July 2017 Print

President's Report

Hello to my ILEA family.  I want to take a moment to let you know how grateful and excited I am to be your chapter president for the 2017-2018 year.  This board has already begun their plans to make this year one of great education and relationship building.  I am proud to be a part of it and can’t wait to watch how we grow and develop even more this year. 

Last year was our first year to be named the International Live Events Association.  This year I want to really drive home what that name means.  We are the organization with members who are dedicated to live events of all shapes and sizes.  We are the creative planners, the photographers, the custom designers, DJ’s, venues, and the rentals of décor, interactive entertainment and transportation just to name a few.  ILEA is where relationships are built.  Member to member benefits, referrals, industry advancement for trends is all part of what we stand for as an organization.

I encourage you to renew your commitment to our chapter.  Come to the meetings to meet other people you can connect with, partner with, refer business to.  The meetings are where the value for your money comes into play.  By networking with our live events members, the relationships you build are going to ensure that you are the first person someone thinks of when asked for a reference or potential need.  It is that networking that will make you feel comfortable partnering with another company so that you know you are working with someone who holds your standards and has a vested interest in you and your event’s success.

This year we are going to rock this city’s live events community, and I want you to be part of it.


Samantha Lister

President 2017-2018

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ILEA Monthly Events - Future

Tenting Guru Angela Watson of Gulf Coast Tent Rentals will teach us the all the proper guidelines, dos and don'ts, and important permitting questions about tenting on July 13th! Don't Miss It!!

*Complimentary transportation to the meeting will be provided by Signature Livery*

Please meet at Ernst Cafe at 11:00am if interested in taking advantage of transportation. The bus will leave at 11:10am sharp!



And don't forget about our free to attend monthly happy hours! This month will be at the brand new Picayune Social House on July  26th 5pm-7pm. All members and non-members welcome!




We're hosting a special members only mixer on August 21st with free professional headshots by GK Photography!


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ILEA Monthly Events - Past

If you couldn't make it, check out what you missed at our June meeting Board Inductions at Frenchy's Gallery with Jacques-Imo's Catering


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The heat is on here in New Orleans as we welcome the start of summer! Lazy days and warm nights….what!? Who has time to sit still with the flurry of events happening this month in the Big Easy? Our Membership team is back on the streets meeting and greeting potential ILEA members. The success of the membership drive in May fueled the momentum for all of June to keep touching and sharing the value of ILEA . We are more than excited to ignite the Membership SPARK in July, taking time to revisit our individual passions for what ILEA means to each one of us. We look forward to new experiences with you!

  And Don't Forget- Now's the time to renew!


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Member Shout Out


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Community Service

Join EPTA (Event Pros Take Action) on their annual trip to New Orelans July 15th-19th. EPTA is a charitable organization that lets special events professionals give back to those in need. Their endeavors focus on relief efforts for communities that have experience a natural disaster and are in the process of recovering from substantial loss and rebuilding communities. To date, EPTA has been to New Orleans 6 times to help us rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. 

This year EPTA's Youth Project Initiative will partner with Liberty's Kitchen on a hospitality seminar program. At the end of the work week, they will host the third annual Cov Carnival for the homeless youth at Covenant House New Orleans. Don't miss out on the chance to give back and build lasting relationships with other event pros in the industry. 

Click Here to Register for EPTA's 2017 NOLA Mission!

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Trending Hospitality

17 Dos and Dont's for Using Social Media at Weddings

These days, most weddings aren't complete without an original Instagram hashtag or a customized geofilter on Snapchat—both of which encourage wedding guests to share their experience on social media. And since incorporating social media at the couple's request is a new norm for many wedding planners, there's a social media etiquette that comes with it. From knowing the appropriate time to share one's wedding design on Instagram and asking a client about their social-media rules to incorporating a wedding hashtag into the decor, planners and experts from across the country shared their social media tips on what to do and what not to do during a couple's big day. 

Samantha Roberts, wedding social media strategist, SamanthaRoberts.co, New York
Do use the couple’s wedding hashtag on Instagram. “This helps get your work out in front of wedding guests—so they know who planned the impeccable event—and any potential digital wedding crashers, which are people virtually following along with a wedding through the couple’s wedding hashtag,” says Roberts.

Don’t post photos too early. “Do not ever post a photo of the bride in her dress before her walk down the aisle, or in the reception room before the doors open to guests,” she says. “You never want to reveal any big moments before they happen in real time.” 

Andrea Eppolito, wedding planner and event designer, Andrea Eppolito Events, Las Vegas
Do take photos of the details that the bride and groom may miss during their wedding. “So often, the bride and groom miss special moments shared by their guests,” says Eppolito. “Share the photos and videos that will move the bride and groom, make them laugh, make them cry, and show them the emotions of the day.”

Don’t post photos of what the bride and groom are wearing—or the ceremony space—before the couple makes an appearance. “What they look like, the dress, the styling, and the space should only be revealed publicly after the couple has made their debut, after the ceremony,” she says.

Ilse Diamant, creative director, Diamant Events, Boston
Do ask your clients about their social-media rules. “Ask your clients what their social-media policy would be for both guests and planner staff, to know if they are cool with their wedding being exposed on social media,” she says.

Don’t create a client hashtag and post to social media without knowing if you’re allowed. “Learn to respect a client’s privacy. Use our three house rule,” says Diamant. “When we sign, it means at least three photos of the wedding will be posted. We need our clients to choose which three, so they sign a release and we can use them. The photos can be an overall look and feel, or they can be very specific shots of a piece of decoration.”

Blake Bush, wedding planner and event designer, Pure Luxe Bride, Charleston, South Carolina
Do create a wedding hashtag—and use it. “The whole purpose of the hashtag is for the bride and groom to be able to be able to see all their guests’ wedding photos in one place,” says Bush. 

Don’t have your phone out during important wedding moments“When the bride and groom are walking down the aisle or doing a sparkler departure, let the photographer capture the moment,” she says. “If you have your phone out, your phone and your hand will be in all of their photos and take away from the professional photo.” 

Don’t be glued to your phone. “You’re not there for a social media play-by-play, but to capture some fun moments throughout the night,” she says. 

Jordan Payne, wedding planner, Jordan Payne Events, Dallas
Do incorporate your hashtag into your design. “Definitely have a hashtag and display custom signs that coordinate with your wedding design at the reception, so that all guests can hashtag and share fun images on social media platforms—especially Instagram,” says Payne. 

Don’t post images of the reception decor prior to the bride arriving. “Most guests do not see the reception decor prior to the bride and groom viewing it,” she says. “But if you do see it, do not post about it until the couple has seen it. This is out of respect to the couple.”

Amber Harrison, style and trend expert, Wedding Paper Divas, Phoenix
Do communicate your social wishes. “If a couple is socially savvy and loves the idea of using a wedding hashtag—or having a lot of social activity surrounding their big day—they need to share this excitement and their guidelines with guests,” says Harrison. “Help the couple communicate their hashtag and social preferences to guests early and often, so guests can partake in all the digital fun.”

Don’t let guests take pictures throughout the ceremony. “Professional photographers and videographers are hired for a reason, so don’t let guests get in their way for the sake of a good Instagram story,” she says. “Ceremony signage, notes in the program, and even an announcement from the officiant can remind guests to keep their phones, tablets, and cameras tucked away for the duration of the ceremony. The result will be engaged guests who are focused on experiencing the moment instead of capturing it.”

Colin Cowie, wedding planner, Colin Cowie Lifestyle, New York
Do set up a Snapchat geofilter for the couple. “You can either have one made by a pro or work with the couple to create one yourself,” says Cowie. “Either way, it’s a fun way for guests to post and send snaps while at the event.”

Don’t allow wedding staff to post before the event. “This includes any details like table settings, the cake, and place cards,” he says. “Never take away from the element of surprise and the look on guests’ faces as they first enter the venue.”

Do incorporate the hashtag into the decor for cocktail hour and the reception.“It keeps social media posts in one easily accessible grouping to go back and see later,” he says. “You can also add a hashtag to the save the date, or [put it] subtly in the invitation in order to get the word out ahead of time.”

Don’t present a large sign at the ceremony banning cell phones and pictures.“Not only is it impolite, but it takes away from the decor,” he says. “Instead, try adding a small note to the programs.”


By Ian Zelaya

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Calendar of Events

Don't miss out on our next events!

- July 13th - Angela Watson with Gulf Coast Tent at Gulf Coast Tent

- July 26th- Monthly Mixer at Picayune Social House

- August 10th- Committee Recruitment at The Court of Two Sisters

- August 21st- Wine & Say Cheese- Members Only Free Headshot Mixer


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Board of Directors

Immediate Past President - Kelly Schellang pastpresident@ileaneworleans.com

President - Samantha Lister, president@ileaneworleans.com 

President Elect- Stephanie Jones,  elect@ileaneworleans.com

VP of Programs and Education - Libby Kemp, vpprograms@ileaneworleans.com

VP of Membership - Cara Blackledge,  vpmembership@ileaneworleans.com

VP of Communications - Caitlin Alvarez, communications@ileaneworleans.com

Director of Programs- Jeff Rizzo, directorprograms@ileaneworleans.com

Director of Education - Kim Sayatovic, directorofeducation@ileaneworleans.com

Director of Communications - Jessica Talazac, directorcommunications@ileaneworleans.com

Director of Membership - Angela Mahaffey Watson, directorofmembership@ileaneworleans.com

Director at Large - George Kutchler, directoratlarge@ileaneworleans.com

Director at Large Historian - Heather Dyer, historian@ileaneworleans.com


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