Welcome to the BE Conference 2020 – It’s All Virtual!


A lot of organizations are cancelling their events. We’ve expanded ours

Happy Monday and welcome to the BE Conference 2020!

We are excited and a little bit nervous to bring this conference to life. In other years this has been a full-day, in-person gathering where we all get to meet new people and make connections. But the coronavirus pandemic makes that impossible at the moment.

While a lot of organizations are canceling their events this year, we all felt that at a time of challenge and overwhelming change we did not want to pass up the chance to push forward, together. Discussion, learning, mentorship, connection in the service of becoming the best version of yourself — that is what BE Conference is all about, with or without a pandemic.

Instead of canceling, we’ve expanded BE as an all-virtual event over five days of activities, including in the evening. You will get to hear speakers on confidence and empowerment; on becoming a powerhouse storyteller; on growing inclusion in entertainment; entrepreneurship and how to be a Boss with a capital B.

Our first panel today featured some onscreen superheroes talking about finding confidence and owning your career: “Arrow” star Katherine McNamara and “Outer Banks” star Madison Bailey; “On My Block” actress Jessica Marie Garcia and “Legends of Tomorrow” star Maisie Richardson Sellers, with our moderator, Wrap TV reporter Jennifer Maas. After that panel, you can connect with other attendees over our WrapConnect Slack channel.

Be Con panel Madison Bailey, Katherine McNamara, Jessica Marie Garcia, Maisie Richardson Sellers

Be Con panel Madison Bailey, Katherine McNamara, Jessica Marie Garcia, Maisie Richardson Sellers

Later today, I’ll be doing a one-on-one talk with Eva Longoria, whose journey from small-town Corpus Christi, Texas, to Hollywood megastar, director and producer is a model for what is possible today. She will be here, live.

While we’re not here together in person, here’s the exciting part: The BE Conference in the virtual age is at least three times the scale of what we’ve been able to do in person. More than 700 of you have registered to take part in our panels, Q and As and mentoring this week.

The entertainment industry is changing, for the better. The national conversation demanding a change to systemic racism is penetrating entertainment and media in a way we have not seen before. At every company in Hollywood, individuals are looking back at their own history, reconsidering TV shows and movies of the past, looking at the greenlight  process and at who gets the chance to participate. They are asking: Whose voices have been missing? In so many cases the answer is voices of color, and of women.

This means opportunity for all of you, and many Hollywood companies have stepped forward to support this event and help you on your career journey. Let’s make sure that you have the chance to raise your voice, raise your hand, find a mentor and find the story you want to tell.

We want to especially thank our nonprofit partners who have helped inaugurate this virtual BE Conference and helped sharpen our focus on understanding the needs and ambitions of women of color — Color of Change, LatinX House and LA Collab.

Thanks to our underwriting sponsors: Imagine Entertainment, Spotify, Audible, Gotham Group, Blumhouse Productions, AMC Networks, Maggie Begley Communications, Participant Media and Homegrown Pictures. Thanks to them we’ve been able to offer more than 100 mentorship slots to you attendees.

We’ll be tweeting all week at #BeCon2020, please join in the fun there. And onward to the virtual BE Conference 2020!

Sharon Waxman

Sharon Waxman

Sharon Waxman, is the founder, CEO and Editor in Chief of TheWrap. She is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, and was a Hollywood correspondent for The New York Times.

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