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Today I attended the luncheon program of the NY Metro ISES Chapter. They staged a beautiful luncheon at the Essex House,a landmark hotel on Central Park South.

Every year the chapter grows and outdoes itself. This was not exception.

However, praise of ISES is not what I"m writing about. I'm writing about a fascinating program and insights from the highly regarded producers.
Panelists were:

Fern Mallis
Senior Vice President
IMG Fashion
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

Lori Raimondo
VP of Marketing
Times Square Alliance
New Year's Eve Times Square Celebration

Greg Topalian
Senior Vice President
Reed Exhibitions
New York Comic Con

Beth-Ellen Keyes
Managing Director
Speaker Space
Matrix Awards

Fern Mallis discussed the growth of Fashion Week from the beginning of designers staging their shows in many venues with no particular coordination amongst them. Mallis, after all these years, has the mega fashion show events down to a science. There's a lot of scheduling involved and pleasing sponsors and designers.

Lori Raimondo, who oversees many events in Times Square, including the most famous New Years's Eve Celebration in the World. She coordinates not just a simple live event, but all the different television stages that occur throughout the evening. This is an event that is timed by the second. That ball must drop at the exact time, not a second early or a second late! All this amidst the millions celebrating in Times Square!

Greg Topalian produces ComicCon a trade show/convention that attracted 70,000 last year. This is not just comic books, but video game producers, movie studios, start up comic publications, and comic art. The event is only 4 years old and continues to grow by leaps and bounds. It requires forecasting attendance so they can be in the right venue.

Beth-Ellen Keyes is the volunteer producer for the Matrix Awards a high profile awards lunch honoring women in communication. She has lots of celebrity personalities to deal with and must be sure that her event is timed to end right on time as it is a luncheon.

Some of the questions during the Q&A were not really much about production other than a Risk Management question. The big question? "How do vendors approach you to show what we can do?" It was suggested that some of the big events may not be using local talent and we have lots of wonderful talent in New York.

So, what is the approach to use? Some panelists hedged, but those that didn't gave a great answer. " Contact me and tell what you can bring to my production that would improve it or a different approach. It's not always dollars. It a vendor is a $1,000 more than another, the lower cost does not necessarily win. It's what the vendor brings to the mix.

Great incites in general and answers to a question that a lot of vendors have.