Chicago-based executive director of the International Special Events Society, Kevin Hacke, says closure of the Sydney and Melbourne chapters does not mean Australian event planners have been forgotten, with the option of continuing their membership as an “At Large” member.

Mr Hacke told micenet this has been an option for many years to individuals who are not located in a current ISES chapter city or region.

“As ISES is a worldwide network of event professionals, there are many individuals who choose this option to connect with their global ISES colleagues,” Mr Hacke said.

“We look forward to continuing our individual relationships with Australian event professionals in this way.”

Mr Hacke said the decision to close the chapters was not made lightly.

“ISES would like to personally thank every Australian leader who contributed their time, energy and talents over many years to further the shared interests of event professionals around the world.

“Lifelong friendships were forged and will continue, and the Australian events community will continue to have representation at the global industry table.  We all see a vibrant industry and one that continues to evolve and specialize.

“There will always be a need for professional collaboration, and that is the premise upon which ISES was founded 28 years ago.”

Those interested in learning more about ISES should visit www.ises.com.

In the wake of the ISES Sydney and Melbourne chapter closures, Meetings & Events Australia is offering former ISES members six months free MEA membership.

MEA CEO Linda Gaunt said following discussions with ISES members, MEA was planning to run special interest groups for event professionals.

For further details contact Natalie Deryahina at MEA via email – nderyahina@mea.org.au.