Special Events magazine editor Lisa Hurley on the party and event rental industry in 2013 and the emotional pull of great hotels as venues for special events.
We're wrapping up the year with an issue that I think brings you the very best of everything.
Our "Divine Decor" article looks at some very exciting lighting (starting on page 40), while it's a tour of quirky cocktails in "Food for Fêtes" (page 36). Now I know what my margaritas have been missing—they don't include a full bottle of Corona beer submerged in the glass.
Our tent feature shows how smart structures are often the solution to challenges at special events (page 27), while our "Confetti" department looks at the Sheba Productions' "Really, Really Blonde Party," where every guest was the fair-haired child. Literally.
Our cover story is the 16th edition of our "30 Top Event Rental Companies" list. If any segment of the business knows what's going on, who's busy with work and who can't pay the bills, it's the rental side.
Even though the responding companies operate in different markets and even in different countries, they share some common stories. Yes, both budgets and time lines are still tight. But the market has "demonstrated more traction" in 2013, as Stuart Rentals' Michael Berman puts it. And taken as the whole, the 30 companies profiled on this list forecast revenue coming in 7 percent this year ahead of 2012. Turn to page 19 for the full story.
Finally, we put our annual spotlight on great hotels for special events by asking five top planners what hotels they love to use for their events.
Of course, properties with fantastic views and fabulous food are top of the list. But great hotels hold a unique place in the hearts of many of us, and that includes planner Lynn Fletcher, CSEP, who praises the venerable Fairmont Banff Springs, known as the "Castle in the Rockies."
"Every time my family would go to Banff when I was a kid, I would make my parents take us to the 'castle' just to walk around," Lynn says. "When we would drive up, I would look up high and see this beautiful chandelier hanging in a ballroom--the Ivor Petrak Room. I fell in love with bling very early … I called it the Princess Room back then and would go in there and dance around pretending that I was a bride and dreaming that someday I would have my wedding there. I think I was around seven or eight years old. I consider it a serendipitous blessing that my Lynn Fletcher Weddings team now gets to make many other brides’ dreams come true in that very room, and in many more rooms in the hotel."
Special events is a remarkable business that takes a lot of heart. I hope your year ends with some wonderful memories of events you have worked on to keep in your heart—and plenty of revenue earned from them to keep in the bank.