Special Events Blog
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CS+TSE Conference Updates

Events & catering industries converge in Orlando for the Florida Sunshine Tour!

The last week of March 2023 in Orlando, Fla. will be a hot one when Catersource + The Special Event’s Florida Sunshine Tour lands starting on March 26 with opening day of the Art of Catering Food. With so much happening in one place for one week, it was absolutely appropriate to give this industry gathering—this industry week!—a beautiful sunshiny theme. So, what’s happening and who will be there? Here’s a look:

Sunday & Monday, March 26 & 27: Art of Catering Food (AOCF), produced in conjunction with the International Caterers Association, will bring exclusive culinary training, trends, ingredients, and techniques taught by successful chefs throughout the catering industry. Tastings, tours, round robins, and lunch and learns are a big part of this two-day event. This conference is best for chefs, owners, and anyone interested in a two-day culinary immersion.

Monday, March 27:  Leading Caterers of America full day meeting. This members-only consortium of the top event and catering companies in the U.S. and Canada will gather for a one-day intensive assemblage to exchange ideas and discuss strategies regarding how to build their businesses ever higher.

Monday, March 27:  Catersource + The Special Event “soft opens” with its Connect Live evening event, a chance for those already checked in and ready to engage to join together and kick off the week. It’s a great evening, spirits are high, and the week is wide open with possibility for networking and interaction. This reception with small bites and big entertainment is sure to please everyone.

Tuesday, March 28:  Catersource + The Special Event opens, with a conference-only first day and an opening night event. It also welcomes its sister media brand, MeetingsNet, presenting its first-ever conference track, available to those who purchase a TSE pass. The International Live Events Association (ILEA) will also offer a track for those looking for CSEP certification, again, only available to those who purchase a TSE-only or All Access pass.

Be sure to visit our new Experience rooms on the second floor, too. More on that in our winter issue.

After the conference closes for the day at 5:00 p.m., groups such as International Caterers Association Educational Foundation (ICAEF) will celebrate its scholarship recipients in a private gathering; various exhibitors will host invitation-only events; and then the evening will culminate in the high energy Opening Night Event, produced by event chairs Selina Mullenax, CORT & Gabby Mourino, Imprint Group.

Wednesday, March 29: An Opening General Session launches a full day of activity on the exhibit hall floor (open 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) including conference sessions on the Ignite and Keynote stages. There will, as always, be hundreds of exhibitors to visit, experience, and learn from.

In the afternoon, additional sessions in conference rooms begin at 1:00 p.m. and end at 5:00 p.m.

Later in the evening the annual Special Event Assistance, Relief & Crisis Help (SEARCH) Foundation fundraiser will bring like-minded people together to raise money through auction for those in need. A spectacular charitable event, The Special Event is a proud donor and hopes to see you there! Additional activities for attendees are in planning stages, we will keep you updated as we get closer.

Thursday, March 30: Always known to go big on its last day, Catersource + The Special Event will offer a 9:00 a.m. Closing General Session that will inspire you, another full day of exhibit hall browsing and buying (10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.), the fabulous Leadership Lunch at the incredible Dr. Phillips Center celebrating the movers and shakers of the events and catering industries (11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.), a cocktail reception (2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.), more conference education (ending at 4:00 p.m.), and then the big KABOOM! You’ll start the night off with the “Oscars” of the industry: An elaborate awards ceremony featuring the Gala, ACE, and CATIE awards with pre-show cocktail reception and exciting awards presentation for work exceptionally well done (click here to submit your event for the Gala awards).

After that, join award recipients and exhibitors, sponsors, speakers, and attendees for one last industry week hurrah as we say farewell at our Closing Night Event, chaired by the ever-delightful Chef Boris Seymore of BDS Catering & Productions.


Registration: Registration is scheduled to open the week of September 26! Take advantage of the lowest prices available and enjoy exclusive access to webinars, virtual events, networking meetups, award nominee and session sneak peeks, and other exciting show-related niblets that only registered attendees can receive. If you want the inside scoop before the show so you arrive in the know, head over to https://catersource-tse.com to review pricing packages. Stay tuned for registration opening information.

Certification opportunities:
We at Special Events are pleased to announce that we will partner once again with ILEA to bring CSEP (Certified Special Events Professional) certification back into the fold, as well as continuing with CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) certification for most classes through The Events Industry Council. As other partnership and certification opportunities arise, we will keep you abreast.

Virtual events: Each month, beginning in October, we will offer a virtual event that will offer a taste of what is to come in March in Orlando. Be sure to watch your inbox for information on upcoming sessions, featuring some of the brightest names in events and catering. Upcoming dates include October 11, November, 08, and December 06, 2022. Our industry week is just too big to contain, right?!

Call for speakers: Our call for session speakers is closed and the full educational schedule will launch after the new year, but we will begin to tease out sessions beginning in November 2022. Right now, go to schedule.thespecialeventshow.com to view evening event information and a few of our premier sessions. We are excited to be able to bring you the best and brightest in live education!

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