The Currency of Community: Why Together Is Better
By Kathy Miller, ISES President
In the last 25 years, attendance at social events is down 58 percent. We now visit our friends in person 45 percent less than we did in 1987. And, sadly, 33 percent of us no longer sit down to eat together as a family on a daily basis.
At the same time, our participation in social networks has increased dramatically, creating what we all now refer to as online communities.
There is absolutely no doubt that digital is the new normal and that we, as an association, need to continue to embrace that. And we are. After months of hard work, we are nearly ready to launch the new ISES web portal. ISES’ digital presence has grown substantially, with Facebook activity up by 180 percent in February 2013 alone and followers on Twitter now exceeding 4,200.
The social network has redefined the way we communicate and engage with our ISES community.
But I believe our community, the ISES community, is different.
Our community is not one that can simply be defined by the number of virtual friends we have, the likes we receive or by how many tweets we send.
Our community is one that thrives on genuine personal relationships (which is actually one of our new brand values). The ISES community derives its inspiration and creativity (two more of our brand values) through its interaction with others. This interaction is not via a microchip but in person.
Face to face. Together. As a community.
ISES Live, ISES’ new event for the creative event professional, is designed to do exactly that. This August, ISES will bring hundreds of members from around the world to Nassau, Bahamas, to be inspired, to learn and to share. This event offers us the invaluable opportunity to spend time together as a community.
And we are a community—a real community of creative event professionals.
The ISES community is a community of people rich in spirit. The ISES community is one of people who care about our industry. We are a community of people who care about each other. We are a community of people who value what we have. We are a community of people who value who we are. And we are a community who value the time we spend together.
We are a community. Your community. We are your association, your partner and your friend. We are ISES.
Attend ISES Live at the Atlantis in Nassau, Bahamas on August 22--24 2013. Registration is now open at www.iseslive.com.
Name: Kathy Miller
Company: Total Event Resources
Address: 1920 N. Thoreau Drive, Suite 105
Schaumburg, IL 60173
ISES Partners with the Event Leadership Institute
ISES recently announced an exciting partnership with the Event Leadership Institute (ELI), which will give ISES members easy access to high-quality, on-demand online educational content to help prove their value.
Through owning his own event company, Howard Givner (top), founder and executive director of ELI, found that education was the key to raising the level of what you do and having the tools to prove that to your clients or boss. This inspired him to establish ELI.
ELI features an unbundled microlearning format, so instead of buying a block of material, the topics are broken up into self-contained modules (audio is one class, video is another class, for example). A typical class is 30-40 minutes long. You can jump from class to class, and you don’t have to finish classes in one sitting.
“If you’re an ISES member, you’ve made a deeper commitment to the industry and professionalism,” Givner says. “The quality of our content is the most important thing to us—we don’t really sell lists or advertising—the only thing we sell is the quality of our content.”
As far as the time commitment, Givner says a good goal is 30-60 minutes a month. Some companies have an ELI version of a book club: They sign up for the same class and discuss it or they will take different classes and discuss how the learnings apply to their business.
“The reason I reached out to ISES is I think both organizations have the same shared interest seeing the event planning industry grow and have a greater sense of professionalism—underlying that is a need for continued education,” Givner says.
Givner notes that many senior people in the field entered it when continued education wasn’t available, and he’s working with ISES to change the culture.
“We’re steadily training smarter and smarter people,” Givner says. “ELI has joined forces with ISES to get the message out there that event management professionals need to continually improve their craft.”
Ryan Hanson, CSEP, chair of the ISES Education Council (bottom), says the partnership with ELI is connected to ISES’ role of facilitating conversations among event professionals. If you don’t participate in the conversation, you might be left behind.
“How will you be inspired by what else is out there, by the opportunities you have? How will you try something new? How will you deal with radical change in a way that’s not overwhelming?” Hanson says. “If we don’t keep learning, we’ll stop trying. It’s also hard to articulate your value if you’re not an educated professional.”
ISES Approved Courses on the Horizon
An upcoming facet of the ISES/ELI partnership is "ISES Approved"—a stamp of approval for high-quality educational content.
Hanson says the ISES Education Council is working with ELI on the ISES Approved courses, which will be available later this year.
“This is ISES saying that this is the way the professional should do their job,” Hanson says. “These courses capture the process of being a creative event professional.”
For more information on this partnership, visit www.ises.com or www.eventleadershipinstitute.com.
Name: Howard Givner
Company: Event Leadership Institute
Name: Ryan Hanson, CSEP
Address: 2131 Broadway St. N.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Practical Social Media
By Marla Watson CSEP, CTA
Social media has taken over the world, but a lot of business owners and clients still aren't sure what to do with it. You want to be relevant, but what is really practical for your needs? As event professionals, we hold a unique opportunity to not only market to our clients and external audience, but also to engage directly with them in an informal yet informational format.
In a recent study, the Harvard Business Journal noted that 58 percent of companies are currently engaged in social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. This means you have a chance to grab the attention and directly converse with more than half the world’s companies. That is pretty incredible when you think of it.
If you find yourself wondering what to do when you are posting and engaging in social media, start out by exploring specific topics and trends, research and report company happenings, learn best business practices, share articles that are relevant to your particular specialty or craft, ask questions and gain valuable insight or feedback from your external audience. At my company, we use the five platforms below on a regular basis.
Facebook: From posting about events and company happenings to sharing relevant updates that inspire comments or “active brainstorming” on a particular topic, Facebook is still the industry standard and continues to grow and expand to meet our every marketing need.
Twitter:This platform is universal and allows you to quickly report on what is relevant to you at that very moment. Whether you’re at an event or sharing a trend that you found at a conference—that message goes out immediately to a global audience. The best part of twitter is the #hashtag. Hashtags are used to mark keywords or topics in a tweet and categorize messages. By using hashtags in your tweets, they will come up more in Twitter searches.
Pinterest: Pinterest is not only useful as a tool to gain ideas, but you can actually create boards to share with your clients. Instead of having to draw out an inspiration board, we now can put all the ideas in one place and share them from any mobile device. My clients love pinning their own findings with mine to create, collaborate and efficiently communicate their goals.
LinkedIn: This site is truly for professional people. LinkedIn has become the “Library of Congress” for the event industry. I use it to find client bios, important articles, legal information and resumes and to engage with new corporate clients.
Instagram: I use Instagram as a cool and creative way to share photos of events. You simply shoot a photo with your smartphone, choose a filter and “share” your experiences through a series of pictures as they happen. By sharing to other platforms, you again increase your visibility.
Just six years ago, technology was such that we only could engage when people visited our website or received an email announcement. Today, email and websites are going to the wayside like a hot cassette tape, and the conversation has shifted to social media.
Social media is a conversation, not a monologue. You have to “give good social media” to get results. The more your company uses social media, the more that you will grow.
Follow Marla Watson on Twitter at @ChicGeekGirl, @PeaPodGroup.
Name: Marla Watson, CSEP, CTA
Company: PeaPod Group
Address: 2600 Cinnamon Court
Euless, Texas 76039
Email: [email protected]
Yes, My Friends, There Is a CSEP
By Kenneth Kristoffersen, CSEP
“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus…”
In 1897, Dr. Philip O'Hanlon was asked by his then 8-year-old daughter, Virginia, whether Santa Claus really existed. O'Hanlon suggested she write to The Sun, a prominent New York City newspaper at the time, assuring her that "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." He unwittingly gave one of the paper's editors an opportunity to rise above the simple question and address the philosophical issues behind it. It was a time that saw great suffering and a corresponding lack of hope and faith. Although the paper ran the editorial in the seventh place on the page, its message was very moving to many people who read it. More than a century later, it remains the most reprinted editorial ever to run in any newspaper in the English language.
You may be asking yourself, why the reference back to Virginia? It’s a simple story about a young girl and her desire to know if something is real. Actually, it’s not. It’s a story about faith and unfaltering belief—the blind faith that exists in children throughout the far-flung corners of the globe. To some, Santa Claus, to others Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, Sinterklaas and so on. Regardless of the language or the personification, children are not tempered by disappointment or jaded by past experiences. They find solace in having something to believe in and the knowledge that their blind faith will serve them well—until it’s time to forget or they are taught how to not see the world as full of possibility.
The same holds true for the CSEP certification. Events encompass so many countries and ways of doing things, yet there is a commonality to work toward: a dream that we may all unite and help raise our industry to new levels and to contribute to the globe through a meaningful medium. We must start somewhere to bridge that gap between our specialties and cultural differences so that we can understand how to work together.
CSEP is that medium. Yes, there are challenges. Yes, we are in the infant stages. But the best part about the infant stages is that with youthful faith there are no excuses. Yes, my friends, there is a CSEP. It lies in the hearts of event professionals.
Just like Virginia, I encourage you to ask the questions. But, at a certain point for anything to be real, it has to be believed in. To believe is to have faith. With faith comes no excuses. Thank you, Virginia, for having the courage to ask the question and the faith to believe in something. More than 100 years later, we still have proof that if you have faith in something, it will stand the test of time.
Yes, my friends, there is a CSEP. It continues to morph and increase its value. You can say “It has no value where I live,” but I stand strong in the conviction that a thousand years from now, it will continue to be of value because of those who had the faith to just believe.
Name: Kenneth Kristoffersen, CSEP
Company: POP Kollaborative
Address: 30, 318 Eleventh Ave. S.E.
Calgary, Alberta T2G 0Y2
Email: [email protected]