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ALL work and no play makes for dull event professionals. After all, what better way to learn about events than by attending some? The Special Event 2007 will light up Los Angeles with six powerhouse parties produced by some of the biggest stars in the event business. Attend these events, located in landmark locations around the city, and take away new insights and a few tricks of the trade to add to your repertoire.


On Tuesday, Jan. 9, guests can study emerging event trends at the California Science Center during the NACE-sponsored Welcome Event. Chaired by Jaimie Hastings of Churchill House VIP Events, Ryan Zynger of the California Science Center and Jessica St. Charles of the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, the evening will see guests tasting the trendiest tidbits from top L.A. caterers while exploring the 240,000-square-foot museum.

Get glammed up to enjoy sparkling decor, delicious food and a bottomless bar as The Special Event's festivities continue with the Opening Night Party on Wednesday, Jan. 10; attendees are encouraged to drape themselves in diamonds to support the theme of the event, titled “Diva Bling.” Transformed into a decadent event space under the guidance of event chair Charles Banfield of Charles Banfield Productions, the 96,000-square-foot Los Angeles Convention Center will be the site of the bash. Watch divine divas Eartha Kitt, Taylor Dayne, Shanice and Morganne take the stage for a special performance.


Get a sneak peek at the soon-to-be developments in weddings at the Wedding Luncheon on Wednesday, Jan. 10. With top-tier wedding planners, caterers, designers and florists sharing their secrets for dazzling weddings, attendees can take home ideas for their next event. Experienced in the wide world of weddings, Joann Roth-Oseary from Someone's in the Kitchen and Gus Galanis of Classic Party Rentals serve as the event chairs to create this sure-to-sell-out experience at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

Continue your experiential education at the Theme Lunch on Thursday, Jan. 11, which will embrace the essence of Hollywood with a “smoke and mirrors” theme. The lines between fantasy and reality will be blurred at the L.A. Convention Center's luncheon, concocted by David Merrell and Cindy Wiedenheft, both of An Original Occasion. Some tricks of the special event trade will be examined, ensuring an educational and entertaining experience.

But be sure to save your appetite for learning about events — at this year's Leadership Brunch on Friday, Jan. 12, author and event designer David Tutera will speak at The Ebell, a 75,000-square-foot club/theater. Dreamed up by Carol Saunder of Grand Events, the event — titled “Forecasting Your Business” — will feature Tutera sharing his story of success in the event industry. Having started his career at the age of 19, Tutera has been recognized by Life & Style Magazine as the “2005 Best Celebrity Planner.”


The decadent Gala Awards and Gala Awards Celebration is slated for Friday, Jan. 12. This year, the show will take place at the Shrine Auditorium, joining other venerable event productions such as the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards, which have been hosted there. Showcasing the best of the best in the event industry, the Gala Awards, produced by Andrea Michaels, Chris Clark and Evan Gray, all of Extraordinary Events, will feature concepts and presentations produced with international collaboration between teams from Brite Ideas, Go West, Imagination, Vok Dams and Experiential Events.

All guests will feel like Hollywood stars as they enjoy the awards and the dinner following in the adjoining hall. Guests are encouraged to dress elegantly and end the week of events by getting their groove on at the after-party with Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band and recording artist Benise.

For more information and a complete rundown of the event program at The Special Event 2007, call 708/486-0731 or 866/486-0731, or visit

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