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Special Events


EVERYTHING'S bigger in Texas, the saying goes, and The Special Event 2006 in Dallas is no exception. This year's “Art of the Event” themed show, scheduled for Jan. 10-13, will feature a full schedule of larger-than-life events held at venues ranging from a 17,500-square-foot nightclub to the Texas State Fairgrounds. Grab your cowboy boots and get ready to ride — The Special Event 2006 arrives in Dallas next month.


This year's Club Night event will take place on Jan. 9 at Blue, a chic 17,500-square-foot nightclub with a 3,000-square-foot dance floor, 16 bar stations and a rooftop skybar. Located just two blocks from show host hotel Adam's Mark, the club will be open exclusively for TSE attendees between 7 p.m. And 11 p.m.; The admission price includes a ticket for your first drink.

For the NACE-sponsored Welcome Event on Jan. 10, held at entertainment facility Gilley's Dallas, event chairs Paula Fenner of the Adolphus Hotel Dallas and Luana Stoutmeyer of Encore Productions Entertainment invite guests to don their best Western duds and saddle up for the “Urban Cowboy” themed event. The evening will highlight the best of Texan entertainment and cuisine, with such attractions as the Gilley's mechanical bull, armadillo racing and dancers performing the Texas two-step.

For the Opening Night Party at the Texas State Fairgrounds on Jan. 11, event committee members Debbie Meyers, CSEP, Bravo Productions Entertainment, Cindy Hartner, Wynnwood at the Dallas Museum of Art, and Bill Robertson, Outstanding Productions, will showcase Dallas culture with the “ArtRageous Dallas” themed event. The massive venue will feature interactive areas highlighting music, dance and art in concepts ranging from high-tech to sublime. Guests are invited to dress “artrageously” as they experience the sights, sounds and tastes of the host city.


On Jan. 11, the Opening General Session will welcome attendees to the “Art of the Event.” Event chairs Jim Monroe, CSEP, James C. Monroe & Associates, and Brian Acheson, CSEP, of VIP Events are creating an artful canvas for the session, which will be attended by the mayor of Dallas. Keynote speaker Mike Rayburn, a guitar virtuoso, author and speaker, will entertain the crowd with his unique presentation style.

This year's Theme Lunch, held Jan. 11 on the field of Gerald Ford Stadium at Southern Methodist University, will score with sports fans. Event chairs Christy Hill of Shag Carpet Productions and Leigh Stem, CSEP, of Ducky-Bob's Party & Tent Rentals have designed an event that pays tribute to the ultimate sports tradition of tailgating. The stadium will feature three different areas devoted to football, NASCAR and music, with appearances by the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders and iconic country music duo The Bellamy Brothers.

On Jan. 12, the popular Wedding Lunch, designed by the event team of Colleen Rickenbacher, CSEP, CMP, Joy Johnson-Floyd and Todd Richter of BBJ Linen, Shelly Shackelford of Arlington Hall at Lee Park, Todd Fiscus of Todd Event Design Creative Services, and Cindie Estes of Ducky-Bob's Party & Tent Rentals, will present “Unforgettable Traditions to Trends.” Held at Arlington Hall at Lee Park, a replica of General Robert E. Lee's home in Arlington, Va., the event will showcase a century of creative wedding design including a fashion show of wedding dress styles from the last 100 years, fantastic floral and tabletop ideas, and the High-Low Hall, which will offer decor ideas for both larger and smaller wedding budgets.

This year, the Leadership Lunch has been replaced by the Leadership Brunch, but the event still promises an information-packed networking and educational experience. The brunch, scheduled for Jan. 13, will take place at The Women's Museum — An Institute for the Future, which celebrates the accomplishments of female pioneers in fields ranging from medicine and law to literature and comedy. Chaired by Debbie Vaughan of Food Glorious Food and Sheri Pizitz, CSEP, CMP, of Events Unlimited, the informative event will explore the strategies behind good leadership and how they relate to the special event industry. Author and civic and legal leadership expert Sarah Weddington will give the keynote speech.


The grand finale of The Special Event, the Gala Awards and Celebration, is scheduled for Jan. 13 In the ballroom of the Adam's Mark Hotel. For this year's black-tie celebration, which features the theme “I Wanna Fly,” the award presentation will take place first, followed by cocktails and dinner. As always, most of the details of the evening's events are being kept under wraps, but committee chairs Terry Shields, CSEP, of Terry Shields Event Design and Carol Abram of Amazing Events have designed an uplifting evening of fantasy and illusion that includes performances by Montreal-based acrobatic troupe Cirque Fantastique.

For more information on these and all the events at The Special Event Show 2006, call 800/927-5007 or 203/358-3751, or visit

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