From Transylvania, Romania To Boise, Idaho

6 mins read

Anca Trifan, host of EVENTS: demystified, wanted to come to America for as long as she can remember. Back in 2003, she raised $650 dollars from friends and family to buy a plane ticket, and with $150 in her pocket, the rest is truly the American Dream. 

Consider the fact that the amount Anca raised to follow her dream was, at the time, the equivalent of an ANNUAL salary for the average Romanian. Then consider whether you would have had the courage to leave everything you knew behind to start fresh, far away from family and friends, with only $150 in your pocket. 

Anca grew up in a small town in the heart of Transylvania, Romania where her dad owned an electronics repair shop. She learned from him how to repair broken things—and not only objects. One might say she also learned how to keep going, “repairing” things when life doesn’t go the way you imagine. 

During high school, she put her computer science education to use, fixing computers at a radio station. It was a small station, and she was quickly asked to be a DJ. On-air talent, producer, engineer, sound person, and more all rolled into one, bringing Anca’s love of AV and production to life.

When Anna first got to New York, she needed to get to New Jersey to start her new summer job at Six Flags Amusement Park. That $60 “taxi” ride (that ended up being a limo) was not planned… nor was missing a bus home one night and having to walk several miles along a NJ highway with two containers of milk and bags of other groceries (her only food for the week). Undaunted, Anca had a “hunger to learn,” and she kept moving forward toward her dreams. Next stop, Los Angeles.

Once again, her ability to fix things and her drive got her foot in the door, and she began learning all about audio and event production—not just the planning side, but the actual production side, too (not an area you normally see a lot of women playing in). Yet this was her dream, and nothing was going to stop her… not even audio speakers bigger than her. Anca found a way to make things work and learn in the process.

Now, Anca and her family live in Boise, Idaho, and she runs an in-demand event planning and production company. Not satisfied with just running her company and helping people keep events going even during COVID, Anca also mentors women interested in the field. And that brings us full circle to her podcast, EVENTS: demystified.

The title says it all. Anca wants more women to enter the technical side of events, so the show’s goal is to translate the insider language of the events and audio-visual (AV) industry and give smaller underdog event planners and companies a voice.

The most important thing Anca believes she has learned while interviewing her guests is that “The simple act of listening to another person can make that person feel valued, respected, and dignified… like they belong where they are.” No matter her guests’ level of expertise, everyone has something to offer, and Anca wants them to share their knowledge with anyone in the industry or who might want to be. In just “30-40 minutes of listening and asking questions, that guest knows they are valued for their expertise, their story, and their contributions,” Anca said.

In the world of technology, events, and speakers, a push is being made to include more women versus the traditional “manel” (male-only panel or slate of speakers). Anca is determined to change that at events focused on event planners, event technology, and AV. Women are in the industry, but are not often asked to speak or share their expertise. Anca’s been in rooms where the clients have walked into a room full of men and watched them “walk up to the tallest man in the room and ask him questions as if he is the boss,” never even thinking that a woman could be in charge of the technical aspects of an event or the event itself.

By putting herself out there as a speaker and using her podcast and company as a platform for change, Anca is taking on the production and events industry and using the skills her dad taught her at a workbench in Romania fixing broken TVs and radios to help repair how women are perceived in an industry… one event and one episode at a time.

 

October 2021 Issue

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