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July 8, 2008

ISES launches in Middle East

A United Arab Emirates (UAE) chapter of the International Special Events Society (ISES) is soon to be established in Dubai to “educate, advance and promote the special events industry and its network of professionals within the Middle East”, according to the association.

Mark Gunner, managing director of Gorgeous Creative, has been elected as president, and will head up the initiative, along with Action Impact’s co-founder Adrian Bell, the newly appointed vice president.

“The region is constantly in the limelight, particularly the events industry, with projects such as Dubailand and The Palm featuring regularly in the International news,” said Gunner. “There is definitely a need for this kind of initiative in the local market, and our goal is to provide a professional forum for communication, education and networking in the region.

"We already have a host of exciting events planned, which will hopefully culminate at the 2008 International ISES Middle East Conference to be held later this year. I am very proud to represent ISES in the Middle East, and with the support of our respective board members, sponsors, members and international colleagues our mission is to be known as the leading association for the Middle East event industry.”

As a global organisation with more than 5,500 members worldwide in 41 chapters, ISES allows event professionals the opportunity to share information on new products and services. Most importantly, ISES also enables the local marketplace to learn about the power of live communication as a tangible and qualified marketing tool.

“ISES is a well-known international industry body and it is a privilege to be a part of this exciting incentive,” said Bell. “When Mark initially approached me, I jumped at the opportunity.

“As we are all aware, life in Dubai is extremely fast-paced and I believe ISES will offer a unique forum for like-minded professionals who are eager to share and learn from each other. The concept is relatively unheard of in the UAE, and we look forward to this fabulous opportunity.”

The ISES membership brings together professionals from a variety of special events disciplines including caterers, meeting planners, decorators, event planners, audio-visual suppliers, party and convention coordinators, educators, journalists, hotel and venue managers and many more professional disciplines. The association stresses that it works to join professionals to focus on the "event as a whole" rather than its individual parts.

The ISES Middle East Chapter board members include:

Mark Gunner, managing director, Gorgeous Creative Communications

Vice president
Adrian Bell, executive director, Action Impact

VP finance
Jeroen Berghuis, general manager, VOK DAMS

VP membership
Nicky Duncan, associate director, MVM Dubai

VP marketing
Cathy Mead, director of sales corporate and MICE, Jumeirah

VP communications
Moustafa Al Hamwi, business development director, B-Dubai

VP education
Dylan Owen, director, EFM Management

VP events
Fiona Swaffield, managing partner, Siren Consulting

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