People, Words, Love: What Inspires Me!
By Joyce Scardina Becker, CMP
You can go to any bookstore and find hundreds of books on how to achieve wealth and success, but the real secret of success lies within each and every one of us. We have the powerful tools inside ourselves to change the way we think.
Beginning in high school, I discovered that associating with people of “genius” sparked my mind in positive ways. You can recognize these individuals because they are problem-solvers, doers, enthusiastic and always loving and kind.
My high school counselor, Carol Frances Schneider, was brilliant — she always seemed to have the right answers for me. Her amazing wisdom was undoubtedly shaped by the twists and turns in her own life: A troubled alcoholic teen, she became a Catholic nun and emerged into public life to direct educational seminars for major corporations. She once said, “If our self-talk is positive and supportive, then our communications to others will be loving. Be alive and connected to everyone in your life, and you will experience success.”
Her counsel stayed with me many years later when I ventured into the “game” of business. I always strove to play hard and fair, and to appreciate everyone on the team for their contributions to our shared successes. Along the way, I met another “genius” — veteran event planner (and ISES founding member) Sharon Jansen of Special Event Business Advisors. She taught me that if you're going to climb a mountain, just put one foot in front of the other and start walking. Together with many others, Sharon helped me launch the first nonprofit association for wedding service providers, the Wedding Industry Professionals Association (WIPA). Sharon gave me the tools to set goals and the courage to go after them, and she always gave praise to everyone who helped make it happen.
I'm no genius, but I do have a few thoughts on how to awaken the magic “genie-in-us”:
Get to know yourself. No other person will ever know you better than you! Your personal definition of success counts, and don't let anyone undermine you achieving it. Believe in yourself.
Know what's important to your business, and what you can and cannot do. You might need allies, mentors and role models to help you along the way. Get help when you need it and be willing to pay for it. (For example, I must admit I was a late bloomer with social media, but I'm finally getting the help I need.)
Fake it until you make it. You seldom get a second chance in business, so project the image you want to be — soon you'll transform into it.
Never stop learning. I love to teach, but better yet, I love to learn. Go to ISES meetings and conferences, and share your ideas and experiences with others.
Never give up, no matter how many times you hear “no.” Press on — your persistence and determination will be rewarded in the long run.
The essence of what should inspire us is simply being available for each other, whether it's our clients or our ISES family. Genuine communication and always being respectful with one another are the most important keys to success.
A celebrated events expert with more than 25 years of event management experience, Joyce Scardina Becker superlatively leads Events of Distinction, an event design and planning company. She is the author of “Countdown to Your Perfect Wedding,” a week-by-week guide for couples and wedding professionals, which received an ISES Esprit Award for Best Industry Contribution. The founding president of the Wedding Industry Professionals Association, Joyce is the recipient of 12 Esprit and Gala Awards as well as 23 nominations.
Name: Joyce Scardina Becker, CMP
Company: Events of Distinction
Address: 41 Heather Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94118 USA
ISES Eventworld 2011: Celebrate, Innovate, Explore … and Bump!
By Jennifer Claire Scott
ISES Eventworld gives us a wonderful opportunity each year to reconnect with ISES member friends and colleagues. It also gives us a chance to celebrate the successes of the past year with both the Spirit of Excellence Awards and the ISES Esprit Awards. But, as always with our industry, we also look to Eventworld for ways to innovate the present and explore our future — what can we learn and whom can we meet in order to produce better events today and advance our careers and businesses tomorrow?
The educational and networking opportunities at the 2011 Eventworld in St. Louis were outstanding. The new education platform was launched, focusing ISES education on a broad scope of knowledge and fundamentals for all industry professionals. The conference education agenda was enhanced by our three keynote sessions, which explored both the live and technological experiences of the event industry.
The ISES Connections Lounge, in its second official year as a part of Eventworld, had expanded hours — open all day, for happy hour and then also late night with “Club ISES.” More open hours meant more chances to catch up with old friends and colleagues and to meet new industry contacts. These connections are crucial to helping us to continue to innovate and explore.
The 2011 Welcome Reception at St. Louis' famous City Museum was all about explore. We had five fabulous caterers showcasing some of the great tastes of St. Louis. The goal of the Eventworld Welcome Reception is always to encourage ISES members and friends to introduce themselves to someone new. This year, not only did people say hello and exchange contact information, but they then also went off together to explore the unique wonderland that is the City Museum. Mixed in amongst the caves and slides and unusual exhibits, Eventworld attendees were inspired by the museum's innovation and creativity.
The newest addition to the Eventworld conference experience was the Eventworld smartphone app. The full conference schedule was available on the app. In addition to real-time updates to the daily agenda, attendees using the app could “bump,” which allowed them to easily share information with other app users via their smartphones.
To all of you who attended the 2011 conference — those of you who recognize that Eventworld is an important part of your professional development plan — thank you for joining us in St. Louis. We hope that you took advantage of all of the opportunities presented to celebrate, innovate, explore and bump!
Name: Jennifer Claire Scott
Company: Empire Force Events
Address: 77 W. 24th St.
New York, NY 10010 USA
The Key to Getting Through Tough Times? Networking
By Caroline Sewell
As an industry, we have encountered some challenging times these past couple of years. But as an ISES member, you should take advantage of opportunities ISES provides — doing so will make you better prepared for when times are busier and business is better.
By joining ISES, you have instantly gained access to a pool of event professionals and numerous opportunities to network on the local and global stage. In other words, you have the extra edge to surpass your competition.
You need to be connected — none of us produces events alone. We are all part of a team and must make our best efforts to put together the best team for every event. Before you can be part of a team or ask someone to be part of your event team, however, you must first make that connection!
Make sure you attend every event with networking in mind. It is up to you to make the most out of every networking opportunity. Below are a few suggestions for putting your best foot forward:
In order to network, you must attend events that provide you with the chance to network. Make plans to attend the next ISES chapter meeting, mixer or educational program.
Be prepared. Have your “elevator speech” ready — know what to say about yourself and your company in a short period of time. Make it memorable.
Dress in a professional manner.
Have your business cards on hand, and make them easily accessible. No fumbling in purses and pockets!
Don't simply talk to those you already know. Talk with as many people as you can.
Look people in the eye when you're conversing with them.
Listen and allow people to ask you questions. Don't let the conversation be one-sided. Also, be prepared to ask questions or find the commonalities of what you both do. This will allow you to see if there is an opportunity for you to work together.
Make a connection on some level that you will remember and that can be brought up in future conversations.
Follow up with an email, phone call or written note. Let those you have met know the importance of and appreciation for your meeting.
As simple as these suggestions may seem, look at them as steppingstones to the relationships of your future. Effective networking establishes a starting point for continued success.
Name: Caroline Sewell
Company: Encore Events Inc.
Address: P.O. Box 580
Cary, NC 27512 USA
For the list of valued sponsors of ISES Eventworld 2012 in St. Louis, see this PDF: