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Heeding the Call

An update on The Special Event's Call for Speakers process

The day Catersource + The Special Event ended on March 12 we launched our annual Call for Speakers 2021. Despite the pandemic, submissions came in; many of them focusing on COVID-19’s impact our livelihoods. That was a top of mind topic immediately at the beginning of Q2, of course.

Mid-summer, we made a decision to move our event from February to July and with that, the Call for Speakers was extended. It made sense. And, additional proposals came in, some more forward-thinking to the aftermath and rebuilding of our businesses, be it culinary, marketing techniques, unique event staging, staffing dilemmas, etc.

I know some of you have been patiently waiting to hear whether or not you will be on stage at Catersource + The Special Event in Miami Beach. I can finally say that we will not further extend the call, it will close on Friday of this week (October 23), and then all submissions will be sent to a swath of industry advisors who will read through various assigned session tracks and make suggestions. We’re giving our advisors two weeks to vet those sessions. 

Of course, I’ll be reading them, too, along with other pertinent staff members, during that time. 

Next, we take all of the advice we’ve received from our advisors and start mixing the pot to ensure that what we select addresses everything our attendees want to learn. That takes some time, too. We only have so many hours for education, and so many rooms to hold sessions in. Decisions are not made lightly.

I estimate that once we get past the return of comments from advisors, the scheduling and decisions we will make internally, the additional outreach we will do, and then a hiccup in the middle as we execute our Leading Caterers of America Executive Summit, that some decisions should begin to trickle out shortly before and after Thanksgiving.

About 10 to 12 sessions will be chosen/developed that will be considered “Bridge” sessions—available to both Catersource and The Special Event audiences. The rest will be selected and divided among the two shows’ educational leanings.

If you haven’t yet pitched a session, there is still time. If you want to change the description of your session, there is also time to do that. Here are your links:

The Special Event 2021:

Catersource 2021:

Remember, you have until Friday midday to finish and submit your final proposal! We are looking forward to seeing them!

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