Robyn Duda: Creating Genuine Human Connections

Skift Meetings Podcast - Robyn Duda - Creating Genuine Human Connection (header)

Skift Take

Robyn Duda, co-founder and CEO of RacquetX, discusses creating connections, promoting diversity, and launching a unique sporting event.

Robyn Duda is the co-founder and CEO of RacquetX. From organizing high school parties to launching IBM’s Watson worldwide, Duda has had her fair share of experience in events and trade shows, spending a significant part of her career at UBM, now part of Informa. She took the shift from consulting for brands like Visa and Coca-Cola to taking the entrepreneurial leap to leading RacquetX in her stride.

RacquetX emerged from a conversation with co-founder Marco Giberti, a previous podcast guest, and a group of investors passionate about racket sports. “We have this idea, this kind of an idea. Can you help us validate it? We already have the money raised. Do you want to launch it?” Duda recounted. The challenge was to create and validate a new event platform in under a year—a task she embraced wholeheartedly.

RacquetX served as a trade show and festival, bringing together various stakeholders in the racket sports industry. The event showcased different racket sports, facilitated professional networking, and even included match-making apps to foster connections. Duda focused on creating a comprehensive and immersive experience for all attendees, something she is deeply passionate about.

Genuine Connections Lead to Engagement

In discussing the concepts of connection, engagement, and community, Duda emphasized the importance of establishing genuine connections before engaging an audience. “I think you need to have connection before you can have engagement,” she noted. Duda feels that real engagement happens only when strong connections are made, leading to strong communities.

As RacquetX plans its second year, Duda’s goal is to double its size in terms of sponsors and attendees. “We are working really closely to make create even more strategic relationships and partnerships now that we have a brand that’s recognizable, trusted,” she stated. Her vision for RacquetX is clear, aiming to elevate the event by leveraging the success of its inaugural year.

Beyond RacquetX, Duda is also committed to promoting diversity in events. She previously created “Change the Stage,” an initiative aimed at diversifying speakers and panelists across events. “If we don’t have a diverse set of voices, backgrounds, thought and opportunity to people, we’re doing the industries that we all serve a huge disservice,” she explained. Duda remains an active advocate for broader inclusion and representation in the industry.