Special Events
The Special Event 2005 to heat up Miami

The Special Event 2005 to heat up Miami

Next month, The Special Event 2005 is set to land on the shores of steamy Miami, bringing with it a showcase of spectacular activities that will highlight the local event scene. From Jan. 5-8, attendees will experience some of the most exciting events around, from lavish luncheons to the hippest nightlife. Whether it's the coolest drinks and food to Miami's hottest trends, these sizzling events are sure to turn up the heat.

LOVE THE NIGHT LIFE

Ready to get the party started? On Jan. 4, early-bird attendees can experience South Beach's famed club scene at hotter-than-hot nightclub Mansion. At this top late-night destination for celebrities such as multi-hyphenates Paris Hilton, P.Diddy and Beyonce, guests can check out the vibe and dance the night away to the sounds of some world-renowned DJs, with exclusive access to the club from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The NACE-sponsored Welcome Event on Jan. 5 will be a feast for the senses, not to mention the stomach, showcasing the latest and greatest in creative cuisine. Event chairs Tracy Black and Lori Patterson of A Memorable Affair and Tiffany Fritz of Temptations by Kathy invite guests to "come see and be seen" as they walk the runway at ultra-exclusive Nikki Beach, the indoor/outdoor venue for the night's festivities. Some of the region's premier chefs will be on hand for a cutting-edge culinary experience that will include the latest trends in food & beverage, as well as dazzling decor from some of the industry's best-known event designers.

All the world's a stage for the Opening Night Party, held at the Coconut Grove Expo Center on Jan 6. This year's theme is "Celebrate Life," and event chairs Sean DeFreitas of Designs by Sean and Steve Hand of The Hand Co. promise that the night's festivities will help guests do just that. The evening's exciting events will bring together multinational influences from around the globe-perfect for celebrating the cultural melting pot that is Miami.

LUNCH DATES

The nights may be action-packed, and rest assured that the days will be, too.

The Leadership Lunch hits the water on Jan. 6, as guests take to the seas aboard the Carrousel, a 135-foot yacht. Led by event chairs Mona Meretsky, CSEP, of COMCOR Event & Meeting Production and Joy Wallace of A Joy Wallace Catering Production & Design Team, the luncheon promises the opportunity for guests to participate in roundtable discussions covering topics including specific strategies for staying ahead of the pack and how to achieve leadership status in the industry. The sessions will be facilitated by 15 event pros from all disciplines of the special event industry.

On Jan.7, the always-popular Wedding Lunch, sponsored by the Association of Bridal Consultants, will take place at the Deauville Beach Resort, one of the Rat Pack's favorite Miami haunts. Chaired by Sasha Souza of Sasha Souza Events and Flaxx Floral Design's Leah Lowery, AIFD, this entertaining and educational lunchtime affair with the theme "Seasons of Love: Exotic, Stylish, Unique and Hip," will showcase the latest bridal trends, from flowers and invitations to dresses and cakes. Keynote speaker Maria McBride-Mellinger, editor of the Wedding Style section for Bride's Magazine and author of five bridal books, will share her secrets of wonderful weddings, including hot new ways to add those all-important personalized elements. Everything Miami will be on display at the "White Hott" Theme Lunch at Bicentennial Park on Jan. 8. Chairs Ira Mitchell-Steiman and Cocoon Home and Garden's David Halsey will show attendees how to carry a theme through from start to finish, exploring the essence of South Beach style and exposing guests to the colors, fashions and flavors that make south Florida a hotbed of chic creativity.

GRAND FINALE

This year's Gala Awards and Celebration sports the theme "An Affair to Remember...," and with the ballroom of the Fontainebleau Hilton Hotel transformed into a stylish speakeasy straight out of the 1920s, it's sure to be just the ticket. "We're encouraging people to dress up in period attire and really get into it," says Stacy Stern, CSEP, of The Special Events Group, who shares co-chair duties with Bruce Sutka of Sutka Productions International. The progressive event will bring back the pre-dinner cocktail hour, and while she's mum on all of the other details, Stern does let slip that following the awards ceremony and dinner, guests will groove to the hot jazz of Latin Grammy award-winner Nestor Torres.

Feeling the heat yet? You will be. See you in Miami! For more information on these and all the events at The Special Event Show 2005, call 800/927-5007 or 203/358-3751, or visit www.thespecialeventshow.com.

MAKE THE SCENE

Special Events Magazine spoke to some south Florida event professionals-all of whom will contribute their time, products and skills at The Special Event-to get the scoop on what makes the Miami event scene sizzle.

"Nuevo Latino is the rage in any shape or form-ceviche bars, salsa bars, Mojitos, Caipirinhas, Guayabera shirts, cigar rollers, churassco steaks, and anything made from plantains can bring Latin flavor to any event." - Judith Williams, Catered Creations

"[We] like to use our South Beach setting for theme inspiration. We are currently working on a 'Miami Vice' themed event, and decorated the room with pink flamingos for Paris Hilton's MTV Movie Awards party." - Jimmy Vargas, The Opium Group

"Signature drinks and food items are big with both corporate and social clients. We are seeing many clients wanting authentic ethnic cuisine. Instead of a 'Latin' menu, we are creating ethnic stations and dishes from specific cultures, such as Peruvian, Chilean, Mexican, Cuban and Argentinean." - John McPhee, A Joy Wallace Catering Production & Design Team

"In Miami, 'tropical' and 'chic' themes are most popular. Trends that are common include ice shots and the 'Delano [Hotel] look'-everything white on white, with lots of white fabrics." - Jamie Oristano, Galaxy Productions

"Our clients are looking for chic designs that make a statement while creating a festive mood. Simple art deco lines are always popular, [and] many events include a comfortable lounge area." - Meg R. Holderman, So Cool Events

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