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The trade show floor at The Special Event 2000, Jan. 13-15 at the San Diego Convention Center, will be very revealing. That's because many of the more than 300 exhibiting companies tell Special Events Magazine that they are using the conference to reveal a new product or service.

Timothy Dunphy, sales manager at NTI Global in Schenectady, N.Y., says his company will unveil its World Wall, an interior tent wall that can be digitally printed with patterns to enhance a theme, such as an image of the ocean for a tropical-themed event. "Putting scenery around a tent makes it look larger and completes the theme," he says.

Printing on unusual surfaces is also the name of the game for Print On Can of Port Charlotte, Fla. Production manager Tony Rybarczyk will display custom screen-printed beverage cans. "The cans are a natural fit for this industry," he says, "because everybody uses beverages at events."

The company offers three soda flavors or water, and will take orders for as few as 480 cans, quite a contrast from the 50,000 minimum order required by bottlers, Rybarczyk says.

GLOWING AND GROWING The Special Event exhibitor and sponsor Kevin Bilida, owner of Talking Laser Co., based in Marina del Rey, Calif., has more than one new product to unveil. The special effects company will introduce laser video projection, which uses laser light to project video images. "It's brighter and has an infinite focus," he says. "It allows you to project 360 degrees, so you can project an image on a balloon and it will wrap around it. Regular projectors can't do that."

Bilida will also debut electric glow tape, which comes in eight colors. "Tape it on somewhere, then plug it in and it glows," he says. "You can use it to frame doorways for safety or to accent them."

Transformit of Gorham, Maine, will introduce a line of Organics structures, and not just on the exhibit floor. As a sponsor of The Special Event, Transformit will also display its Morning Glories structures in the registration hall and during the opening and closing general sessions, according to Marc Posnock, marketing director. The Morning Glories, made of Lycra fabric stretched over aluminum tubes, are designed to "bloom" with the help of moving pieces. "We're introducing the concept of an environment," Posnock says. Those who visit his booth will receive a T-shirt and a packet of flower seeds, he adds.

Chris Irish, vice president of JCD Concept 2000 in Turlock, Calif., says his company's new product was cre-ated out of necessity: "When we sold a job for an illuminated dance floor, we found out that one didn't exist in the United States." So JCD created one: a 30-by-30-foot dance floor that can be broken down to 4-by-8-foot panels and features white or multicolor lights in either a chasing pattern or pulsating to music.

MORE ON THE FLOOR Other products making their debut at The Special Event 2000 include a new line of 75 three-dimensional designs on flexible lenticular sheets (Apex Plastic Industries, Hauppauge, N.Y.); light-up balloons (Chemical Light, Vernon Hills, Ill.); air-filled figures that can display a message on top of a tent (Creatable Inflatables, El Monte, Calif.); a drop screen that resembles rice paper and can display a silk-screened or painted message (Dazian Fabrics, New York); battery-operated clip-on hearts (Glimmers Inc., San Mateo, Calif.); and event planning software that transforms two-dimensional setup diagrams into three-dimensional virtual reality representations (SCLM Software, Stewartstown, Pa.).

FLOOR PRIZES In addition to the opportunity to network with industry innovators through exhibits and mini-seminars, The Special Event show floor will give away prizes to attendees daily. Show director Paul Stratton says the giveaways will include free conference registration for The Special Event 2001 (Jan. 10-13 in New Orleans) as well as cash prizes.

For more information about The Special Event, which is sponsored by Special Events Magazine, call 800/288-8606 or 303/741-2901 or visit our Web site (www.

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