Special event professionals eager to start the New Year off right will start with The Special Event 2010, Jan. 12-15 in New Orleans. As it has since its beginning 25 years ago, The Special Event offers an unparalleled blend of education sessions, informative exhibits and instructive showcasing events, all designed to enhance the skills of event professionals.
Show Ambassadors Kellie Mathas, CSEP, CMP, of USA Hosts New Orleans, and David Spear, CSEP, of AFX Pro of Mandeville, La., welcome attendees to New Orleans. “Come find your passion again,” Mathas says, “because there is no better place or special event show to help you find it!”
EDUCATION OPTIONS The jam-packed conference schedule will feature nearly 120 sessions in seven tracks: Business and Professional Development; Food Services and More; Event Management; Sales and Marketing; Design; Wedding Trends; and Event Tools and Resources. New this year are five single-day workshops, which offer in-depth, hands-on training with the industry's leading experts. Topics range from excellence in wedding planning to developing production skills.
Two special ISES sessions will offer insight into the value of professional associations and provide tips for taking the CSEP exam. The new CPCE Fast Track Training sessions, slated for Jan. 15, will aid candidates in preparing for the CPCE exam.
“We've developed this year's conference program to help attendees make a vital investment in their own growth and future success,” says conference manager Tara Melingonis. For help determining which education option is best for you, contact Melingonis at 203/358-3708 or [email protected].
SHOWCASE SOLUTIONS With their focus on experiential education, this year's showcasing events will provide even industry veterans with innovative, real-life solutions to the challenges they face daily in producing successful events.
Two longtime highlights — the Wedding Luncheon and the Gala Awards Ceremony and Celebration — will present a wealth of practical techniques to produce showstopping events on a sensible budget. Attendees will come away with inspiration for tabletop design, decor, menus and entertainment that they can put to work right away.
The Designer Wedding Gallery, Jan. 13, will feature the trendsetting work of four top wedding professionals — David Beahm, Frank Andonoplas, MBC, Janet Flowers and Sasha Souza — who will showcase their talents working with the basic elements paper, wood, glass and metal.
Back by popular demand, the TSE Gives Back event, Jan. 11, will give attendees the chance to share their skills with deserving members of the New Orleans community, still fighting to come back after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. And don't forget to attend the TSE Starts Here event, Jan. 12, the Opening General Session, Jan. 13, and the Welcome Event, co-sponsored by NACE, Jan. 13.
High-level event professionals will want to check into the Masters Program sessions. The Masters' Brunch — slated for Jan. 14 — will feature a distinguished panel of New Orleans' top event professionals: Ti Adelaide Martin of the Brennan Family Restaurants; Doug Thornton, senior vice president of SMG, which operates the Louisiana Superdome and the New Orleans Arena; Steve Rehage, creator and/or producer of events including the Essence Music Festival and Brad Pitt's Make It Right's Pink Project; and chef John Besh, whose many awards include the James Beard Award for Best Chef of the Southeast in 2006. The session will be moderated by J. Stephen Perry, president and CEO of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Our showcasing events offer the perfect mix,” says Kim Romano, head of showcasing events and sponsorships for The Special Event. “You will have a wonderful time, and at the same time pick up plenty of practical ideas for your event.” For more information on showcasing events sponsorships, contact Romano at 203/358-4257 or [email protected].
ENTICING EXHIBITS The show floor at The Special Event will give attendees the opportunity to meet face-to-face with some 300 potential vendor partners who can help them succeed. The exhibits will be open Jan. 13-15 with a unique display of products and services to keep events on the cutting edge. The Special Event will cele-brate its 25th anniversary with a special free reception on the show floor Jan. 14 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. — all attendees are welcome.
“Excitement about the show floor has been building steadily for the last nine months,” says exhibit sales manager Wanda McKnight. “Attendees will be blown away by the displays we have waiting for them.” For information on exhibiting, contact McKnight at 913/981-6143 or [email protected].
FAVORITES RETURN The Special Event 2010 will also bring back its popular Hands-on Hundred program, enabling volunteers to work side-by-side with event producers on the show's major events. For more information, contact HOH manager Kari Strolberg at [email protected] or 317/423-3590.
To register or for more information, visit thespecialeventshow.com or call 708/486-0731 or 866/486-0731 (toll-free)