Message from the President

Message from our Chapter President

Dear ILEA Community and Future Members,

This has certainly been a dramatic start to 2020.  In addition to the changes brought about by the pandemic, we've taken a bold new step to advance the Hampton Roads chapter to become more diverse to include other growing cities in Virginia.  Under the new name of ILEA Virginia, we are reaching out to event professionals beyond the 757 area code for more opportunities to collaborate and network.   

We are focusing primarily on three major strategies in 2020-2021.  First we are learning to translate our educational content into virtual settings while still allowing for time to network and share best practices.  Second, we are bringing awareness to the new geographical expanse of the Virginia Chapter by showcasing venues, caterers, florists, photographers via online and social media platforms.  Lastly with the change in our borders, we are seeking additional Membership to tie together cities like Roanoke, Richmond, Fredericksburg with each other and Hampton Roads.   

We understand that the pandemic has fostered new challenges within this industry, however now more than ever is the time to reinvest in our commitment to our professional growth and sustainability of our industry.   I encourage our past members and previous members of the board to remember that we are in this together and ILEA Virginia is here to support and help keep you successful.  

I invite new event professionals to dig in deep during these tough patches and lean on our members to share industry best practices, celebrate each others success, and learn to overcome struggles to finish this year strong.  

Our growth and success is dependent on YOU as part of our community.  Whether you are a seasoned professional or a student, your knowledge and talents are valuable, now is the time to become more involved. ILEA Virginia has several committees that exist within this organization and are the fastest way to connect with your peers. Put your membership and your knowledge toward serving in order to strengthen your relationships within the Chapter and beyond, while showcasing your talents. 

The next year may also see some changes and that should not be stifled but embraced and allowed to develop so that together we can continue to build GREAT events and GREATER event professionals.  Your feedback is vital but your participation in critical to collaborate and grow new ideas.  We will bring you educational meetings as well as networking opportunities during our monthly meetings to open the doors to new networks and deeper understanding of our industry. It is up to you to build on that education and networking but we are here to help you. 

I look forward to serving the ILEA Virginia Chapter for another year and work alongside our Board of Directors. We hope to see you at a meeting or event soon!

Barbara Barrington
ILEA Virginia

The history of ILEA International

ILEA, formally the International Special Events Society, was founded in 1987 to foster enlightened performance through education while promoting ethical conduct. ILEA works to join event and meeting professionals to focus on the "event as a whole" rather than its individual parts. ILEA has grown to involve over 5,500 members active in over 51 chapters throughout the world. The solid peer network ILEA provides helps special events professionals produce outstanding results for clients while establishing positive working relationships with other event colleagues.

For over 25 years ILEA has been a valued and trusted partner in the events industry. An industry that generates over $200 billion for the global economy and supports over four million jobs.

ILEA members are regarded as the very best in what they do, creating a powerful and influential community of event professionals around the world, working together to find new ways to communicate through the power of live events.

As our association continues to expand and engage, reaching new audiences and markets around the globe, so the ILEA brand continues to evolve. Today, we have a new brand vision and story to tell our clients, colleagues, suppliers and partners. ILEA is changing. We are launching our new vision to become a community of creative event professionals. A community that values creativity as part of our culture and our spirit. A community that is looking to the future with confidence and anticipation, and looking back at our achievements with pride.