Special Events
Houston Event Industry Starts Road Back from Ike

Houston Event Industry Starts Road Back from Ike

Houston's event industry is pooling resources and enjoying support from other regions as it struggles to return to normal after the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Ike over the weekend.

Houston-based tech experts LD Systems said today that its operations are "running as necessary for projects and events that are taking place," according to company spokesman Rob McKinley. "The electrical power and communications service throughout the Houston area remains compromised at this time, including the LD Systems Houston facility and about 95 percent of our personnel’s homes. Production preps are taking place for events, and our trucks will roll on schedule. Our San Antonio facility is 100 percent business as usual and is providing backup support where necessary."

Houston-based event photographer Catch the Moment reports that its Houston headquarters is operating thanks to a generator, so both the phones and Internet connections work. As for staff, "Most of us still do not have power and gasoline is not easy to come by because stations have no power to pump gas," a representative says.

Even with its woes, company management is ready to help others in need. "I have a chain saw, a spare office--with Internet--and emergency gas if anyone needs this kind of help," president Dick Didow tells Special Events.

Craig Howard, Stafford, Texas-based national sales director for Corporate Incentive Travel, reports that, "Grocery stores are slowly receiving refrigerated items and for the most part Houston, Galveston and outer suburbs look like a war zone. Schools are still closed all week and gas lines are down to one hour from three hours or more." Even though his house is still being repaired--"A large tree fell on my roof," he says--he is ready to help others as well. "I have a group of volunteers who have offered to assist with cleanup of trees, debris, etc.," he says, "so if you know of an event professional in need, please let me know and I can organize this effort."

Jan Rocco, president, and Wanda Ioannidis, staff artist, of Houston-based Party Props are lavishing praise on workers who have come in from out of state to aid Texans. Using cell phones, they snapped photos of "the linemen 'angels' that are here from St. Augustine, Fla.," Rocco tells Special Events. "I thanked them for all of us Texans and their response was of compassion and pride."

ISES DALLAS SETS IKE RELIEF GALA

ISES Dallas chapter members have already scheduled a fundraiser for Sept. 23 to help with storm relief. The event is dubbed "Production for Reconstruction," and "We are trying to get everyone to help in any way possible," says Marla Werst of Dallas-based PeaPod Productions. For a flyer describing the event, click here.

Dallas ISES members have also established a "Causes" section on its Facebook page. "The money raised will go directly to the Red Cross and help out relief victims, without having to go through any red tape," Werst reports. She adds that Dallas members have also been in constant touch with ISES Houston President Debbie Elias, CSEP, CMP. "We have asked members to send generators or manpower to help as needed," Werst says. "By using texting, Facebook and all available communications, we have been able to keep in contact and get the word out. We are firm believers in the power of new media and social networking. It can change the world, and already is doing so by helping folks stay in touch with loved ones!"

Special Events is compiling a list of resources available from concerned industry professionals; to share your contribution, please send an e-mail here.

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