In our last issue, we put the spotlight on 25 young event professionals worth watching. Those under age 31 on our list weren't even born when Special Events made its debut in 1982. Three years after the magazine came on the scene, The Special Event show followed.
Though to the newbies in our profession the magazine and the show have been around forever, it's important to remember that both were once brave, exciting and slightly crazy ideas from Tim and Denise Novoselski, our founders.
Special Events started as a little quarterly supplement just for party rental operators in a much bigger tool rental magazine. But Tim and Denise saw something more in this segment. They saw how the rental companies and caterers and decor experts weren't just a mishmash of vendors. Instead, they saw an emerging profession: special events.
When Special Events celebrated its 20th anniversary, in 2002, Tim shared his trepidation with me about the first Special Event, at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego.
"We had committed to all these rooms, we had all these hors d'oeuvre, and we weren't really sure who would come,” he said. “We stepped outside for a drink and I thought for a moment that I'd blown it, but we'd tried and we would have a hell of a party that night. Then, within 10 minutes, people started filing in, wave after wave of people. I thought, ‘My God, they came!’”
In the beginning, not everyone in our industry saw the future that Tim saw.
"I heard, ‘Tim, this will never work — there are too many different components. This industry is too darn small — you're just wasting your time,'" Tim told me back in 2002.
But they were wrong and Tim was right.
To this day, people in our business come up to me and thank me for Special Events. They tell me that when they started out, their parents and relatives and friends told them they were nuts—no one could make a living in special events. But Special Events magazine and The Special Event gave them validation that they'd make the right career decision in pursuing their passion. "Thank you," they tell me. "You guys got it!"
I say "thank you" back, but I deserve zero credit for the magazine and the show. All that credit goes to Tim and Denise.
Tim died last week at age 62, far too young and far too full of ideas and plans and plans for the future.
The Special Event 2014 will be here soon, and again, people will be thankful for a show and magazine and a website dedicated to this amazing profession.
For all this--thank you, Tim.