THE SPECIAL EVENT 2002, held in January, was the third I've had the pleasure of being part of since joining Special Events Magazine in 1999. And this year's conference and trade show have drawn the most raves yet.
Overall attendance took a dip from last year, although in light of Sept. 11, that didn't surprise anyone. And just like last year, the exhibit floor was full of exciting products and services, the days busy with a wide range of seminars and extravaganza luncheons, the nights packed with a series of stupendous events. (For a complete wrap on The Special Event, turn to page 28 in this issue.)
Just as soon as we got back to the office, the thank-you notes starting coming in. I've been thanked for events that I had no hand in staging. So what has brought the e-mails and letters of praise from so many who came?
I think it's that for four days in January, even special event pros — the magicians behind the curtain who create the excitement for everyone else — themselves had the opportunity to enjoy special events. After the jolt of 9/11, The Special Event 2002 gave us all a chance to stop holding our breath and celebrate the joys of great company, great food and great times — in other words, the joys of special events.
I don't know if we're entirely back to normal. I doubt it. I don't know what normal is anymore. But the sense that special events are a right and proper part of our lives — now more than ever — is palpable.
“I think there's an acknowledgement and acceptance that we can make our life better and richer by embracing celebration moments — [the] parties — of life itself,” award-winning film director Baz Luhrmann told the Los Angeles Times in January. “You accept that you're living with something dangerous, but you make the moments count.”
Thank you to everyone who joined in The Special Event — by attending, by exhibiting, by donating products and services. For thousands of people, you made every moment count.