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At The Special Event 2007, taking place Jan. 9-12 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, you can participate in an extensive education program offering more than 95 sessions in eight professional tracks: Business and Professional Development; Food Services and More; Design; Event Tools and Resources; Wedding Trends; Event Management; Sales and Marketing; and CSEP Certification. Event specialists — well versed in topics ranging from wedding favors to corporate procurement — will lead the educational seminars, lectures and roundtables.

In a first this year, the inaugural Academic Event Planner Conference will take place on Monday, Jan. 8, directly preceding The Special Event. This scheduling allows academic event planners and event industry leaders to mingle and learn from each other, developing their professional event skills.


The Business and Professional Development Track will offer a new “International Attendees Orientation” to welcome The Special Event's overseas contingent. Newcomers will learn the ins and outs of The Special Event — from the tradeshow floor to the networking opportunities — with Sally Webb of The Special Event Co. and Romanie Pereira of International Corporate Events, both longtime international attendees at The Special Event.

For party pros, “Procurement, Purchasing and Production 2: Where Does Creativity Fit?” will focus on making sense of procurement and purchasing departments. In the course of the session, expert event planners David Fischette of Go West Events & Multimedia, Andrea Michaels of Extraordinary Events, Janet Elkins of Eventworks and Melinda Messing of WellPoint will touch on topics such as gaining credibility with a Dun and Bradstreet report and preserving your creativity while dealing with procurement departments.


See twists on tradition at the “First Impressions Are Everything” session from the revamped Food Services and More Track. Explore the necessary teamwork between an event's culinary and sales staff with Terry Shields of Terry Shields Event Design and Doug Brown from Beyond the Box Restaurant and Muse Restaurant Catering. In addition to learning how to boost the perceived value of an event, attendees will get a glimpse of the newest food and presentation pairings.

Searching for longevity in the business? At the “In Business for the Long Haul … and Thriving” session with Katherine Hilboldt Farrell of Katherine's Catering, discover how to survive in the competitive market by highlighting your company's most unique qualities through sales and marketing. You'll learn how to stay in demand, find the best employees and stand up to new competitors by differentiating your services from others.


In the Design Track, big names converge again for the “Giants of Design” session. Attendees will learn how Gala Award-winning event designers John Daly of John Daly International, Cindy Weidenheft of An Original Occasion and Tim Lundy, CSEP, of Rosewood Catering consistently produce enchanting events. Also, watch their skills being put to use in a live-action scenario. Your questions will be answered in a lively talk show-style format hosted by Chris Clark of Extraordinary Events.

Fischette also will present ways to dazzle clients with powerful presentations in “Maximizing Multi-media.” See how multimedia can be used for exciting presentations, decor and entertainment. Creative alternatives to using PowerPoint will be discussed as well.


Last year's rental track has undergone a face-lift and is now the Event Tools and Resources Track. In the interactive session “Getting Started With Vivien Virtual Event Designer,” Vivien's Carol Moxam, CSEP, explains the room-diagramming software's wizards and tools, which include seating, lighting, and pipe and drape. Session attendees will receive a discount on the design tool if they decide to buy it.

Learn how to create and keep a winning team of vendors in “Creating Vendor-Referred Networks and Partner-ships” with Stacy Stern, CSEP, of The Special Events Group. You will review the process of finding the correct vendor for your company and discover the secret to a better working relationship.

Offering an overview of the party rental business, the session “How to Sell with PEP! Passion, Emotion and Profit” will go over two challenging issues in the industry: competition and pricing. Peter Van Zeyl of Harts Party Hire will share a list of performance indicators to help monitor a party rental business' success.


For those just beginning in the wedding industry, “Prenups for Industry Pros — Navigating the Legal Labyrinth of Vendor Contracts” with Joyce Scardina Becker, CMP, of Events of Distinction explains the basic requirements of legal contracts for event planners deciphering tricky agreements.

The session “The $60 Million Wedding: Why You Can't Afford to Ignore the South Asian Consumer” shows wedding planners the customs of this multiethnic, religiously diverse region. Antara Prasad of reviews case studies, emphasizing both the challenges and opportunities presented in the area, where an Indian wedding averages $40,000 to $50,000 while the average wedding in the U.S. costs $26,800.


The Event Management Track offers tons of technology tips, complementing the other technical sessions offered at The Special Event. The technologically challenged will learn how to tap technology in the session “Technically Speaking” with Michael Granek of Pacific Show Productions. For those uneasy or unfamiliar with the technical aspects of events, the presentation will go over important technical terms, production schedules, suppliers, permits, lighting, trussing, audiovisual equipment and more.

Go back in time and enhance your knowledge of the historic roots of events with “Event Leadership: The Roots and Wings of Celebration,” which will delve into the special event practices of the indigenous people of Uganda and Australia. Study and use the six universal meanings of human celebration from Dr. Joe Goldblatt, CSEP, a professor at Temple University, and see how events will change and grow in the 21st century.


The Sales and Marketing Track takes on an international focus this year — Gladys Mezrahi of Indigo Events Corp. presents “International Marketing Through Events: An Alternative to Traditional Marketing,” a session explaining how to deliver a strong ROI while working with specific goal audiences. Attendees will learn how to recognize and overcome cultural limitations faced by event planners in a global market.

The advanced session “How to Earn the Contract Every Time” with Tami Forero of Forte Events will share helpful hints for enhancing sales skills for everyone from vendors to business owners to event planners. Attendees can boost business by learning sales techniques that are detailed to the event industry.


Reach a new level of professionalism with the Certified Special Events Professional certification. Prepare for the new CSEP Exam with improved courses in the CSEP Track.

For more information and a complete rundown of the education program at The Special Event 2007, call 866/486-0731 or 708/486-0731, or visit

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