Rad Girls Is Launching a New Women’s Fair That You Don’t Want to Miss

Rad Fest will bring Philly’s leading women together for a day of networking, ideas exchange and pure celebration.

A sampling of Rad Fest’s speakers. From top L to R: Laurie Satran, Director of Digital at STARR Restaurants; Amber Hikes, Executive Director of the Office of LGBT Affairs; Karin Copeland, Executive Director, Arts + Business Council; Yasmine Mustafa, co-founder and CEO, Roar for Good. Bottom L to R: Sofiya Ballin, Award-Winning Journalist; Kristin Dudley, Founder Co-Create; Melissa Alam, Founder of Femme & Fortune; Brigitte Daniel, EVP Wilco Electronic Systems.

There’s a new event in town, and I’m betting it’ll gather a cult following rather quickly. On March 22, the Rad Girls enterprise will host its inaugural Rad Fest Women’s Expo, an event that’s part job fair, part conference and a space to celebrate all things women and innovation in honor of Women’s History Month.

In its first year, Rad Fest already has a pretty impressive lineup of speakers and exhibitors. And they’ll all be present to discuss what they have in store for 2018. The aim is to get attendees energized about their goals and careers. Rad Fest promises an “enlightening panel discussions on wellness, empowerment, and driving change in the workplace.”

So far, speakers include Arts + Business Council executive director Karin Copeland, Wilco Electronic Systems EVP Brigitte Daniel and Amber Hikes, the executive director of the city’s Office of LGBT Affairs. You can view the full lineup here. And exhibitors so far include SEER Interactive, Azavea and Comcast.

“I’ve always wanted to organize an accessible and inclusive event where our community can network, see what women-led businesses in the area are working on, and gain inspiration for both career and life through our conference programming,” Rad Girls founder Leah Kauffman told me.

Since its inception, the Rad Girls platform has been growing fast, driven largely by its mission to celebrate change makers in the region. Since the 2015 Rad Awards, more than 1,050 local leaders have attended the annual event, which has collected more than 3,000 nominations. The nomination period for the 2018 awards is now open, by the way. You can submit nominations here for categories like “Innovator of the Year,” “Technologist of the Year,” and “Entrepreneur of the Year.” The deadline for nominations is March 31, with the ceremony taking place a month later on April 30.

A key distinguishing facet of Rad Fest is its accessibility. The event costs just $10 for an all-day pass. “While there are quite a few important women-focused conferences out there, Rad Fest is different because socioeconomic status is not a barrier to entry for exhibitors and attendees,” Kauffman said. “For only $10, a guest can hear from impactful leaders like Amber Hikes, Yasmine Mustafa, Laurie Satran and more. They’ll be able to connect with job opportunities and learn about new products and businesses. I think that’s pretty rad.”

To learn more about the event and to register as an attendee, speaker, exhibitor, or volunteer, visit the Rad Fest Ticketleap page here and the Rad Girls website here.