ISES Eventworld 2012 – Dallas, Texas

Going Global

I’m in Dallas, Texas this week for the annual ISES Eventworld leadership summit and conference. Since I’ve been with ISES (International Special Events Society) I have spent most of my time thinking about the last three letters in the acronym. Take the second and third words, for example…”Special Events” are what we all have in common. This is OUR industry. This is what we take pride in elevating to new levels within our chapters. The last word (Society) has meant more to me of late. Since taking a larger leadership role this year with the Cleveland Chapter (VP of Communication) I have more of a focus of what constitutes a society and how this organization works.

What I previously had no first person experience with was the word INTERNATIONAL. I knew ISES has chapters in other parts of the world but I thought of them as islands that would never impact me and what I do. How wrong I was!

Our VP of Communication breakout leadership session was VERY important for me. It was there that I was able to hear the inspiring words of Richard Foulkes of the UK Chapter speak on the role of communication to not only provide admin but to also inspire. I learned just how effective sponsorship can be through ISES Calgary representatives. I also met Lee Mark of Hotshoes Group from the Malaysian Chapter. We talked social media strategy and branding between sessions. Later on in the evening we met once again when I found him riding a mechanical bull at the welcoming event put on by ISES Dallas.

I asked him if he wanted to step outside and have a cigar with me and he went right for it! I then had the opportunity to meet his colleagues: Collier and Kimberly. After talking about what we thought of Dallas coming from two first timers from different perspectives we bumped into Damian De Jong, Director of Special Events of the ISES Melbourne Australia Chapter. He asked for a light and I gave him a cigar too! All of us ended up closing out that event, going back to the hotel’s Club ISES nightclub party, then closing out the lobby bar at the Fairmont Hotel, and then just hanging outside till 4:00 AM.

What was amazing is that our similarities in what we try to accomplish far outweighed what separated us geographically. This event was such an eye opening experience and I am so glad I’ve never had a fear talking to people I don’t already know. I ended up going out with the Malaysian team and their local friend the following night and tried a really outstanding Brazailan steakhouse, Fogo De Chao. We talked global politics and how America is seen from other cultures while enjoying endless amounts and varieties of meats.

This is an experience I won’t soon forget. I wish that everyone had the opportunity to really have your eyes opened by the experiences of others from different cultures.

Check out my go at the Mechanical Bull (how Texas is this!):


Here are a select few of the many photos I took while at Eventworld: