March 2017

Brett Kolinek, CEM

January and February have come and gone, and so have 146 years of at least one snow fall during these two months. There is so much change going on all around us and sometimes, unless you stop to take a moment and really look, you may never notice.!  I'd like to ask each of you reading this email to take a moment and think about the IAEE Midwestern Chapter, the events you have attended, the relationships you've built, and the education you've received. Then ask yourself about the legacy you want to leave behind, how you can help impact our industry?

As many of our fellow colleagues have already done, I'd like to suggest leaving your mark by volunteering on the local level.  We always welcome fresh ideas, thoughts, and, most importantly, enthusiasm.  In return, you're expanding your professional network, making new friends, and leaving your mark. Please follow this link to get more details.  

When we talk about legacy and leaving your stamp on the world, Andrew Weishar is an inspiration for all. It's so unfortunate how many friends and family members are stricken with cancer; it takes a community to help fight for the cure.  Our chapter charity this year is The Andrew Weisher Foundation. Contributions provide immediate resources to families with adolescents or young adults living with cancer. Andrew was an incredibly humble young man, and his one request was to "pay it forward." See more details about this outstanding charity below, as well as Andrew's story.


As I previously stated the past two months have come and gone. Here are two fresh highlights of 2017!

We kicked off the year with our 4th Annual Kickball Tournament.  This is always a fun, exciting, and competitive event.  Congratulations to GES for another win! I might be a little biased, but was really rooting for the Young Professionals to finally add their team name to the trophy. Maybe next year! Thank you for all that participated and sponsored a team, the investment made contributes to bring educational sessions and networking events to our chapter. 

Our February Education Program focused on event attendance and 7 strategies to improve that won't cost a dime. Ron Rosenberg, President of Quality Talk, reminded us to pay attention to the details, remember what's important, and TAKE ACTION! I want to thank those who joined us for this enlightening session!  If you have suggestions on future events, please get involved! What topics are important to you? What is an area you would like to know more about? 


Lastly, I'd like to take the opportunity to thank the current IAEE board and committee members for their donation of time.  I'd especially like to thank Heather Larson and Jennifer Kimball for their work on a fun new social event that will be held at Miller Park this year. For more details please continue to read the updates below.  Look forward to seeing all IAEE Midwestern Chapter members and shaking your hand at the upcoming chapter events in 2017.


Midwestern Chapter Cubs/Brewers event in Milwaukee 

Join us at Miller Park for the Cubs vs. Brewers on Friday, July 28 at 7:10 p.m. We'll be sitting on the Dew Deck. Drink tickets and food are included with the price of admission. Ticket price will be annouced soon (limit of 2 per person). Chicagoans...we'll be arranging a bus for the trip. Details to follow on that. This is sure to be a fun new event for the Chapter. Go Cubs Go!

Tickets will be available for purchase soon! Please watch your inbox. 


HEY! Check it out: DOWNLOAD the Midwestern Chapter App today!  We are currently working on updating our schedule of events, as well as adding more content.


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Student Spotlight- Kayla Stearns,  2016 DePaul graduate, B.S Hospitality Business Leadership
Written by Moriah Hathaway-Casey, IAEE MWC-Young Professional Board Member

I've had the distinct pleasure of getting to know Kayla over the past two years through IAEE Young Professionals' involvement with DePaul's Student Event Management Club.  Ms. Stearns is a highly motivated, smart, and passionate young professional.  After graduation, as she handed her presidency reins over to the next young student, Kayla and I sat down and recapped the program we started the summer of 2015. 

Beginning in the fall of 2015, the Young Professionals of IAEE teamed up with the students of DePaul and acted as a liaison between not only the expositions and events industry, but the professional business world as well.  I asked Kayla what she thought the benefits were of having the Young Professionals presence at DePaul, to which she replied:

It was an excellent opportunity to relate to the YP's as they just went through what we're going through.  Applying for jobs, how to apply, where to apply, how to prepare, and what the market trends are.  They made us feel comfortable, which helped to provide for a more educational and open experience.  They helped us better understand the wide variety of industries and career avenues within the events and expositions industry.  The activities we did with the YP's of IAEE exposed us to networking opportunities and education, and aided in our confidence for that first step into the "real world."   Since the IAEE and DePaul partnership, our student involvement, membership, budget, and activities doubled from previous years!  Now that I've made my first steps into the real world and am making my brand as a Young Professional, I hope to continue my partnership with IAEE.

It was nice to know that our time and energy spent with the students was received and highly valued. I then asked Kayla if she felt the Young Professionals aided in her personal business development whereupon she enthusiastically affirmed:

Yes, absolutely!  The Industry Day was incredibly beneficial; it helped me better understand and define how many different vendors and teams collaborate to successfully and efficiently execute tradeshows.  Cleaning? Freight? Directional Signage? Inline booths? Inline of Sight, rules, and regulations? This was information you don't get in a classroom! Those eight hours truly made me realize the importance of coordination, communication, and details! The involvement allowed plenty of exposure and gave me a competitive edge when I was interviewing and applying.  I had a "live" experience to which I could relate and now knew the level of tenacity it took to be in this industry.  Let's face it, the individuals that make up this industry are a different breed; we're tough, well-versed, never sleep, and have a family in every city.  My participation with the YP's contributed to my growth and development as a leader. Not only are they great leaders, but they introduced me to their leaders and mentors.  We had the opportunity to have intriguing conversation about the events and tradeshow market, how it's changed, where it's going, and advice for how to set myself apart and become my own brand.  Essentially, if the IAEE YP's hadn't been involved, I wouldn't have had a better understanding of the tradeshow industry.  I wouldn't have known who or what SmithBucklin was at the time, and now I'm currently employed there!  The IAEE Young Professionals made us feel as though YPs are important and you don't have to be a veteran to mentor.  It made me understand and realize our generation matters and can be a part of something bigger in the industry.

Written by Liz Klostermann, CEM, Conference Manager, Meeting Expectations

Liz Klostermann, CEM

Would you be surprised if I told you that when I found myself in sunny, palm-tree filled, warm-weathered Anaheim, California in December, I couldn't have been more thrilled to be indoors at a convention center?  That would be the truth, since I was soaking up all the education and networking that was offered at IAEE Expo! Expo!  After reviewing the schedule upon its release and being awarded the IAEE Midwestern Chapter Young Professional Scholarship to attend, I knew I was in for one of the best professional weeks of my year. I wasn't wrong!

Would you be surprised if I told you that when I found myself in sunny, palm-tree filled, warm-weathered Anaheim, California in December, I couldn't have been more thrilled to be indoors at a convention center?  That would be the truth, since I was soaking up all the education and networking that was offered at IAEE Expo! Expo!  After reviewing the schedule upon its release and being awarded the IAEE Midwestern Chapter Young Professional Scholarship to attend, I knew I was in for one of the best professional weeks of my year. I wasn't wrong!

As meeting professionals, we live in the details. I found that not only were the topics relevant and the content of all the education sessions well executed, but that even the minute details were flawlessly produced. IAEE Expo! Expo! took on all the research on unique classroom settings, the power of atmosphere to the student, and out-of-the-box thinking, and applied it to each session. I got just as much out of each environment as I did the content of the sessions. Our own Lisa Goecke and Christy Spahn gave a great session on exhibit sales and fulfillment, and I attended other sessions on new sponsorship opportunities, technology trends and applications, ensuring exhibitor ROI and engagements - among many others.  

Taking a break from the education and meeting with the partners in the exhibit hall was just as rewarding. I met with old friends, found new business partners, turned in one hotel RFP, and made connections for conferences I have coming up. Learning about the variety of products and services keeps me at the cutting edge of my industry and my time on the show floor was invaluable.

The common denominator between the time in education and on the exhibit hall is networking. I met and mingled with my CEM peers as we rehearsed and walked in our graduation ceremony, I connected with fellow members at our Midwestern Chapter meet-up, and enjoyed downloading the entire week at the closing reception with some new Midwestern Chapter friends. I cannot speak higher of the active group we have in our chapter and I was proud to be a new representative at Expo! Expo!

If given the opportunity to apply for any grant or scholarship offered by IAEE and our chapter, I would recommend anyone to apply. The process of applying for the scholarship put me in the mindset of what I wanted to accomplish and how I would represent not only my company, but our chapter at IAEE.  It made me more committed and determined that I would attend! The knowledge I gained and relationships I developed during this short week in Anaheim have a far longer lasting impact on both my career and my client experiences. I can't wait to attend more IAEE Midwestern Chapter events and Expo! Expo! in the future.


Young Professionals Meet Up
When: Thursday, March 23, 2017 | 5 -7 pm
Where: Kirkwood Bar & Grill
2934 N Sheffield Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60657

Join us after work for drinks and networking with IAEE MWC Young Professionals!

RSVP to Moriah Hathaway-Casey

Industry Xchange
Half Day Morning Education & Networking Event
When: Thursday, April 6, 2017 
Where: McCormick Place

In partnership with Choose Chicago, this year's Industry XChange will celebrate Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) from an authentic Chicago perspective. Tom Ricketts, Chairman and owner of the Chicago Cubs and David Whitaker, President & CEO of Choose Chicago will present. Details here! 

2016 June Program Attendees

Education Program and Member Mixer
When: Wednesday, June 7, 2017 
Where: Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel &
Convention Center 

Details and registration coming soon!

28th Annual Midwestern Chapter Golf Outing
When: Monday, September 11, 2017 | 11 am start
Where: Cantigny Golf Club
27w270 Mack Road Wheaton, IL 60189

Join us for exceptional golf, contests, trophies and prizes, as well as lunch, a reception, and dinner. This is the perfect opportunity for you to entertain clients or reward employees.

Learn more and register here


Thank you to our Chapter Sponsors!