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ISES Orlando Gives Back

In September, the ISES Orlando Chapter kicked off its 2008-09 program series with its second installment of “ISES Gives Back.” This year's event, entitled “ISES Gives Back 2 SEARCH,” attracted close to 200 attendees to the Heaven Event Center in Orlando, Fla. Thanks to an aggressive media plan, this event garnered notable media attention, including a photo spread in Orlando Style Magazine and an appearance by a local TV news anchor.

But underneath all of the glitz and excitement, there was also meaning and purpose. The drive behind the event was the message of giving back to special event professionals in need. Thus, the story of “ISES Gives Back” begins!

The idea of ISES Gives Back began in September 2007, when our chapter produced the first “ISES Gives Back — A Party for a Purpose” as a fundraising event to assist a local industry professional in need. The event was an incredible success, featuring more than 30 sponsors with donations and in-kind services and raising thousands of dollars for the local ISES member. The SEARCH Foundation was also a large supporter of this cause. So this year, ISES Orlando decided to return the favor to the foundation as we produced “ISES Gives Back 2 SEARCH”!

The overall concept of this year's event was to create a glamorous, lounge-type winter wonderland-theme event entitled “Heavenly Holidaze” — a fitting approach that tied into the 7,000-square-foot Heaven Event Center. The design objective was to show off holiday theme decor and entertainment ideas in advance of the holiday season. The result? An impressive lineup of more than 40 ISES companies that collaborated and showcased more than $100,000 worth of event services and products, as well as donated items to be auctioned at the event.

Orlando's top three catering companies — Arthur's Catering, Big City Catering and Puff 'n Stuff — provided an array of cuisine samplings from Morocco to the Far East. Barfly Beverage Catering staffed the bar. The interior of the space was decked out in white and ice-blue tones, which complemented the theme beautifully. Unique Option lent plush white furniture groupings and catering displays; Cheryl's Distinctive Creations provided floral accents. Ice Magic contributed a frosted bar and light-up displays for the silent auction. Flourish Productions designed purple and gold heart-shaped accents, which complemented the SEARCH Foundation logo. C&S Themed Events provided the red carpet entrance with stanchions, staging and backdrop, while ASI Production Services added white sateen pipe and drape to frame the stage. Kirby Rentals contributed additional linen accents.

Chameleon Designs provided audiovisual design and production support; special touches consisted of a laser graffiti screen and water effects outside the venue. The musical acts included international chanteuse Morganne (sponsored by Bravo! Entertainment), Tina Turner impersonator Brenda White (self-represented) and local a cappella act 4:2:Five (sponsored by Metropolis Productions). Optumedia handled videography; Christie's Photographic Studios offered photography services. A video montage with sponsor logos by W5 Creative lent visual interest as guests entered the event. Airstar America supplied an illuminated Airstar balloon at the front entrance, complete with ISES logo.

SEARCH Foundation board member David Fischette of Go West Events & Multimedia made an appearance at the event and shared some insight into the foundation's mission and interests. He also extended a heartfelt thanks to the ISES Orlando Chapter for our efforts with the event as well as the “Hearts on Fire” SEARCH fundraiser our chapter helped sponsor, which took place during Eventworld® in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Each sponsor was included in the evening's printed program, along with retail values for all of the sponsored items and services. This educated the attendees on just how much was contributed in time, creativity and labor.

“ISES Gives Back 2 SEARCH” displayed the amazing teamwork of event professionals and their resources in producing an over-the-top themed event! And the motive behind the event — the effort to give back to our industry friends in need — was a success as well because a donation on behalf of the ISES Orlando chapter and supporting sponsors will be sent to SEARCH.

The “ISES Gives Back 2 SEARCH” industry sponsors included:

Big City Catering,

Brenda White

W5 Creative,

Name: Christine Ivanov Logan

Company: T. Skorman Productions Inc.

Address: 5156 S. Orange Ave. Orlando, FL 32809 USA

Phone: 407/895-3000, ext. 224

E-mail: [email protected]

Name: Michelle Bergstein

Company: Unique Option

Address: 230 Sunport Lane, Suite 400, Orlando, FL 32809 USA

Phone: 407/852-5665

E-mail: [email protected]

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