Most Influential Women in Event Tech 2021: Cathy Song Novelli, Hubilo

Get to know the SVP of marketing and communications at Hubilo.

BizBash Most Influential Women in Event Tech 2021
Photo: Bojana Korach

Cathy Song Novelli is the senior vice president of marketing and communications at Hubilo, an engagement-focused virtual and hybrid event platform based in San Francisco.

How I got my start in event technology: I’ve dabbled with a lot of event tech throughout my career, but my expertise in event tech grew most when I began managing global event teams around 2017. Vetting and testing new event tech constantly gives you a much deeper appreciation for all that’s out there, so it’s very easy for me to geek out on event tech still today.

Why I'm passionate about event tech: 2020 exploded in terms of what ‘event tech’ even means, and the category is huge now. I’m beyond excited to see innovation advance the industry even more. We are at a tipping point and events are being completely reimagined, so I am passionate and completely invested in being a part of the industry that is molding the new future of hybrid events. 

Where I see event tech in the future: Hybrid is the future. Virtual events are being reimagined and will become more engaging, entertaining and impactful, while in-person live events will likely scale down (I mean, who needs six days at a trade show anymore?). Event tech will be the nucleus to enabling the transition to and evolution of hybrid events. I see event tech enabling more immersive experiences and activations that match the impressiveness of in-person events. Event tech is the reason events are finally maturing into a full-fledged digital marketing channel. It’s an amazing time to be in the space!

My advice to other women breaking into the field: Don’t be afraid of the tech! I know many event organizers got into the business because they loved the creative, visual, connecting aspects of events. Event tech was not what they signed up for, and I can 100% empathize with that. I got into marketing decades ago because I loved advertising (back then that meant mostly TV, radio and magazines). Digital changed advertising and all marketing, and I had to evolve and constantly learn new technologies. Events are no different, so embrace the crazy and jump in.

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