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Day and Night Look Bright at The Special Event 2002

THE OPENING DAYS OF THE Special Event 2002, Jan. 9-12 in Phoenix, will feature an abundance of programs and events geared toward all facets of event planning and production. Among these are three special events that provide a showcase of industry talents and opportunities for learning and networking, both day and night.


When the New Orleans Chapter of NACE won the association's 2001 National Chapter Fund-raiser of the Year award for its production of The Special Event's 2001 Welcome Party, association president Jerry Edwards, CPCE, knew he'd have to pull out all stops as chair of this year's event.

With NACE as host and Edwards as organizer — along with co-chair Tracy Garrity of Los Angeles-based TBA Entertainment — the 2002 Welcome Party on Jan. 9 will include food stations operated by 24 different NACE chapters. Edwards says that stations will feature “everything from diner food of the '50s to nouvelle cuisine of the '70s and '80s.”

He advises show attendees to buy tickets early because the event is expected to sell out. Besides serving as a showcase for NACE, Edwards adds, this year's event “will definitely [offer] the largest amount of food you can put into your body at the show.”


This year's Leadership Lunch and CEO/Business Owner Forum is not designed to be “an extension of the general session, but something different, more intense, with more information,” says Pam Navarre, event chairperson and CEO/president of San Diego-based Quantum Productions. The Jan. 10 luncheon program will cover issues vital to business owners and provide them with resources for networking with fellow participants.

Navarre says she asked herself, “‘What would make me spend the money [on a ticket]? What information do I need as a company owner?’” Her answer: essential advice on how to run a “healthy organization” in today's changing economic climate. Patrick Lencioni, keynote speaker and founder/president of Emeryville, Calif.-based The Table Group, a management consulting firm specializing in organization development and executive coaching, will address this topic and many others.

This year's luncheon will take place at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, a site Navarre refers to as a “fabulous venue for technology.” Founded in 1929, the Heard exhibits Native American art and artifacts. Navarre says the event's production will include a combination of interesting light effects and Southwestern design. “Even though it's a historic site, the ceiling has great rigging points,” Navarre says. “You can do a lot in this space.”


Relying on the Arizona Science Center's “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit” for thematic inspiration, this year's Opening Night Party, “A Night to Remember,” will “deliver a ‘wow’ behind every corner,” promises event chair Kellie Mathas, CSEP, director of special events for USA Hosts in New Orleans.

Mathas calls the Phoenix venue and its new exhibit “a phenomenal treasure trove of history” and says the Jan. 10 event will add to that bounty with “fantastic lighting and special effects, one-of-a-kind costuming and nonstop entertainment.”

Crediting the work of co-chairs Dale Hahne, Scottsdale, Ariz.-based southwest regional manager of USA Hosts, and Kristin Sanchez, development director for the Arizona Science Center, Mathas says she and her team “want guests to have fun first and foremost.” She explains that the event will feature passed hors d'oeuvre, a buffet dinner and open bar. “The rest,” she says, “is a secret. You will just have to come and join the experience.”

For more information about The Special Event 2002, call 800/927-5007 or 203/358-3751 or visit

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