Special Events
AEP celebrates 10 years

The Special Event 2016 Gears Up for Debut

The Special Event 2016 gears up for debut in Orlando, Fla.

Special event industry professionals from throughout the world are gathering in Orlando, Fla., for The Special Event 2016, which kicks off tomorrow. The 31-year-old tradeshow and conference, based at the Orange County Convention Center, ends Thursday, Jan. 14.

Breaking news: A limited number of tickets are still available for two iconic events, the Leadership Lunch and Wedding Event, both on Jan. 14. Visit Show Registration in the lobby of Hall D for more information.

Sunday was marked by the launch of the 2016 Academic Event Professional conference, held at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management in Orlando.

AEP celebrates 10 years

AEP ribbon

At the event, Sally Webb Berry, CSEP, CEO of Durham, N.C.-based The Special Event Co., shared the history of the conference, which launched at the University of Southern California in Los Angles in 2007.

Shown cutting the 10-year ribbon are (from left) Steven Whyte, University of the Pacific; Carolyn Ent, Elon University; Lisa Hurley, Special Events; Sally Webb Berry; Jenny Jones, University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Jim Hooker, Innovative Protocol; and Kathy Kay, The Special Event Co. Photo by Grad Images.

Geni Holmes-Greiner shares teamwork tips

Geni Holmes-Grenier of Wake Forest

Geni Holmes-Greiner [in photo], executive director of university events at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., used both a lecture format and audience interaction to share tips for building effective teams.

Showing a photo of her own office with its glass walls, she urged leaders to create a culture of transparency.

She also encouraged team leaders to stress the theme of giving co-workers "the benefit of the doubt" instead of assuming ill will.

How ASU keeps events safe

Allen Clark of ASU

Two event professionals from Arizona State University of Tempe, Ariz.—the largest public university by enrollment in the U.S.—gave AEP attendees tips on how they approach event security.

Allen Clark, director of emergency preparedness, Office of Risk and Emergency Management, and Melissa Werner [in photo], director of university ceremonies and protocol officer, shared safety tools such as Incident Action Plans and Event Action Plans.

Both stressed the importance of communicating safety procedures to all parties involved in the event, from top management to one-time volunteers.

CSR event helps feed children

Feeding Children Everywhere at TSE

As part of its commitment to benefiting the communities that host the show, The Special Event is partnering with Feeding Children Everywhere.

Here, a group of TSE attendees creates packets of ready-to-cook lentil casserole, which will be given to hungry children in the area. A group can pack 7,000 meals per shift. The activity will continue during the show.

TSE Connects Party

TSE attendees enjoy great food, cocktails and entertainment at Club 39 at the Rosen Plaza at the "TSE Connects" event.

For more on the "TSE Connects" party, click here.

Tuesday at The Special Event:

Today's agenda includes education sessions and the Opening Night Party at The Pointe.

Wednesday at the Special Event:

Tomorrow will bring the Opening General Session, continued education sessions, the Wedding Event at the Orange County Convention Center, and the SEARCH fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Unless otherwise noted, all photos by Special Events.

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