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Managing Director
Melissa Fromento
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Director of Community & Content Strategy
Kathleen Stoehr
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Twitter @KathStoehrCS, @special_events
Insta @MyTravelingBar

Content Producer
Amber Kispert
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Art Director
Sharon Carlson
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Editorial Office
10231 Zenith Lane
Bloomington, MN 55431


Sales Manager
Bonnie Rayfield-Warg
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Learn more about our advertising and marketing opportunities

Senior Marketing Director
Caitlin Rodgers
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Customer Care
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Special Events is dedicated to creating a safe space for all and supporting underrepresented voices and work in the industry through a variety of programs and partnerships. This includes providing blog space on, ensuring that BIPOC catering and event professionals are featured in our content, and placing qualified industry professionals of all races, religions, and color on our conference stages.

We also recognize that these efforts must be ongoing and evolving. We are committed to actively deepening our relationship and support of organizations that serve these communities and encouraging diversity in our content providers.

Conference (Live) Content

As conference organizers, we want to support catering and event professionals by ensuring all attendees feel welcome and included. To that end, we are always open to elevating new, diverse voices for our live content. Here is how you can be involved:

Conference Sessions at The Special Event


– Breakout sessions (averaging 125 sessions of various lengths and topics including demonstrations, hands-on, panel discussions, and traditional presentations)
– Keynotes & other invited speakers (main, luncheon, or bridge stage sessions which resonate with a wide swath of attendees)

Breakout Session Selection Process

Our conference speaker selection process is as follows:

1. Breakouts are typically sourced in a three- to four-month long Call for Sessions, which is broadcast via industry e-newsletters such as our e-newsletter, social media, noted within Special Events magazine, and posted on our community website,

2. A new The Special Event initiative mandates additional outreach to BIPOC associations and groups via personal contact and other methods

3. Proposed sessions are vetted by no less than three individuals so that its review is not skewed by implicit bias. They are scored (1–5) and commented upon

4. Similar session proposals that score equally will also be vetted via speaker-provided video and/or character references

5. The Special Event will absolutely consider accepting a session from someone who has not ever stepped onto a conference stage and will offer mentoring/guidance to ensure the session is ready and presenter is comfortable. New voices are crucial to provide context in our industry.

6. Our goal is to provide our audiences with well qualified speakers and we know we need to work harder to offer a more diverse and beautiful melting pot of voices to our conference. However, we will not place an unqualified speaker on stage merely to enhance BIPOC or LGBTQI presence.

Keynote & Invited Guest Selection Process

Our keynote speaker selection process is as follows:

1. These curated sessions are based on current, researched, and/or perceived industry educational needs. Criteria includes:

  • Industry relevance
  • Professional expertise
  • Topic focus and manner it is presented in

We are fully committed to considering BIPOC and LGBTQI individuals in the same approach that we might consider any other person.

2. Invited speakers are not the decision of just one person, but are discussed internally with colleagues and externally via trusted advisors to ensure the fit is correct for the audience

3. Invited speakers must have video clips available for vetting. References may also be requested.

4. As noted above, our goal is to provide our audiences with well qualified speakers and we know we need to work harder to offer a more diverse and beautiful melting pot of voices to our conference. However, we will not place an unqualified speaker on stage merely to enhance BIPOC or LGBTQI presence. 

Digital Content

Content is provided daily to our readership via postings on website and in our award-winning quarterly magazine, Special Events. At the bottom of this section you will find links to query, should you be interested in contributing. posts articles, blogs, and relevant news daily, created in house or bylined by those in the industry. We offer free space to blog on topics relevant to our readership, and welcome anyone with an opinion to share. Topics run the gamut from food trends, sales and marketing, business development, industry issues and news, event trends and solutions, etc. Articles may be edited for length, clarity, and grammatical excellence. Articles may not be promotional in focus, i.e., cannot sell a product or service. We welcome all voices from the community and strive to build toward a better mix of industry professionals of all race, religion, and color.

Special Events magazine, is the premier destination for news, insights, inspiration and resources for professionals in the special event industry. We provide high-quality, engaging content to event professionals worldwide who plan or manage special events in hotels, resorts, clubs, banquet facilities, conference and convention centers, and other event sites. We strive to provide a mix of content that speaks to all individuals within the hospitality industry.

Making diversity and inclusion a priority will help further shape Special Event’s culture, creating a wider range of innovations, backgrounds, and approaches. This will ultimately unite the industry together and create a stronger and more well-rounded experience for all who wish to be involved in learning and growing within the hospitality industry.

If you would like to contribute your thoughts to Special Event’s online or live content, please query:

Kathleen Stoehr, Director of Community & Content Strategy
Email: [email protected]


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