To celebrate International Women’s Day we are highlighting some of the incredible events you’ve set up on Ticket Tailor which empower, support and provide community to women around the world.
This client spotlight is an interview with the inspiring Fiona Grayson from She can. She did. She tells us what motivated her to launch She can. She did. and shares some nifty tips and tricks on running events. Hint: gin features a lot!
To kick-off, what does She can. She did. do?
Through a combination of in-depth, down-to-earth interviews with some of the UK’s most inspiring female founders on the weekly She can. She did. Podcast and a sold-out series of down-to earth networking events that take place in multiple cities throughout the UK, aptly called The Midweek Mingles, She can. She did. is redefining the landscape for young, female founders by putting the (honest) spotlight on women in their teens, twenties and thirties who have dared to go solo and launch their own businesses across Britain.
Amazing, so what led you to setting it up in the first place?
I was 24 when the idea for She can. She did. popped into my head. I was working my way up in a career that looked amazing on paper. It paid well for my age, took me all over the world and gave me a huge amount of responsibility from my very first day on the job aged 20, but ultimately I wasn't passionate about the day-to-day job at hand! I was becoming increasingly aware of women my age that had started to launch businesses on social media and in certain articles that I'd stumbled across, but having grown up in a household where both of my parents left their corporate careers to start their own small businesses (and thus grew up in a household where I witnessed the highs and lows of life as a business owner), it frustrated me that running a business was often made out to look a lot more glamorous than it is at times!
The inevitable challenges were often overlooked with sweeping statements like, "the first few years were tough but then..." If I was going to launch a business, I wanted to know how these women really got to where they are today, warts and all. With that, I decided to launch She can. She did. with two aims in mind: to motivate current female founders to persevere (by highlighting that setbacks en route are normal!) and encourage aspiring female founders that launching a successful business is possible - no matter your age, race or social background - but only if you’re willing to grit your teeth and work damn hard!
And what do the events themselves look like?
The She can. She did. - Midweek Mingles are a sold-out series of down-to earth networking events which attract 80-120 female founders and aspiring business owners in London, Milton Keynes, Manchester, Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham and Cardiff to date.
There's always a panel of incredibly inspiring young female founders, all of whom are local to whichever city we're in, who are all willing to open up to the audience about absolutely everything that they've had to push through behind the scenes to get to where they are today.
I also partner with gin brands at every event (I'm a hardcore G&T girl!) along with some amazing beauty brands like Nuxe, St Tropez, Westlab Salts, Tisserand and Burt's Bees plus foodie brands like Livia's, Tony's Chocolonely and KIND to ensure that from the moment that guests arrive, there are complimentary (and oh so tasty) drinks on tap so that they can let their hair down and mingle safe in the knowledge that they'll be leaving with a whole lot of goodies to reward their hard work and have a well-deserved pamper too.
Sounds like you take good care of your guests! Do you have any tricks for promoting events?
I promote all of the She can. She did. Midweek Mingles on Instagram @shecanshedid and am lucky enough that the She can. She did. audience rally around each event and promote them organically with their networks too.
I also refund the first ticket that comes through as a special thank you for being so quick off the mark which encourages everyone that 100% knows that they want to come along to get their tickets as soon as they go live!
That’s a nice touch. What's the thing for you that marks a successful event compared to a less successful one?
Allowing your brands personality to shine through at each event. There's nothing worse than a company putting on an event for the sake of putting on an event in my opinion and then going through the motions of what they think a 'networking event' should look like. I've been at events where networking is made to feel so stuffy and rigid (where you're instructed to get your phones out and follow the brand organiser/ shake hands/ swap business cards with every single person in the room/ stand around on your own desperately looking for someone to chat to etc... etc...!) and as a guest, it's so hard to relax in those environments.
The Midweek Mingles have been designed with that in mind so from day one, I was determined to ensure that from the minute guests arrive, they'll be greeted by one of the She can. She did. team and there will be a big G&T waiting for them to calm the nerves! No one is standing on their own, honesty and openness are encouraged on the panel so the audience relax and I go out of my way to make sure that every single person in the room has a good night and leaves feeling glad that they came!
And what's your one tip for someone organising their first event?
Always pack a spare of scissors and double sided sticky tape! And make sure you have the venue contact's mobile so that you can find them easily on the day if needs be!
What's been your proudest moment of running She can. She did.?
Gosh, there's been a few! I'm really proud of the fact that all 19 of the She can. She did. Midweek Mingles have sold out to date in 7 cities around the UK. The very first Midweek Mingle in London in April 2018 will forever be one of the most special nights of my life though! I couldn't sleep afterwards because I was on such a high and couldn't quite believe that it sold out as quickly as it did and then those people actually turned up!
More recently though, I'm proud of the fact that Forbes listed She can. She did. as the best ‘UK Networking and Support Group’ for young, female entrepreneurs. It's been a dream of mine to feature in Forbes since I was little so that was a real pinch me moment given that She can. She did. started from me sat behind my laptop in my flat, with 0 young, female founders in my network two years ago!
And finally, how did you hear about TicketTailor and why did you decide to use it with your events?
I'm gearing up for the next She can. She did. Midweek Mingle roadshow to celebrate International Women's Day throughout March and have used Eventbrite for the previous 19 Mingles. I'd started to notice that their fees were going up and because 10% of the ticket sales for this roadshow will be going to SmartWorks, I wanted to find a cheaper platform to use. After a quick Google, Ticket Tailor had the best reviews so I bit the bullet and hopped over to here!
Well it’s great to have you! A massive congratulations on your events and we can’t wait to see them grow over the coming years. Head over to She can. She did. to read more about the events and podcast 👋.