I hope you didn't miss The Special Event 2016 in Orlando, Fla. But if you did—or if you want to relive all the excitement—turn to page 8 and start enjoying the full story.
Once again—and for the 32nd straight year—The Special Event brought the finest combination of education, exhibits and showcasing events for event professionals to enjoy. Come along as we relive such highlights as the Opening General Session with personal-brand expert Sally Hogshead, more than 100 education sessions, an industry salute to superstar Sean De Freitas, and the Gala Awards, which honor outstanding event work from throughout the world.
We are also happy to bring you our annual forecast for the event rental industry. This exclusive report is prepared for us by Penton Research.
As I've said before, it's the rental pros who really know what's going on in our business. They know what's renting and what's still sitting in the warehouse. They know who's booking—and billing-business and who is renting—but not making the payments. How their business is going tells us a great deal about how the whole industry will fare this year.
And the outlook is good: A whopping 80 percent of respondents predict they will handle more events this year than they did in 2015. Some 19 percent expect to handle approximately the same workload this year as last, while only 2 percent expect to handle fewer events.
The majority of respondents expect an increase in revenue derived from both business/corporate (65 percent) and social/private events (68 percent). The typical respondent expects business/corporate event revenue to increase an average 11 percent, and social/private event revenue to increase an average 9 percent.
The greatest challenges facing rental operations in 2016 are labor shortage/lack of skilled labor (55 percent), shorter lead times (55 percent), and increasing costs in the face of pressure to hold down prices (53 percent), followed by constantly offering new inventory (47 percent) and increased competition (45 percent). Turn to page 23 to see the full story, along with 10 years of look-back data.
Our spring issue also brings you the latest in weddings—and this edition brings you some of the greatest in weddings. Gorgeous ballrooms and stately mansions are great wedding sites. But for some bridal couples, only something totally original will do. Here, we bring you five unexpected wedding settings and the wedding pros who made them work. Turn to page 14 for the full story.
And what's a wedding without great food and great floral? Fear not: We bring you great wedding food in "Food for Fetes" (page 18) and wedding floral in "Divine Décor" (page 20).
Good things come in Special Events packages!
Photo by Nadine Froger