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Recap of The Special Event 2009

Recap of The Special Event 2009


More than 8,700 special event professionals from throughout the world started the New Year off right by attending The Special Event trade show and conference, Jan. 26-30 in San Diego. This year saw the debut of innovative new programs, including the TSE Gives Back community-service project, as well as the return of long-time favorites. Relive the excitement starting right here …

The TSE Starts Here party gets its groove on at nightclub Stingaree.

Shiny beauties from Indulge Catering welcome guests to the bountiful buffets at hot spot Stingaree for the TSE Starts Here party, chaired by Gayle Feallock of Just Imagine.

Jan. 28 brings the exciting Opening General Session at the San Diego Convention Center.

Hands on Hundred manager Kari Strolberg and TSE events manager Kim Romano welcome attendees to The Special Event at the Opening General Session, chaired by MPG's Anthony Welsh.

Group show director Sharon Morabito accepts the Steve Kemble Leadership Award honoring her achievements.

Children from Fletcher Elementary School take the stage at the Opening General Session to thank the new TSE Gives Back program, which saw event industry volunteers refurbish parts of the campus.


Whether in a classroom, theater or rooftop restaurant, education is a vital aspect of The Special Event. The Masters' Program addresses issues facing veteran event professionals.

The show offers 100-plus sessions in eight different tracks; Tara Melingonis sreves as conference director.

Event strategist Liz Warwick, head of StrategyPlus, shares her experiences working on events for Coca-Cola, the White House and the International Olympic Organizing Committee at the Masters' Brunch. Chairs Denise Dornfeld, PRA Destination Management, and Patti Roscoe, Allied International/PRA Destination Management, choose the chic Ivy Hotel as the site.


With more than 360 companies displaying products and services, the sold-out show floor is the place for event professionals to find what they need — and have fun doing it.


AFR Event Furnishings (Attendee Lounge furniture/decor; show bag insert; Ice Cream Break)

Aggreko Event Services (show bag insert; Event Tools & Resources Track)

Atlantic Entertainment Group (show bag insert)

Benson's Tropical Sea Imports (e-mail blast)

Cort Event Furnishings (badge holder logo; Performance Stage; Attendee Lounge)

Grosh Scenic Rentals (badge holder insert)

Pink Inc. (Exhibit Hall decor)

Prismal Flowers (e-mail blast)

Unique Option Event Furniture & Decor (lanyards)


Amy's Orchids

Atomic Design Inc.

Bella Notte Solutions


H2F Comedy Productions

Schaefer Ventilation Equipment


What's black and white and beautiful all over? This year's Wedding Luncheon and Gallery, at the way-hip Hard Rock Hotel.

Tabletops at the Wedding Luncheon feature a dramatic range of treatments, all in black and white. Event chairs are Peggy Jewell, Jewell Entertainment, and Rachel Peniche, Plan It San Diego.

Models show chic bridal fashions from Mbride. Taking the cake: The wedding cake gallery shows cake as fashion, while a saucy slideshow by photographer Sara France with a cake-smashing couple plays in the background.

The design gallery displays lush wedding environments, ranging from Old World toeco-friendly.


The Welcome Event — co-sponsored by NACE — takes over club On Broadway. The next night, show-goers raise funds for colleagues in need at the SEARCH Cabaret.

Guests flash their surfer shaka signs with the longboard boys at the Welcome Event.

Nearly 30 caterers dish up goodies at the Welcome Event, chaired by Tracey Amernick, CPCE, Bahia Resort Hotel; Jeff Anderson, Party Pals; and Angie Kemp, CPCE, The Dana on Mission Bay.

Party with a purpose: It's entertainment, food and fun at the SEARCH Cabaret, which brings in more than $75,000 from generous guests.


From a summer in Kansas to the 18th century French court, the range of designs in this year's Tabletop Gallery competition draw raves from attendees.

“Viking Dreams” by AOM Events, Miami

“Glamour Affair” by Fresh Events Co., South Pasadena, Calif.

“Marie Antoinette” by Grand Soirees Event Design, Irvine, Calif.

“Elegant Tropical Rainforest” by Nesly's Floral Design & Events and Events by JEM, Los Angeles

“Pompadour 2010” by Robert Fountain Event Design, San Francisco

“Summer Solstice” by Artful Parties and Events, Salina, Kan.

“Sugar Wonderland” by Marayah's Creations, Fresno, Calif.

“The Beauty of the Ocean Breeze” by Chameleon Chair, Hawthorne, Calif., and Wildflower Linen, Anaheim Hills, Calif.

“Honor Our Troops” by Table Top Fashions, Gibbstown, N.J.

“Travel to European Romance” by Weddings from the Heart, Dayton, Ohio

The Special Events Advisory Board names “The Beauty of the Ocean Breeze” (Tabletops Under $1,000 Each) and “Pompadour 2010” (Tabletops $1,000 and Above Each) as the winners. Read more from all the designers in our next issue.


Superb events from throughout the world get their due at the Gala Awards, then it's time for everyone to celebrate the special world of special events.

Once in a lifetime: EventWorks' Janet Elkins exults in winning the Gala Award for Lifetime Achievement. MPG's Anthony Welsh chairs the Gala Awards.

Kristalleon entertains guests at the Gala Celebration dinner with an ethereal performance on water glasses. Entertainment ranges from opera singers to acrobats. Amy Berner of Pacific Event Productions and Nicole Matthews, CSEP, of the Henley Co. chair the Gala Celebration; both ceremony and dinner are held at the San Diego Convention Center.

The night ends with a packed dance floor.

Photos by Catch the Moment

The Special Event 2010 takes place Jan. 12-15 in New Orleans--see you there!


Saluting our TSE 2009 Sponsors

Cheers for the TSE 209 Committees

Recap of The Special Event 2008

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