So many businesses seem to slow down in the summer months, but not special events, and the proof is in this issue. Every August we put a special focus on corporate events, and our corporate readers have given us plenty to cover.
The thought that you can create a wonderful party that no one attends is a nightmare that haunts many a corporate planner. But what if the exact opposite happens? Zed Ink, at work on the celebrity-studded bash for the smash video game Halo 3, found out. The event team watched as 200 cars — more than they expected to show up the whole evening — arrived in the first 45 minutes. But the event pros stayed in the driver's seat — literally. Find out how they did it by turning to page 17.
Gamers are far more enthusiastic party guests than jaded members of the media. Staff writer Alexandra Gudmundsson looks at three great press events that created exciting event environments while putting the product center stage. Turn to page 36 to learn more.
The inspiration for our cover story came from a conversation during cocktail hour at The Special Event, held in Los Angeles in January. We kept hearing about the incredible Mercedes-Benz booth at the Detroit auto show, held just days earlier, which featured an ice rink to dramatize the superb handling of its cars. When an exhibit is exciting enough to get our attendees talking, I have to find out more. I learned the insider insights on ice rinks from DaimlerChrysler's expert exhibitions team, along with what goes into an exhibit manager's survival kit and how to sell to realtors. See page 30 for the full story.
It isn't just my gut feeling that this summer has been a busy one for corporate events. The data from our latest edition of the Special Events Magazine Corporate Event Marketplace study is proof. Twenty-nine percent of respondents tell us they will stage more events this year than last, the strongest showing in six years. Turn to page 23 for all the data.
But summer just wouldn't be summer without the fun of festivals. I am bombarded daily by PR people telling me how important it is to take the next step in technology and get another aspect of our lives online, wired and Webcast. How nice it was to read our “Food, Fun, Festival!” article by assistant editor Christine Landry and find there still are events where you can admire a masterpiece of “tomato art,” eat a bourbon-based breakfast and hear the gorgeous contenders for festival queen sing their odes to garlic. Turn to page 26 for more, and enjoy your summer — if you have a spare moment!