Allie Magyar: “Allow yourself to grieve”

I try to help the world right in front of me and find the good in people around me, rather than focusing on the negative or how they may have wronged me. This type of mindset helps inform your life, so that you can look for ways to find inspiration rather than something negative about […]

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I try to help the world right in front of me and find the good in people around me, rather than focusing on the negative or how they may have wronged me. This type of mindset helps inform your life, so that you can look for ways to find inspiration rather than something negative about someone or something. This is an intentional practice that I keep in my daily life and I choose this mindset each day.

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. Many of us now have new challenges that come with working from home, homeschooling, and sheltering in place.

As a part of my series about how busy women leaders are addressing these new needs, I had the pleasure of interviewing Allie Magyar, CEO and founder of Hubb, a leading provider of event management technology.

She is a serial entrepreneur and technology maven with over 15 years’ experience driving technology enabled service companies. Allie combines her real world experience in marketing, sales, partner relationship building, and show production with a strong vision for the technology-enabled future of event management.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

It’s funny how life prepares you, sometimes unknowingly, for what you tackle in the future. I fell into my career after graduating high school, because I had a passion for bringing people together for shared experiences. I have now spent over 20 years in the meetings and events industry. and now, as Founder and CEO of Hubb, I feel my entire career has been training and preparation for the current Covid-19 crisis. The meeting and events industry is falling apart and in need of disruption in light of the pandemic. I have the battle scars and expertise that help lead our industry as a key player during this crucial time of change and uncertainty. I also have a renewed passion for Hubb and all of the great work our team is doing right now to bring virtual and hybrid events alive for organizations big and small.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started at your company?

When running a company, I feel like interesting stories happen every day! But one of the most poignant memories for me was the realization of inequality, that I was not used to in my own personal bubble, as I went to raise venture capital for the first time. I quickly understood that the world I live in is different from many others in our world and that it’s important to demand equity and inclusion, especially in the tech and software industry. Experiencing the challenges of trying to raise funds for a company as a woman leader and woman in tech introduced me to various issues pertaining to women and diversity that exist today. I hope to be a catalyst for change and support efforts that focus on inclusion and diversity in my industry and the tech ecosystem as a whole.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Hubb is re-imagining the future of events and we’re excited to lead our industry during this time of change. We’re helping to merge virtual and in person events in a very compelling way, creating value for attendees worldwide in our marketing portfolios. Our leading edge technology will help marketers worldwide because with a solution that brings a sense of brand purpose, engages attendees in a meaningful way and creates connections for a remote audience.

One recent project that I’m proud of was an event we pulled together in less than 6 weeks, to help inspire the meetings industry of what is possible with virtual events, called Untethered. This event was part of a charitable partnership for industry professionals in need. The goal of Untethered was to educate and connect event professionals during this time of profound change with a mission to educate, inspire and innovate them. We raised over 17,000 dollars for a mission driven non-profit and gained so much from the collaboration and networking we did together during this community led effort.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I’m blessed to have worked with and been influenced by many wonderful people and I am who I am today as a result of their guidance.When I worked as a meeting planner one of my clients was a fantastic events strategist at Microsoft, Vivian Eickhoff. She has an extremely high emotional IQ and is always able to figure out the best way to work with people. Instead of saying “I want you to achieve X,” which would be met with all the reasons why we shouldn’t do that thing, she would always challenge me to think differently and she would ask instead, “how could I achieve”. That simple change of phrasing has helped me approach my business with a new mindset of how to tackle the numerous problems and challenges of running a business Now, my best leadership hack is to ask “how could we do something?” rather than list out all of the obstacles against it.

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. Can you articulate to our readers what are the biggest family related challenges you are facing as a woman business leader during this pandemic?

The challenge right now for me is to really separate my work from my home life as best I can, because work doesn’t stop and I could keep going 24–7 if I let myself. We’re in a connected world and the challenge is finding balance right now while putting parameters in place for how you wish to live your life. I feel like every day is Groundhog’s Day right now and there is a great deal of unknown and anxiety in our world. I’ve been working to provide a stable routine for my children (and myself!) and help keep that balance on a daily basis.

Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?

Routines are so important, especially for kids, and as a family we talk about ways to achieve that normalcy as much as possible right now. Our kids have to eat three meals a day, get dressed and maintain their hygiene like before when they went to a physical school. We’ve found that providing structure and stability is key for them. We also focus on being transparent with our kids and choose to lean into fear of the unknown with them, so that they don’t feel alone during this unprecedented crisis. None of us know the answer so better to be in it together and openly discuss.

Can you share the biggest work related challenges you are facing as a woman in business during this pandemic?

Right now my primary concern is employee satisfaction since our entire team is fully remote and our growth is faster than we’ve ever seen. My goal is to keep their engagement up so that they feel cared for when I can’t physically be there to lead and guide them. I want to ensure that they have the resources they need to get their jobs done. We’re hiring a lot as well to keep up with growth , so I worry about their experience in onboarding and connecting with new employees in a meaningful way so that they also feel secure and cared about.

Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?

Hubb puts a lot of effort into understanding our employees, being open with them and adjusting course as needed. We really encourage and want people to take care of themselves in order to care for others in their family while accomplishing their work goals. It’s hard to find the time for everything. As a leader, I try to set an example of self-care amidst work challenges, so I go hiking every Thursday morning. I reserved the time on my calendar and made a commitment to it. This activity helps my brain work better afterwards because I’ve taken care of myself and spent quality time in nature. It lowers my anxiety about getting things done and improves my presence with others.

Can you share your advice about how to best work from home, while balancing the needs of homeschooling or the needs of a family?

One tip I have is to ensure that each of your kids has their own work space set up so that it doesn’t conflict with your work. Whether that’s the kitchen table, an office or quiet corner, it’s important for everyone to be independent and set up for success with the right tools, electronics and environment.

I also suggest building out time on your calendar for a break for lunch or quick check ins with kids as needed so that you don’t lose productivity during the work day.

Can you share your strategies about how to stay sane and serene while sheltering in place, or simply staying inside, for long periods with your family?

One strategy I swear by is — — “Don’t stay inside for a long period of time.” I suggest that you use whatever resources you have in your home like a yard or patio to go outside whenever you can. For example, go for a walk late at night or in the morning. Getting outdoors is such an important part of maintaining good health.

Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

There are many reasons to be hopeful right now so I focus on — -

What joy can I find in today?

I try to look for the good in each day by asking myself what’s joyful today in my life. I run through a gratitude checklist so that I can be present and practice finding joy in the little moments. The big moments aren’t what matters, it’s the little things in life. This is the first year since I was 20 years old that I have barely flown or traveled anywhere, which has allowed me to enjoy little moments at home, like keeping a garden that I don’t feel overwhelmed coming back to.

Be intentional about computer and social media time

I don’t watch the news or stay on social media all day. There is too much anger and hatred on some platforms. For example, for keeping current with the news, I prefer to search for whatever topic I’m interested in to create narrow boundaries about all of the noise in my life, one time during the day, to stay informed. This helps me to make educated choices rather than being caught on an endless spiral of news and social media.

Focus on what’s in front of you

I try to help the world right in front of me and find the good in people around me, rather than focusing on the negative or how they may have wronged me. This type of mindset helps inform your life, so that you can look for ways to find inspiration rather than something negative about someone or something. This is an intentional practice that I keep in my daily life and I choose this mindset each day.

Allow yourself to grieve

As an events person, I usually have a big birthday party with hundreds of family and friends. But not this year. And as my birthday approaches, that has been a hard pill to swallow. I had to grieve that annual event by letting myself have a good cry in bed alone. I gave myself the grace to do that and let things go. It’s important, especially in these uncertain times, to allow ourselves to grieve and work through emotions, instead of ignoring them.

From your experience, what are a few ideas that one can use to effectively offer support to their family and loved ones who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?

It’s certainly a challenging time that we’re living in. I have a little sister with special needs who is really struggling right now. A joy in her life is coming to Hubb’s office each day to work and she doesn’t understand what is going on during the pandemic. My mom cares for her and works hard to help her make sense of the situation. I also have friends going through divorces and that’s difficult. My approach to all of these relationships is to bring light to them, by talking about positive things and helping whenever I can. I like to ask my loved ones about what brought joy to their lives that day to minimize the anxiety that everyone is feeling now. Focusing on the present, with gratitude, helps me get through my day and I try to share that with others.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

One quote that I love is “Life is a journey,” and it means that you can’t feel the good without the bad and the need to overcome adversity sometimes, which is what we are living in today. This quote says that I have to remember that life won’t forever be or feel this way. I can focus on gratitude and intention to make the most of my journey and remember that everything that has happened to me was a positive stepping stone in my life for something else. I often ask myself — “Will this pass the rocking chair test at the end of my life?” Meaning, is this what I want my story to be, reflecting the course and changes in my life as I write my own eulogy with the choices that I make each day.

How can our readers follow you online?

Feel free to follow or connect with me at:

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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