IN this issue, we're proud to present our fourth annual edition of the “50 Top Event Planning Companies” list, the industry's only analysis of the major event production powerhouses.
As we were compiling the information for this year's edition, we heard misgivings from some of our respondents. Last year was a busy one for special event professionals, with a wealth of events tied to the Summer Olympic Games and the U.S. presidential elections.
Some companies we spoke with were concerned that their revenue forecasts for 2005 — a year without some of the blockbuster business opportunities of 2004 — would look paltry compared with last year's haul. And that rather than recognizing that different years bring different opportunities, readers of our “50 Top” profiles might conclude instead that the affected companies were just plain doing poorly.
But I disagree.
If the corporate scandals that have made headlines in the U.S. (WorldCom, Enron et al.) have taught us anything, it's that it is vital for companies to resist as hard as they can the relentless pressure of the financial community and, yes, the media to forecast bigger and better revenue figures every single year.
I know this is a lot easier to say than to do. Forecasting better business year upon year seems to make everyone happy — your shareholders, your employees, the world watching you and what you do. Telling bad news — telling the truth — can bring on scrutiny and second-guessing about your practices and your talents that is tough to bear.
But the quick fix of forecasting only good news is just that. It can't last.
As it turns out, our “50 Top” respondents have a good-news story to tell this year. Even without the big event opportunities of last year, they are predicting nearly a 5 percent increase in both the number of events and event revenue this year. For the full story, turn to page 31.
On a final note, by now you've probably noticed our stylish new look. We have art director Cheryl Prats to thank for that. Cheryl, who has a strong background in graphic design for consumer magazines and advertising, joined our staff late last year, and began putting her stamp on our design this summer. In a business that depends on good looks as much as the special event business does, it's only right that Special Events Magazine keeps pace.
I'm lucky to work with a great team of professionals at Special Events.