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Catersource and Event Solutions Freshman Class
Bill Pannhoff, Newbie Ambassador, Spring Lake, NC

Welcome first time attendees! Join Bill and several other industry pros for a guided tour of what not to miss during this year’s program. Hear how to plan your next four days to assure that you get maximum value from your Catersource and Event Solutions experience, learn to use the Conference mobile app, how to get the most value from the sessions, what’s happening on the Tradeshow floor, and how to grow your network of friends and colleagues while in Vegas.

Opening Session. At the Intersection of Catering and Events
Marcus Samuelsson, Chef, Red Rooster Harlem, New York City, NY and Neal Fraser, Chef/Owner, BLD, Fritzi Dog, The Strand House, Neal Fraser & Co. and Redbird at Vibiana, Los Angeles, CA

Two top chefs will take the stage at our first ever joint Catersource and Event Solutions opening session to discuss the relationship between catering and events and how working together can maximize everyone’s profits, while providing the best service possible.

The Hottest Video Technology Trends for Corporate Events
Scott Frankel, President, Animatic Media, LLC, Hicksville, NY

Producing award-winning video content and challenging your AV partners to work the latest video technology is always a crucial part of the job for meeting and event planners. This session will dive into video production tips and tricks for creating impactful, budget-conscience and purposeful opening videos, marketing videos, awards events, sales videos and more. Learn the latest trends in video technology for corporate events, such as 4K technology, video mapping, large format projection and holographic video. This session will also cover streaming video, on-demand video, twitter and even how we, as event professionals, market ourselves.

A Passport to Global Events. Learn How It’s Done and How to Succeed
Sara Gorlick, Director, Global Events, Rakuten, Las Vegas, NV

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Events are going global. Whether you work for international clients on U.S. soil, work for a company that is expanding into new countries, or you are an independent event planner that has the opportunity to take on clients outside of North America, it is more important than ever to understand how events work on a global scale. Attend this session to learn from other global planners experiences and how you can succeed if you plan to be an event planning jet setter.

Avoid Event Day Surprises. The Most Complete Checklist for Event Site Inspection
Roy Porter, Owner, Engage Works, Los Alamitos, CA

Do you really know what to look for when walking through an event site? Attend this information-packed session and uncover the deal makers and breakers and the booby traps inherent in all events. Learn the correct and important questions to ask and matters to address long before the event starts in order that the planning and execution is smooth! Based on the acronym WAGES (Work area, Access, Guests, Energy, Service), we’ll review a 26-page checklist on how to get the event walk through right every time and “CYA.” We’ll also review a list of special tools to have when you conduct a venue walk through. Whether the event is a Bar-Bat Mitzvah, a wedding, an anniversary, a birthday, a company picnic, or a product launch, Roy will show you how to deal with potential issues including a Plan B for weather issues or things that you cannot control. Attend this session and you will learn how to create an event that is memorable for both you and your client.

The Power of Music. How to Hit the Right Emotional Chord
Dan Nelson, MA, CSEP, Owner, Dan Nelson Entertainment & Events, Las Vegas, NV

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Music is so important to an event’s success and yet, so often an afterthought. It is the key to making those important emotional connections with our audience and delivering meaningful messages. You know your audience best, so you need to take advantage of the power of music! SongDivision founder Andy Sharpe will give you what it takes to choose music that will help you achieve a strong connection with your audience. From bands to streaming music services like Spotify, you’ll get practical tips on what to play, when to play it and how to get the volume right. Also covered: the mirky topic of obtaining music licenses for events. This fun, interactive session will itself be an example of how you can bring your event to life with music.

The Diverse Designer. Standing Out in Today’s Wedding Design World
Sasha Souza, MBC, Event Designer, Sasha Souza Events, Napa/Beverly Hills, CA

Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself, everybody else is already taken”, and those prophetic words are very true in today’s wedding industry. It’s easy to get caught up in the “sameness” of weddings showcased on blogs and inspiration sites. Wedding designer and author Sasha Souza is internationally recognized for her ability to always be ahead of the trends, as well as a trend predictor. How do you keep your business forward thinking and original so you stand out to potential clients as being a diverse designer? What defines a diverse event designer? A diverse designer can change their style to match their client’s taste. The diverse designer doesn’t follow predominant trends but is on the leading edge, creating new design ideas. Learn how to convince clients to go outside the commonplace trends, be a standout designer, and access information to help predict what’s up and coming.

Finding the Fun in Fundraising. New Ideas for Nonprofit Events
Jen Poyer, CSEP, Senior Special Events Manager, Catalina Island Conservancy, Long Beach, CA

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As a creative event professional, producing events for nonprofits can be a delicate dance. Being tactful in all situations is critical, especially when working to balance the needs of the nonprofit client with the wants of donors who are potential attendees and/or volunteering on an event committee. With insight from the inside, this session will highlight the tips you should keep front and center when planning for nonprofits, as well as out-of-the-box ideas that resulted in a big win. We’ll put that knowledge into action with a speed brainstorm and on-the-spot pitch for a potential fundraising event. Keeping the mission in mind, learning to carefully craft the right conversation, finding the fun in fundraising and successfully balancing the relationship between the donor, the nonprofit and the planner will provide a win-win-win opportunity for all involved.

Creating a Culture of Innovation
Angus Clark, General Manager– Americas, SongDivision, New York City, NY

Innovation. Leading businesses depend on it for their ongoing success. But what is innovation really, and how do you get it? Since 2003, SongDivision has been called on by Fortune 100 companies in more than 20 countries to improve Communication, Creativity and Collaboration in the workplace. These three Cs are the vital ingredients in creating a culture of innovation. In this engaging and highly effective session, the songwriting process is used to demonstrate the qualities your people collectively need to innovate and succeed.

Repurposing Your Experience and Knowledge to Extend Your Brand
David Merrell, Owner, AOO Events, Los Angeles, CA; Lynn Fletcher, Owner, Calgary Bride, Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Meryl Snow, Owner, Feastivities Events, Philadelphia, PA

For seasoned event professionals looking for the rainbow at the middle, or end, of a long career, there is a way to repurpose your experience! If you have ever thought about writing a book, creating a specialty magazine or video channel or becoming a speaker or consultant, there are so many avenues that are available to you today. Find out how three events pros repurposed their experience in various manners, and how it might work for you. Get case studies that illustrate the path that two event professionals went to set up magazines – one off line, the other online, and how a high-profile caterer transitioned into starting a successful consulting practice. This is not an either/or transition … all these speakers are still owners of their event and catering firms and use these avenues to bring attention to their work while at the same time laying the groundwork for the next phase of their careers.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the right vehicle for your message and experience, be in consulting, writing, or video channels
  • Start anytime…Get tips on how to begin to formulate a plan, then begin to act on it step by step to get where you want to be.
  • Discover how to leverage your knowledge and find the audience for it.

The Reality of Doing Reality TV
Kristin Banta, Owner, Kristin Banta Events, Los Angeles, CA

Every day we hear someone say, “This should be a reality show!” But at the end of the day, reality shows are essentially staged moments; a manipulated moment in a particular life or scenario. They are not documentaries. If you had cameras documenting every moment of your life, one could edit down the best moments and anyone could be interesting, charismatic, compelling, dramatic or humorous. The question for anyone contemplating reality TV is — Does the medium offer a true opportunity for you and your brand to shine in spite of TV’s necessary manipulations that build audience? Presented by someone who has faced that question herself, this session will help you answer that question.

Understanding AV. Language to Leverage More Value From Your Suppliers
Matthew Byrne, CSEP, Senior Producer/Business Development, Krista Slack + Aylett Inc., Toronto, ON, CAN

How many times have you been burned by an AV supplier? Do you find you are trying and maybe not succeeding in mitigating scope creep? When a supplier sends you a quote with DX150 DLP on it, do you hope that is what you need for your event, but put all your trust in your supplier? This session will help you get a thorough understanding of how AV is applied to events and meetings, when and why to use it and to leverage more value with your suppliers. You will learn the essentials of what your quote should include, why it’s been broken down in a particular way and what to look for. Key points for takeaway are how to avoid scope creep, how to have better relationships with your suppliers, how to identify the real “must haves” and the “nice to haves”, skills for working with your message and what technology best suits it, and how to gain more value with your team as an expert on all aspects of your event.

Award-winning Case Studies. An In-depth Look at the Value of Creativity and Collaboration – Part 1

Moderator: Jodi Collen, CSEP, Director of Event & Conference Planning, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN; Ingrid Nagy, CSEP, Owner, Catering by Design, Denver, CO; Kevin Molesworth, Owner, Brass Tracks Events, Austin, TX; Barry M. Morgan, Director of Entertainment, and Patty Coaley, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, MGM Resorts Event Production, Las Vegas, NV

ISES brings you this TED-style session showcasing three ISES Esprit Award-winning events as case study overviews. The session is divided into two parts; the first half presents overviews of each event while the second half of the session allows attendees to follow the event of their choice for a “deep dive” providing in-depth information and discussion. Presenters will focus on how creativity and collaboration helped overcome challenges and achieve success. This session focuses on Esprit Award winners in the following categories: Best Catered Event, Best Social Events $25K – $75K USD, and Best Entertainment Production over $75K USD.

Award-winning Case Studies. An In-depth Look at the Value of Creativity and Collaboration – Part 2
Moderator: Jodi Collen, CSEP, Director of Event & Conference Planning, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN; Ingrid Nagy, CSEP, Owner, Catering by Design, Denver, CO; Kevin Molesworth, Owner, Brass Tracks Events, Austin, TX; and Barry M. Morgan, Director of Entertainment, MGM Resorts Event Production, Las Vegas, NV

ISES brings you this TED-style session showcasing three ISES Esprit Award-winning events as case study overviews. The session is divided into two parts; the first half presents overviews of each event while the second half of the session allows attendees to follow the event of their choice for a “deep dive” providing in-depth information and discussion. Presenters will focus on how creativity and collaboration helped overcome challenges and achieve success. This session focuses on Esprit Award winners in the following categories: Best Catered Event, Best Social Events $25K – $75K USD, and Best Entertainment Production over $75K USD.

The Business of Incentive Travel and Events. The Mystery Revealed
Sarah Sheehan, Purchasing Manager, MotivAction, Minneapolis, MN

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Develop an understanding of a full-service incentive company, what they do and how to work with them. Some of the questions that will be answered will be: What exactly is an incentive house? What do they do and how do they do it? What are the trends within the incentive market, how have they changed and evolved since the recession and what does the future look like? Come prepared for answers to these questions and an in-depth conversation about how incentive companies do what we do and what a day in the life looks like at MotivAction.

Follow My Lead! Build a Great Company by Being a Great Leader
Matt Allen, Owner, MMD Events, Tampa, FL

Being a business leader not only means leading your team but also being a leader within your event community. Learn what leadership means and looks like in this industry’s often casual and unstructured work environment. When you lead, the competition has no other option but to follow. Discover how to set high standards, create boundaries and broadcast principles in order to change the landscape of your event community. Learn how to see the difference between something that is simply a great idea and that which can make money. Get examples of risk and reward and hear the stories behind success. Join Matt as he shares knowledge, tips and tricks learned from taking his business from the garage to seven figures. This presentation will be heavy on audience participation with guided Q&A, so come prepared to participate in a lively, informative session!

The White House Chefs
Guy Mitchell, Principal, and Michael Raber, Featured Speaker, The White House Chef Tour, Langhorne, PA

Many caterers have had the distinct honor to prepare a meal and produce an event for the President and his Executive Team, but daily life in the kitchens of the White

House and on the road with the President is a totally different story. Enjoy this talented duo while they prepare some favorite dishes from the Executive Dining Room menus, learn the protocol for food preparation in the White House Kitchens, and listen to stories of Presidents and their unusual menu requests.

CSEP Conversations
Bob Ferguson, General Manager, Event Source, Columbus, OH and Marni Ness, Sales Associate, Pedersen’s Event Rentals, Seattle, WA

Established in 1993, the Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) designation recognizes event professionals who have successfully demonstrated the knowledge, skills and ability essential to perform all components of a special event. CSEP Conversations 2015 is an honest conversation about the designation for the creative event professional. Stop by for a casual tête-à-tête as we answer all of your questions about the CSEP designation and share suggestions for success as you prepare for the exam process. This class wil give you an overview of the CSEP Program, a review of CSEP Content Outline and recent exam changes, preparation tips for the CSEP Exam and resources for CSEP Exam preparation.

Partying with Purpose. Tie Your Event to a Charity
Courtney Hammons, Wedding and Event Planner, A Magical Affair, Franklin, TN

“Once our eyes are opened, we can’t pretend we don’t know.” Millennials take that proverb to heart like no other generation before us. What if the bottles of wine you served helped fund cancer research? What if the jewelry the bridal party wore helped a widow in East Africa provide for her family? When planning for a party why not plan to pay it forward. Join Courtney as she walks you through countless ways your events can not only be parties that people are talking about for months and years to come but also are parties with charitable or benevolent purpose that people will benefit from for years with a generational following.

Social Media for Event Pros. Top Tips for 2015
Nick Borelli, Marketing Director, Colortone Staging & Rentals, Cleveland, OH

You will leave this session with practical takeaways to optimize your social media efforts based on proven techniques used by different event brands. Platforms discussed will include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. You will learn to leverage social media for marketing, talent recruitment, and team retention, while understanding unique user expectations, successful campaign strategies, and recent changes you need to know about.

From Runway to Tabletop. Fashion Forward Events – Part 1
Kate Patay, CPCE, Executive Director of Sales & Marketing, Creative Coverings, Sparks, NV

Simply stated, the fashion world dictates the trends that will follow in home décor and ultimately, event and wedding décor. In part one of this two-part series, you will learn how to set yourself apart as an industry leader and master the skill of translating the latest fashions into chic events and tabletops.

From Runway to Tabletop. Fashion Forward Events – Part 2
Kate Patay, CPCE, Executive Director of Sales & Marketing, Creative Coverings, Sparks, NV

In part two of this series, Kate will guide you through targeted visual social media strategies, such as Pinterest, to brand yourself with your clients, as well as understand the way the psychology of color can affect the mood and overall success of your event.

*Speakers and schedule subject to change.