Skip navigation
Special Events

The Special Event 2013 Launches with Education, Events

The Special Event 2013 kicked off yesterday with a keynote from Seth Mattison of Speak Inc. that helped attendees navigate the murky waters of generational differences in the workplace.

Produced by T. Skorman Productions of Orlando, Fla., the Opening General Session also saluted host city Chicago with a video mash-up of Chicago-based scenes from movies including the "Blues Brothers," "The Untouchables" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," along with a take-off of "Saturday Night Live's" "Bill Swerski's Superfans" starring T. Skorman's Paul Creighton, CSEP, customized to The Special Event.

The annual conference and trade show runs through Jan. 18 at McCormick Place.


Also at the Opening General Session, Special Events editor Lisa Hurley announced the winners of the Tabletop Gallery competition:

Tabletops Below $1,000 Each:
"Nature in Motion" by The Elegant Petal, St. Charles, Ill.

Tabletops $1,000 and Above Each:
"The Enchanted Forest" by McBride Events, Glen Allen, Va., and Mosaic, Richmond, Va.

For photos of all the Tabletop Gallery 2013 participants, click here.


The education program at the show offers tracks in professional development, design, foodservice, sales, event management, event tools and resources, and weddings. Yesterday's highlights included "Catering for the Luxury Market," "Do You Need a Destination Management Company for Your Meetings or Events?" and "Five Marketing Design Secrets Every Event Pro Should Know."

At the Opening Night Celebration, chaired by Gwendolyn Y. McNutt, CSEP, of Comcast and Jack Scafide of Cort Event Furnishings at the Bridgeport Art Center, guests were treated to a Prohibition era speakeasy theme, with casino tables, dancing and hip flasks as take-aways.

Entertainment included DJ's in the elevator, dance act Maggie Speaks and Dueling Pianos.

For a video of Dueling Pianos, see the the link below:


The show continues today with sessions including "Michael Cerbelli's The Hot List 2013," the Master's Program and Brunch, and the Wedding Galleries and Wedding Event.

For more information about education sessions, showcasing events and exhibits at The Special Event, click here.

Photos © Special Events


The Special Event 2013 Opens Today in Chicago

Protocol Expert Keynotes Academic Event Professional Conference Session

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.