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Special Events
ISES Pages for May-June 2010

ISES Pages for May-June 2010

Expand Your Experience at ISES Eventworld 2010

In today's difficult market, it's time to invest in your most valuable asset: yourself! Take the opportunity to grow professionally and increase your experience, knowledge, referrals and friends by attending ISES Eventworld 2010!

At ISES Eventworld 2010, to be held August 5-7 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, Md., you'll be able to network with a large base of professionals from around the globe. Last year, more than 550 professionals attended this event. ISES Eventworld 2010 offers you the opportunity to:


    Create a resource list of peers who can be a resource when you're working out of your own city


    Share ideas


    Make contacts you need to make your company well-known throughout the industry


    Attend sessions that will increase your knowledge base and open doors to new experiences that you can share with the rest of your staff


    Learn about the latest areas of growth within the industry, as well as information about their events

  • Share your knowledge on the latest areas of growth

  • Discover new tools, solutions and trends that will improve and prepare your business for the next level in special events

  • Obtain points toward your CSEP or other industry certifications for attendance and participation in classes

  • Showcase your company through sponsorship
  • Position your company's message in front of all the attendees
  • Register by July 1 for education and all events to save at least 20 percent

  • ISES members save more than 20 percent on education

  • Take advantage of the low rates in the ISES room block at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel

  • ISES Eventworld attendees who book in the conference room block will receive free Internet access in their guest rooms

  • Visit the ISES Eventworld 2010 page on to find out how to get 10 percent off the lowest published fares on United and American Airlines


Dining Bars: A Unique Culinary Journey

Blackstone Caterers, located in Newport, R.I., draws its philosophy as a part of the Newport Restaurant Group and Castle Hill Inn and Resort, bringing a very unique à la carte dining approach to the off-premise catering setting. From gala events for 2,000 to intimate cocktail parties in Newport's famed “cottages,” Blackstone Caterers has reinvented the combination of exquisite food, spectacular presentation and unfailing service.

One of Blackstone's signature event formats is to replicate the ambience of a fine dining restaurant in any setting, from some of Providence's old mill buildings to an expansive lawn in a Newport mansion. Blackstone's signature dining bars have become our answer to our clients' request for creating a cocktail party-feel at their events while offering comfort food with sophistication, global tastes and locally inspired creations, uniquely paired wines and seasonal libations. The event format has great appeal for the corporate and nonprofit clients who are often trying to appeal to a demographic of guests who frequent the gala circuit.

At a recent gala, Blackstone designed an urban space with three unique dining bar concepts: Latin Fusion, French Bistro and Japanese Sushi and Dim Sum Bar. Guests walked into an environment where they could visit three restaurants in the course of one evening, an inviting change from the standard buffet or stations event format. Blackstone prepares restaurant-style menu cards describing each bar's offerings, from wine selections to small plates, allowing guests to craft their own culinary journey throughout the evening.

Each of the dining bars accommodates 18 guests seated and allows for a service area for cocktailing menu items to surrounding lounges and cocktail tables. Menu items are prepared à la minute from behind the bar, and this allows for an engaging, interactive experience between the guests and our staff. The format invites guests to converse in an “open kitchen” environment and takes the event to another level, appealing to foodies and novices alike. This concept delivers a more unique experience than the infamous “60-inch round table of 10” seated affair while encouraging mingling and conversation in a casual-yet-intimate atmosphere. After all, the best part of the whole party is the cocktail hour, so why not extend that spirit for the rest of the evening? Below is a sampling of the dining bar and recommended pairings that have inspired many corporate and social events alike:

  • Yuca Chips with Guacamole, Fried Plantains with Mango Salsa

  • Roasted Chicken and Saffron-Lobster Mashed Potatoes

  • Vegetarian Paella Tradito

  • Argentinean Grilled Flank Steak with a Chimichurri Sauce over Corn and Tomato Salad

  • Assorted Churros with Dulce de Leche and Raspberry Glaze

  • Mojitos with Fresh Mint
  • Sangria
  • Selection of Chilean Wines
  • Assorted Tartines and Traditional Charcuterie
  • Goat Cheese Tart with Mixed Greens and Roasted Beets
  • Mustard-Crusted Salmon with Braised French Lentils and Garlic Jus
  • Moules à la Mariniere with Crusty French Bread
  • Steak au Poivre with Cognac Cream and Frites
  • Terrisses Gaillac
  • Chateau Barrail Meyney
  • Sparkling Wine — Francois Montand Brut
  • Kronenbourg

Name: Kerri Quinn Jaffe

Company: Newport Harbor Corp.

Address: 366 Thames St.

Newport, RI 02840 USA

Phone: 401/848-2030

E-mail: [email protected]

Web site:

Strategic Parterships Prove Beneficial in Trying Times

No doubt about it, we are truly in tough economic times. Just as businesses compete for the consumer dollar, nonprofit organizations are vying for the fundraising dollar. When professionals and nonprofit organizations work together, it's vital that both are able to meet their financial goals. Today, nonprofit organizations are encouraged to develop strategic partnerships with supporting companies and suppliers not only to strengthen their bottom line, but also to gain a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with vendors and donors.

A strategic partnership is a long-term, win-win commitment between two organizations for the purpose of achieving specific business objectives by maximizing the effectiveness of each participant's resources. Strategic partnerships are different from event sponsorships in that the sponsorships usually entail a company paying a designated amount of cash to an organization in exchange for certain benefits such as logo and/or product placement, name recognition at the event, specialty seating, etc. Strategic partnerships are, again, more long-term and mutually beneficial. To establish this type of relationship, nonprofits should first identify potential partners. These may be vendors used on a regular basis, vendors sympathetic to the organization's cause, companies looking to fulfill their community outreach initiatives, or fellow event industry members such as those in ISES. Once potential partners have been identified, the nonprofits should gain an understanding of their partner's business needs versus the needs of their own organization.

A good example of a strong strategic partnership is one that exists between the National Football League (NFL) and the United Way. The NFL has partnered with the United Way to help promote the nonprofit's mission and to create change in communities, while the NFL is able to fulfill an outreach initiative that helps the league maintain a socially responsible image and keeps it attractive to patrons, league sponsors and supporters.

To maintain a strategic partnership, it is important to clearly define the goals of both parties. There should be a finite agreement identifying these goals as well as measurable benefits. This will allow each organization to establish clear benchmarks, determine effectiveness and determine if the agreement is mutually beneficial.

Measurable benefits for the partner, vendor or company could include year-round recognition in the partner organization's Web and online media (measured by link/Web site click-throughs), an increase in employee volunteer service activity, and an increase in long-term revenue. Brand awareness in alternative markets is also a good benefit that companies appreciate.

The partner nonprofit benefits could include reduced costs for services, growth in volunteer participation and awareness, and an increase in corporate donations.

In these times, nonprofits have to be creative in growing their bottom line. Suppliers are less likely to give the house away for free, and donor companies are much more hard-pressed to see a measurable return on their investment. Strategic partnerships and alliances are instrumental in achieving these goals. Nonprofits should pursue companies and suppliers that believe in their cause and develop the relationship far beyond the written contract. Relationship management is key to building strong alliances and will truly support a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership.

Name: Mia Monroe, CSEP

Company: ISES Houston Chapter President

Address: P.O. Box 273284

Houston, TX 77277-3284 USA

Phone: 713/775-5797

E-mail: [email protected]

Web site:

It's All About the ROI

How do you measure success? Now, more than ever, the special event industry is being challenged to see a tangible value in performance. It's no longer about simply planning and execu-ting great events. Now, companies and clients are looking to see a direct Return on Investment (ROI).

The Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX), like many other leading business sources, defines ROI as a result of a financial ratio: net profit divided by net worth.

But can all events and event expenses be defined using this ratio?

It's best to start off by determining specific event goals and objectives by being able to answer the question: What determines if this event is a success?

The answer may be found in one of the following factors: cost savings, exceeding profit margins with attendance, achieving a “wow“ factor, the client's overall satisfaction or creating a fairy-tale wedding that the bride has been dreaming about for her whole life.

If the ROI of the event is to create a lasting memory of the theme, product or service being showcased, start with a marketing plan. Identify who should be attending your event, research the most efficient ways to reach them and then determine how to attract them to come to the event. Social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and blogging might be able to help with this process. Create a consistent engaging message that contains the vital information. A great way to add vibrancy to your event is to create dialogue. Videos, comments, photos, humor and animation are some tools to use to help your event promotion stand out from all the spam in your e-mail inbox.

The most accurate way of measuring costs is to first get a minimum of three quotes from each vendor. Knowing the current market price for the product or service will help with step two: negotiating. Keeping an accurate record of all the proposed pricing gained through bargaining can result in an impressive enough difference. Having a great relationship with your vendor may prove to be financially advantageous during this process.

But sometimes, ROI can simply be identified in a bride's glowing smile on her wedding day.

Many business analysts, myself included, would argue that establishing and maintaining relationships between clients and vendors has an immeasurable return. “It's who you know” in this industry — the baseline to networking.

Networking is simply common dialogue between individuals with a common interest. Learning what other people do, where the next opportunity might be, how you can help them and how they can help you are some advantages to cultivating a relationship.

By joining industry organizations such as ISES, you can gain access to networking resources. This process does not have an immediate ROI as it takes time to turn an acquaintance into a resource. But in the meantime, ISES can also provide education, advancement and promotion of the special event industry and its network of professionals, along with related industries.

Name: Marie Caci, CMP, CPCE

Event and Meeting Specialist

Phone: 617/688-2759

E-mail: [email protected]

Web site:

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