I know we look much too young, but yes, Special Events turns 30 this year, and we couldn't be more proud to share this good news.
Special Events got its start in September 1982 as a little quarterly insert in our sister publication Rental Equipment Register, which serves the equipment and tool rental industry. Our readers were entirely in party rental, and our tagline was “For people who really know how to throw a party.”
I wasn't with Special Events then and take zero credit for coming up with the concept. But I can't tell you how many people have come up to me over the years and said, “Thank you. Special Events got what I was doing — even when nobody else did.”
The world of special events was just starting to blossom 30 years ago. Some who launched their careers back then knew that it was — and still is — the only career for them.
The company Master of Ceremonies of Louisville, Ky., turned 30 last year. But founder Linda Surbeck, CSEP, started event work before that, producing social events while still a homemaker. For one charity ball, she worked in her basement to build 25-foot-tall trees out of papier-mâché. She explains, “Thirty years ago, if you wanted props, most often you had to make them!”
Ann Crane celebrated 40 years with Meyerhof's Fine Catering of Irvine, Calif., last year. She joined the company in 1981 after working in restaurants and then bought the business in 1996.
“Restaurants I liked, but didn't love — same-same every day,” Crane says. In contrast, “Every event is different. Every client is different. It's about setting a different stage every event.”
Events are hard work — very hard work — but remarkably satisfying.
“I have never been bored or burned-out in the special event business,” Surbeck says. “Every event brings new challenges and rewards.”
Event professionals help people celebrate life's milestones and so become a part of their lives.
Crane recently catered a dinner at which a client from 20 years ago was a guest. “He came into the kitchen to give me a hug and catch up,” she relates. “Talk about how many people we touch over the years!”
Thank you, Special Events subscribers, for touching my heart year after year.