Special Events
TOP OF MINDS

TOP OF MINDS

As we're wrapping up this issue, our research department is wrapping up a survey of our February edition. The department sent hundreds of questionnaires to our readers asking what articles are useful and what topics we should invest more time on.

It's fascinating to read your replies, and a little maddening, too. For example, I'd love to know who said he or she likes to read this column because “it is fun to be in Lisa's mind for a few minutes.” But my research department keeps all the replies strictly anonymous, and I can't bribe them to tell me more. I've tried.

It isn't wise to spend too much time in my mind. (It's a strange mess of to-do lists, advertising jingles and plot fragments from “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”) But what is true for this reader is true for me, too. The best part of my job is spending time inside your minds. I get to listen to smart people talk about what they do for a living.

This issue brings you our recap of The Special Event 2007, which represents what the best minds in special events can do. Although it's impossible to include everything that went on at the show — the events, the exhibits, the education sessions — we hope our look back at this record-setting show gives you a glimpse.

This year's show proved to be inspiring for many attendees, some of whom even wrote to me to share their reactions.

Erika Lohmar, a producer with The Meetinghouse Companies of Elmhurst, Ill., was a first-time attendee. “The networking with industry leaders and colleagues, the classes led by creative pacesetters of our industry and the over-the-top special events create the ultimate experience that you hope to gain while attending a conference,” she writes. “If there is anything you can learn from each aspect of our industry at the show, it is that there is nothing too intricate and detailed or too over-the-top that can't be dreamt about and produced to create your visions.”

While the January event was Erika's first Special Event, Kathy Miller — head of Total Event Resources in Schaumburg, Ill. — is a repeat attendee. Yet she found this year's show to be an eye-opener, too, and not just during the days she spent with us in L.A.

At the show, Kathy and her team picked up four Gala Award trophies and a congratulatory bouquet of tulips, which her colleague Donna Collins insisted on carrying on the flight home. Another passenger asked about the tulips and the trophies. Kathy writes: “When she told him that we produced special events, the man whipped out his business card and said, ‘You are kidding me. We have just started to talk about needing a special event producer for some big events that we want to do — please call us.’ My advice is that you all have a Donna Collins in your life and realize that The Special Event holds many opportunities for you to grow your business and inspire you — you just have to be open!”

Good thoughts to keep in mind.

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