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WITH THE SPECIAL EVENT 2004 heading to Party Central, USA, you can expect a conference that is flush with unforgettable events. From Jan. 6-9, Las Vegas venues will host a slate of celebrations that doesn't just set pulses pounding with excitement, but also offers the industry's best networking and learning opportunities.


Designed to get conference attendees in the party spirit while showing off some of the event industry's finest design and production talents, the Welcome Party and Opening Night Party are two of the conference's hottest tickets. With much to celebrate in 2004, the tradition continues.

Paying homage to the exuberance of 21st birthday celebrations everywhere, the NACE-sponsored Welcome Party, Jan. 6, gets to the heart of hearty partying. Bally's and Paris Las Vegas catering sales manager Frank Gregory, who co-chairs along with event site Thomas & Mack Center's Cheryl Sgovio, says the party's arena setting will set the tone for grand-scale revelry.

Calling the event “not just an opportunity to see how event partners can come together to create a world of imagination in any function space,” Gregory adds that free-flowing beer and wine plus spectacular entertainment surprises are part of the package. Factor in the fact that proceeds benefit NACE education initiatives, and you've got plenty of reasons to join the party.

On Jan. 7, the conference's Opening Night Party keeps the energy flowing with a “Dreamscape 2004” party sponsored by Pacheco, Calif.-based Plan-It Interactive. Event chair Michael Brown, CSEP, CMP, of Las Vegas' Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, tells attendees to expect the unexpected, including “many new decor and entertainment suppliers that have not been seen at The Special Event before.” Brown, who shares Opening Night planning duties with Las Vegas-based Imagine Enterprises International's Heidi Brumbush, CSEP, promises added enticements — among them a surprise celebrity appearance.


On par with evening parties, The Special Event's legendary luncheons bring together the best minds in the event business.

Kicking off the luncheon schedule in 2004 is the Jan. 7 Leadership Lunch, coming to The Steakhouse des Artists at Paris Las Vegas. Carrying the theme “All Business is Show Business,” the event, which is geared toward business owners and managers, will focus on enhancing communication and emotional experience in events. Event chair Chris Fava, catering manager for Bally's and Paris Las Vegas, says attendees can expect an inspiring presentation from best-selling author Scott McKain while enjoying an innovative French-Southeast Asian meal.

On Jan. 8, the “TSE On Tour LIVE” Theme Lunch promises a showcase of cutting-edge creativity. This highly interactive lunch-time event will invite guests to go behind the scenes of a major entertainment production at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas. There, they will get to meet music industry pros and sample rock-and-roll, country, jazz, blues and acoustic styles while learning what it takes to stage a knockout show.

On Jan. 9, Las Vegas' renowned Bellagio Hotel will welcome the perennially popular Wedding Lunch and with it the best of the wedding world's fashion, food and finery. Not only will the event inspire creativity, says MGM Mirage Events' Cheryl Fish, who serves as Wedding Lunch co-chair along with daughter and MGM Mirage colleague Hayley Sinderbrand, but it also will deliver on essential business issues. “The theme ‘Invest in Love’ will provide attendees with amazing new ideas and designs to use in their own businesses so their clients will ‘invest’ in higher wedding budgets,” Fish explains. Plus, she adds, speaker Carley Roney, co-founder of and frequent radio and television guest, “will provide exciting insight into how the Internet can increase your bottom line.”


Regular attendees of The Special Event know: No event is kept under tighter wraps than the annual Gala Awards and Celebration. About what's in store for 2004, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino's Todd Walton will say little. But the co-chair of the event — a role he shares with Kathy Power of Las Vegas-based Kaleidoscope Productions — does promise “something for everyone, from the planner who's doing an event with just tablecloths, to the planner who's doing the Olympics or World Cup.” One more thing, Walton cautions guests: All will not be as it first appears upon arrival. So what does that mean? “Let's just say the Gala will definitely give attendees something to look up to” — that's all he will reveal. Intrigued? We are. See you there!

For more information on these and all events at The Special Event 2004, call 800/927-5007 or 203/358-3751, or visit

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