Everyone at Special Events Magazine is delighted to bring you profiles of the 2000 Gala Award nominees.
This outstanding work, beginning on page 41, reveals the sophistication, creativity and passion of the special event industry. And bear in mind as you review page after page of remarkable events: Our judges had to narrow the field from the hundreds of excellent entries we received. You can be certain we will cover many of these entries in future issues.
In sharp counterpoint to the Gala nominee cover story is our Forecast 2001, starting on page 36. Here, the focus isn't on beautiful decor and elegant food but business cycles and marketing strategies. It's a mark of the growing maturity of the event industry that both articles have meaning for event professionals.
Sad but true, you can no longer assume that simply creating excellent work will draw a steady stream of clients. Not only is competition beginning to intensify with new people jumping into the business, but the pros already here are broadening their range of services. Caterers add "event planning" to their business cards; specialists in social affairs try their hand at corporate galas.
Technology can be both a godsend and a headache. The Internet might bring more customers to your door, but it also brings new competitors onto your turf. Digital imaging and e-mail mean you can respond to clients faster than ever but these tools also have seduced clients into thinking they can narrow the time frame for producing events.
You might not own a single share of stock, but the gyrations of the market affect your business. Corporations merge, marketing strategies change, and a loyal client might call less often.
To grow your business, it's becoming more and more important to evaluate your role in the business world. Where is the work drying up; where will it come from next?
This shift in thinking represents an exciting breakthrough. Special events are becoming established in the business world. Your passion has become a profession.