Meet new ILEA Chicago Member – Bari Singh of HMR Designs

Meet Bari Singh 

Tell us a little bit about yourself...

Who/ what inspired you to go into event planning?
In a rather uninspirational fashion, I accidentally fell into events, which I think happens to a lot of people in our industry. While I was in culinary school, I needed to pick up some extra cash and began freelancing at an event design house on the weekends. At the time, I didn’t understand this world could become a career, but once I was immersed, I was fully beguiled.

Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away?
I used to teach middle school science and english. Same skill set required: be a team player, have patience, stay adaptable, keep innovating, sharpen your creative edge, and don’t forget your sense of humor.

What do you love the most about what you do?
The collaboration it takes to pull off an event is the most exciting thing about what I do. I love coming together not only with other vendors, but also the client to determine how to best serve the guest. “Virtually” understanding how attendees will experience the event can be an event professional’s strongest, secret tool.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the Chicago suburbs.

What's your event gone wrong horror story?
I worked on an event for which the keynote speaker posted a politically incorrect update on a Social Media platform that was anti-semitic in nature. The venue at which the event was to be hosted cancelled the event in response (OF COURSE!). Our team had less than a week to source a new keynote speaker AND venue. Thank goodness I work with so many amazing colleagues, this came together in no time with minimal stress.

What made you interested in participating in ILEA?
THE PEOPLE, for sure! I’d see Instagram posts of all my favorite industry folks and wonder why I wasn’t there with them.


To learn more about HMR Designs by visiting their website, checkout their facebook, or instagram.


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Let Us Help you HUG New Members!

It's finally here - your chance to earn discounts on membership renewals by referring new ILEA members! Help UGrow with the HUG campaign and earn free membership in the process!


We hear time and again that ILEA is a hug, not a handshake. Now, we're asking you to Help UGrow with the HUG campaign and earn free membership in the process!

How it Works

For each new member you refer and joins ILEA, you will receive a $50 discount towards your next ILEA renewal. That means, when you refer 9 new members you get a free membership! All they need to do is list your name in the membership application. The new member will also have the $50 application fee waived when they use the code HUGILEA*

Here is a great blurb to share with potential new members about why joining ILEA is a GREAT idea!
ILEA Chicago Memberships educate you and help you build your career, promote you as an event professional, bring you together in networking events with other professionals and so much more.   If you are not a member yet, or if you know event professionals that would benefit from joining our group, here are some great highlights of membership.  
Here’s just a few of the benefits of joining ILEA:
  • Get access to the wisdom of a broad member collective who plan and execute over 1 million special events each year –the brightest, most accomplished creative event professionals in the industry who execute some of the world’s most recognized live events.

  • Experience stimulating ideas and knowledge sharing with other creative event professionals from around the world at the annual ILEA Live conference.

  • Receive up-to-date deadline information for the Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) designation—keep updated on all of the information needed to gain your CSEP designation and show potential employers or clients that you are committed to the craft.

  • Use the ILEA Member Directory to find and connect with fellow creative events professionals around the world for advice and support.

  • Find resources, toolkits and tip sheets to grow your new client pipeline, increase revenue and manage the day-to-day tasks of running a business - available only to ILEA members in the Member Community

  • Take your job or candidate search in the right direction by exploring the ILEA Career Center.



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Meet new ILEA Chicago member - Kelly Jandura

Who / what inspired you to go into event planning?

My mother Nicole was definitely the first person to inspire me to take a step into the event industry. One afternoon, after a conversation about what I planned on doing after college, she boldly told me to pick a career path that brought me passion so that it didn't feel like I was doing as much work. After listening to her advice I told her I was unsure what I was passionate about. She was the first person to initially make me aware of the fact that I loved being a host and socializing. That being organized and paying attention to detail always came naturally to me. She taught me to lean into my networking skills and continue to explore my passion for decor and design. Her encouragement inspired me to hone in on my natural abilities and that is what eventually excelled me into the career path that I am on today.

Tell us one thing we might not learn about you right away?

I love prank jokes. I am known for gag gifts and getting people when they least expect it.

What do you love the most about what you do?

The final product. Seeing all of your hard work and creativity come to life.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago in Plainfield Illinois where I stayed until my family and I relocated to the small farm town of Manhattan Illinois my sophomore year of high school.

What is your event gone wrong horror story?

I had a bride taking photos, prior to the wedding, with her wedding party and her heel got stuck during the shoot and literally snapped off into two. She was beyond upset since every woman pictures her big day to be perfect. I quickly sprung into action and tried to relieve her stress by letting her know I would purchase her another pair of shoes so she and her wedding party did not have to leave the venue. So I played the role of personal shopper, took her shoe size and purchased new white shoes for her to wear the rest of the wedding. She was so happy she did not have to leave and rush back before her big day. She trusted me to select a wedding shoe and she ended up loving the selection I made and it was a crisis averted.

What made you interested in participating in ILEA?

Rachel Fersten from Windy City Linen and Jeff Durocher made it hard to say no. I attended a couple of their events, met some great contacts and had fun while networking so it ended up being a no brainer.


To find out more about Kelly and Chicago Venue Rental, check out their website at  

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Summer's a Wrap After ILEA Chicago's August 30 Street Fest

We ended summer with a bang at the first ILEA Summer Fest hosted by Hard Rock Café.  What a perfect night on their lovely patio!  Hard Rock provided passed hors d’oeuvres, a stationary buffet with some great summer comfort food and beverages perfect for our ILEA Chicago koozies.

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Our long-time member, Dave Calzaretta with Magnificent Events, kicked off the presentation.  He gave such a great overview of the world of summer fests.  Everything from musical entertainment, staging, permitting, parking, food, and more!  Everyone was impressed with all the little and complicated details that go into such a large event. 

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 Following Dave, Hayden Moldenhauer with Arena Americas, was able to dive a little deeper into the tenting structures and parameters for permitting.  We all learned that tents might as well be buildings with all the architectural details and plans required.

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Spoon Photo & Design snapped photos for us all evening, including a great group shot with our ILEA International President, Ingrid Nagy. It is always great to have members from other chapters in town for our events and we couldn’t think of a better send off for summer!

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 Finally, many thanks to Erica Roskoskey with Food For Thought Catering Group for planning this fabulous event


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