HOW PERFECTLY APPROPRIATE: Lisa Perrin's first day at Special Events Magazine was a party. “The day I showed up for my job interview was Halloween,” she recalls. “I was interviewed by a devil, a clown and a ghoul.”
The devil was Special Events Magazine then-associate publisher, Carol McKibben, CSEP, and the clown and ghoul were the magazine's founders/publishers, Tim and Denise Novoselski, who were always quick to throw company parties. That day back in 1985 convinced Perrin to join Special Events as national sales manager.
The party has gone on now for 17 years. But as Perrin's responsibilities have changed, her respect and affection for the special event business have not.
In 1985, the Novoselskis' company — Miramar Publishing — was a hectic, happy, family business in Los Angeles publishing four trade magazines. Only three years old in 1985, Special Events had grown from a quarterly insert in the company's flagship publication, Rental Equipment Register, to a stand-alone magazine appearing six times a year.
“At the time, people in party rental, off-premise catering, hotel hospitality, decor, and so on didn't yet see themselves as members of one industry,” Perrin recalls. “Tim and Denise coined the term ‘special events.’ I fell in love with this little magazine with the huge potential.”
As the industry and the magazine grew, so did Perrin's responsibilities. She assumed the role of associate publisher in 1990 and publisher in 1991. The Novoselskis launched The Special Event in 1985, and Perrin took on responsibility for producing the trade show in 1993. In 1998, Miramar was bought out by New York-based media powerhouse Primedia, a $1.6 billion integrated media company. Perrin was promoted to the additional post of publisher of PROMO, a business-to-business trade magazine covering the promotions industry, three months ago.
Perrin is most proud of her work at Special Events. “From a supplement, we've grown to the No. 1 publication in our industry,” she says. “It's great when people tell me that they archive their issues of Special Events, and that we serve as a conduit for new relationships between event professionals.”
The best part of her job? “It's the people I've met,” Perrin says. “What a blessing it has been to work with wonderful, talented, creative people — some of whom are no longer with us — who have left legacies and moved our profession to the next level.”
PASSION FOR THE PEOPLE
“I'm sorry for people who don't have a passion. My job is my passion. I love the people in the special event industry; it's more than a business to me.”
“My experience with and responsibility for The Special Event helped me understand the special event industry as an event planner and producer. I had to produce an event on a budget, market it to suppliers and attendees, and so on. I really didn't walk in their shoes until The Special Event. To this day, I still keep a hand in it.”
FACE THE CHANGE
“I can guarantee that whatever the special event industry is today, it won't be the same tomorrow. But whatever challenges we face in the future, we have to remember that we have the ability to change in any environment that we experience.”