by Kaylee Hultgren | July 01, 2008

Allyson Kapin"It was rewarding hearing these amazing women discuss thought-provoking topics."

Allyson Kapin is founder of Women Who Tech, a Washington, D.C.-based organization and support network for women in the field of technology. The first annual Women Who Tech TeleSummit, a live virtual conference held in March, drew more than 650 attendees from around the world. Kapin has organized events ranging from benefit concerts to film festivals, and she is a founder of Rad Campaign, an online communications firm serving nonprofit organizations.

What was most rewarding for you about the Tele-Summit? Hearing these amazing women discuss thought-provoking topics like fighting sexism in the tech sector and how to toot our own horns. It also was very inspiring to hear women like Arianna Huffington of Huffington Post and Joan Blades of Moveon.org relate their own experiences. I still get thank-you e-mails from women who are tired of feeling underrepresented at tech conferences and in the media.

What was the most challenging part of conducting an event online? Webinar technology is still evolving, so during our TeleSummit some participants had browser-compatibility issues with the software or were scrambling at the last minute to download it in time for the sessions. But the few tech issues that we had were resolved quickly.

What advice do you have for first-time planners? Increase your budget, since there will always be unanticipated expenses; make sure you aren’t competing with other events in your industry near the same dates; and create an advisory committee with big names in the field, since they’ll establish credibility with sponsors and the media.