Connect Marketplace is Where Events Business Gets Done.
Connect Marketplace isn't just any conference—it's your gateway to unlimited opportunity. Secure your spot!

2024 BizBash 40 Under 40: Beth Furtwangler

Beth Furtwangler, 38, is senior manager, events, National Geographic for The Walt Disney Company.

Bb40u40 2024 Recipient Graphic1200x628 Furtwangler Beth

Beth Furtwangler, 38, is senior manager, events, National Geographic for The Walt Disney Company. She's based in Washington, D.C. A quote from her nomination: "Just this year, Beth has produced over 75 events, working around the clock to pull out all the stops for Disney Branded Television and National Geographic. At any point in time, Beth could be hosting a premiere red carpet event in D.C., and then the next day flying talent and press halfway across the globe for a Nat Geo-hosted event, to scouting venues for dinners in Los Angeles or New York City the following day."

What my day-to-day looks like: "I travel a lot to events, so I’m often on the road and always looking ahead to the next event."

My career journey: "My first job was in New York on the three-person PR team at Wenner Media, the publisher of Rolling Stone, Us Weekly, and Men’s Journal. I joined National Geographic 10 years ago in the PR department and had a variety of roles, including leading internal communications for five years. I planned a lot of staff events, which caught the eye of my current manager, who hired me for the events team in 2021."

What inspires me: "I love a good challenge. It’s fun to approach a new project from scratch and figure out how to build out the entire event for the best possible guest experience that inspires more connection with our content."

Furtwangler is most proud to have planned the first-ever movie premiere at Abbey Road Studios in London for the Disney Original Documentary If These Walls Could Sing, directed by Mary McCartney.Furtwangler is most proud to have planned the first-ever movie premiere at Abbey Road Studios in London for the Disney Original Documentary If These Walls Could Sing, directed by Mary McCartney.Photo: Courtesy of National Geographic

My greatest career accomplishment: "I’m most proud to have planned the first-ever movie premiere at Abbey Road Studios in London for the Disney Original Documentary If These Walls Could Sing, directed by Mary McCartney. Thanks to the incredible team at the venue, we were able to transform one of the recording studios into a cinema and reception space to host some of the top names in music, including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and Elton John. Plus, Mel C of the Spice Girls was the DJ!"

My most memorable event: "It was actually two events. I planned the D.C. and NYC premieres of We Feed People, the National Geographic documentary about José Andrés and the impactful work he does with World Central Kitchen. The D.C. premiere was at the National Portrait Gallery—a personal dream venue—and the NYC screening was at the SVA Theatre followed by a reception at José’s very own restaurant Mercado Little Spain. I’ve been a fan of José’s for many years (my first date with my now-fiance was at one of his restaurants!), so it was a privilege to work with his team to plan both events and elevate the incredible work of World Central Kitchen.

Last fall, Furtwangler planned a weeklong trip to Tanzania for two groups of press and influencers to visit the filming locations of the Nat Geo shows Queens, A Real Bug’s Life, and Incredible Animal Journeys.Last fall, Furtwangler planned a weeklong trip to Tanzania for two groups of press and influencers to visit the filming locations of the Nat Geo shows Queens, A Real Bug’s Life, and Incredible Animal Journeys.Photo: Courtesy of National Geographic

Last fall, I planned a weeklong trip to Tanzania for two groups of press and influencers to visit the filming locations of the Nat Geo shows QueensA Real Bug’s Life, and Incredible Animal Journeys. During our visits to Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater, each group watched sneak peeks of the show and were joined virtually and in person by the series’ executive producers, showrunners, and other behind-the-scenes talent. I spent many hours coordinating the logistics for 39 people to travel around Tanzania, but it was 100% worth it to give our guests a once-in-a-lifetime experience while also providing valuable exposure for our content."

The advice I would give my younger self: "Understand that mistakes happen and learn from them. And remember to have a sense of humor."

My leadership style: "I always try to be positive and solution oriented. When working with vendors and outside agencies, problems are guaranteed to come up (and always at the last minute!). Instead of dwelling on what went wrong or pointing fingers, I try to focus on what can be done to fix the problem."

What's next: "The television industry is constantly evolving, so I’m eager to see how events and experiences can help drive more meaning and connection for fans. I’m also eager to see how new technology and venues can help attendees engage more deeply with our content."


Back to the full list

Page 1 of 47
Next Page