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ISES is now ILEA!

The International Special Events Society has officially changed its name to the International Live Events Association (ILEA) which was announced on May 2nd by international president Jodi Collen CSEP.

The name change reflects the now fully global nature of the association and the more relevant term of ‘live’ used by its members to describe the wide range of events delivered. It was announced via the ILEA YouTube channel.  Click HERE to watch!


May Membership Drive a Success!

Congratulations to Paula Hard with United Way. She won (4) free meetings for 2016-17  for joining during our May Membership Drive!  Way to go Paula.

Thanks for joining us!

We had a great time at our last few events!  

Thank you for joining us to serve families in need at the YWCA Family Center and thanks to Metro Cuisine and Bob Evans for supplying food for the service and Class Acts Entertainment for the balloon artists!  We asked member Emily Knapp of The Athletic Club of Columbus to write about her experience:

"The YWCA provides emergency shelter and critical services to stabilize homeless families in central Ohio.  My Giant Takeaway from this event is that it opened up all of our eyes to the need  here in Columbus.  We are all so fortunate to attend lively monthly events with plentiful food and drinks.  This was a reminder that not everyone has that privilege.  Remember to give back this holiday season!"

We also enjoyed seeing you all at the 2015 Columbus Event Expo held by Experience Columbus and the Columbus Museum of Art.  Don't forget to post your pictures to #WeAreISES and #EventProfs.




If you are working on an event with one or more additional ISES members, stop and take a picture together!   Post it on social media with #PowerofISES and you might win a fun prize!  Show us the Power of ISES! 


ISES Columbus Members, Keep an eye out: You have been assigned a Board Buddy!

Your board buddy will be available to answer questions, help you register for events, and generally help you get the most out of your membership.  Your Board Buddy will be contacting you soon to introduce him/herself and become an insta-friend in the ISES world!    It always helps to know people at our events so that you feel more comfortable and can get to networking!


Short North Halloween Event Recap

We asked ISES Columbus members Katie Suty & Katie Croysdale of Experience Columbus to write a brief recap of our event and share their giant takeaway.

“Le Meridien Columbus, The Joseph was a perfect location for last night’s ISES event with natural light filling the pre-function cocktail area and  unique art throughout.  I enjoyed partnering with NACE and catching up with other individuals in our industry who I don’t often see. The three course meal, provided by The Guild House, was unexpected and delicious, and the presentation about Highball from IM Creative and the Short North Alliance was very insightful.  What a great event!”

"#MyGiantTakeaway: Remember to look through the lens of the audience experience.  Put values on where you want to grow, and allow change to reflect growth."


For more information on the masterminds behind the signature event, HighBall, please go to:

The Seasoned Farmhouse Event Recap

We asked fellow ISES Columbus member  (and major foodie) Julie Hill Weeks of Jobe and Associates to write a brief recap of this past week's event at The Seasoned Farmhouse.

This month’s ISES Columbus Chapter meeting was held at a gem among the city - The Seasoned Farmhouse.  It is a renovated home in Clintonville that is dedicated to food and gardening, and the pairing of them.  With a local, farm-to-table mindset, this is more than just a venue or school, it’s a lifestyle that the Columbus community, both neighborhoods and the event industry, has embraced.  The venue can hold about 24 people inside, family dining style and 50 outside in assorted arrangements.   It’s a great resource for both events and personal use…cooking classes, private event space, interactive & team building options and not to mention delicious food.   Highly recommend to the foodies out there (and trend seekers- check out their website and magazine Edible Columbus created by our host Tricia Wheeler.)

Perhaps the biggest takeaway I got from today’s meeting was that this place existed!  A couple of tid-bits for food prep to share:   

  •  Roasted fruits are great on salads, and you can use the roasting juices as a base for the vinaigrette dressing of the salad to enhance the flavors even more.
  •  Eating local honey will help with allergies

Hi from ISES Live in New Orleans!

Ohio's Red Columbus Table Gala

Dear Designer…Decorator…Fabulous Party Visionary!!

As a talented member of the Columbus design community, we hope you will consider supporting and participating in AIDS Resource Center Ohio’s RED COLUMBUS Table Gala, which is planned for Saturday, September 12th at Hollywood Casino.

This important biannual table design fundraising gala will celebrate the talents of the Columbus design community and raise crucial funds to support the critical functions of AIDS Resource Center Ohio, which is dedicated to supporting those living with and impacted by HIV/AIDS.

Read more: Ohio's Red Columbus Table Gala

2015 ISES Ohio WOW Awards Recap







The 4th annual ISES Ohio WOW! Awards were Friday at the Ivory Room.  It was an amazing night for Columbus and the Ohio event industry as professionals from around the region gathered for a fun evening of celebrating our successes and the successes of our friends.   

Congratulations to all of the 2015 ISES Ohio WOW! Award nominees and the ISES Columbus members below who won their categories! 

IM Creative: Best Industry Innovation; Best Industry Contribution; Best Technical Production; Best Meeting-Conference Program budget over $250,000

Ohio History Connection: Best Event with a Legacy

All Occasions Event Rental:  Best Event Logistics and Support Services; Best Event Design & Decor budget over $75,000

Two Caterers: Best Catered Event

Cameron Mitchell Premier Events: Best Meeting-Conference Program budget under $250,000; Best Wedding budget $75,000-$150,000; Best Event for a Non-Profit budget over $150,000

FLOURISH bespoke floral & event styling: Best Event Design & Decor budget under $25,000; Best Event Design & Decor budget $25,000-$75,000

ZenGenius: Best Corporate Event budget under $75,000

Bartha: Best Marketing Design Collateral under $25,000

Event Source: Best Social Event Under $25,000

And to the winners of the Best ISES Team Effort: 

Tracy Moran, CSEP, Ohio State Wexner Medical Center

Nick Harper, Bartha

Melissa Johnson & Jenny James, Cameron Mitchell Premier Events

Bill Ferguson, CSEP, CERP, Event Source

Pat Holstein of PoSH Event Services was also recognized as the Award of Excellence Winner.

Thank you to all of the sponsors who made the evening possible: 

Photography – Limelight Studios
Printing, website & submissions – Jobe & Associates
Catering – Cameron Mitchell Premier Events
Event Decor – FLOURISH bespoke
Boxed Meals – Metro Cuisine & Bob Evans
Rentals –  Event Source
Hotel accommodations – Crowne Plaza  and  The Lofts
Venue – The Ivory Room
Entertainment – Paul Hoy Class Acts
Photo Booth – Brian Legree Shutter Booth
Audio-Visual & Lighting – Bartha Audio Visuals & Brilliant Events and Meetings
Lighting – Bartha Audio Visuals & Brilliant Events and Meetings
Sound - Stage Production BMB LLC

Over the next year, in anticipation of the 5th annual WOW Awards, take pictures of your work, keep your files close and think about which of your events could be award winners next Spring.   

See you next year in Cleveland!


Presidents Letter 2014

Hello Columbus Special Event Professionals,

Did you know that 98% of ISES Members report doing business with other ISES members? Did you know our member list grows each month with more prestigious companies and people from Columbus? We have members from Cameron Mitchell’s, Bob Evans, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, The Columbus Museum of Art, The OSU Wexner Center, Event Source, Live! Technologies, Metro Cuisine, Two Caterers, The OSU Alumni Association, The City of Dublin, The Columbus Convention Center, Experience Columbus, and THAT’S JUST THE BOARD! 


Read more: Presidents Letter 2014

Expanding the local food industry starts with us!

I learned lots of new information today at ISES’ meeting, “Keeping it Local: Incorporating local foods and vendors into menus” held at the North Market kitchen “NoMa” located on the second level of the market (did you know you can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.?). Rick Harrison Wolfe, Executive Director of the North Market, taught me that the North Market has been around since 1876…that’s 138 years! The North Market sees 1 to 1.5 million visitors every year.

From Two Caterers chef Isaac Nehring, I learned the challenges of incorporating local foods into your menus: weather (a frost before an event that ruins crops), supply and demand difficulties and cost efficiency. But I also learned the benefits outweigh the challenges! Have you ever eaten an heirloom vegetable? They are delicious, but you won’t be able to have your heirlooms shipped across the country, as they are delicate and fragile. You can only get heirlooms from your local growers! Isaac also shared a cool story about how earlier in the year a lot of his competition was having trouble getting fresh greens because of the California draught. Isaac didn’t have that problem because he was using beautiful greens grown out of a greenhouse in Cleveland…in February!


We also heard from Greener Grocer owner and Good Food Hub founder Michael Jones. Michael taught me that only 8,000 of the 75,000 farms in Ohio are food producers. He also informed me that we, as event planners, can really help change the perception that local food is an expensive alternative. By pricing food out by portion instead of looking at the bottom line cost, we can teach clients that the difference between a $2.50/pound bag of lettuce from the store and a $4.50/pound from the local grower to feed six people is really a difference of $0.33/person.

Thank you to the North Market for hosting and to our speakers who schooled me on local foods!

~Contributed by ISES Member Amy Zoellner, CTA, Event Manager, Experience Columbus