Transforming Experiences:
Talking Digital with Narisa Wild

We sat down with Narisa Wild, SVP of our Advance digital team, to discover more about the latest digital trends, and why she thinks a balanced workforce is a better one.

What does an ideal Saturday look like to you?

I’m a big trail runner, so I’d kick off my day with a nice run in the mountains with my golden retriever Tess. Then I’d teach yoga, which I do every Saturday. Yoga is such an important part of my life.

 Afterward, I’d do something fun with my family. We live in Colorado, so during ski season you can find us on the mountain all weekend. We have so much fun, and my kids are avid skiers and snowboarders. But as long as I’m with my kids and my husband, I don’t mind what I’m doing.   

What three items can you not live without?

My family (including my dog!), my yoga mat, and my bed.   

What does a typical day in your life look like? 

My day starts between 5am and 6am most days. I live in Colorado, but work often with Dubai and the UK, which means an early call time for me. From 8am to 11am we move into digital
activity and revenue opportunities with the East Coast-based portfolios.

 I practice yoga every day between 12-1pm for my sanity. I am always open about the fact that I do yoga at midday - I think it’s really important to find the time to keep yourself centred and that is what motivates me and keeps me going in the afternoon.  

 The afternoons in Colorado are a bit quieter, which is nice because we can regroup as a digital team and talk through key upcoming activity. We also meet with West Coast portfolios to discuss revenue
opportunities with them.

 Around 7pm, Asia comes online and we’ll have calls with the team about digital solutions in that region. It’s a long day, but we get a lot accomplished. And the yoga helps!     

What are the latest digital trends in the exhibitions space? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

In the exhibition space, the trends that are most interesting revolve around matchmaking. But there is exciting stuff happening with machine learning, AI, and data solutions that we can provide to
our exhibitors and attendees.

We are really fortunate because we have incredible data, and we have the capabilities in-house to use that data to identify behaviours and serve solutions to our customers.  

You are obviously a woman in a strong leadership position, as well as in a typically male-dominated space. What advice would you give female colleagues looking to excel in their careers?

I think there is a misunderstanding that in order to be a woman in a leadership position you have to be more aggressive or louder in order to be heard.

I’ve always felt quite the opposite. The only thing you really need to be is a subject matter expert, and a good relationship builder. I’ve always found my strength is not in being aggressive or loud, but actually in being poised and graceful. 

Maintaining level-headedness is not always easy, but I think it’s actually stronger, and it’s always served me better. It’s more about the way that you connect with people and build relationships. 

Do your homework; take the time to really understand the business you work in. There’s no way that I’m going to be an expert in all of our portfolios, but I have to have enough knowledge about
each market we serve to speak intelligently on it. 

Informa gives great opportunities to women across the board. We have lots of women in leadership roles at our company. You just have to show your worth and work hard. 

 I think men and women really complement each other in the workplace. At the end of the day, it’s really all about what you contribute to the team. Be yourself, work hard, keep a level head, and you will

The percentage of men working in the digital sector is over three times the number of women. Why is it so important for more women to be represented in the digital field?

I go back to the whole idea of digital. Digital is no longer just ‘digital’, it is an integral part of our
lives. So it’s not just important for women to be represented, it’s essential.

We really are two halves of a coin, so we should have 50% of the perspective. There has to be a balance because we need to represent the people we are serving - which is everyone.  

I feel the same about age groups to: we need people from all walks of life to work in this space and we need to all come together and get every perspective so that we’re serving every perspective. It takes
more than one perspective to come up with a good idea.

Digital is life now, so it has to represent life. Traditional beliefs back in the day were that men are
better at math and science, but we’re proving that to be completely untrue, so as more and more women are excelling in those areas, I think we’ll start to see that balance improve.

 And if anyone is inspired to make the move to digital, come talk to us! We are always looking for new perspectives—no matter what demographic you fall into.