BizBash New York Expo & Awards 2011 Highlights

BizBash New York Expo & Awards 2011

As a first time member of ISES New York Metro, I was thrilled to be reporting from the 2011 BizBash Expo & Awards held at the Javits Center on October 19th.

Cathi Culbertson, Executive Director of Event Marketing & Protocol, Forbes Media, Sunny and Michael Halperin from Party Rental Ltd and Harriette Rose Katz Founder & President of Harriette Rose Katz Events were inducted into the BizBash Hall of Fame.

Then, Scott Heiferman, Co-Founder & CEO of delivered the morning keynote address. Heiferman recognized that you must to give people ‘permission’ to talk to each other and that face-to-face communication is incredibly powerful. Despite the immediacy of social media, people are still hungry to connect, and everyone has something to teach. When people ‘talk’ to each other “new conversations, new connections and new community” are created.

Check out Expo highlights video HERE:
Official BizBash New York Highlights Video

The exhibitors all went to great lengths to make their booths colorful, imaginative, engaging and innovative. While on the show floor, I had the opportunity to speak briefly with several key influencers.

Sue Phillips reporting, with Colin Cowie.

Jes Gordon attributes her success to her mother who once told her, “it’s not how smart you are, but HOW you are smart.” Her advice to those new to the industry; “Don’t insulate yourself; look to fashion, politics and everywhere for inspiration. Lose the ego, steal ideas wherever you can, have fun and enjoy your friendly competitors!”

BizBash Hall of Fame inductee, Cathi Cultbertson attributes her success to her personal touch – she personally follows up with everyone. Debra Roth, Creative Director of Pink Powered by Moss and President of ISES NY Metro Chapter, always glowing and dressed in pink, loved the vibrant, positive energy of BizBash and the special effort that companies put into their displays.

Bentley Meeker, star lighting designer, feels the Bizbash Expo is a great venue with a “nice vibe” where “you [can] run into friendly competitors” and a great place “to see old friends and to see their work.”

Howard Givner, Founder of the Event Leadership Institute and Immediate Past President of ISES NY Metro, posed this question: “How [does one] compete and differentiate oneself without competing in the same environment?” His answer: reinvent yourself, offer incredible customer service, pay great attention to detail, instill a sense of teamwork and community, set one another up for success, ensure standardization and consistency, offer education vs. training, role-play; and incentivize your team.

Another highlight was Colin Cowie’s afternoon keynote presentation and seeing the amazing events he has designed – from Oprah’s 25th anniversary celebration to birthday parties, weddings and an anniversary in Italy. One standout pearl of wisdom, “great Style comes from ruthless editing.”

My visit to BizBash would not have been complete without visiting the ISES booth. The chapter has a strong relationship with BizBash and utilized the Expo as a springboard to kick off the October membership drive. Member sponsors, Fifth Avenue Digital provided free headshots to any new member who joined at the show; Filis Forman offered professional makeup and Dynamic Drape & Decor, and Pink Powered by Moss provided booth décor. The promotion enabled the chapter to sign up a record number 12 new members on site!

BizBash Expo concluded with the announcement of the Event Style and Reader’s Choice Award winners. Check out the winners HERE.

BizBash New York Eventstyle Winners

BizBash New York Reader’s Choice Winners

My ‘takeaway’ speaking to all these ‘movers and shakers’ and roaming the Expo show floor was that this year’s event was upbeat, positive and had an air of festivity despite the less than positive economic forecast. Recurring themes were community, communication, strong relationships, staying within budget and seeing friendly competitors!

Sue Phillips is the President of Scenterprises Ltd, a custom fragrance and ambient scenting company.


  1. Nancy Sweizy 31. Oct, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    Where are the photos of the ISES members and their booths?


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