The Experience at the 2018 Girlboss Rally in NY
The 2018 Girlboss Rally took place last weekend (November 17 and 18) at the spacious Knockdown Center located in New York, and it was pretty awesome. An honorable mention in all this before I dig into my spiel about the conference is that I was one of ten recipients (out of hundreds of applicants) for the Girlboss Game Changers Scholarship in partnership with T-Mobile (so shout out T-Mobile!).
Ever since I saw Girlboss announce their first rally, I was dying to attend! Last year was the first year I saw that they were hosting this scholarship, giving women whom are game changers the opportunity to attend (at no cost - for being a bada**) and I eagerly applied. And was SO bummed when I didn’t receive it. Fast forward one year, and here I am, a Girlboss Game Changer recipient! Of course I was ecstatic when I received the email and am so grateful to have been able to experience the rally this way.
For the first time, the Girlboss Rally was not one but TWO days of panel discussions, “fireside chats”, shopping, and more. Featured speakers included girlbosses like (but not limited to): Amani Al-Khatathbeh, Ariel Wengroff, Brooklyn Decker, Piera Gelardi, Arianna Huffington, and Rea Ann Silva. I personally was most excited for Hannah Bronfman, Cyndi Ramirez, Elaine Welteroth, and the Sophia Amoruso herself.
As I do most of (if not all) the time, I attended this rally alone. (Click here if you’d like to read some ways to make the most out of attending a conference alone!).
I, personally, really enjoy attending conferences alone because it really encourages (and pretty much forces) you to connect with and meet other attendees. Especially if the organizer(s) do a good job at making it feel like a safe space to do so, which Girlboss successfully did (IMO) with things like mini-meetups and speakers directly saying “introduce yourself to the person next to you!” - which sometimes is necessary for some to get out of their shell.
Aside from meeting new people, you also have the freedom of exploring whatever and however you want at conferences when you’re alone without worrying about what the other person wants to do. At the Rally, I would go get some snacks or some coffee as I pleased (which I loved was at our disposal all weekend, all day) - there was also seemingly a plethora of Smartwater water bottles for us, too! I would sometimes leave a panel discussion a little early to go roam the shopping bazaar and meet all the vendors there (which were all women owned brands). Shout out ThirdLove for the free bra! And I also (last minute) signed up for things like a tarot reading and the entrepreneur meetup.
The venue was pretty cool. And I really like the design aesthetic that Girlboss went with for 2018. Simple, chic, and loved the color scheme of soft pinks, sunflower yellows, and navy blue.
There were four different rooms dedicated to panel discussions, one being the main room in the center of it all, which was titled the “BallerRoom.” The others were “Hustle Hall,” “Startup Studio,” and “Wealth & Wellness.” I dig the names.
Personally, from a event producer standpoint, I feel their production staff did a great job at managing the sound in each room, making sure they didn’t leak into each other (as all the rooms essentially weren’t closed off with walls). There was a hiccup during Arianna Huffington’s talk, but it really was no biggie.
Some random things that I appreciated from the Girlboss Rally are: the non-gender specific restrooms, quick turnaround in receiving our headshots (see below), the amount of times stats were mentioned throughout the weekend (#RethinkTheRatio), amount of panels that were focused on business finances, non-moderated meetup sessions, the curated book store (there was an awesome selection, would’ve bought them all if I could’ve), Uber discount was LEGIT and RAD, and the “mother’s room.” I loved seeing mommas there with their strollers and babies, the Rally was accessible for mothers and that’s super important (especially for women focused events). And on that note, it was also awesome seeing women of all ages there! I love seeing people invest in themselves and learning at any/every age.
In comparison to other conferences I’ve attended, I would have to say the Girlboss Rally probably had the best curation of panel discussion topics. I, again, really just appreciated how much they talked about finances. It’s SO important to talk about! And there was a really great opening speaker named Sallie Krawcheck on Saturday, whom I wish was scheduled for a full hour instead of thirty minutes because her real talk on finances was incredible.
All that being said, I would definitely recommend you attend this conference if it peaks your interest - especially if you are a fan of the Girlboss brand. And especially if you’ve never attended a conference before! I can’t thank Girlboss and T-Mobile enough for the opportunity to experience this.