Breaking the glass ceiling and mastering the event tech industry with Disa Cameron
In our latest installment of EventLand’s season 2 podcast series, we zoom in on event technology in 2022.
EventLand’s brand new season 2 podcast series is powered by InEvent and hosted by Marian Volkwyn. The podcast aims to share event insight from some of the best event profs in the business. No-holds-barred – we want to share the good, the bad, and the ugly.
We invited virtual events professional and tech goddess Disa Cameron. Disa has over 20 years of experience in the live events industry and over a decade of experience with virtual and hybrid events. Disa started as an events technician.
In this episode of EventLand, Disa takes us on her journey, which goes back to when she was in high school, and discusses the gendered gap in the events technology industry.
Listen to the full episode here:
Disa is a certified audio engineer and currently the VP on the board of MPI Ottawa, but her career started in performing arts. She wrote music, played guitar, and sang, and that’s where her allure to audio began.
Her teachers became aware of her talent and encouraged her to join the stagecraft team, and she was “bit by that bug.” But it wasn’t all sunshine and roses for the 20-year old who was fresh out of school.
Disa had the privilege and responsibility to work in a million-dollar theater and work on a console with 36 channels.
“No one told me that I would be the only woman in a group of 35 technicians, and everyone was old enough to be my dad,” explains Disa with a giggle. While recounting the intense details of gender inequality in the event tech industry, she somehow manages to do so with light-hearted wit.
Looking back on her journey in the industry, Disa is determined to change the experience of young women in the industry.
“Now, I am involved with Women of Encore Canada, and I am on the diversity, equity, and inclusion committee. We are making strides to make this an equal gender opportunity to work and a more welcoming environment for people from all walks of life. It’s not just about gender diversity. It’s also about minorities, indigenous, LGBT, inclusiveness from all walks of life.”
Disa’s advice for minority event technicians
Be resilient and adaptable.
“This is a high-stress industry, and everything moves quickly, especially since the pandemic,” explains Disa. Before the pandemic, virtual and hybrid events were few and far apart. Now, it is what is keeping the industry alive. It is essential to remain agile in an ever-changing industry.
Since it was a challenge for industry veterans to take Disa seriously when she was an entry-level technician, it helped her cause to be a qualified professional.
Her certifications resulted in co-workers giving her the credit that was due to her in the first place.
Be humble to your craft.
Understand that there is always something new you can learn from the next. It is important to be humble to your craft and the people around you.
“Even an entry-level tech has something to teach industry veterans like me,” explains Disa.
Although the industry might be male-dominated, they might have the necessary insight and experience to make your event successful.
“Be humble. Take a breath, lean back and express that you are interested in hearing others’ opinions. Say: ‘I appreciate you taking the time and making sure that those details are covered”.
Listen to the full episode here:
This episode of EventLand was brought to you by InEvent. Check out Season 1, where we spoke to:
- Courtney Stanley on The adventures of being an event planner and emcee: Event Horror Stories [Episode 1].
- Beth Hernandez on The Silver Lining of Event Planning: Event Horror Stories [Episode 2].
- Tackling technical event planning with Anca Trifan: Event Horror Stories [Episode 3]
Tune in for more podcast episodes by EventLand, by following EventLand on Spotify.