At the SEARCH Foundation Cabaret at the Special Event show in New Orleans on January 14, 2010, the goal this year as every year is to raise money to help event professionals in need. This year we took it to a new level.

I, Valerie Bihet, Vibe director of the Vibe agency, who was in attendance had an idea to raise more than ever before. It happened like this:

The day before the Cabaret I was in one of the conference sessions called “New Event Trends Inspired by Hollywood and Pop Culture.” The class was taught by ” Hillary Harris, Director, special events at Warner Bros Studios.  Talk about inspirational! Her class brought up so many emotions of the good times and success stories I had experienced during my 3 years at Disneyland Paris and Club Med. Lately, there has been so much cut back and loss in our industry. But we were meant to change that.

Fast forward to the following evening. We are all at the SEARCH Foundation Cabaret and I was looking to donate money through the silent auction items, which were wonderful, it dawned on me. I  saw Hillary across the room. I ran over to her and before I knew it, I was in action. She didn’t even know my name. It happened so fast.

I made an “indecent proposal” to her: I told her that if I donated $2,000 to SEARCH Foundation, would she let me spend three days working with her and her team on their next project in Los Angeles at Warner Bros.

Guess what? She loved it! And she didn’t even know who I was before.

It didn’t stop there -before we knew it, more indecent proposals came. I grabbed Sasha Souza, Sasha Souza Events. I asked her she wanted to be the next Demi Moore tonight. She said, “Yes,” so I promised her that I would find a  Robert Redford for her.

I took the mic and hit the stage and what happen next was magical. I asked if anyone would like to be Sasha ‘s Robert Redford. Within seconds we had 2 Robert Redfords and $ 4,000 more – for a total of $6,000 in no time!

SEARCH raised a total of $112,000 that evening, beating last year’s total of $75,000.

This is a great way to get to know people in the event industry that you look up to, want to meet, and want to learn from – hands on.

The indecent proposal doesn’t have to stop here – If you would like to participate and keep the energy going please let me know – You can respond to my blog or contact me through Facebook at the VIBE agency. Together we will make the event industry stronger than ever.


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