More than 300 attendees from throughout the world were on hand as the International Special Events Society kicked off its annual “Eventworld” professional development conference Thursday at the Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu. Newly branded as an "institute for professional development," the three-day event comprises more than 30 education sessions, seven preparatory courses for the Certified Special Event Professional designation and the Esprit Awards gala.
In Thursday's opening session, James Gilmore, author of the popular book "The Experience Economy," described the creation of "experiences" as the "fourth genre of economic output" and told attendees that as creators of experiences, "You are right at the heart of it." He suggested that event professionals try to find a way to think about action verbs--"'ing' the thing"--to create exciting events and to boil down their event themes to three powerful words.
The Welcome Event, held on the hotel's Diamond Head lawn on the beach overlooking the island's famous landscape, was a cocktail reception featuring tropical drinks, hors d'oeuvre and music.
At Friday's International Special Events Education Foundation Legacy luncheon, foundation president Elizabeth Barber, Ph.D., of Temple University in Philadelphia, urged guests to consider applying for a grant from the foundation. She also put forth a call for donations. "Organizations can only thrive in the future with contributions made today," she said.
Board member Matthew Gonzalez of G Solutions in San Antonio, showed the Foundation's fundraising plan for the year, featuring the "Visible Vault" from SCA Promotions. The plexiglass vault has $10,000 locked inside, which can be won by cracking the combination. The vault will visit ISES chapters throughout the year to drum up donations.
Education programs continued on Saturday, culminating in the Esprit Awards gala at the Royal Hawaiian Monarch Room. See complete coverage of the winners in this issue of Eventline.
Eventworld 2007 is slated for Montreal.