Blogs

In Search of an Esprit Award

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Rocky & Terry Toomey from Future Affairs Productions were asked to write up something about their efforts in entering the Esprit Awards.   They have been fortunate to have won numerous awards over the years in the Events Industry .  If you’re thinking of going for the gold (or glass, in this case!) in the International Live Events Associations Esprit Awards, here are a few tips to help you with your quest.  There are rules that must be followed . Read and reread the rules!  Hours and hours of extensive hard work can be dashed by not following just one of the rules in compiling your entry. Read the rules at the beginning, again in the middle ...
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Tell us a little bit about yourself… Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning? Oprah! Yes, you heard that right. I used to work for OWN Network and when Harpo Studios was closing down in Chicago we were all trying to figure out next steps for our careers. I had already lived in Los Angeles for previous jobs and really wanted to stay in the Midwest so after a convo with Oprah and my other co-workers I realized I needed to use my detail oriented skills and love for logistics to transition into an event planner. Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away? I can tweet like a bird! What do you love the most about what ...
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Tell us a little bit about yourself… Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning? About a century ago, when one would still apply for positions through newspaper classifieds (just before Missed Connections, Births and Obituaries) I saw an opportunity to try out for an account management role with an international trade show organizer. The inspiration within the advert included: International Travel opportunities! Hey presto 16 years later – I’ve moved from Australia to the U.S.A. and still in the events industry. Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away? I’ve traveled 22 countries of the world and 22 of the United States ...
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Tell us a little bit about yourself… What inspired you to go into event planning? Most of my professional career I have worked in high-end restaurants and hotels. I have done everything from serving, bartending, training, and opening new restaurants. The process of opening a new restaurant or planning unique events has always been where my interest and expertise lies. Event planning allows me to be able utilize my artistic side as well as organizational skills. Every job in the hospitality industry has led me to this career. Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away? I have a bachelor’s degree in photography from Columbia College ...
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In the hustle and bustle of a busy holiday season, it was super fun to spend a night with all our industry friends at the new Fairlie Chicago , where we got to sit down for a wonderful menu curated by Danielle Wheeler and her team at Maison Cuisine . The tables were beauifully designed by the teams at Ashland Addison and Tablescapes Event Rentals , with the help of Windy City Linen , CTC Destination Management Group , and lighting by Art of Imagination .  Following dinner we got to dance and mingle to the incredible display by Corporate DJ Howard Wallach of AZ Entertainment , and jump in the giant snowglobe provided by The WOW ...
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ILEA Canada at GO West 2020

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ILEA Canada is happy to announce that we are an Association Partner for GO West 2020.  GO WEST  is designed by event professionals for event professionals. Our program is about you and we put you at the center of it. Be prepared for three days jam-packed with social events, bootcamps, keynote sessions, an experiential tradeshow and much more. We are bringing together the best our industry has to offer for you to connect with and learn from right here in Canada. We look forward to seeing you there
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Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning? My Grandma is my inspiration for going into the event industry. She taught me the importance of being a great Hostess, taking care of people and setting a nice table. Instead of talking about school or sports, we would talk about what color palette we wanted to go with for the Christmas dinner table. Believe it or not I was actually on my way to attending Law School, but my Grandma’s voice was ringing in my ear telling me to just follow my passion and do what I love. I haven’t looked back since! My Grandma is 98 years young now, and we still set the table together. Tell us one thing we might not ...
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"We want people to be aware, to understand how these acts are often random. We want people to be prepared and think about a plan, not just in the work place but in daily life. These incidents happen in a very short time frame, you must be prepared to immediately react. Planning can save your life!" Claudine Parsons, Route 91 Vegas Shooting Survivor ILEA Edmonton recently hosted a  What’s Your Plan?  event, focusing on what to do in an active assailant situation with guest speakers Cst. Joel Mackown, Damien DeClercq, and Claudine Parsons. Thank you to our event partners of  La Cite ,  Café Bicyclette ,  Sugar Plum Events ,  Steven Sware , and Chapter Partner  ...
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EVENT RECAP: ILEA AT SECOND CITY

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It was a night of heightened connections as the talented cast of Second City engaged the audience with a custom interactive performance within their new event space, The LOFT .    50/50 Restaurant group provided delicious beverages and bites.  The revelry was captured with an innovative roaming photo booth provided by MK Event Photo . Sound Investment AV provided the staging and audiovisual bringing the hilarity to the far corners of the room.    Marquee Events provided a tufted leather checked bar harmonizing with their Spinner Black linens draped upon the highboy tables.  The elegant silver and black décor contrasting elegantly ...
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ILEA Edmonton’s first #LunchNLearn event on  Exploring Accessibility & Inclusivity in Events  happened last week. We got together at the Highlands Branch of the  Edmonton Public Library  to discuss representation and inclusion of Indigenous Communities in live events. The event featured guest speaker  Makenzie Brown  and the discussion was moderated by  Maggie Barton Baird . It was an extremely information session, and we’re happy to provide you with a list of resources to help start your personal research and guide you through the topic.   This was the first event in our  Exploring Accessibility & Inclusivity in Events  series, stay tuned ...
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Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning? My aunt used to be in the business for about 30 years. While I was growing up, I was drawn to her stories of travel and incentive programs she was planning for Avon. She eventually started her own company, managed that for quite some time until 9/11 happened and then went into non-profit events, working with groups like UNICEF. She inspired me and guided me along into the event industry, pushing me to go to school for hospitality and tourism management. Little would she know that I would follow in her footsteps all the way to starting my own company! Tell us one thing we might not learn about you ...
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We kicked off our October event at the American Writers Museum with early morning networking and a delicious breakfast from E ntertaining Company. Breakfast included bite-sized French toast and mascarpone sandwiches, breakfast sliders, and mini skillets with polenta, fried quail egg, and bacon. Guests enjoyed mingling at tables dressed with gorgeous linens by Windy City Linen and centerpieces by Angiliy Floral. The event was captured beautifully by Colin Lyons Wedding Photography .             After breakfast, our panel discussion focused on writing for events and how to get your work noticed! From crafting RFPs that win clients to writing submissions ...
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Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning? I love and still love helping people plan their dream events. T ell us one thing we might not learn about you right away? I wanted to be a Police Officer, and still have a strong interest in Law Enforcement. I have a green thumb and I love going to concerts. What do you love the most about what you do? Always having new challenges and the adrenaline rush of thinking fast on your feet. Where did you grow up? Northside of Chicago, I love it. I love the diversity, the restaurants, the people, it is truly a great city. What is your event gone wrong horror story? Setting up at ...
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Who/What inspired you to go into event planning? I’ve always been interested in weddings and special events, as a child I would go to my mom’s work and help setup banquets on days I was off school. I was always amazed at how the space would transform for weddings and corporate events.  In college, I was unsure of my major and took an elective class that was “Intro to Meeting Planning”.  I was instantly interested and knew that was the career path for me.  After two internships in the United Club at Soldier Field, I knew I had made the right choice and landed in catering.   Tell us a few things we might not learn about you right away? I have always ...
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Corporate Event Trends...IMO

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We recently read this great post about 10 corporate event trends, and it really got the wheels turning as we shared it amongst our team. Our always smart and insightful friends over at Event MB have pinpointed some great trends, and we encourage you to take a look at the full post for yourself. With us being us, reading through the post naturally got us asking questions and brainstorming ideas about some of the different trends and topics mentioned in the world of corporate event planning , and in the spirit of continuing the conversation, here’s some food for thought from our team about some of the trends highlighted on Event MB’s list. Read more at: https://onewestevents.com/blog/our-thoughts-on-five-top-corporate-event-trends/
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There are many things we love about our industry and our jobs – the quest to continually raise the bar, the rush of taking on new  challenges , the excuse to pick up new Gala-ready outfits on the regular – but the very best part is hands down the smart, talented, and inspiring people we get to collaborate with. Case in point: Lisa Marks, CSEP, BComm, a multi-talented, whip-smart event prof whom we’ve worked alongside for many years in her role as head of events for Shaw Communications. Lisa recently decided to strike out on her own with her new business  Brand Alive , bringing her decade of industry experience and deep knowledge of experiential marketing ...
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In a time when we have instant access to everything from global news headlines to in-depth thought pieces to truly ridiculous memes, how should industry organizations be adapting, adjusting, and keeping pace? Are these organizations still relevant in an all-online-all-the-time world? Today our Managing Partner, Dustin Westling, CSEP, was officially sworn in as a Director on the International Board of Governors for the  International Live Events Association  (ILEA), and the occasion has us thinking a lot about these questions and our own reasons for continuing to be active in these organizations. Here’s a look at how Dustin will be approaching his time on ...
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For our July Meeting, we partnered with NACE Chicago to bring this event together!  What a great night exploring Chicago and getting to know new industry friends!           Thank you again to our sponsors Corporate Event Interactive, 10Pin, LondonHouse, Aries Charter Transportation & Riva Crab Hou
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Your 2019/2020 Edmonton Chapter Board of Directors have been announced! We are already busy bees discussing event ideas for the upcoming year, and how we can better support and further the activities of the Edmonton Chapter and the live events industry as a whole. Meet your team! Back row L-R: Stephani Harvie,  Christy Parker,  Ashley Cruz,  Hannah Whittaker,  Chris Baker,  Sandra Crawford Front row L-R: Nela Kovacovic.  Nicole Konkin,  Jody Paulson,  Shandel Barr,  Rowena Cui, Elyse Colman  Kelsey Williams (absent) High-five to Bruce from  Moments in Digital Photography  for making us look so goo
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The  ILEA Edmonton Chapter AGM and After Party  was a hit! Guests were treated to a back stage tour, photo-op with the players, and the VIP treatment in our dedicated hospitality lounge. Huge thanks to the  Edmonton Stingers  for hosting and bringing home the win!  Check out more photos  and game day highlights from our ILEA member and event sponsor  Moments in Digital Photograp
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