For years, I’ve been the broken record in the dark among Minneapolis-St. Paul Chapter members…never accepting the recent path of our journey as we moved ever deeper into the THEME party motif for our Star Awards.
With the “performance improvement” background from my FIRST career, I firmly believe Awards events are to recognize outstanding efforts and achievement; to demonstrate talent within our midst and to provide opportunities for us to learn from each other to better improve performance and meet objectives of our clients….and yes, to celebrate what we, as the ISES community, bring and contribute to the urban location in which we live.
Last evening’s event made one GIANT STEP in accomplishing all that in an environment of collaboration and sharing that could be felt wherever one turned.
I felt like the proud parent – particularly since I have devoted most of the past 5-6 years preaching collaboration for better results for all in everything we do. This year, I felt “it” everywhere, all evening…but only when I got home and read Susan’s Welcome in the Program, was I able to put my finger on what the “it” was:
“We’re here to celebrate the work, acknowledge talent, showcase creativity, and recognize that what we do is complicated, challenging and important. We collaborate to create experiences that impact people’s lives. That’s why they are called special events.”
And that is exactly why last evening I felt it; I knew I was attending a truly special event. Indeed, I had no entries this year; I was not a finalist; I took home no hardware to show for my efforts in the industry, but I went home proud of the chapter I was a part of founding “way back when” fifteen years ago. What a wonderful personal gift I received as I wind down this SECOND career in the life of Cheryl Kranz!
There is no doubt in my mind-the celebration of the Tenth Anniversary was the best Minnesota Star Awards I have attended.
It recognized the vision of the originals…Jody, Jean, and Sheree;
It recognized the rebirth of a great cultural icon in MSP and effectively used the Orchestra Hall space to advantage;
In the Gallery, it recognized the progressive journey of the chapter;
It recognized the work of finalists and award winners in an engaging and timely manner (and yes indeed, Susan, without most of the audience even recognizing that the MC had to drop out just the day before-a remarkable recovery on that one, so another KUDOS to you J)
And most of all, it recognized attendee needs and interests.
If one area had little appeal…one could just move along to the next. No need to “suffer through” anything that did not resonate at the moment.
Perhaps for the first time, there was less about alcohol and more about interesting food inclusions and great examples of how to use that food to contribute to the ambience. It may also be the first time I did not leave hungry. And for sure, it was the first time I think I had NO NEED for Gretchen’s MORNING AFTER departure gift…although remembering one very BAD year, the kit- indeed- made me smile. And that’s a good thing; for up to now, that particular memory has been MOST humiliating!
The pre-event communications were GREAT…I especially compliment Susan and the team for the recognition given to the sponsors. The Facebook introduction of each paid off-at least for me. As I have refocused on the search for that illusive Third Career” and spent less time on ISES, many of the sponsors were new names to me. My resource file grew in leaps and bounds.
The program did a great job in recapping quickly each finalist entry…but of course, I wanted MORE. Yes, I was one of those few that actually browsed through the old BINDER collection. Not a ‘must have” for most, but that would be my only entry on a future Awards wish list….maybe finalists need some Facebook time as well to communicate more than one paragraph can tell of each story…if only for those of us who want and can absorb MORE!
Finally, on a personal note, although Creative Events focus over the last 21 years has been on corporate events , I am especially proud of those among us who share talents and inspiration with our sister non-profit world. I am always amazed at the impact ISES members make in that other universe. Based on the few times I have ventured into that realm, I know it is a lot harder to accomplish the mission with small budgets, lots of committees, lots of volunteers, lots of sponsors and lots of opinions!
So for those of you who include the non-profits in your book of work, Kudos to you. I am in AWE.
The ISES Star Awards turned TEN last night and thanks to Susan Diamond and the talented and dedicated ISES members that formed her team, I think we GREW UP and successfully passed out of our childhood. It was job WELL DONE by all….and now, one last question: Who has extra programs that I can tap into as I head off to Rochester in search of Career # 3? Surely, I can use them as a tool to build a new nucleus of opportunity in the DMC!