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By the Book Gala! The Special Event Planner for Professional and Volunteers, by industry veteran Patti Coons, CSEP, head of Patti Coons & Associates of Orlando, Fla., offers advice on events ranging from black-tie dinners, celebrity speeches and political barbecues to charity walkathons, school auctions and church bake sales. The guide includes information on how to plan and execute an entire event with a month-by-month event calendar and checklist, developing an effective team, winning media attention, finding sponsors, preparing invitations and programs, and more. The 120-page paperback retails for $12.95 and is available at bookstores or from the publisher, Capital Books, 703/661-1500.

Plaque Power Problems picking the perfect plaque? The plaque, trophy and gift item manufacturer and retailer Emblem & Badge of Providence, R.I., offers a new event and meeting awards planning service to help with selecting and ordering recognition materials, from plaques, medals and certificates to desk clocks, pen sets and custom pins. Call 800/875-5444 or visit the company's Web site (

Where's the Party? For help in finding a suitable location for your event, Special E Venues, a venue search firm based in East Brunswick, N.J., has data on more than 10,000 venues around the world, from airport hangars to zoos. The company says it will review your specifications, research appropriate venues, compile data from each venue into spreadsheet format, negotiate pricing on rental fees, and serve as an ongoing liaison with the venues on your behalf. Fees normally run $500 or 10 percent of the rental fee, whichever is higher; if the venue you pick pays a finder's fee, your fee will be reimbursed. Call 732/448-1930.

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