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techweek Reviews

Updated August 14, 2017
22 reviews

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2.4
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Katy Lynch
7 Ratings

22 Employee Reviews

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  1. "The most interesting, frustrating, and satisfying place I'll ever work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at techweek full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Exposure to tons of startups and successful entrepreneurs
    - Everyone learns about every part of the company and, for better or worse, can voice an opinion on what needs to improve
    - A very capable CEO in Amanda Signorelli who consistently improved during her time at the head
    - Most of the events are legitimately fun to attend, even if the work it took to get there is not.
    - The reputation consistently improved through my time there, and the business plan moved towards a more sustainable model.
    - There is an opportunity to leave a footprint with the organization in a relatively short period of time, but not without long hours and a ton of flexibility.
    - Guessing who left the most recent Glassdoor review was always a pretty fun game.

    Cons

    - A lot of the one-star reviews on here aren't exaggerated. The early part of my tenure was not very pleasant and I spent a lot of it questioning if I was going to be employed the next day.
    - If you aren't used to a very early-stage startup, you'll have a tough time adjusting here, which shouldn't be the case for a company that's six years old.
    - The chairman of the company cares more about his personal reputation than the well-being of any of his employees. The morale of the office was exponentially better during the weeks he was abroad.
    - Constantly changing job titles, goals, requirements (although this leveled out a lot after my first year)

    Advice to Management

    With a company as small as Techweek, to create a closed circle for the top level execs was not only insulting, but it was stupid. A lot of really talented, really smart people were hired because of their experience and background, but never given an opportunity to put their stamp on anything because they were given impossible guidelines set by a top level that really had no experience in the area, so they were fired or they quit. Be fully transparent with the staff and allow them to speak up without fear of repercussions.

    When I started, the Glassdoor rating was like 1.2, so that should tell you that things aren't nearly as bad as they used to be. People enjoy attending, sponsors enjoy supporting. The way overdue next step is to make sure the employees enjoy their work.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "There is something to gain if you know what you want to get out of it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at techweek full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Working for Techweek gives you a feeling like you are a VIP in Chicago's startup scene. People want you participating at their events, they want to discuss and contribute, and are generally excited to be involved(** see below for caveat)

    Learn how to measure an organization using KPIs, work in a cross functional team environment, and be a part of a tight knit small team.

    The team members were all great people and I had a great deal of respect for everyone. Everyone brought their talents to the table and we always found a solution to any problem.

    I would modify the saying "best idea wins" to be "fastest idea wins". Action is rewarded more than thought at Techweek, so if you can act or produce faster than the next girl/guy then you can expect more responsibility. It is a place to create quick growth for yourself if you can cut.

    You will be amazed about how hard you are able to push yourself. You shouldn't expect to have too much of a social life while working there but if you are looking to create your own startup or join a new one, Techweek will teach you the limits on how hard you can work.

    Cons

    - Don't expect management to care about your development, growth, or personal well being. The selling point that the organization is essentially "flat" really means that everyone is a glorified intern

    - Every year the conference is metaphorically burned down to the ground in terms of its format, vendors, sponsors, participating companies, and staff. So don't expect to use last year as a baseline to improve upon. **Chances are if you run into someone who has been a part of the conference in the past they will not be happy to meet you.

    - Action is rewarded more than thought. Countless times you see poor decisions being made and continued with just because they are quicker and have inertia behind them.

    - Be ready to make decisions based on vanity instead of data

    - Don't expect to enjoy the actual conferences. If you are doing it to get better access or insight in the conference itself then be a volunteer

    Overall, expect to be worked to the max the entire time at Techweek. If you have a plan on why you are working there, make sure you document that, read it at least once a month and be selfish about what you want in order to make this opportunity worth it. Otherwise, if you do not have a clear idea about what you want to do after Techweek, I wouldn't work there.

    Advice to Management

    Would they really listen to it?

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Avoid at all costs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at techweek full-time

    Pros

    The office is well located?

    Cons

    Avoid the mistake I made, and do not let yourself be duped into joining this sham of a company. You'll be desperate to find a way out before long.

    Everyday stuff: From an operational standpoint, the one true leadership position is shared by 3-4 people, leading to lack of clearly defined roles/expectations and poor communication. Leadership has failed to figure out even basic business administration, from office management (the kitchen sink is a cesspool of bacteria, and every day supplies like paper towels constantly run out) to simple internal communications (by the leadership's own admission, "it took us six years to figure out how to automatically add new team members to company-wide emails").

    Leadership: The "executive chairman" has absolutely no idea how to actually run a company, which is evidenced by more than five years of bad media attention, a horrible reputation in the tech community, laughably high turnover and past due vendor payments. He relies on cheap marketing tricks to grow the company, and the only thing that has really done is put his incompetence on full display. Make no mistake: Techweek may expand to a couple cities every year, but it is not a strong, reputable or growing company.

    Culture: Low employee morale, combined with their incredibly high turnover rate, creates a toxic environment where employees joke and wager who will be next on the chopping block. To add insult to injury, the pay and benefits are abysmal.

    The Techweek platform: Perhaps worst of all (although this is debatable), the product sucks, pure and simple. This is, of course, what naturally happens when a company owner thinks it's feasible to execute full-scale weeklong conferences in 8+ cities with no vision, no structure, a shoestring budget and less than 10 people.

    tl;dr: It's not worth it. In their attempt to recruit you, the leadership or your hiring manager will implore that they've turned a new leaf or that former employees "didn't have what it takes" to make it in the fast-paced world of tech. Don't fall for it -- let their reputation and turnover speak for itself.


  4. "Fast paced and evolving"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at techweek full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing team of motivated, very intelligent people from diverse background. Great office energy.

    Cons

    Things move very very quickly!

    Advice to Management

    Communicate as much as possible!


  5. Helpful (7)

    "I thought startups were sexy until I came here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at techweek full-time

    Pros

    Preface: I worked at Techweek briefly and left promising myself I wouldn't look back once I escaped. But after hearing that the company continues to hire and deceive employees, I felt compelled to leave a note here. The bulk of the reviews on Techweek's page are honest accounts of employee experiences, not exaggerations. Lesson learned: Trust Glassdoor reviews! I didn't and I wish I had.
    --
    You get to say you work at a startup. You can wear literally anything to work. No one cares if you show up after 10am. Sometimes no one cares if you show up at all. You learn how to execute tasks at record speed, without oversight, in functions in which you have no previous experience or training. You develop a deep empathy for the characters on Silicon Valley. You discover moral principles you never realized you had because no one had so thoroughly trampled them before. You’re always able to one-up the office horror stories of your friends who work at saner, less self-destructive companies

    Cons

    You’re sold a bill of good about ownership and innovation when you’re hired, only to discover that there’s only one pair of slightly-too-small pants in the office, worn by an imperious chairman with a pocket square fetish. You’re jerked around by managers who set unachievable goals and craft self-congratulatory excuses for not reaching them. Every meeting is a speech about how the company has “learned so much” and is now finally poised for unbridled success. Employees who were praised as rockstars on Monday have disappeared mysteriously by Friday. Eventually transparency, predictability, meritocracy and any semblance of professional functionality all seem like beautiful, hazy memories. You wake up one morning to the realization that going to work every day feels less like your obligation as a productive member of society and more like the next act of an absurdist play about that frog in the pot of slowly boiling water who is either too stupid or too lazy to jump out

    Advice to Management

    Stop emulating Uber, Zenefits and other nightmare startups praised by investors eager to overlook their ethically bankrupt employee practices. Stop playing musical chairs with employees and offices. Stop promising bonuses you know you won’t pay out. Hire an HR manager before it’s actually too late. Take a hard long look at yourself, grow a backbone and do the right thing — literally any right thing — for once


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Survival at TW"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Exposure to start ups and the tech scene
    Some genuine employees who will vent with you and help when called upon, but most are now gone
    Learn in a fast paced environment with little to no guidance
    Travel if you're on the Festival team
    Direct line to C suite team if you schedule

    Cons

    Everyone is a "Director" here, so don't expect your title to mean much
    C suite will drain the life out of you and not bat an eye
    No guidance or training, many employees are friends of the VC with little schooling or experience
    Low pay with no room for growth
    Tons of people just trying to please the VC to be invited to his parties
    No work/life balance
    Rare for people to last a year

    Advice to Management

    Provide more outlets for company communication
    Stop hiring models and get more consultants
    Listen to the former consultants you do have and let them shine light on what could be something great
    Keep the momentum Amanda has brought to the company going


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Tons of exposure to tons of startups"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Operations Associate in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    -Fast-paced work environment that forces you to learn new skills and get out of your comfort zone
    -Smart co-workers that know how to get stuff done
    -Lot's of growth: Techweek has added 5 new conference cities since I've been here
    -Immersive exposure to startups and the tech industry
    -Fun work environment with a "work hard, play hard" feel

    Cons

    -Long hours; lack of work-life balance
    -Compensation is not great
    -Lack of clearly defined roles leads to confusion

    Advice to Management

    The most recent changes to the team and the company direction seem to be working. Stick with them and Techweek should continue to grow and be successful.

  8. Helpful (7)

    "It's like a quirky sitcom about a dysfunctional startup... but its real."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Travel. Parties. The constant yet inexplicable presence of models at events. Some genuinely nice employees who you can bond with over the similar frustrations you're having.

    Cons

    Zero worklife balance. Run by a cartoonishly horrible man whose tether to society was cut a long time ago, casting him off into a blurry abyss of crude remarks and sleazy agendas.

    Also the office feels like an insane asylum. And leadership was always comprised of "yes men" who milked the employees making $35,000 for every ounce of work they could give.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "life at TW"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Opportunity to learn in a fast paced environment. excellent jumping off point for someone who has little to no prior experience working in the marketing/event planning industry

    Cons

    very unstructured. management cares little for the well being of its employees and will not hesitate to exploit them without giving a second thought when it comes to hiring/firing

    Advice to Management

    hire consultant who have expertise in the event planning industry rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. Change the office culture of coming in at 11am and leaving at 9pm.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "The truth about Techweek"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Techweek offers flexibility and freedom to perform you job. Nobody will hold your hand so there is a lot of opportunity to take the reigns and build something of your own. Employees are generally kind and fun to socialize with. There are flexible hours and unlimited paid time off. Benefits are basic but cover the essentials. Perfect environment for someone who is very scrappy, entrepreneurial, and willing to wear a lot of hats!

    Cons

    Unfortunately the old reviews are true. The company is run by terrible leaders. Employes are referred to as "smart" or "not smart." Other times people are referred to using a rainbow of politically-incorrect terms. Sexism scandal aside, this company values attractive women who will mix and mingle in low-cut tops at all social events. Scare-tactics, intimidation, and relentless gossip will fill your days. If you are curious about the state of the company, just ask one of the many vendors knocking on the doors for outstanding payments. Turnover is incredibly high, seeing as we have our 2nd CEO in less than a year. Most former employees leave on bad terms or were fired - likely around the holidays! Catching up with Techweek colleagues usually consists of "I should just quit" or endless stories of anything noted above.

    Advice to Management

    Do the opposite of everything you're currently doing. Katy Lynch brought in energy, excitement, and positivity. The company needs more of this to survive!


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