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Think ISES March-April 2015

Think ISES March-April 2015

ISES leaders share their perspectives on what’s hot in events around the United States and worldwide

The view from the ISES Midwest Region

Jim RileySubmitted by Jim Riley, USA Midwest Regional Vice Presiden

What are the recognizable signatures of events in your region?

One of the jewels in the Midwest crown is the Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter’s Star Awards. It just celebrated its 10-year anniversary. Each year, they have a new and creative theme, from "Bootlegger’s Ball" to "Steampunk." This year, it is "Storytellers," which will focus on how we tell our clients' stories at events. Every year the bar is set higher for this annual event.

Overall, I would say the Midwest celebrates its hearty farm-to-table, classic American favorites throughout its events. If anything, that is our signature.

What challenges do you continually face in your region?

The Midwest is known for its constantly changing weather. We are accustomed to overcoming varying weather patterns and always having our Plan B ready in case of a quick change from Mother Nature.

What makes your region great?

Some have felt the Midwest is made up of the “fly-over states” between the two coasts, but we are glue that keeps them together. The Midwest, in my opinion, is the heart of the country and the events industry. I have been so amazed at how much the leaders of the Midwest (and event professionals in general) band together to help each other in tough situations, learn from each other and honestly care--that, in the end, produces a greater industry. We produce amazing, high-quality productions with a heart and normally thrive on building a team from all of the event industry to make it the best possible.

The view from the ISES Northeast Region

Alex GorriaranSubmitted by Alex M. Gorriaran, CSEP, USA Northeast Regional Vice President 

What are the recognizable signatures of events in your region?

The Northeast Region is packed with so many types of events--from your high-profile, media glitzed galas to your smaller destination-style events and your corporate, organizational and collegiate-style events--that are too many to identify one as a signature event.

The Northeast has the ability to offer a diverse mix of experiences in one area, from energized chic, city vibes to historical journeys with renowned museums and mansions to island destinations and serene backdrops, all within short distances. All of this is complemented by the nearby access to the some of the best event professionals concentrated around food and beverage, rentals, design, decor, production, entertainment and unique venues.

What challenges do you continually face in your region?

One of the biggest factors is weather. We have a volatile seasonal mix of weather that can have an adverse effect on any event. You always need to have your backup plan ready to go! Typically, the Northeast might be stereotyped as traditional, but I have found that we do fit the trend of thinking out of the box. Sometimes it is as simple as looking to reinvent what is old and turn it around with a new twist.

What makes your region great?

The Northeast Region is a very strong and passionate region. Due to the close proximity of major cities and gorgeous seaside destinations, the Northeast has much to offer for any type of event. We live in a very fast-paced section of the country that demands the best and is always striving for new, next-generation products, services and design ideas.

Our event community and the team of event professionals can move mountains! The talent concentrated in this area coupled with the desire for new ideas and innovation forces us to raise the bar on the caliber of our events. This truly makes our region unique. The Northeast Region rocks!

The view from the ISES Southeast Region

JC YorkSubmitted by JC York, USA Southeast Regional Vice President 

What are the recognizable signatures of events in your region?

The Southeast Region has a completely diverse landscape, each region with its own signature style--from the Carolinas and Georgia with their Southern charm, to the tropics of Florida, to the party atmosphere of Louisiana and Tennessee, all the way down to “everything is bigger” in Texas. We do it all! We take advantage of our unique city features that include beaches, theme parks, party cites that never sleep, Old World charm, floral and amazing live music.

What challenges do you continually face in your region?

Without a doubt, one of the biggest challenges we face is the weather. Weather in this region can literally change within minutes. It can go from a perfectly sunny day to a torrential downpour to sunny again all within the span of 10 minutes. So when planning outside events, we always need a backup plan.

What makes your region great?

Our region gets to welcome so many diverse groups in unique venues throughout versatile landscapes. We have Disney World and Universal Studios, the amazing beaches in Florida and gorgeous coasts of the Carolinas, Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, college football playoffs and Super Bowls, South by Southwest (SXSW), the Alamo and Riverwalk, the home of NASA and the Space Coast, Georgia Peaches and Southern charm, the Big D, cowboys and cowgirls, country music and rock 'n' roll, and the Grand Ole Opry. We completely celebrate life here!

The view from the ISES West Region

Dana MacaulaySubmitted by Dana Macaulay, USA West Regional Vice President 

What are the recognizable signatures of events in your region?

Casual sophistication can be seen in food, color palettes and decor, which is meant to bring the indoors to the outdoors with specialty furniture collections and props. Red-carpet events, television shoots and music videos also continue to influence the way we light events, from soft to subtle.

The farm-to-table concept has really taken off over the last three to five years and is recognized as a signature style through all aspects of the creative events in the Western Region, from weddings to corporate and more. Examples are handcrafted design and decor elements such as wooden tables with runners and seasonal wild flowers, to locally sourced catering menus with the bountiful seasonal produce of the Western Region.

What challenges do you continually face in your region?

Excessive traffic can be as unpredictable as the weather is to other regions. Another challenge is that the West has a lot of geography to cover, when traveling to and from events.

What makes your region great?

We have the best of all worlds: sun, sand, surf and snow. We have world-class vineyards, outdoor festivals, concerts and romantically rustic weddings in unique locations. Our desert communities also offer everything from the sights and sounds of the Las Vegas strip to a variety of golf courses and resorts that provide an oasis for people who want to get away from it all. And, of course, our famous West Coast beaches with their amazing climate and temperatures are a great option for events of any kind, from weddings to concerts to carnivals.

The view from ISES Australasia

Gian BlundoSubmitted by Gian Blundo, CSEP, Australasia International Affiliate Chair

What are the recognizable signatures of events in Australasia?

Australasia events have a global reputation for being first-class. Event organizers are always keeping up with the trends. There has been a focus on color trends and widening the boundaries in their decoration to set the mood, look and energy in the event. There is a continual push in executing the five senses throughout the event.

The entertainment is constantly gravitating toward interactive products and roving entertainment.

What challenges do you continually face in your region?

Australasia, being so far away, becomes a challenge with regards to expenses. Event organizers will review the costs and discover they have a battle with the price on flights. Australasia has to continually brand its beauty on industry websites, blogs and social media. Event organizers need to keep up with content marketing in their campaigns and increase video streaming to market themselves globally.

What makes event management in Australasia great?

The predicted falling U.S. dollar will make Australasia more attractive as a destination.

You will find that we have our own style and have some of the most creative event producers and suppliers. The event managers understand the growth sectors in the global economy and ensure that the right infrastructure, facilities and support are in place. They structure the design and functionality to be fully integrated and have a seamless match for the entire event.

The view from ISES Canada

Angela BraunSubmitted by Angela Braun, CSEP, PMP, Canadian International Affiliate Chair, with input from Lisa Marks, CSEP, Calgary, and Aaron Kaufman, CSEP, Toronto

What are the recognizable signatures of events in Canada?

Other than the obvious theme based on geographic location, the Canadian signature is that there is no signature but to raise the bar in creative ideas.

What challenges do you continually face in your region?

First, the weather across the country can make things challenging. Also, we only have one national conference and yet several from the United States, which means we get more exposure to American-based product/entertainment than Canadian. There are also very few "large metropolis" cities in Canada, so this truthfully means we have less access to new things. Lastly, the varying tax structures across the country can make billing challenging.

What makes event management in Canada great?

Overall, this country has a wide variance in terms of client base and business sectors. Canada is also known to be ultra-creative, and we have the types of creative professionals in Canada who can both design and supply unique and custom projects. The general sense of collaboration across the country amongst event professionals is underscored by the strong Canadian pride in our industry.

The view from ISES EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa)

James MorganSubmitted by James Morgan, Ph.D, CSEP, EMEA International Affiliate Chair

What are the recognizable signatures of events in EMEA?

Main signatures unique to EMEA do not exist. As the region covers a huge geographic area, each country has its own cultural and social identity, and this dictates how events concepts are designed and produced. For example, in parts of North Africa and the Middle East, alcohol is banned, but in Western Europe, it’s a given that some sort of alcoholic refreshment is served at some point at an event.

With that said, there are commonalities. In terms of event structures, these are very much the same with standardized staging, lighting, audiovisual and other technical aspects. However, with decor and entertainment, it is usually determined by cultural values. So in Dubai, you may find lots of sunny vibrant colors that reflect the mood of a sunny climate, whereas in colder places, such as Northern Europe, the colors tend to be more muted with only a splash of color. This is also reflected in choices of furniture, table settings and many other elements of the design.

What challenges do you continually face in your region?

The most significant challenge in working across the many countries that span the EMEA Region is local supplier networks. They vary from city to city and country to country. If you organize events only in one city or country, then your network is an established one based on trust. But if you produce all over the region, the challenge of finding quality and trustworthy suppliers can be daunting.

What makes event management in EMEA great?

The events landscape in EMEA is intensely interesting because of the varying cultural practices, social values and languages that have to be taken into account by event organizers. When they say that every events is different, this is certainly the case in EMEA.


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