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ISES Pages April 2009

ISES Pages April 2009


flow-er 1. the part of a plant with the reproductive organs 2. a plant cultivated for its blossoms 3. the best or finest part or example 4. the best period of a person or thing 5. something decorative; esp., a figure of speech

Whatever the official definition, flowers may have many different meanings for each and every one of us. I can clearly remember how important flowers and gardening became to me early on as a little girl — sweet-smelling beds brimming with irises, roses, rhododendrons, wisteria, hydrangeas and lilies are among my earliest of memories.

Designing flowers since my teenage years, I have watched the floral industry grow and change for the better. The days of simple centerpieces filled with daisies, mums, carnations and alstroemeria are long gone, having been replaced by fresh designs to complement the increasingly sophisticated tastes of society today. We continue to see the floral industry change rapidly to accommodate the evolution of personal taste and cultural trends within this ever-changing economy.

Whatever your taste and whatever your budget, floral designs are a crucial part of any event and are key to setting the tone, expressing your personality and guaranteeing a distinctive experience for your guests. Nowadays, there is no right or wrong type of floral design for any given occasion, and modern floral designers strive to push boundaries and foster innovation while tailoring designs to custom-fit your style, needs and expectations. Among the myriad design options, “traditional” floral arrangements of lush roses can be updated by using high or low modern vases or by including exotic accent elements. Long-stemmed calla lilies can be swept dramatically to the side over the lip of a tall vase, or perhaps a single orchid stem might be submerged in a tall cylinder vase. Monochromatic designs displayed in linear glassware make a chic statement while coordinating flowers in vibrant colors brimming from any type of vase are sure to add drama. And that is just the beginning.

For tighter budgets (as so many have these days), collections of glassware accented with high-quality blooms are in keeping with the minimalistic trend; glass trays stacked into an L-shape and filled with beds of colored rocks or crushed glass and dotted with flowers are a unique choice; or taller square vases filled with rocks or crushed glass and a single bloom can be double-stacked atop each other and separated by a sheet of glass for a dramatic design. For the eco-conscious, going green with your floral designs is easy by using rental vases that can be returned and reused, opting for locally grown flowers or certified organic flowers from eco-friendly growers worldwide, or offering take-home, potted orchids that can continue to be enjoyed by guests long after the event is over.

No matter the budget and no matter the style, the finishing details are essential to any floral design. Candlelight is always popular and can be incorporated by adding a collection of glittering votives or a surrounding trio of vases, each holding a glowing floating candle. Other details might include a scattering of sparkling stones across the tabletop to offer a bit of glamour or twists of colored wires to add interest to contemporary designs.

The unique, customized floral designs of today fit any style, budget and event, so as you painstakingly plan each and every detail, keep in mind the impact that flowers can (and will!) have on your guests and your event as a whole. And it's no wonder flowers can make such an impact, considering the numerous studies proving that, put simply, flowers just make us happy.

Name: Janet Flowers

Company: Janet Flowers Wedding and Event Designs

Address: 12288A Wilkins Ave.
Rockville, MD 20852 USA

Phone: 301/230-0820

E-mail: [email protected]


Imagine receiving a phone call from a bride who asks, “How quickly can you plan a wedding?” You think, “How many hours do I have?” I love the challenge of planning a wedding and crafting a custom design based on the bride and groom's personality. We have all had our last-minute events, but one in particular stands out for me: The Meetinghouse Companies was asked to plan a wedding in four weeks that would air nationally on the television show “Top Chef.” There were a lot of details and challenges when producing a wedding of this caliber, and our floral director, David Halsey, and I had our work cut out for us.

The “Top Chef” cooking challenge consisted of two competing teams — one working for the bride and the other working for the groom — preparing the newlyweds' favorite foods and serving them on “rival” buffets. The bride and groom chose “team” colors that were integrated throughout the event. Her color was champagne and his, copper. The two colors were identified by charger plates placed alternately on the tables. The plates indicated to guests which buffet they should enjoy first. Attendees were asked to taste from the assigned buffet so the television crew could interview guests as to which food they liked best. Napkins were wrapped around a custom-designed menu card that gave dining instructions to the guests. The napkin insert guided guests through the evening's itinerary while the food selections prepared by our celebrity chefs were a surprise until they were served.

We started developing design concepts and working on the event from the initial phone call. When we first met with the bride and groom, they had not yet chosen a color palette. As designers, we advised them on appropriate color selections for linens, floral and even the invitations, keeping in mind that the result must be camera-friendly. We watched over every detail, integrating the color scheme into all floral and decor for a picture-perfect result. We worked simultaneously with the television production company to give them great visuals.

There were several layers of planning for this reality TV wedding. To be successful, we hosted meetings twice a week over the four-week period with the television production crew and had daily phone conversations with the bride. Every element was scrutinized — from the color of the tablecloths, flatware and dinnerware, to floor plans, timelines, security, coordination of guests' arrival and signing television waivers. Careful planning through a detailed timeline and constant communication with all parties ensured we carried out all facets of the event flawlessly.

Because this show has a huge following, it was essential that the event be kept highly confidential. Security had the schedule of all deliveries, names of production personnel and the guest list to keep unwelcome visitors (the press) from crashing the party. As the wedding guests arrived, they were checked against the security list and asked to sign a confidentiality waiver.

No event is ever created in a vacuum, and our business relationships, like those developed through ISES, are never more important than at a time like this. These relationships foster trust. They allow us to take on projects that are challenging and larger in scope with the knowledge that the result will be something greater than we could accomplish alone, and something that we can all be proud of, even with a short turnaround time. For this particular event, our ISES partnerships held true. We could not have done it without them.

This beautiful and exciting wedding day came and went, full of unexpected delights! From the stunning floral to the culinary delicacies provided by the celebrity chefs, we created fabulous memories for the happy couple and ourselves, as their wedding consultants, to cherish forever.

Name: Erika Lohmar

Company: The Meetinghouse Companies Inc.

Address: 781 N. Church Road Elmhurst, IL 60126 USA

Phone: 630/941-0600

E-mail: [email protected]


Greetings from the ISES International Membership Development Committee! We are hard at work preparing for the May 2009 membership drive after a very successful December 2008 drive. We were fortunate to meet as a team in San Diego, as well as host a round-table discussion with our International VPs of Membership. Let me tell you — our International VPs of Membership are rock stars! We were blown away by what ISES chapters are doing to emphasize the importance and value of being an ISES member, promote event excellence and integrity, and create educational and networking opportunities not found in any other association.

The May membership drive is just around the corner, and there's no better time to become an ISES member. From May 1-31, the $50 (U.S.) application fee is waived for new members who sign up and pay online at Membership lasts for 13 months, May 1, 2009-June 30, 2010. Within days of signing up, your company name will be added to the International Membership Directory available via, and you will find yourself among the best in the industry.

Why ISES? An ISES membership adds value to every event-planning discipline. ISES members retain their memberships for far too many reasons to list in this article, but here are a few:

Our members feel that education and CSEP designations are important benefits. That's because ISES members have access to incomparable educational opportunities. Local chapters feature renowned speakers, top-of-the-line panel discussions and event showcases to keep members at the cutting edge of the event industry. In August, event professionals from all over the globe will come together in San Francisco for three days of education at Eventworld® 2009, An Institute for Professional Development. Hosted annually, Eventworld offers unsurpassed educational opportunities and allows ISES members to rub elbows with the finest event professionals in the world.

The CSEP designation was created by ISES as the pinnacle of excellence in the event industry. As stated by the CSEP Certification Committee, “The CSEP designation is earned through education, performance, experience and service to the industry and reflects a commitment to professional conduct and ethics.” ISES members have the inside track on how to get certified as a CSEP.

Networking — ISES members know how important it is. As an ISES member, you are welcome to attend chapter meetings, social networking events, mixers, trade shows, breakfasts and more, paying member prices at any chapter worldwide. As an ISES member, you will soon be able to have your own social networking page on It will be a fantastic way to get to know your peers, ask questions of your mentors and find resources you didn't even know were available — all at your fingertips instantly.

Here's how two of our committee members have found value in their ISES membership:

"The word ‘value’ is often thought of in dollars and cents, so from that perspective, as an ISES member I receive great value. For a total of $649 in annual and monthly fees, I am a member of a society of my peers, directly related to my industry, who I see regularly. I network directly with patrons and prospects; I have a broad base of professional and personal relationships; and, best of all, I get to do it in style over a cocktail and snack! I ask you, what is a better value than that?” — Jim Verity, Northeast Region, ISES Rhode Island

“My investment in ISES has paid off several times over. Being a long-time caterer, I was certain that we had a presence in the event industry and knew everyone we needed to know. On the strong advice of a respected colleague, I took a chance and joined ISES. Within the first year, we had added over $100,000 in new business that was all from direct ISES leads. That would be enough business to justify 100 years of ISES membership! Since that time, ISES has provided me with education that has made me a business operator and has continued sales growth. We are all aware of the uncertain economic times; it is during times like these that my ISES relationships and referrals are even more vital. My question is not, “Can you afford to join ISES?” It is: “How can you afford not to?” — Yvette Audrain, Southeast Region, ISES Dallas Chapter

It's easy to find out more about ISES. Start at and look for the chapter nearest you. Find your local ISES VP of Membership and give them a call, or talk to one of the many ISES members in your area. An ISES membership is an invaluable commitment to your career, your company and yourself. Set yourself ahead in the event industry with an investment in ISES.

Name: Jenne Hohn

Company: Jenne Hohn Events

Address: P.O. Box 6513
Napa, CA 94581 USA

Phone: 707/337-3490

E-mail: [email protected]


“Intellectual property” is not a term you hear much in the event industry. But intellectual property is integral to what we do every day. Every day we are asked to create events for clients, and the act of creation, of dreaming up new and fun ideas for our events, means we are in the business of creating proprietary ideas. After all, no one wants to create a great event, present it to a client and then have that client do the event themselves or hire another company but use your ideas. It is the same with photography and photographic copyrights.

Florists own the flowers they use in floral creations until a purchase or contract has been made with a client. A bride and groom don't own a cake unless they pay for it or a contract has been made between them and the baker. Photographs are no different. With photographs, ownership remains with the photographer per the terms of the contract you have with them, and the rights they give you to use their images. You can buy the copyright of an image and not have to worry about crediting the photographer, but this is usually expensive.

Often, people have the images given by the photographer stored on file, so don't they own it? Aren't they allowed to use it again? In reality, they don't own it, and do need permission to use it again if usage is outside of the preexisting contract. I'm assuming a florist would be quite angry if someone just came over and starting taking flowers for their own use without paying for them because they used them before.

As a photographer, I am consistently asked to provide various images of events I have photographed, which, for the most part, I have no problem doing. Whenever I hand over one of my images to be used by another vendor, I stipulate that there must be photo credit associated with the image. By doing this, I have created a verbal contract with the vendor. Their fee is the photo credit. I have now given the vendor the right to reproduce this image wherever they would like. If this vendor uses my image and does not provide a photo credit, they are essentially stealing the product.

Think of it this way: Say someone rents a car for two days. They sign a contract and agree to pay a certain amount of money. At the end of the two days, they return the keys and the car, and the contract has ended. As the renter they have no more rights to the car. But say they made a copy of the car key and later went back and took the car. Would this not be motor vehicle theft? Cars, like copyrights, are “property.” A car is tangible personal property. A copyright is intangible. Ownership remains the same, and with photographs, this means that the ownership remains with the photographer per the terms of the contract you have with them and the rights they give you to use their images.

Now I am not saying that if you do not credit the photographer who supplied images that they will pursue legal action, but they can, and they probably won't supply you with photographs again. Thus, it is in your best interest to befriend your photographer — give them credit, and they will give you great photos of each and every event.

Name: Matt Coppersmith

Company: Coppersmith Photography

Address: 5513 Raintell Ave.
Rogers, MN 55374 USA

Phone: 612/978-5860

E-mail: [email protected]

Ryan Hanson
Volunteer Editor
[email protected]


Amie Shak
[email protected]

Kevin Hacke
Executive Director
[email protected]

Kristin Prine
Operations Manager
[email protected]

Lauren Rini
Education Coordinator
[email protected]

Jamie Devins
Membership Services Coordinator
[email protected]

Tom McCurrie
Membership Services Associate
[email protected]


ISES Pages March 2009

ISES Pages February 2009

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