Chicago in January?
That's the question we heard from a lot of people when we announced that we would bring The Special Event to the Windy City—a first for us. We have traditionally gone to southern cities where balmy weather is a given in winter.
But it's good to try something new, and so we took the plunge. From the exhibits to the education sessions to the events, you can relive all the fun and excitement in our show wrap story, which starts on page 12.
Our partners in ISES are trying something new, too. The venerable ISES Eventworld conference has been reimagined and will launch as ISES Live this summer. Its mission will be to serve the global creative event professional. And the location will be something new, too—doesn't Nassau sound great? Turn to page 19 to learn more.
Of course, the weather was a gamble in Chicago, but the having outstanding event partners to work with was not. The depth and breadth of talent in the Midwest essentially guaranteed the success of our events.
The bad news, though, is that even the most experienced event professionals can't take their success for granted. The pressures of a changing marketplace bring new challenges daily.
This problem is particularly acute in the wedding segment, where it can seem that anyone who planned her own wedding and spends some time on Pinterest decides she can be a wedding planner.
In the face of this unrelenting competition, what can true wedding professionals do to hold the line on their own rates? We asked eight top pros what strategies they employ to demonstrate they are worth what they charge; turn to page 25 to read the whole story.
And while we're on weddings, check out the "Food for Fêtes" article in this issue. Bridal couples are tossing out the notion of a seated dinner and a menu focusing on one cuisine. Instead, they are calling on their caterers to mix and match dishes, and present food more in the style of a cocktail party. Flying plates, anyone? See more on page 34.
And we have another new venture to share with you: our newly redesigned website at specialevents.com. We've switched to an entirely new platform that gives you bigger, better images, a more sophisticated way to search our archives, and more timely news about our industry.
Along with our magazine, newsletter and the show, it's one more way we work to give you the information you need to be a more productive, successful event professional.
As always, if you have suggestions for me about what you want to see more of—or less!—please let me know at [email protected]. I'm always up for a new idea.