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Click the icon below to view that day’s sessions:

The 2014 Conference & Tradeshow brings you brand new speakers with exciting new topics. View the outline below for the education lineup for Sunday, March 23, 2014.

10:00am – 11:00am

Not Black and White: A European Approach to Inclusion
Walter Stugger, Managing Director, Inspiria Global Event Service, New York, NY

European event organizers routinely do business across dozens of languages while synchronizing significantly different, sometimes oppositional, cultural styles. What’s commonplace in one culture may be offensive or taboo in another. Successful European planners recognize and embrace multiculturalism in programming, scheduling, introductions/greetings, meals, social activities, gift-giving and more. Walter Stugger shares successful solutions he’s developed while organizing hundreds of diverse events within the European Community and beyond.


Boost Your Profitability, Part I – Do As I Say, Not As I Did!
Matt Allen, President, MMD Events, Tampa, FL

One year older, and so much the wiser, Matt Allen takes a steely-eyed look at what he did right and what he could have done better. Along the way he will share what he’s learned — time-tested ways for your entire team to make your company more profitable. Learn how to begin those conversations you need to have and then act on them with your entire team. These include qualifying the right clients and managing expectations to the basic organization and structure that will make everyone profitable in good times and bad.


Managing and Marketing to Millennials
Meredith Commender, CSEP, Wedding and Event Producer/Designer, Significant Events of Texas, Dallas, TX

In this seminar, attendees will learn more about the millennial generation, such as their learning styles, how they receive and process information, expectations they have of themselves and those they work with and what sales and communication strategies work best when managing this generation as employees and when securing their business as clients.


How To Build and Manage a High Volume Wedding Business    
Presented by WIPA
Brit Bertino, President, Brit Bertino Event Excellence, Las Vegas, NV
WeddingTrackLogo    WIPA_Logo_sm
Although everyone wants to do spectacular up-market weddings that get press, the reality is that your bread and butter is most likely mid-market weddings. In order to grow, that’s the segment to focus on. What are the systems that need to be in place to make this happen? Brit Bertino does more than 60 weddings a year in the wedding capitol of Las Vegas. Each year there is a stand-out wedding, but day-to-day she manages to produce a staggering number of weddings. She also runs another company, the Totty Belt, produces several pro bono events for ISES Las Vegas and has time for a vacation! Her success is no secret — time management – but not everyone knows how to use it. This session will help you learn how to make time work for you!


11:15am - 12:15pm

Snapshot Strategy: Getting the Images You Want and Need
Sasha Souza, Designer/Wedding Mastermind, Sasha Souza Events, Napa, CA and Damion Hamilton, Owner, Damion Hamilton Photographer, Napa, CA

Wedding designer Sasha Souza and detail photographer Damion Hamilton team up to show you how to create a strategic photography plan. They will focus on how you can get the results you want that will help you grow your business in this media-driven world. Learn valuable insight about things that you, the designer, can do to get the most stunning party pictures possible with plenty of visual examples. You will hear from a photographer’s point of view on why the camera doesn’t always see things as the human eye does and what you can do about it. You’ll have a chance to learn from Damion and Sasha’s past mistakes as they take you behind the scenes and reveal in tell-all-fashion what they would have done differently. In the end, you will walk away from this class with solid, practical wisdom and advice that has the potential to change the way photography is impacting your business and your bottom line.


Back to Basics and Beyond: Business Lessons for the Event Professional
Gretchen Culver, Owner, Rocket Science Weddings & Events, Minneapolis, MN

Whether you are just starting out or a seasoned event professional, this seminar is for you. We will cover what you need to know if you are running a business in the special event industry, such as legal, insurance and accounting practices, as well as your website and online presence via social media. Sound boring? It won’t be as we take an engaging and humorous approach to business.

Gain surprising insight as to what your clients are looking for when they are hiring an event professional. Additionally, come discover some common mistakes event professionals make when running their business and how to avoid them, plus awesome tips and advice from a wide range of industry experts that you can’t get anywhere else. Time at the end will be available for Q&A so get your business questions ready!


Elevate Your Non-Profit and For-Profit Sponsorships
Anne Pole, Benefit Events Manager, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Companies spend about $6.8 billion annually sponsoring major events such as the Olympic Games, Indianapolis 500 and Kentucky Derby. They also sponsor smaller events, ranging from concerts and conventions to luncheons and fundraisers. Sponsors typically pay a premium, but sponsorships also may be in exchange for goods or services, advertising or media exposure. Finding a sponsor for your event makes good business sense, both for you and for them. Soliciting corporate sponsors is serious business and no small task. Professionals who agree to take on the job should break down the responsibilities into manageable tasks. Being methodical about the job will make it much easier to succeed. This session will help you begin to accomplish that and bring more sponsorship dollars to your events.


Ultimate Tented Weddings: From Design to Décor and Everything In Between
Melissa Brannon, Owner/Planner/Designer, Uncommon Events, Chalfont, PA
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This seminar will teach you how to build a wedding venue for the day in the middle of nowhere! It will define the way to approach and navigate the difficult parameters of a tented wedding and the tricks of the trade for a stunning look. Understand the ins and outs of tents – how to sell it, what is on the market, which one is right for the event and the property and how to get the best out of your tenting partner to create and design something spectacular that will leave the guests in awe.


1:00pm - 2:00pm

What Does Creativity Cost? Managing and Pricing Out Your Most Valuable Asset
Presented by WIPA
David Merrell, President/Creative Director, AOO Events, Inc., Los Angeles, CA

In this session designed for business owners and managers who are on the front lines with clients daily, David Merrell will give you the ways to successfully convey the cost of creativity. Learn how to straddle the line between client budgets and designers’ great ideas. Discover how to convey those great ideas in such a way to increase a budget. Join the conversation that all owners have – how to clear the everyday hurdles of the creative process from how to put price out creativity to how to recover from a near-miss proposal. And last but not least, learn ways to manage your own creativity and business at the same time, to break boundaries yet not burnout and to live a creative life professionally and personally.


Events to Experiences: The Digital Event Divide
J. Damany Daniel, Chief Imaginator, The Event Nerd, Dallas, TX

An event is defined as “something that happens or is regarded as happening – an occurrence,” while an experience is “a particular instance of personally encountering or undergoing something.” Every day we’re given the opportunity to create experiences alongside our clients, to foster memories for their guests and provide a connection that transcends the four walls of the event space. Emerging and social technologies are some of the most effective ways to do just that and we’ll discuss how words like data, measurement and analytics can make your event fun and exciting – all while proving the ROI of events to the clients you want and need. Integrating technology into an event is no longer an option, it’s a requirement. We’ll discuss how to make that possible and how to turn your clients’ events into experiences.


Secrets and Strategies to Manipulate, Magnify and Maximize Free Publicity
Susan Ratliff, President, Susan Ratliff Presents, Inc., Scottsdale, AZ

Publicity can be powerful and valuable. Master the tricks to attracting the media and generate thousands of dollars in free exposure for your business or organization, drive traffic to your booth, promote an event or position yourself as an expert. Anyone can learn how to work with the media, get their name in the news and use it for profit and promotion. Susan Ratliff will teach attendees the six proven principals for attracting publicity and share personal strategies and examples from her years of experience as a media magnet to help the audience develop a plan for obtaining positive, high visibility publicity that will keep their name in the news.


WeddingTrackLogoPlanning and Selling the Perfect Wedding Menus
Ken Barrett, Executive Director, Broadway Gourmet, Boston, MA

Learn the 3 Es of menu planning for weddings: easy to sell, easy to produce, easy to impress the bridal party and the guests. Start with the menus you sell currently, then learn how to add creative elements, develop price point navigators for selling up to a better price, easy resources for writing menus and how to write menus that meet the needs of both the sales and the culinary teams.


2:15pm - 3:15pm

Cue the Ballyhoo. Creating a Life with Impact and Joy
Mary Tribble, Mary Tribble, LLC, Charlotte, NC

Every event planner lives for it–that moment of “ballyhoo” at an event when the top award winner comes to the stage or the headliner act cues the finale. This is the culmination of months of planning–when the music plays, the confetti sprays and the spotlights sweep around the room. In our mind’s eye, the audience jumps to their feet in applause while the winner takes her bows.

While those moments motivate us, they aren’t enough to sustain our wellbeing. A few seconds of glitter and glam might feel like empty calories compared to what we imagine our lives to be.

In this session, veteran event professional Mary Tribble will share her search for meaning in a world of ballyhoo. Through stories about her business, life travels and inner quest, you’ll learn techniques and tools to help fulfill your everyday journey toward creating a life of personal impact and joy.


ISES_Approved(icon)smThe Sky’s The Limit: How to Leverage Outdoor Events for an Indoor Experience and Vice-Versa
Kent Underwood, Principal, LEO Events, Chattanooga, TN

Festivals and outdoor events were creating “brand experiences” for their patrons long before the term became popular and even before they knew they were doing it! Get a fresh perspective about how to bring the “wow” of outdoors inside and pick up tips on the logistical challenges involved and how to avoid the pitfalls. Kent Underwood’s unique experience working with both corporate meetings and music festivals brings the mindsets of both to practice and shows how each can benefit from the expertise of the other.


Dam Busting. Finding Solutions to Creative Problems
Presented by ISES
Kevin White, CSEP, Founder/Chief Strategist, XPL, North Easton, MA
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In a profession where innovative ideas need t be on demand and unique problems jump up onsite in need of an immediate solution, finding a way to deal with problems is key to success. But you can lost critical time, energy and resources in that process. Kevin White will lead you through an interactive session on creative problem solving and provide real event challenge examples to work through as a group.



The Business of Weddings: Be In it to Win it
Presented by WIPA
Kylie Carlson, Founder, The Wedding & Event Institute
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You got into the wedding business to have fun, work with couples to create lifelong memories and to interact with amazing creative partners. But did you get into business to make money? Planners find out fast how much or how little they are making. In this informative session, an educator who has worked with hundreds of planners to get them started in business now tells you what you need to do to stay in business and be successful. Hear about road blocks, leaps of faith and get tips on what you need to know to move your business forward every day.


3:30pm - 4:30pm

ISES_Approved(icon)smAmazing Bridal Bouquets
Bisli Vazquez and Edward Gallardo, Bisli Event Services, San Antonio, TX

In this session, you will design, construct and produce couture style bouquests. A twist on the traditional bouquet delivering and everlasting impression of the fashion-forward bride. You will learn how to sell a unique bouquet for profit while connecting the client to the emotional experience behind the bouquet and creating a lasting impression.


Telling the Truth About Branding: Make it Authentic
Amanda Allen, Co-Owner, MMD Events, Tampa, FL

Be prepared for an in-depth discussion about being real in your branding, i.e. telling the truth to clients. Sadly, branding is often disconnected from the person clients meet. From the style of your logo to the wording of your website, it’s important to craft your first impression. This session will make the case that truth in branding will actually increase sales. Find out how to let your true company personality shine through, putting an individual spin on it in order to find the clients that are right for you. This session is ideal for business owners but it will also connect with managers on the importance of matching the brand you represent. Get examples of brands that work and learn how to manifest your brand’s persona so it reflects your company’s best traits.


ISES_Approved(icon)smEventhropy: Combining Events and Philanthropy to Build Your Brand
Paul Wolman, CEO/Chief Impact Strategist, FEATS, Baltimore, MD

As a practitioner of “eventhropy,” Paul Wolman has learned that in giving back to his community in significant ways, he’s added a new dimension to his own business. In this session, you will learn through case studies and practical advice how to use events strategically to affect change. Learn how to position your organization philanthropically to make an impact on your community, engage your associates and partners and to build your bottom line.


WeddingTrackLogoWhat the Bride Wants Now. Understanding the Bride as a Consumer
Meryl Snow, Catersource Consultant and Owner, Feastivities Events, Philadelphia, PA

Brides present wedding professionals with a unique opportunity, as well as equally unique challenges during the sales process. Often, weddings are as much about the emotional connection the wedding planner makes with the bride and groom. In this session, you will learn to understand all of the influences that affect the wedding sale, how to deal with the budget, the art of upselling and how to demonstrate you are different from your competitors. During this workshop, you will practice strategies that will make your sales presentation successful and ultimately result in booking the wedding.


4:45pm - 5:45pm

David Stark, Owner/Creative Director, David Stark Design & Production

Event design specialist David Stark will open the 2014 Event Solutions Conference & Tradeshow with an inspiring discussion on event trends, finding creativity in your daily routines and enhancing your offerings to move your business forward. This opening session will leave you motivated and excited for the inspiring days ahead.