Event Technology Awards US & Canada Judge Spotlight: Julieanna Gray-Stipek

he Event Technology Awards (ETA) US & Canada are proud to announce Julieanna Gray-Stipek as a judge for the inaugural stateside edition.

Julieanna Gray-Stipek, a seasoned events professional with a decade of industry expertise, currently spearheads the event strategy for Forbes’s live division. Instrumental in propelling the events department’s growth at Forbes, she has orchestrated the production of globally acclaimed conferences such as the inaugural Forbes Under 30 Summits and Forbes Iconoclast Summits. Notably, Julieanna leads production on the award-winning Forbes 30/50 Summit in Abu Dhabi. She played a crucial role in reintroducing Forbes to in-person events, onboarding and introducing the company to health and safety technology. With a proven track record of bringing innovative concepts to fruition, she integrates cutting-edge technology to enhance community engagement at events. Looking ahead, she remains committed to steering the events department as an industry trailblazer, prioritizing the integration of sustainability initiatives.

How long have you worked in the events industry?

I’ve been planning business conferences for 10 years, before that I spent years in various parts of the industry from event décor to planning children’s birthday parties. I even worked at my local Party City in high school!

What have been the stand-out moments of your career?

Traveling the world with Forbes has been the privilege of a lifetime – from planning food competitions with some of the world’s top young chefs, one-of-a-kind concerts in the middle of thousands of years old historic landmarks, or iconic galas in globally renowned museums to the intimate VIP dinners with some of the brightest business minds in the word. Every experience has its own way of standing out.

What do you love most about the Event Industry?

I love the opportunity to creative community and connection for people who may not have met without attending one of the events I work on. So often I hear of relationships attendees forge after attending an event and how that friendship, mentorship or business connection changed their life in some way.

What was the last event on which you worked?

I’m currently working on the 3rd Forbes 30/50 Summit taking place in Abu Dhabi to celebrate International Women’s Day. The Forbes 30/50 Summit brings together women from the Forbes Under 30 and 50/50 lists for 4 unforgettable days of networking, programming, and sightseeing.

Who has inspired you in your career? 

My mother is always someone who went the extra mile for birthdays, holidays, and special occasions. I get my attention to detail and love for creating moments of delight for my guests from my mom. I’ve taken a lot of the lessons she’s taught me from her professional life into my own, they way she’d confidently just say “I’ll figure it out” when asked if she knew how to do something is a quality I’ve taken with me as I’ve grown in the event industry.

What do events, such as the ETAs, mean to you?

Events like the ETAs are great for industry professionals to look toward for who and what is up and coming in the industry and who’s doing it well. Technology is only as good as the people behind it – the ETAs help define the best in the industry and make decision making easy for event professionals looking for quality products.

What would you like to see in this year’s entries?

I’m looking forward to learning more about entrants that are focusing on making it easier to make the event industry sustainable, as well as products that approach networking and creating community in new and unique ways.

The Event Technology Awards Program is now open for entries in the US & Canada. Event Tech companies can enter here