Blueprint for a Successful Event - Seminar I

Inaugural Session Gets Kudos from Attendees


Panel discussing selecting chairs and keeping them on track

Tina van der Ven, Neil Saffer, Sara Herald, Asha Elias
and Rolando Rodriguez

Set at the Hilton Miami Downtown and hosted by George Neary, V.P. of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Norma Jean Abraham, a woman well known in Miami's philanthropic world and director of the Anthony Abraham Foundation, SocialMiami's first educational seminar, Blueprint for a Successful Event, offered ideas and advice from some of South Florida's most experienced and knowledgeable professionals.

Guests represented a wide array of nonprofits and event planners, along with professionals from production and catering companies. They mingled and networked, enjoying morning coffee and a continental breakfast provided by the Hilton, during registration.

The seminar was comprised of three panels, two in the morning and one after lunch where speakers and guests continued the topics presented on stage.

Panel I - Natalie Carlisle and Anne Marie Taglienti from Food foe the Poor; Angela Birdman, a Miami philanthropist and founder of her own nonprofit to benefit honmeless animals; and Tim Show, Director of the George Snow Scholarship Foundation in Boca Raton, moderated by Rolando Rodriguez, president of Crosspoint Philanthropy - spoke about choosing the right event for your target audience and gave details about some of the clever and successful events they have hosted. Time was allotted for a lively question and answer period since an important element of each seminar will be interactive participation by everyone attending.

The challenges of selecting the right chairs and committee members and keeping them on track and motivated were the topics for the second morning panel, comprised of Asha Elias and Tina van der Ven, co-chairs of the recent Big Brothers Big Sisters 60th Anniversary Gala that raised a record $1.4 million; Attorney and former CEO of a number of nonprofits Sara B. Herald; and Neil Saffer of Saffer and Company Benefit Auctions - again moderated by Roland Rodriguez.

George Neary, Tim Snow, Anne Marie Taglienti, Natalie Carlisle, Angela Birdman, Rolando Rodriguez, Suzanne Pallot and Norma Jean Abraham
During lunch - three delicious courses featuring an entree of steak, scallops, gnocchi and vegetables - guests chatted with one another and seminar speakers about subjects more specific to their own fundraising event efforts.

The afternoon panel was moderated by Ellen Bristol of Bristol Strategy Group who was joined by Chad Elliott of Galaxy Productions and event partners Kevin Tobe of the Hilton Miami Downtown, Washington Arias of Everlast Production, who provided the audio/visual components for the day. They delved into what a planner needs to know and do to work successfully with event vendors.

The event was produced by Suzanne Pallot of Source Miami, and the topics and panel discussions were created by Margaret Hubbard of Barry University.

The second seminar in the series - The Critical Next Step - Targeting and Effective Solicitation of Sponsorships - will be at the Hilton on May 2. Registration and Information.

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