Bobbie .

Founder at Innovation Women, Carlton PR & Marketing, Innovation Nights

Marketing and Advertising

Education: Ithaca College


Bobbie Carlton is the founder of Carlton PR & Marketing, Innovation Nights and Innovation Women, or, as she calls them, the day job, the night job and the dream job. Carlton is an entertaining, tell-it-like-it-is speaker who speaks extensively (and passionately) about public speaking and how it can be the driving force behind career growth and business success. She's a TEDx speaker; an entertaining startup event host; she's spoken at the United Nations; she's shared the stage with storytelling legend (and NPR's Snap Judgment host) Glynn Washington; and she's been on the main stage for some of the world’s best-known conferences for technical and professional women. Carlton has been featured on CBS News, in the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, USA Today and other major media. She was previously the head of global PR at two different enterprise software companies and the head of marketing for a brand devoted to providing positive role models for preteen girls. She’s inspired thousands of technical, entrepreneurial and executive women to take control of their own speaking careers and has worked with event managers around the world to deliver diverse and inclusive events.


Helping entrepreneurial, technical and professional women get more visibility that helps them super-charge their careers, connect with more customers and partners, get their businesses funded and be invited to boards and other top opportunities.

Helping conferences and events produce diverse, inclusive and gender-equitable events.

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I am willing to travel

More than 100 miles

When it comes to payments

I sometimes get paid for speaking


marketing social media business strategy public relations startups product launches crowdpromoting pr innovation new products entrepreneurs kickstarter crowdfunding mentoring advisory board boston public speaking leadership media relations message development strategic alliances social networks twitter storyteller storytelling marcom mentors mentor startwitheight female founder tedx speaker small business growth workshops emcee clubhouse twitter spaces gender bias onstage virtual speaker keynote women family podcast guest marketing strategies

Best Story

I have so many stories I can share after more than 30+ years in the high tech marketing and PR community. I can talk about Innovation Nights, our social media powered monthly product launch party and networking event. We've helped to launch more than 1500 new products which have raised more than $4B in collective funding. Innovation Women has helped hundreds of women get onstage to tell their stories and connect with potential customers, partners, investors, new jobs and more. And my years in PR have given me endless stories that often sound ripped from the headlines...because they are: The Extortionist; The Murderer; The Naked Holiday Party. I also managed PR for passengers on the Diamond Princess in February 2020.

Origin Story

Innovation Women is the third of my companies. The first two were founded when the startup I was working with ran out of money in November 2008 (a lot of startups had difficulties then). Innovation Nights and Carlton PR & Marketing were founded because there were no other jobs available at the time. Innovation Women came out of my personal frustration around the #allmale and #allpale panels at conferences and events, especially technical ones. I knew we could change things so I crowdfunded the original web app and the rest is history.

Example talks

Public Speaking: The Game-changer

Two-thirds of all conference speakers are men…a large percentage of them because they still hold more positions of power and prestige. This prevents others from tapping the many benefits of public speaking. It also creates a vicious circle of bias as speakers are seen as thought leaders and experts, perpetuating the myth of male dominance. (You’ll never be seen as a leader while sitting in the audience.)

What does it take to become a thought leader? To be seen as the expert or the authority in your field? Often, nothing more than the willingness to stand up and share your ideas in public. But how can we open stages to all? How can we create paths to the stage suitable for everyone? With this behind-the scenes look at gender-equity and inclusion at conferences, events, and throughout the world of professional speaking, you’ll learn about the personal, professional and organizational benefits of public speaking, and what it can mean for you and your team.

- Understand the processes and tactics you need to employ to be selected as a speaker
- Understand how public speaking impacts your public persona
- Learn specific things you can do to kick-off a speaking career or business

Public Speaking for Business Success

Two-thirds of all conference speakers are men, leaving women out of many business and career opportunities. Public speaking engagements can help you be seen as a thought leader or expert. They can connect you with potential customers, employees or business partners. Public speakers are also more likely to be selected as board members, get job offers or become C-suite executives.

This introduction to public speaking for business success is especially designed with female business owners and solopreneurs in mind. Even if public speaking is a source of fear and nervousness, you can use public speaking to help build your business, whether it's coaching, consulting, or selling products or services. We'll walk you through how to think expansively about public speaking, how to decide what you would present on, and how to find and secure the right speaking opportunities for you. We'll also provide you with a structure for designing your signature talk or concept.

- Understand how public speaking can support your business objectives
- Learn what kind of speaking opportunities you could secure
- Learn the specific things you can do to kick off a speaking career or business or support your existing business.
- Understand the processes and tactics you can use to get selected as a speaker
- Learn at least one cool trick you can use immediately

Make Your Tech Talks Better

Boring? Puzzling? Annoying? These are all hallmarks of bad tech talks. If your presentations can't keep your audience engaged and concisely communicate your point, why give it? We'll help you give a great tech talk and (hilariously) demonstrate what makes a bad one, and help you avoid the latter! You'll learn:

✅ Why tech talks are like sheep
✅ What is the rule of three and why is it useful
✅ What you can do so you are not a boring speaker
✅ What bit of "usual" speaker advice you are better off ignoring

I have given this talk several times, including at the Women in Tech Summit 2022 virtual event and the WITS Mid-Atlantic 2023 in-person event. It can also be offered as an interactive workshop.

Building a No "Manel" Zone - Creating Diverse and Inclusive Events

The headline read "Men named Michael outnumber female CEOs presenting at #JPM18". RSA was raked over the coals for booking just one female keynote (out of 20), Monica Lewinsky, for their cyber security conference. CES was taken to task for not finding any female keynotes. The social media stream dishes out punishment in the form of hashtags, #AllMalePanel #NoManels. Conference organizers need to be more aware than ever before of gender-balance, inclusion and diversity, or suffer the consequences.

“Manel” is industry jargon for a panel of featured speakers at a conference or event consisting entirely of men. Creating a “No Manel Zone” at your event means you commit to not fielding any manels (a panel or a group of three or more speakers, with or without a moderator, entirely of men.) But diverse panels are only part of the equation – conferences also need to consider:

- The diversity among their keynotes, featured speakers and MCs
- How they promote their speakers
- The diversity of participation during roundtables, pitches, hack-a-thons and other event segments.

And while the dangers of failure are apparent, there are also rewards to be reaped, including larger ticket sales, better quality programming and more wide-spread impact. Join the founder of Innovation Women, a new model "visibility bureau" designed to connect event managers (for free) to awesome speakers, presenters and experts who all just happen to be women.

- Learn more about diversity and inclusion at events and how you can avoid embarrassing situations and PR crises.
- How to handle competing organizations
- How (and why) you can achieve gender-balance, even in industries where women make up less than 20 percent of the workforce.
- How to work with sponsors and partners to avoid poor balance onstage at events.
- How the right mix of speakers can help drive increased visibility for your conference and ticket sales too.

This talk is for event managers, conference organizers and event management. It can be delivered as a talk or a workshop. It was originally created and delivered to the content providers for the NAB Show, one of the largest professional conferences of broadcasters in the world.

Why Women Speakers On-Stage at Conferences and Events Will Change the World

When you think of THE leading expert on any topic, you are more likely to immediately think of an older white man. It's OK. It doesn't mean you are a bad person. It means you have been subjected to years of brainwashing - it's unconscious bias. You've seen the same faces and heard the same voices over and over again. Of course those must be the experts. If we insert more women into speaking engagements; if event managers do their part to gender-balance their events; if reporters call on more women as expert sources, we should eventually reach gender-parity in our perception of who leads, who should be funded, who should sit on boards and who should get new leadership opportunities.

Crowdpromoting: Building Community to Promote Products on a Budget

Big marketing budgets don't always guarantee big results. Big companies spend a fortune on their product launches—millions and millions of dollars—and even they don’t have all the budget they’d like. Over the last decade, Bobbie Carlton helped to launch more than a 1500 new products...for free, using a social media powered methodology, crowdpromoting, anyone can learn and use. This presentation is usually a big winner at startup and marketing events.

To learn more, watch my TEDx presentation:

Ladies...No Excuses: How to get yourself on stage

Are you tired of sitting through yet another DAMP (Dreaded All Male Panel)? Your story will never be heard sitting in the audience. Being onstage is powerful but the issue with many women is that they don’t know how to get there.

We give you the tools you need to get onstage, be heard, and, sometimes, even get paid to speak! This inspirational speech is often the keynote at women in tech events and has been part of several Women in Tech Summits.

Business Storytelling - How to turn your best stories into business

I was invited to the University of Michigan to be a part of their StoryLab Premiere. I was needlessly intimidated when I learned the headliner was Glynn Washington of NPR's Snap Judgment. (Super nice!) One of the things he said that night stuck with me. Glynn had gone to law school and he said, "All I remember from law school - whoever tells the best story wins." The same holds true for business.

Interested in learning more? You can watch the presentation here:

Building Your Innovation Community: The Mass Innovation Nights(R) Story

In 2009, the economy had fallen off a cliff and the startup I was working for ran out of money. There were no jobs and I had a stay-at-home husband and two kids to feed. But social media was on the rise and new era of event marketing was upon us. Suddenly everyone in Boston was running grassroots events and the landscape for launching new products in the local community was changing.

Between 2009 and 2020, Mass Innovation Nights (MIN), helped launch more than 1500 new products (ranging from apps to enterprise software to medical devices, food, toys and more) that received more than $4B in collective funding. How? Through the use of crowdpromoting – the practice of activating and building a community to promote an idea, business or product.

Learn how MIN works and how you can use our tactics to build your local innovation economy and get more exposure for your own new products. You’ll learn how we encourage participation (our community generated more than 3 million views a month); how we supported the effort even though we didn't charge the entrepreneurs and we didn’t sell tickets; why companies like IBM, Microsoft, TripAdvisor, Google, MITRE and Draper vied for the opportunity to host our events, and how we remained one of the most popular events in Boston, hosting 200-700 attendees a month for more than a decade. I give this presentation at economic development, chambers of commerce, social media and startup-oriented events.

The Boston Innovation Community

Innovation Breakfast. MassChallenge. The Venture Café. These are all examples of important stops along the Boston Innovation Continuum. How does Boston nurture its startup community? What are the keys to creating your own Innovation Community? There are terrific resources, many of them free, for Boston area entrepreneurs. (I often give this talk at area colleges and universities.)

Speaking Engagements

WITS Spring 2024 Summit

Making a Difference: How you can use Public Speaking to Change the World, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 05/02/24

Day of Shecurity

Terrible Tech Talks: Make Your Tech Talks Better, San Francisco, CA, USA, 04/25/24