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ISES Pages March-April 2013

ISES Pages March-April 2013

Updates from the International Special Events Society on ISES Live, the 2013 conference, the benefits of networking with ISES members, tips on staging Indian weddings, and a profile of a student turned professional thanks to ISES connections.



ISES LIVE “Twitterview” with Terry Singleton CSEP,CDMP

ISES recently announced ISES Live, the new event for the global creative event professional. It already has the entire industry buzzing with anticipation.

In this exclusive “Twitterview,” we talk to Terry Singleton, CSEP, CDMP, president and chief operating officer of CCP Events Inc. and Immediate Past International President of ISES, to find out more about ISES Live—in 140 characters or less.

ISES Staff: So, Terry, what is ISES Live?

Terry Singleton (TS): ISES Live is the most exciting thing to happen in the events industry in a very long time.

ISES Staff: Isn’t ISES Live just the new name for ISES Eventworld?

TS: No, ISES Live will be very different from ISES Eventworld, although it will still contain some of the elements that members tell us they liked.

ISES Staff: What makes ISES Live so different?

TS: ISES Live is the only event created for the global creative events professional anywhere in the world.

ISES Staff: Where and when will ISES Live be held?

TS: ISES Live takes place at Atlantis in Nassau, Bahamas, on August 22-24, 2013.

ISES Staff: Why Nassau? Isn’t that a bit extravagant?

TS: Nassau is a fantastic event destination--very well-priced and very accessible for our members from North America, Europe and elsewhere.

ISES Staff: A lot of people don’t have time to go to industry events, so why should they go to this one?

TS: It’s vital that we meet at least once a year to connect with colleagues from around the world, and we know people will really benefit by going.

ISES Staff: So, what can I expect to get from my attendance?

TS: The very best educational content anywhere in the industry, and networking with major event planners and suppliers from around the world.

ISES Staff: How much does it cost?

TS: ISES has a variety of flexible pricing models based on the conference experience each attendee wants to have. For full pricing details, visit

ISES Staff: Is there an opportunity to stay on for a few days for some R&R?

TS: Yes, it’s a great destination, and people can stay on after the event or arrive a few days earlier to make the most of the beautiful island.

ISES Staff: Where can I get more information?

TS: You can get the latest ISES Live updates and information on

ISES Staff: I’ve heard there is going to be an exclusive ISES Live app—is that true?

TS: Yes, you can use the app to view the program and connect with colleagues. It will be available for download later in 2013.

ISES Staff: As this is a Twitterview, I assume readers can follow you on Twitter for more information.

TS: Absolutely! Stay up to date by following us at the #iseslive hashtag.

ISES Staff: Thank you, Terry—it was nice tweeting with you!

TS: It’s been my pleasure. I look forward to seeing you and your readers at ISES Live!

Name: Terry Singleton, CSEP
Company: CCP Events Inc./EventScapes
Address: 1484 Atlanta Industrial Way N.W., Suite B
Atlanta, GA 30331
Phone: 404/472-9233

Next: Robert Hulsmeyer on using ISES connections to launch a new event




A Glimpse into Flavors of Fort Lauderdale

How a New York-based company with deep ISES roots helped reinvigorate the Fort Lauderdale food scene

When you think of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., food might not be the first thing to come to mind. But during the inaugural Flavors of Fort Lauderdale event, held Nov. 8-11, 2012, the city’s culinary culture was treated to a four-day public celebration.

Flavors of Fort Lauderdale was created by Empire Force Events for the Fort Lauderdale Beach Business Improvement District to promote Fort Lauderdale’s culinary culture. Robert Hulsmeyer and Jaclyn Berstein are ISES Founding Members, so when they took on the project, they connected with the ISES South Florida & Caribbean chapter.

The South Florida & Caribbean chapter’s members were eager to support the event, but they also connected Robert and Jaclyn to event professionals who were not ISES members. They promoted the ISES organization to nonmember vendors, and the South Florida & Caribbean chapter even hosted a one-night event to showcase its impact on the south Florida event industry. By getting involved in Flavors of Fort Lauderdale, those nonmembers had a unique opportunity to experience the truly special and mutually beneficial relationships ISES members have with one another—and that proved to be an excellent ISES recruitment tool.

Hulsmeyer says the Flavors of Fort Lauderdale would not have been as successful without the involvement of the South Florida & Caribbean chapter. It was also the first event that showcased the new direction of Empire Force Events, which is to design, produce, promote, sell and own their event properties. As part of this new direction, Empire Force Events added a third partner to the company--Mike Fiorentino, who is Past President of the ISES New York chapter. Fiorentino helped spearhead negotiations and interactions with the South Florida & Caribbean chapter, and he has been instrumental to the company’s new direction and to Flavors of Fort Lauderdale.

Hulsmeyer says he’s proud to have such strong ISES connections in his company. It’s allowed him to network in ways that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Thanks to his partnership with the South Florida & Caribbean chapter, Flavors of Fort Lauderdale exceeded all expectations of the local restaurant and hospital community—it reinforced Fort Lauderdale as a culinary destination.

Name: Robert Hulsmeyer
Company: Empire Force Events
Address: 77 W. 24th Street, Third Floor
New York, NY 10010
Phone: 212/924-0320
E-mail: [email protected]

Next: Tips on planning an Indian wedding



Planning an Indian Wedding

A behind-the-scenes glimpse at an elaborate Indian wedding ceremony

By Mica Parekh

Indian weddings offer both excitement and challenges to wedding vendors. You have to deal with changes, delays, complexity and a language barrier while still providing exceptional customer service. While there are exceptions, most weddings take months of planning and preparations, and are carried out over the course of two to five days.

There are many religious and social rituals that take place as part of the wedding. The specific rituals depend on regions the families are from. The ceremony is always the biggest wedding event. Guest count will decide the venue for the ceremony. The ideal venue will allow food to be catered in, as food is one of the most important aspects of Indian weddings. The decorator's team will often work during the night to set up the venue. A Hindu ceremony takes place under a structure called a mandap. Mandaps can be quite simple or very elaborate.

The baraat is the groom's procession to the ceremony venue. In Hindu weddings, the priest will start the ceremony and alert wedding guests for the bride's arrival. The ceremony can last anywhere from one to three hours and may be longer if social rituals and customs are incorporated. If the wedding ceremony is long, wedding guests will be invited to have lunch during the ceremony. After the ceremony, the couple will seek blessings from their parents and relatives. Once the couple leaves, it’s time to get ready for the reception.

Unless the ceremony is in the afternoon, there is usually a gap between ceremony and reception. Decorators use this time to get the venue ready for the reception. The evening will start with cocktail hour (while alcohol is common now, there are exceptions), and only vegan food is served at some weddings. The couple will arrive during the cocktail hour. The rest of the reception will include introductions, a first dance, toasts, cake cutting and dinner. Indian wedding receptions normally have many speeches. There will usually be singing and dancing performances by friends and relatives. Professional dance troupes are also common, and the dance floor will be open after the dinner. The music will be a mix of contemporary, Bollywood and regional. This certainly is a time for the couple and their families to celebrate!

While most Indian weddings and receptions follow the above outline, there are exceptions. For example, Sikh weddings are very different from Hindu weddings. Dry receptions and vegan menus are also common. There may not be a reception, or the reception may be low-key without a DJ or entertainment. But one facet holds true across India’s variety of cultures: They are social affairs. Family, relatives and friends are big part of every Indian wedding.

Name: Mica Parekh
Company: IWP Photography & Video
Address: 8008 Gresham Trace Lane
Raleigh, NC 27615
Phone: 919/622-5399
E-mail: [email protected]

Next: Read how a student turned into an event professional thanks to ISES networking



ISES Student Member Profile: Taylor Somera, ISES LA Chapter
How she made her ISES student membership work for her

When Taylor Somera was a junior at Cal State Fullerton, she invited Carol Roleder and Craig Tolliver from the ISES LA chapter to participate in a special events panel at the university. Almost immediately, she hit it off with the two event professionals. They introduced her to ISES, and soon she became an ISES student member and began her journey toward a highly successful event management career.

“ISES helped me get the hands-on experience that I didn’t get in school,” Somera says, who graduated with a degree in business management with a focus on entertainment and tourism. “It really opened me up to the industry. Understanding that, as a college student, I could talk to event professionals on the same level was so encouraging. Everyone is welcoming—that’s what I love about this industry.”

Somera took full advantage of her ISES student membership by networking with established event management professionals and shadowing them. By doing so, she not only made key industry connections but also earned experience in all facets of event management, from registration to supervising guest flow.

“The diversity of roles ISES offered me and the ability to feel comfortable in different situations were invaluable,” Somera says.

Throughout her ISES student membership, Somera worked with professionals affiliated with ISES LA, ISES Arizona and ISES Florida chapters. By the time she graduated, Somera had so much experience that she landed a coveted event management role with the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, where she manages logistics and vendor relations for Komen events, works closely with the event producers, and oversees local fundraising efforts for the organization. 

While her role with Susan G. Komen for the Cure keeps her busy, Somera is still active in ISES LA, where she assists with the chapter’s marketing and communications efforts.

“I plan to stay in ISES wherever my career takes me. Whether I’m in Los Angeles or Florida—I’ll be an ISES member,” she says. “There’s no excuse not to be an ISES member.”

Name: Taylor Somera
Company: Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Address: 3191-A Airport Loop Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Phone: 714/957-9157



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