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Uplifting Keynotes lead Catersource + The Special Event 2023

Catersource + The Special Event kicks off the week with outstanding entertainment and education

Catersource + The Special Event kicked off a week of education with an entertaining flair. The Opening General Session welcomed the audience with an electrifying performance by Vynilyn, a violin-DJ trio that danced and hyped up the crowd with popular songs. Then, Metropolis Productions performed a theatrical opening musical number that told the story of event and catering teams putting together an event. With song lyrics like “we are part of event creation” (to the tune of Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation), it was a spectacular way to build up to the Opening Keynote session. 

Vynilyn hyped up the crowd with electrifying covers of hit songs. Photo courtesy WASIO Faces

Above and below: Metropolis Productions performed a musical number telling the story of event creation. Photos courtesy WASIO Faces


Next, Catersource + The Special Event Director of Education and Content Strategy Kathleen Stoehr came on stage and sang the theme song from Cheers, reminding the audience that CS+TSE is a place where everybody knows your name—a place where industry professionals can come together as family. 

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Director of Education and Content Strategy for Catersource + The Special Event Kathleen Stoehr welcomed the crowd. Photo courtesy WASIO Faces

Finally, the big moment came—highly lauded event planner Marcy Blum (Marcy Blum Associates) presented the Opening Keynote session, The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle. In her keynote, Blum reminded caterers and event pros that they must work together to create their best work. “The only way forward is for us to figure out how to all work together.” Coming from the culinary world before she moved into events, Blum shared her unique perspective into both worlds with the audience, helping them find the point in the middle where all can be successful. “You need to impress the planner first and foremost because we are the gatekeepers,” she told caterers while discussing menu creation. “We are your friends, not your enemy.” 

Marcy Blum (Marcy Blum Associates) gives the Opening Keynote address. Photo courtesy WASIO Faces

The Closing General Session wrapped up the week by kicking off the last day with an electric guitar and violin rock duo who accompanied a live artist painting portraits of classic rock icons onstage. Stoehr came back on stage to introduce the Closing Keynote session and thank everyone for an amazing week, reminding them that here—at Catersource + The Special Event—is a great place to rekindle business dreams. “Your dreams can be as big as your mind can open,” she told the crowd. 

There was no shortage of entertainment before each keynote session, like artist Sergio Gutierrez painting live to rock music. Photo courtesy WASIO Faces

This was the theme of the Closing Keynote session by Chef Art Smith, whose career success stretches across the many dreams he followed, from Walt Disney World Resorts to Oprah Winfrey’s kitchen to Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ in Disney Springs. “In our business there is no such thing as the word ‘no’; we figure out how to make it work. You know how to take a situation and make it right.” 

Chef Art Smith during his Closing Keynote session. Photo courtesy WASIO Faces

Smith shared stories of moments from his career over the years, dropping the wisdom he’s acquired throughout his tales. “Someone will always be better than you, somebody will always have a better education, but they’re not you. What's inside you is always going to win.”  

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