September 17, 2009 (Winship Ballroom)

Photos by Emory Photo-Video

Ninety members of the Emory Events Exchange gathered for the inaugural group session in Winship Ballroom on September 17, 2009.  As the rain poured down outside, those who braved the elements were greeted by the tropical sounds of Latitude Adjustment, an elaborate tasting display from Emory Catering, and flower exhibits by The Savage Garden.

Sixteen lucky members won $1,375 in door prizes from Emory Catering.  See below for a list of the winners.

Program Agenda

  1. Vendor showcase
  2. Welcome and Introductions (Michael Kloss)
  3. Entertainment Panel Session (Rosemary Magee, Scott Stewart, Jeff Kershner)
  4. Website and Venue Guide (Michael Kloss)
  5. Emory Catering Presentation (Joe Mitchell, Elaine Brophy)
  6. The Savage Garden Presentation (Danny Wilson)
  7. Event Accessibility Panel Session (Maria Town, Jessalyn Smiley)
  8. Networking

Program Highlights & Notes

Vendor Showcase

Emory Catering (Sodexo) Tasting Menu

Butternut Squash Soup with Fuji Apples & Ginger Cream Sampling

Dairy Free Chocolate Cake
Homemade Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Fruit Tarts

Butlered Hors d'oeuvres:
Shrimp cake with mango salsa
Sesame seared beef and snow pea skewer
Georgia Peach Pulled Pork BBQ on a toasted Sourdough Crostini
Grilled Eggplant & Fontina Cheese Panini


File: Events Exchange membership demographics [Download PDF]

Entertainment Panel Session

Scott Stewart on the number of musical students, and the many roles Emory musicians can play:

"[We have] 130 music majors...and in addition to the majors we have about 1,200 students...that are active in music things, whether it's a capella groups, university chorus, taking piano lessons, [or] being in a guitar ensemble. Of course we recommend that most of them get as much public performance experience as possible.  A lot of what we do is concert performance where we are center stage and featured.  No one should feel bad about asking us to be wallpaper,  to be background music.  We understand that music plays many roles in culture and one of them is to set a mood or to be a soundtrack under an event."

Audio File: Scott Stewart describing Emory's unique mix of musical students (Download MP3)

Jeff Kershner on hiring outside professional performers:

"A lot of outside performers are on the adjunct faculty of [universities]...even if you are going to bring in a professional group, many have a connection to Emory. You can also go through the [American Federation of Musicians] union. All of us who play with the various big groups in town have to be union members...they can direct you to the right kind of group."

Rosemary Magee on using art to set a mood:

"One way to use art in meetings is to set a mood.  Most of us live in a busy, busy time and so that moment to just sit, listen, and catch your breath is a real unusual pleasure. There's something about [surprising people with non-traditional entertainment] that causes people to look at their lives and look at the ways they interact on campus in a different way."

The Savage Garden Presentation

Audio File: Danny Wilson describing his background and what makes them unique (Download MP3)

Tips from Danny Wilson for saving money on event flowers:

Advance notice - When possible order at least 2 weeks before the event
Designer's choice
- Give florist a color palette and let them find the best value
- Larger quantities mean more buying power for your florist
Leased / Re-used items
- Negotiate leased containers and return flowers to your florist
  - Combine budgets for adjacent events for greater value

Emory Catering Presentation

Joe Mitchell on some of what makes Emory Catering part of Emory's community:

"We are very proud to be part of the Emory community.  We believe that we provide the Emory community something extra.  We are part of your community.  All of our employees are employed under the same rules and regulations as Emory employees.  We pay living wage [as well as medical benefits, and leave] to our staff.  We also give back.  For every event that we do on this campus there is money that is returned to the university."

Audio File: Joe Mitchell describing the expanded offerings of Emory Catering beyond basic meal events (Download MP3)

Accessibility Panel Session

Maria Town on talking to people about their needs:

"People don't really know how to address the topic of disability.  [They say] "Oh, I see you can't walk very well."  They don't know how to have the conversation. Most of the time it was appropriate for someone to ask "is there anything you need?" or "is there anything I can do for you?"...that is appropriate and people will respond to you."

Jessalyn Smiley on looking beyond wheelchair users when preparing for guests with mobility impairments:

"When you are preparing for an event, it is helpful if you think about mobility impairments beyond a person who uses a wheelchair.  We have people [on this campus] who are mobile but have some differences in their gait or ability to step up or step down, maybe unable to do the stairs, and it's not always going to be readily apparent that this is a concern for that particular person."

Audio File: Jessalyn Smith on guests with hearing impairments (Download MP3)

Disclaimer text for invitations/advertisements shown during session:

If special accommodations are needed because of a disability or a medical condition, please contact the Disability Services Office at 404.727.9877 (voice) or 404.712.2049 (TDD).

Door Prize Winners

$500 gift certificate:
Alice Tarkington

$100 gift certificates: Audrey Turner, Maria Tuck, Jane Lawson, Angie Duprey, Myra Willis 

$50 gift certificates: Jonathan Russell, Annie Mathis, Lauren McCrary, Linda Clarke, Lisa Smith  

$25 gift certificates: Lisa Tillman, Betsy Neal, Erica Caplan, Susan Marshall, Beverly Fowler   

Upcoming Meetings

  • To be announced

  • Vendor & Venue Partners
  • Bold American

    Emory Catering

    Classic Party Rentals

    Savage Garden

    Cookie Studio

    Steel Drum

    Carlos Museum

    Emory Conference Center Hotel

    Emory Photo Video

    Tony Brewer & Company

    Canterbury Press

    * The "Vendor and Venue Partners" are local company and venue representatives who have agreed to share their knowledge and expertise with members of the Emory Events Exchange. Status as an Events Exchange Partner does not indicate University preference, or guarantee vendor status with the University, with the exception of the full-service caterers who are—at the time of participation—members in good standing on Emory's approved caterers list
    . All campus entities are cautioned to follow all purchasing policies and procedureswhen selecting and contracting with a vendor.