ISES New England Takes Heart and Soul Awards to the Aquarium

By Erin L. Souza June 21, 2010, 4:19 PM EDT

ISES New England's Heart and Soul Awards
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The International Special Event Society’s New England chapter hosted its annual Heart and Soul Awards Tuesday night with a waterfront fete on New England Aquarium’s harbor terrace. Some 215 guests, most from the event industry, attended an outdoor cocktail hour then moved into a windowed tent for dinner, an awards ceremony, and dancing.

“The goal of the evening and the event is to increase visibility and awareness of ISES New England as an organization,” said Jennifer Gullins, vice president of programs and education for ISES New England. “It is also to recognize the outgoing board for their achievements over the past year and induct the new incoming board members.”  ISES New England looked to members to provide goods and services for the event, garnering a list of more than a dozen sponsors.

Producer Alison Quill of Elegant Aura, with decor from fellow sponsors Rentals Unlimited and Exquisite Events, stuck with a color scheme of red, black, white, and gold accented with damask linens, which altogether created a bit of a king-and-queen-of-hearts look on the patio and in the tent. Inside, the team created a lounge-like vibe with low leather benches in the center of the room and rows of high-top tables and gold chairs in back.

Two self-serve dinner stations were in the corners of the tent, featuring catered food by New England Aquarium, including sliders of pulled pork, chicken salad, and beef, cole slaw, kale, rice, and white bean soup, and D.I.Y. salad.

Entertainment played a large role in the evening’s festivities, with a capella group Similar Jones circulating and singing among guests during the cocktail hour and performing a short set before dinner in the tent. Guests outside posed for photos to be put on tiles as they waited, courtesy of event sponsor Fun Enterprises. Following the awards ceremony, energetic band World Premier got guests dancing—as did go-go dancers provided by Groove Entertainment.

“On one hand, they have all seen so much in their line of work that it is more than challenging to show them new, exciting, and forward-thinking elements each month,” said Gullins of producing events for the ISES membership. “On the other hand, when we do exceed their expectations, the rave reviews come pouring in.”

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