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  • Of Names, Logos and Taglines

    By Jim Alkon, VP, Corporate Travel & Meetings Practice, etouches

    Names, logos and taglines say more about an organization than the words and images themselves. Anyone remember the name Allegis? Those whose bandwidth extends to the late Eighties may recall that was the name given to the combined travel company comprised of United Airlines, Westin Hotels and Hertz. The concept didn’t work. The Allegis “brand” meant nothing. The rumored cost to come up with that name was about $7 million.

    I once worked for a media company looking to rebrand itself. My division was in the U.S. The parent was in the U.K. I came to work one morning and there was an impressive, expensive-looking packet on everyone’s desk with a picture of our new logo and a detailed branding campaign. The logo was a fox. The U.S. team gagged. A fox is intelligent and resourceful, we were told. A fox is sly and cunning, we shot back, and not the image that would go over well in the States. The fox was not the brainchild of one executive’s idle scribbling. It was an orchestrated plan that took lots of time, resources and dollars to develop. But the process was blessed – the parent heard us, took back their fox and started over again.

    That brings us to company taglines. In looking into the topic I see where marketing consultant Nancy Schwartz, in a survey of 3,000 non-profit organizations, found that 72 percent either didn’t have a tagline or didn’t feel theirs was effective. Sometimes taglines are cute. Sometimes they convey exactly what an organization is about. Sometimes they project an organization’s hope. Sometimes they say nothing.

    I have been very impressed with this year’s tagline for the International Special Events Society’s New York Chapter: “We Take Care of Our Own.” It’s a great rallying cry if it lives up to its billing, and from what I can tell it does.

    Most taglines not trying to be cute tend to be forgettable in a combination of predictable corporate buzzwords. The ISES phrase seems more personal. And I’ve see it in action. At a chapter town hall gathering last fall, the tagline was repeated over and over, and one member after another took the microphone and recounted how he or she had reached out to the organization and other members in a time of need – a project they were working on, a piece of business they needed to secure, a job they needed to land. It wasn’t hype – it was real. The members responded. They got results.

    In a recent monthly chapter meeting, ISES was thanking the hosting venue, but it was more than lip service. It was in keeping with the tagline. ISES New York President Howard Givner said how important it was for members to consider the hosting venue for future events, talk to their team, and give them a chance even if it doesn’t look like the perfect fit at first glance. The message was clear: Go out of your way, try to find a reason for exploring this venue. Sometimes all people in this business want is a chance – too often, they are not given one.

    Personally, I like belonging to a group whose tagline is “We Take Care of Our Own.” I’d like to help with that care, and also know it’s available if and when I need it. When the current chapter team moves on and hands the reins to others, perhaps their parting tagline will be something like, “We Left It Better Than We Found It.” Because they did.

    Jim Alkon is Vice President, Corporate Travel & Meetings Practice, for etouches, which offers a web-based suite of integrated applications that help professionals manage, implement and market every key function along the event planning lifecycle. The software was built by event planners for event planners, has round-the-clock support, and is available in 24 languages. etouches recently won the award as Top Event Technology Innovator by Trade Show News Network. Visit www.etouches.com.

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    The Idea Factory – Event Solutions 2011

    By Debra Roth, Pink Powered by Moss, President Elect, ISES New York Metro Chapter

    This Edition of Event Solutions – The Idea Factory was held in Las Vegas March 2011. As I could not make the whole show my experience will reflect the tradeshow and the venue. I also will supply you with lots of pictures. This is Part 1 – 7 Event trends as Seen at the Event Solutions

    For the winners of the Spotlight Awards you can check the Event Solutions site here


    The past few years Event Solutions relationship with Catersource has made this show a very vibrant place for Caterers and the food industry. The tradeshow floor continues to show us lots of food, food service and a small area for non-food Event oriented product. The surprising part about that is that the dozen events participants I spoke with all were having a fantastic show. So go figure…

    Trends on the floor

    o Green Service is HUGE – I saw it over and over again



    Bamboo Studio




    o Inflate – Nice Décor elements and although they have been around for some time they are new to the events industry



    o Lounge Furniture continues to be hot hot hot — Including CORT who won Best Rental Company of the Year 2010 http://www.cortevents.com/

    o LED lighting continues to push into the events industry — Wire-free LED debuted the caterlight at this show, a totally revolutionary product, a decorative wireless catering light!

    Cater Light Wire-free LED Lighting


    o Photo Booths – Such as Fifth Avenue Digital YouBooth

    Photo Booth


    o Cupcakes, cake pops, mini cakes etc with parts and props to go with it

    Roundabouts cupcake sleeves had an adorable booth concept – the wall was alive with chefs hands demonstrating the product ( take a look) http://www.roundaboutsleeves.com/

    o ice free ice skating! Ice skating on synthetic ice! The BH Skating Parks people really have there stuff together! Ice Skating anywhere! So you and your guests love the excitement of live ice skating!

    Ice Free Skating by BH Skating Parks


    Also take a look at some of the Table Top Designs on the trade show floor.

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    Membership Has It’s Perks!

    This years ISES NY program of events has been exceptional and the most recent event this past Tuesday March 8th was one of the very Best Events. It was a complimentary members only evening at the International Center of Photography in midtown Manhattan and it was a chance to meet with Jessica Heasley, Editor in Chief of Best Events Magazine & Event Marketer Magazine.

    It had all the ingredients that make an event special, a chance to see a beautiful gem of a venue right in the heart of the city, sample some lovely food and cocktails and hear from an engaging and compelling speaker. In conversation with Howard Givner, President of ISES NY, Jessica entertained and educated the small audience with valuable insights that planners can incorporate into future programs. She talked about the use of technology to help attendees to engage, the use of sustainable materials for event decor and also the fast growing trend of organic and sustainable food and wine. After a lively Q & A session guests were able to network with both Jessica and each other.

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    New York’s Best Musicians Performance Series

    Thanks to ISES and Biz Bash, New York’s Best Musicians has been selected to provide a performance series at Peter Cooper Village Stuyvesant Town.
    Performances scheduled thus far include
    The Recessionals, a traditional dixieland band comprised of NYU music students.
    Hot Gypsy Jazz in the style of Django and Grapelli with flapper dancers.
    Kaleidoscope, an interactive band for children
    Emily Holden, electronic violinist – d.j.
    More information, videos of these groups as follows:
    The Recessionals
    Hot Gypsy Jazz
    Emily Holden
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    Big Quiz Thing!

    Join us for schmoozing in the sexy Tribecca Loft space at the new Bowlmor Lanes Times Square — Midtown’s Ultimate Entertainment Destination. Attendees will receive a discount for their next bowling outing! Food presented by David Burke.
    Entertainment and a little healthy competition sponsored by The Big Quiz Thing — NYC’s live trivia spectacular with Quizmaster/Producer, Noah Tarnow.
    When: Monday, March 28th from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
    Where: Bowlmor Lanes Times Square, 222 West 44th (Between 7th & 8th Avenue), New York, NY 10036
    Event Fees:
    By March 20th – Non-Members $40.00 Members $25.00
    By March 27th – Non-Members $50.00 Members $35.00
    On site – Non-Members $65.00 Members $50.00
    Thank you to our generous sponsors:
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