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Spotlight on a Member – Shaun Rajah

What made you want to work in the special events industry?

Special events truly embody the essence of hospitality, something I am very passionate about.  Developing and managing special events provides a platform to “create experiences,” and this is the driving force for my career.

How did you first get involved with ISES?

Through professional contacts in my field of expertise.

What’s your favorite event experience and what made it turn out so well?

The Drake Hotel hosted the Royal Wedding Tea for 2011.  This was a great learning experience from the standpoint of managing various moving parts and ensuring all departments and vendors were firing on all levels.  The event ran seamlessly, and as a result, we were featured on The Today Show and BBC Worldwide.

What do you find most challenging about the events industry? And what lesson(s) have you learned?

This is a very competitive industry, as clients have many options, and you have to rise above the rest in both cost and quality of product delivered.  I’ve learned that pre-planning is the most integral dynamic of this profession.

What do you do to keep up with the current trends in the industry?

Constantly think out of the box and create events specific to target demographics.

What do you enjoy to do in your spare time? (and when you are not going to ISES events, of course)

Traveling and spending time with loved ones.

Who has been your biggest inspiration or influence in your career?

A previous Hotel Manager, Ian L. Jones, with whom I worked in Malaysia.

Where is the best place you have traveled to?

Chicago and Paris, equally.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I am a noted singer.

What advice would you tell someone who has just joined ISES?

This is a great tool for professional networking.

What is the most valuable thing you have taken from being involved in ISES?

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October Event – Centered Chef

Tuesday, October 16th, ISES Chicago hosted “Lunch with the Legends” at Centered Chef.  ISES members and guests were treated to a healthy lunch provided in house by the talented chefs.  Centered Chef’s goal is to provide healthy and natural food choices that are still tasty and beautiful to present.  They host anything from business luncheons to wedding receptions and can even do teambuilding sessions.

As people began to eat, the discussion with the “legends” began.  There were experienced industry professionals (see list below) from all aspects of the industry who hopped from table to table to speak about their position, answer questions, and offer advice to those attending.  It was a good opportunity to hear from those who could speak with experience and real life stories and could also relate to everyone there.  As discussion wrapped up, everyone was invited to take a tour of the space including the kitchen and film kitchen which can be rented out for promotional video taping.

The day was very educational on many levels.  Hearing from some experts and being introduced to new venues and catering options are just some of the benefits that come from being a member of ISES.  Don’t miss another event with ISES and join today!

 

Legends

  • Scott Baker of Chicago Travel Consultants
  • Audrey Gordon of Audrey Gordon Parties, Ltd.
  • Jim Grillo of HeresChicago.com
  • Nancy Hays of Nancy Hays Entertainment
  • Talia Mashicah of Eved
  • Wendy Pashman of Entertaining Company
  • Noelle Provencial of Groupon
  • Bill Pry of BBJ Linen
  • Jeff Siegel of Jeff Siegel Creative

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Members Working With Members

One of the biggest perks of being a member of the ISES Greater Chicago Chapter is the opportunity to do business with other ISES member.  By attending the events, you will network with other industry professionals and build relationships that will translate into business opportunities that will have a positive impact on your bottom line.  See when, where, and how ISES Members are working together to share business opportunities. 

This is how our members are working with each other!

“When Christina Currie Events (http://www.christinacurrieevents.com) needed something extra special for a long-time client’s birthday party, she called the creative team at ComedySportz Chicago (http://www.comedysportzchicago.com).  ComedySportz created customized sketch material that celebrated the man of honor with class and humor.  The event was a night to remember for everyone.”

 Chicago Travel Consultants, Inc. (CTC – http://www.ctcdmc.com) and Intelligent Lighting Creations (ILC – http://intelligentlighting.com) collaborated on another successful event for a large financial institution held at the Adler Planetarium’s Galileo Cafeteria on the evening of August 22nd, 2012.  This particular event was much more than an evening cocktail reception and sit down dinner.  The scope of the evening included traditional opening remarks, as well as an entertainment component featuring The Master Thief, Apollo Robbins.  The time available to install the event was extremely limited – access to the space at 3:30PM,  a rehearsal scheduled for 6:00PM, and guest arrival of 6:45PM was challenging to say the least.  But Barb Harris, Senior Account Executive with CTC, and Ryan Bundy, Senior Account Executive with ILC, worked together to create a solid production plan with the help of ILC’s Project Manager Stacey Westbrook.  The resulting show was a tremendous success for all!

If you would like to share your experiences, please email them to erica@magevents.com

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