November 2018 Print

President's Report

Happy Fall. Happy start to the Holiday Season. Happy Thanksgiving if I don't see you before then.

Our chapter is making some big changes for the new year. We are taking December off to make plans for a new way of thinking. We are the International Live Events Society. We look at all people who deal with live events and consider them part of us. That means if you plan/produce them, have equipment that makes them run, look good, sound good, or you are part of the entertainment or you wow the masses with culinary delights then you are Live Events.

We are going back to our focus which is bring you a meeting that is live events. We want you to see the centerpieces, linen, lighting, sounds, food. The things that make live events come together. We want you to hear from local people giving you educational information that can help you be in-the-know. We want you to hear from people abroad on trends and ways to make your professional life easier. We are not a click-ish group. We want to welcome you and introduce you to others who you will be able to network with. We strive to make this organization a welcoming environment where you can grow professionally learning valuable industry information and make connections across the world.  THIS is who we are. THIS is what we do. LIVE EVENTS!

So come meet us, join us, and make New Orleans live events with us.


Samantha Lister
ILEA New Orleans Chapter

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November is here and with that brings a time of giving. ILEA New Orleans rolled up our sleeves and lent a helping hand to the Bastian Community to help them prepare for their Annual “Evening of Appreciation” to honor those that have served our country. Thank you to everyone who came out to help.

We are pleased to welcome two new members this month, Nancy Weinstock with Tujague’s and our first Student Member, Aliesa Morrow. We are a fabulous group of talented event professionals and we all know at least one person that should be a member of ILEA! I challenge each of you to reach out to that friend and get them to join you on this wonderful journey that is ILEA  New Orleans!

The end of the month brings our next Mix & Mingle! We hope everyone one can join us for cocktails at Flamingo A Go Go, in their amazing courtyard, on November 28th for a little fun and relaxation. You won’t want to miss out on the fun!


Michelle Smith
VP of Membership
ILEA New Orleans

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ILEA Monthly Events - Future

November Mixer

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Member Shout Out

David Spear

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Help Us Grow (HUG)

Want free membership??? Get $50 off of your membership renewal for EACH new member that you refer that joins ILEA New Orleans! 9 new members = FREE Membership.  AND the new member that you refer ALSO gets $50 off of their membership when they join using the promo code "HUGILEA".  Make sure they include your name in the referral box when joining. Give your colleagues HUGs and HELP US GROW!!!

Help Us Grow

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Trending Hospitality

Make Your Peer Groups More Effective

Running a creative business can be difficult. Perhaps it is pressure that comes with the idea of selling an unseen outcome—in essence, offering concepts and visions rather than a concrete product. Or could it be the very ‘maverick’ type of mentality that often is associated with this industry?

Whatever the reason, it is hard to argue with the fact that there is a unique dynamic to working in this industry. As strategic consultant Nigel Collin, describes it, “By their very nature, creative businesses are slightly maverick and the people who own and run them can often feel like lone wolves, moving across untrodden ground.”

The value of networking certainly isn’t lost on creative professionals. In fact, the idea of peer groups is often considered table stakes for operating in this space. But there is a right way and a wrong way to leverage such resources—done wrong, peer groups can be counterproductive; but done right, they can have the potential to reinvent your business.

The question then becomes: What is the best approach for setting up a peer group that can truly be effective?

Taking a cue from a special closed door workshop at the recent ILEA Live in Calgary could be a good starting point. This two-day workshop, hosted by Collin, was open only to business owners and C-level employees, offering these individuals the chance at give and take on the topics that impact every event business.

Perhaps most effective about the workshop was the makeup of the room—under 12 participants, a broad mix of experience, all operating under the dynamic of unwavering trust. With the understanding that everything that is said in the room stays in the room, individuals were able to let their guard down, offering up a sense of vulnerability that allows you to truly grow.

Allin Foulkrod, CSEP, President, Creative Visions, attended this workshop. For him, one of the key takeaways was the idea of quality control and execution, and how it’s more than simply not having the right employees in place. Instead, the real issue could ultimately come down to process and how it is managed.

“Quality control is a challenge for any industry, and much more for one that serves broad audiences at events,” says Foulkrod. “Our friend is process executed by trained professionals. A great need is processes to plan, execute and evaluate every event in which we contribute.”

Another factor is the rate at which the market is growing. The fear of not being able to keep up with demand remains real for creative professionals. This is where the ability to network with peers on an ongoing basis can help you solidify a strategy that takes into account the collective ‘lesson learned’ from others. 

“It was great to sit in a room of like-minded people who share the same challenges and experiences in growing and running creative businesses,” says Collin. “It was an exchange of ideas, a sounding board and an opportunity to tap into a pool of wisdom and advice. There was an understanding of each other's passions, visions and challenges which is a really powerful yet intimate experience. So for me, it reinforced that we often feel alone but are not.”

Alexandra Armstrong CSEP, BFA, concurs. She came away from the workshop with a better understanding that as a creative professional dealing with business challenges, she simply isn’t alone.

“I learned so many things (during the workshop); the biggest being to make use of your network,” she says. “There are people who can help you, but you simply need to be willing to ask for it.

It’s a reminder that while professionals in this space are, to some degree, competitors—it simply does not need to be a competition. Those who portion similar challenges can leverage the shared intelligence and experience in order to create positive outcomes. It just comes down to building your peer groups for success—made up cohorts that allow you to let your guard down and ultimately show some level of vulnerability.

The idea of peer groups isn’t revolutionary by any means. However, being able to build a peer group that allows you to build a tremendous amount of trust in a short period of time certainly can be.

It is time to turn the idea that running a creative business is difficult on its heads. Building a peer group that allows each individual to walk away with a sense of validation, commiseration and enthusiasm be the key to making it a reality. 

For more news, trends, and inspiration, visit

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Board of Directors


Your Board of Directors are here to help! Reach out to any of the members of the Board of Directors with any ILEA questions or needs. Considering joining a committee to get the most out of your membership.

President - Samantha Lister, 

VP of Programs and Education - Christina Pohlmann,

VP of Membership - Michelle Smith,

VP of Communications - Sherry Constance,

Director of Programs and Education- Jeff Rizzo,

Director of Communications - Jessica Talazac,

Director of Membership - Nathan Hassel,

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