Brand Building
June 1, 2020
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Leading Ladies Goes Virtual

Over the past several years, Seed’s series of Leading Ladies networking events have grown in interest and popularity among women in marketing, advertising and innovation who are looking for a fun, casual evening of mingling and mentoring.

When planning the latest Leading Ladies night, the team knew that bringing a large group of people together in a confined space simply wasn’t in the cards. So, they did what everyone else has done recently: turn to technology.

Seed and Burke  leveraged Zoom to host more than 40 women from around the country (and the world) at a the first ever virtual Leading Ladies networking event. Working in consumer packaged goods, auto parts, pharmaceuticals, restaurants, technology, beauty care and other industries—these amazing women came together for a dynamic event aimed at connecting people from all parts of their career journeys in order to share experiences, advice and support.

The one and a half hour session kicked off with Seed’s Director of Social Science & Analytics, Catherine Salzman, sharing a brief, insightful presentation on the pandemic’s impact on the population—specifically focusing on how women are handling this challenging time and how brands might adapt to the new normal.

The talk tapped into Seed’s proprietary 4Cs model of human motivation, which categorizes key insights into the areas of control, comfort, coping and community.

“The group was really open and honest about their personal stories around the 4Cs,” said Cherri Prince, Seed’s EVP, Head of Growth. “While Catherine was presenting, the chat box was exploding with affirmations, shared experiences and validation. Whether it was divulging personal comfort behaviors like not wearing makeup and sporting yoga pants, or talking about which snack time favorites were helping them cope, or diving into control behaviors—which translated to getting clear on what you have control over and what you don’t—it was a magical experience that connected real insights with real-life experiences, all in real time! ”

Following Catherine’s presentation, attendees went on to participate in Quick Connects—a speed-mentoring activity created by Seed to spark thought-provoking conversations, ranging from career-focused advice to guilty-pleasure confessions—and this time, the personal impact of stay at home orders and other virus-related social restrictions.

In traditional in-person Leading Ladies events, the Quick Connects activity entails mingling and rotating tables to continually meet and chat with new people. However, in this new virtual environment, the team utilized Zoom breakout rooms to deftly flow between the large-group video chat to two-person Zoom sessions, where attendees could connect more personally to answer Quick Connect prompts.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect when hosting this event virtually, especially when it feels like most of us in the industry are now on video calls all day—but this one was definitely different, in a good way,” said Seed Strategist and event organizer, Maggie Huntwork. “It was amazing to see how quickly we were able to make genuine connections. And whether you are from California, Ohio or Switzerland, we discovered that most of us are all juggling the same emotions as we try our best to balance work, home schooling and running a household. At the end of the event, I felt truly inspired and recharged.”

Despite the restrictions associated with social distancing, the Seed team created yet another successful and memorable Leading Ladies event. Not only did it prove the importance of connection in this unprecedented time, but it also brought together even more women, from more locations and more industries than ever before.


Maggie Huntwork is a Strategist at Seed Strategy where she leverages her marketing, innovation, number-crunching and storytelling expertise to highlight the best, most unique assets of any brand and help clients unlock new paths to growth.

Edited by Adam Siegel. In addition to being the Editor of The Accelerator, Adam is VP, Creative at Seed Strategy where he draws upon his diverse experience in advertising, research and innovation to craft breakthrough creative and winning concept copy.

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