It's the last day of 2008--a year that many will be glad to see come to an end. But along with bad news--the economic free fall, the public backlash against supposedly "extravagant" corporate events (notably involving AIG)--the year also brought exciting developments, including events tied to the U.S. presidential election and the greening of the event industry.
The biggest story by far was the economy's meltdown and the toll it took on corporate holiday parties. In early November, nearly 50 percent of respondents to an online poll from Special Events said their holiday party business will be off by more than 40 percent this year compared with 2007. "This article seemed to be emblematic of how the sour economy was already changing how business is conducted," says Special Events editor Lisa Hurley. The story caught the attention of the media world; Hurley was called for quotes by the Associated Press, Entrepreneur.com and Dow Jones MarketWatch.
BEWARE THE BANDIT BRIDE
One popular article saved some event professionals from being duped by thieves posing as "brides." The thieves send the planner a cashier's check. The check represents an overpayment, and the planner is instructed to deposit the check and wire the excess funds to the "band." But the cashier's check turns out to be a fraud, and the planner is out the money forwarded to the fake "band" as well as any other bills paid on the worthless check. Several wedding planners have contacted Special Events to say that they were wary of such e-mails after reading the article.
To see the top Special Events stories of the year, click here.
Photo by iStockphoto.com; art direction by Adrienne Grace