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Education Roster Set for The Special Event 2009

Education Roster Set for The Special Event 2009

The Special Event 2009, taking place Jan. 27-30 at the San Diego Convention Center, offers educational opportunities that will enhance the careers of industry newbies and veterans alike. Attendees will have the chance to participate in more than 100 sessions in eight different event tracks, learning from seasoned event specialists who are at the top of their game. Participants can network with fellow professionals while expanding their skills in these areas: Business and Professional Development, Food Services, Event Management, Sales and Marketing, Design, Wedding Trends, Event Tools and Resources, and ISES.

As an added bonus, the third annual Academic Event Planner Conference will take place on Monday, Jan. 26, at the University of California, San Diego, immediately before The Special Event. The conference allows both experienced college and university event planners and newcomers to mix, mingle and learn from one another.

New this year is The Special Event's Masters' Program, which takes place Thursday, Jan. 29, at San Diego's exclusive Ivy Hotel, located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. Specifically designed for industry leaders with 10-plus years of experience, the program will focus on timely issues such as event planning during a recession and employee retention. “In light of the current economic situation, we felt the need to address the hardships that planners may be dealing with on a daily basis,” says Tara Melingonis, conference manager for The Special Event. “This special series is 100 percent content-driven and was created with industry masters in mind.”


On Tuesday, Jan. 27, the Business and Professional Development Track will offer the “International Attendees Orientation” to welcome The Special Event's overseas guests. International show veterans will be on hand to teach first-timers how to get the most out of the conference.

“The Art of Relationship Building: Tricks of the Trade,” led by Audrey Gordon of Audrey Gordon Parties, Carol Nader of Texas A&M University's Office of Public Affairs, Dianne Devitt of the DND Group and Ken Kristofferson, CSEP, of Experiential Events, will teach attendees the importance of building networks and long-lasting relationships with industry colleagues.


Hungry for new event menu ideas? Joann Roth-Oseary of Someone's in the Kitchen will serve up good ones in the “Three Weddings and a Bar Mitzvah” session.

“The Boring Stuff That Can Make or Break Your Business” session will show catering and event pros how to survive and thrive in today's tough economy; topics will include incorporation, contracts, intellectual property and insurance matters, as well as legal issues involving labor and employment.


In the Event Management track, Philip Richardson of Current Affairs will show attendees how to plan large-scale events effectively in the “How to Eat an Elephant” session.

International industry leader Colja Dams of Vok Dams Group will enlighten attendees on global trends during the “Trends in Events 2009: The Hottest Consumer Trends from Europe, the Middle East and Asia” session.

A panel of entertainment production experts from the International Association of Corporate Entertainment Producers will share their insights and best practices in “Maximizing Your Investment in Entertainment for Meetings and Events,” led by Rick Stowe of East Coast Entertainment.


The Sales and Marketing track will offer a ton of tips on how to connect a brand with a target audience and deliver a strong message. In “In the Event of Success, the Product is the Star!” John Thorne and Christy Steele of Automotive Events will demonstrate how to enhance brands by using events as marketing and communications tools.

Tami Forero of Forte Events will share ideas on how to create multiple event income streams in the “How to Make Money Regardless of the Economy” session.


Tap into your creative side with The Special Event's design track. Sasha Souza and Mellysa Levy of Sasha Souza Events will share their vast knowledge of color trends in “Colour Couture Part Deux: Fashioning Today's Colours into the Perfect Party Palette” session.

The “Ignite Creativity Workshop,” led by David Fischette of Go West Events and See page 19 Multimedia, will encourage event pros to brainstorm their way to innovative ideas.

Joanne Hulme and Jonathan Cutler of Joanne Hulme's Creativity will team up to teach attendees the importance of fabrics in “The Art of Fabrication.”


Learn how to keep your cool when Bridezilla attacks during the “Masters of Disasters — Wedding Emergencies Solved” session with Frank Andonoplas, MBC, of Frank Design, Jane Skarosi of the Bridal Mansion of Lisle and Wedding Trends by Ja, and Teddy Lenderman, the director of special events at Indiana State University.

Vaishali Sawant of Mystique Entertainment and Ruchir Mewawala of Rose Events will share their knowledge of traditionally elaborate Indian weddings in “My Big Fat Indian Wedding.”


The Event Tools and Resources track will offer invaluable planning advice, highlighting the latest in products and technology. Clayton Frech of Classic Party Rentals will show attendees how to go green with the newest environmentally friendly product solutions in “How to Green Your Event — the Rentals Perspective.”

New to the audiovisual world and want to learn how the most up-to-date equipment can add excitement to your next event? Then enroll in the “Audiovisual Basics” session with Michael Granek, head of the department of event planning at the Art Institute of Vancouver in British Columbia, and learn all about projectors, screens, speakers, microphones and more.


Elevate your professionalism by learning about Certified Special Events Professional certification through the ISES Track. Find out CSEP exam basics in “Introduction to the CSEP”; the “CSEP Grader Training” session teaches current CSEPs how to grade new candidate exams as part of the recertification process.

For more information and a complete rundown of the education program at The Special Event 2009, call 708/486-0731 or 866/486-0731, or visit

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