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Special Events
Lisa Hurley Photo by Nadine Froger Photography

Editor's Page: Made to Measure

Special Events editor Lisa Hurley on measuring an event's success

How do you measure a great special event?
This issue brings you the remarkable events of the nominees for the Special Events 2015 Gala Awards. The Galas honor excellent work in 35 categories, and this year we received entries from nine countries.
We could measure events in flowers. It took 110,000 blooms for The Precious Moment to create the wedding we feature on page 15. We could measure them in attendees. Uniplan hosted 16,000 guests at an incentive awards show staged in a man-made oasis in the desert (see page 27). We could measure them in hours. It took only three hours for Plan-It Parties to carpet an ice rink, transforming it into an elegant setting for a bar mitzvah (page 28).
You’ll find all 105 nominees described in our cover story, beginning on page 11. I hope you see something inspiring on every page, and I hope you join me on Jan. 8 at the Gala Awards Ceremony during The Special Event, where our nominees will be honored.
It is far easier to measure the economic outlook for the new year. Since 2000, the research team at Penton has surveyed our readers to develop a forecast for business and predict potential challenges and opportunities. 
It is heartening to see how your confidence in the future is bouncing back. The Great Recession started strangling our business in 2008, and the outlook for the new year in 2009 was dismal. 
How things have changed for 2015. Worries about the economy have dropped to the lowest level in 10 years. And a healthy 81 percent of event pros predict their event workload will be as good or better than 2014. Turn to page 35 for the full story.
This optimism isn’t endless, however. Our readers know they have to demonstrate the return on investment for their events, which is another way of saying they have to measure the event’s success. 
But in a world so dominated by soulless technology, events play an ever more crucial role. Only events break though the “digital noise,” as Broadstreet’s Mark Baltazar puts it on page 40, past our ears and straight to our hearts.
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