The Special Event 2002 heated things up in Phoenix as nearly 3,600 special event professionals convened to attend seminars, visit exhibit booths and celebrate outstanding special events. Sponsored by Special Events Magazine and hosted by Primedia Business Exhibitions, both part of Primedia Business Magazines & Media, The Special Event 2002 took place Jan. 9-12 at the Phoenix Civic Center, Phoenix.
Attendance was softer than at last year’s Special Event, dipping about 20 percent, a predictable result of the Sept. 11 attacks. “As we expected, business leaders attending The Special Event 2002 brought fewer support staff members than in years past,” noted show manager Paul Stratton, CEM. “But top management did show up, a testament to The Special Event’s ongoing position as the industry’s No. 1 must-attend trade conference.”
Attendees from some 20 countries visited 448 booths of 252 exhibitors showcasing everything from decor to tabletop items to furniture to linens to special effects. A slate of more than 70 seminars in seven tracks--Business and Professional Development, Design, Foodservice, Event Management, Rental, Sales & Marketing, and ISES (International Special Event Society)—-provided a rich education experience for both novices and industry veterans.
Highlights of The Special Event 2002 included the Welcome Party on Jan. 9, featuring the World Classic Rockers; the Opening Night Party on Jan. 10, a sold-out celebration including an exhibition of artifacts from the Titanic; and the Gala Awards Ceremony on Jan. 12, a black-tie dinner honoring the year’s outstanding work in special events.
“Despite the challenges that 2001 brought to us all, The Special Event 2002 proved that special event professionals remain vibrant and ready to go on creating exciting new work,” said Lisa K. Vested, publisher of Special Events Magazine. “Because the special event industry is a bellwether, this is a good sign for all of us.”