Skip navigation
Special Events Blog
Screen Shot 2022-03-18 at 11.29.41 AM.png

Cali Here We Come!

Don’t miss a moment! Arrive Monday afternoon 5/2, depart Friday morning 5/6

Since 1985, The Special Event has served as an educational resource and expansive network for the special events industry.

As we work our way through one of the toughest times in its history, the need to gather and learn from one another, network, and celebrate is important!

Join The Special Event, co-located with Catersource, as we celebrate the rise of this resilient industry.

Don’t miss a moment! Arrive Monday afternoon 5/2, depart Friday morning 5/6

When making your travel arrangements, plan to arrive by Monday afternoon so that you can enjoy the entire Catersource + The Special Event experience!

Kick off your week by attending Connect Live, held at The Ranch, starting at 7:30 p.m. and ending at 10:30 p.m. End your week by joining us at the Closing Night Celebration.
In between, you won’t want to miss a thing.

Here’s a look at all that will be offered!

Screen Shot 2022-03-18 at 10.33.46 AM.png

See Christina Matteucci live

At the Opening General Session on the tradeshow floor, Matteucci will kick off the 2022 Catersource + The Special Event conference and tradeshow with her session, “I Know You’re the Boss, but...” High energy, deeply embedded in our industry, and inspiring, Matteucci, will leave you with actionable takeaways on Wednesday morning, May 4 at 9:00 a.m. The Opening General Session is included in the purchase of any pass, from All Access to tradeshow only.

Screen Shot 2022-03-18 at 10.45.39 AM.png

See Roy Choi live

At the Closing General Session on the tradeshow floor, Choi will talk with SEARCH Chairwoman Kate Patay about food as a platform for activism and a catalyst for change on Thursday  morning, May 5 at 9:00 a.m. The Closing General Session is included in the purchase of any education pass or tradeshow plus pass.

Featured Speakers

Brown_Shakira.jpgShakira Brown

“Stay Relevant! Foster Creativity & Innovation to Thrive, Grow & Keep Pace with Change”
11:15 a.m. Tuesday, May 3

“Sidetrack Team Burnout: Hone Your Coaching Skills to Motivate Your Staff & Improve Operations”
2:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 3

Corvi_Paulina_Headshot.jpgPaulina Corvi

“What Luxury Wedding Clients Really Want”
4:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 3




Harris_Adrianne.pngAdrianne Harris

“It’s the Year of the Bride | 2023 Bridal Fashion Edition”
1:15 p.m. Tuesday, May 3





Michael Levitt

“Burnout Proof In A Hybrid World”
2:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5



Jennifer Trotter

“Jedi Mind Tricks: Harness the Power of Communication to Lead Clients to Magically See Things Your Way”
1:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 4


Novotny_Cindy pink 2021 2.jpg

Cindy Novotny

“Building a Team Back!”
8:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 3

“Objection Handling & Power Negotiating”
10:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 3




Christopher Salem

“The Secret to Creating an Extraordinary Experience with Your Customers”
2:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 3


Charessa Sawyer

“A Candid Conversation LIVE on Mental Illness in the Event Industry”
1:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 4

“A Candid Conversation with the Event Therapy™️ Lounge”
2:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 4



Cece Todd

“Staying Relevant as an Event Professional in a Fast-Paced World
10:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 3

“Vetting Your Clients: Stop Wasting Time with Clients That Don’t Fit”
2:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 3

Screen Shot 2022-03-18 at 11.04.27 AM.png

Nelson Gonzalez (Evolution eventos) delivered a hands-on floral workshop in 2021. This year, enjoy Bron Hansboro (Floral Forecast: Looking Ahead at industry + trends} and Liza Roeser & Derek Woodruff (what’s trending in floral design?)

Event inspiration

Get ready to  perfect your event offerings in 2022 and beyond; there is a terrific line up of event-forward classes available throughout the conference. Journey through the world of florals with a focus on wedding floral trends, the latest bloom varieties, and new supplies that make it easy to wow your clients and their guests. Explore unique and exotic event venues, find out the latest trends in live, virtual, and hybrid events, get inspired to incorporate cannabis into your events, and learn what weddings will look like moving forward—these are just a few of the event-centric classes you will experience.

Certified Catering Consultants

Need a quick consultation about some aspect of your business? Not a caterer? Don’t worry, the Certified Catering Consultants (CCC)  are experts in many applicable areas. They will offer free half hour appointments on site to address your hospitality-related challenges, identify your highest value opportunities, and/or help you improve your business and ROI. The CCC team has been consulting for over 20 years and many of them ran businesses of their own—or still do! Head to room 262 to sign up for a free consultation during show hours Tuesday and Wednesday.

Candid conversations

Always a favorite, Candid Conversation sessions are free-wheeling “unsessions”—no set agenda or full on Powerpoint presentations; just an industry professional at the front of the room, ready to answer your questions about topics they excel at. Ask Jackie Watson your toughest planning questions; Alicia Schiro shares the secrets to her success as a small business making large money; and don’t miss this year’s panel on mental health featuring Reuben Bell, Fausto, Charessa Sawyer, Suzi McMerty Shands, Melissa Tibben, and Terrica.  If you need a little extra support, Sawyer is waiting at the The Event Therapy™️ Lounge afterward. Your questions—their answers. The learning is fun and organic; these sessions are often identified as some of  the most popular year after year.

Screen Shot 2022-03-18 at 11.03.15 AM.png

Don’t miss the inspiration on the tradeshow floor. Photo courtesy WTA Photos via SpotMy Photos

Discover ideas on the tradeshow floor

The award-winning traeshow floor will offer a plethora of trendsetting and relevant exhibitors and sponsors for you to browse, learn from, taste samples and buy from. These exhibitors are here to help you grow your business and recognize the potential you have for 2022 and beyond.

Additionally, a culinary competition and the excitement of the Opening General Session with keynote Christina Matteucci launch the first day of the tradeshow floor, with the return of the Swizzle competition and Closing Session with keynote Roy Choi on Thursday in conversation with SEARCH Foundation chairwoman, Kate Patay.

Industry accolades: award recipients

Each year, we honor industry leaders who we, at Catersource + The Special Event, feel have made a significant and positive impact on our industries. Join us in celebrating these remarkable individuals at our annual Leadership Lunch on Thursday, May 4 at 24 Carrots Catering and Events’ The Colony House.

Screen Shot 2022-03-18 at 11.10.13 AM.pngScreen Shot 2022-03-18 at 11.12.35 AM.pngScreen Shot 2022-03-18 at 11.09.28 AM.png

Enjoy a beautiful lunch with your colleagues and peers, and celebrate with recipients Rosemary Kowalski (Michael Roman Lifetime Achievement award); Kelly Murphy (Richard Carbotti Gala award) and Lenny Talarico, CSEP, CHE (Special Events Gala Lifetime Achievement award), as well as the surprise award recipient of the Steve Kemble award.

Catersource + The Special Event 2022 will also mark the return of the annual ACE, Gala, and ICA CATIE Awards, which will be presented at the Opening Night Party on Tuesday, May 3. Click here to see this year’s Gala Award nominees.

Food Truck Roundup!

Join your colleagues Tuesday afternoon from noon to 1:15 p.m. outside the Anaheim Convention Center on the Arena Plaza. Soak in the California sunshine, go over your afternoon conference schedule, network, and enjoy local chef-owned and operated artisan food trucks!

Associations & groups

Associations and groups (some of them new to the conferences) will be present at Catersource + The Special Event, many of which will also have booths on the Tradeshow floor and/or in the conference area. Take the time to seek these people out and learn more! We are all in this together and hope to learn from each other. Here is a look:

Associations and groups (some of them new to the conferences) will be present at Catersource + The Special Event, many of which will also have booths on the Tradeshow floor and/or in the conference area. Take the time to seek these people out and learn more! We are all in this together and hope to learn from each other. Here is a look:


Friends and colleagues can gather together throughout the week. Photos courtesy WTA Photos via SpotMy Photos.

Networking opportunities

Beyond the evening events and Tuesday morning welcome gathering, pass time has been increased between sessions to allow more opportunity to say hello and move between tradeshow floor and conference rooms. Most sessions allow 30 minutes pass time. Additionally, join your friends outside on Tuesday at lunch time for a California-style food truck round up, enjoy time with peers in our two conference-area networking spaces, and buy a ticket to our Thursday Leadership Lunch at 24 Carrots Catering and Events’ beautiful venue, The Colony House, to discuss high level ideas with peers.

Earn education credits

Continuing education is an important aspect of any career trajectory and Catersource + The Special Event is ready to help.

All classes have been approved for CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) credits

Go to “Associations & Accreditations” on the left-hand rail on and sort to find what you need!

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.