I REMEMBER VIVIDLY the first moment that I realized how popular Special Events Magazine is with our subscribers.
I was standing in our booth at the National Restaurant Show in 1999. Copies of our May issue were fanned out before me — the first issue I had produced as editor. I was so proud of the articles I had labored over, so excited about the events and event professionals I had documented on our pages.
But before anyone who walked by our booth had read a single word I'd written, they were quick to grab my hand and say, “Oh, Special Events — I just love your magazine!” I felt secretly guilty receiving so much praise when I had just arrived at the party.
That's when it hit me that being editor of a respected magazine such as Special Events is a little like winning at Wimbledon and being handed the trophy. The prize is not your property; instead, you have custody of it for a while. And it is your responsibility to hold it high and keep up the standards of all the talented people who pre-ceded you.
On behalf of everyone at Special Events Magazine, I couldn't be more proud to present this special issue celebrating our 20th anniversary. We have had the very great pleasure of speaking with scores of longtime readers to see how their event careers have progressed and how Special Events Magazine has helped in two very important ways.
The first is inspiration. As caterer Cathee Hickok tells us, “I always enjoy stretching beyond my bit of the field to see what other areas are doing — maybe in picnics or tents or chocolate — since many little things can touch bigger things.” Event producer Cindy Symans-Hassel agrees: “Short of driving location to location on a Saturday night, it's hard to see what other people are doing. Special Events Magazine is a window onto great ideas across the country.”
Along with inspiration, Special Events provides validation. “Special Events Magazine brought together a new industry and made it become professional,” says veteran event producer/designer Cheryl Fish. “Special Events Magazine has been instrumental in helping establish the industry as a legitimate career path with ethical standards and measurable quality standards,” says entertainment producer Paul Creighton, CSEP.
I hope you enjoy reading this special 20th anniversary issue as much as we did creating it. And thank you all for giving me the delightful privilege of covering this very special profession — special events.