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Fresh Faces 2022: Bianca Francois

Francois is the event management team lead at FIRST and the director of events and programming for the nonprofit Gyrl Wonder.

Img 8833 2 Bianca Francois
Photo: Courtesy of Bianca Francois

Bianca Francois is the event management team lead at global brand experience agency FIRST and the director of events and programming for the nonprofit Gyrl Wonder. Based in New York, she's previously worked in event and production management for companies like Viacom, EPIX and Creative Edge Parties.

How she spends her days: "It may be safe to say that in event and production management, no two days are the same. One day I can find myself brainstorming the look and feel of an event and the next could be focused on paperwork and budgeting. The variety is one of the main reasons I love the industry. 

I got my start in the events industry through interning, cold-emailing, sliding into companies' DMs and picking up one-off jobs. I kept a running list of planners, events and festivals I wanted to work with. As opportunities became available, I focused on ways to get my foot in the door, whether it was assistant roles or volunteering. I believe my focus on gaining experience has put me in a position to be choosey with the career steps."

Biggest takeaway from the past two years: "Engagement trumps all. I think as professionals, we're often caught up in aesthetics. The pandemic forced us to pivot to digital and/or micro-events, and the common thread prepandemic vs. post is 'can you provide an experience that keeps people engrossed?' I feel I observed this theme early in the pandemic, and it has helped me successfully transition."

Career goals: "My biggest career goal would be to inspire and empower the next generation of event and production managers."  

Advice for her peers: "Try everything. The event industry is massive! You may work in one space, but that shouldn’t limit you. Assist with a wedding, plan a corporate cocktail party, go run a box office at a festival! Your career path doesn't have to be linear; it's a jungle gym. The more you explore and have fun, the more likely you’ll find what you love."

In her free time: "I sit as the director of community engagement for a beautiful nonprofit called Gyrl Wonder. Gyrl Wonder is a professional pipeline 501c3 initiative giving rise to ambitious women of color between the ages of 17-23. Our mission is to empower through social impact and career development while producing incredible and quality talent who are ready to take their careers to the next level."

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This year's "Fresh Faces" feature is sponsored by Glisser, an award-winning meetings and events platform developed by event industry veterans to go beyond basic video and screen-sharing tech to power inspiring, high-participation events of any size.

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