and we also have a blog that produces content about the event and around the most current topics within tech.
Why did you want to create this conference?
Ultimately to create a platform to inspire and connect those working in technology. We want to encourage collaboration in this industry and tear down gender-based obstacles and hierarchies, and in-doing so reduce the gender gap in the tech industry.
What can attendees expect to learn and hear about?
The agenda offers thought leadership from influential senior women and men in the industry, female founders, pioneers and non-profit organisations. Through presentations, deep-dive panels and interactive workshops our attendees will learn and hear about the following:
- skills you need to move into a leadership/management role
- all aspects of entrepreneurship in tech including funding, mentorship, growth and scaling
- collaboration and conversation as measures for reducing the gender disparity we see in tech
- HR and talent attraction strategies / evolutions in management and team building
- roles and opportunities within tech that do not require a specific technical skill set
- how we can use relationships between businesses and education services as a means for opening the doors to girls from an early age - technical focussed subjects
- software development, data science, infrastructure
Can you tell us about the themes of the conference: why you chose them and how they differ from January’s themes?
In order to make sure that all of our conferences deliver on content, as well as researching the topic area thoroughly, we ask our community what they want. Before our event in January we spent a lot of time carrying out surveys and polls and collating all of that information to find out exactly where the information needs of women in tech lie. We also like to bring a little bit of controversy and debate to the conversation (to make it more interesting!). We did exactly the same for October however we were also able to consult the feedback from January’s event.
We have produced the following: Women in Tech Leadership, Female Founders, Non-Technical Women in Tech, Bridging the Gender Gap and Inspiring the Next Generation. We have also introduced deep dive sessions where we will have talks and workshops on software development, data science and infrastructure. Our recommended new tracks include female founders, HR strategies and deep dive sessions for technical focused presentations and industry trends / innovations. Our agenda is never closed to content however and depending on the speaker’s recruit we also take their experiences and passions into consideration.
Who is Women of Silicon Roundabout aimed at? If I’ve just started coding in the past months should I still come along?
Certainly! Anyone who works within the tech industry regardless of gender or level or experience is welcome and catered for at the event in terms of content and opportunities to connect with their peers. We have content for HR professionals looking to evolve their company culture, female founders, women in leadership roles and younger women looking to start or advance their career in this sphere.
If you were to be totally biased (we won’t tell them), who are you most looking forward to hearing speak at the conference
Everyone is so impressive, it’s an honour to work with them and I am incredibly humbled that they have agreed to be part of the agenda. I feel like this is something my nan would say - “I don’t have a favourite!”... but I am a massive fan of championing women in tech and as such I’m looking forward to hearing from Melissa Di Donato from Salesforce as well as innovation in attraction and retention so Jamahl McMurran from Seedcamp’s presentation is a must see for me.
When is it taking place and how can I get a ticket (and can I be cheeky and get a discount)?
Women of Silicon Roundabout 2016 is taking place on Thursday 27th October in London. Tickets vary in price depending on the type of pass you want to purchase (silver or gold) and whether you catch an early bird discount. They range from £179 upwards but if you are a member of any of our media partner communities you can get a generous discount! To buy a ticket and see the full list of speakers, go to our website: http://www.women-in-technology.com
Thanks so much Michaela! It's been great speaking with you.
Thanks to Code First: Girls!