It may last a mere four days, but The Special Event 2003 promises to pack a punch in the education arena. From Jan. 8-11, attendees to the show, coming to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., will have their pick of seminars designed to enhance creativity and increase earning potential. Eight tracks, including a new Wedding Planner Track, have been created to help show-goers set their education schedules. To help guide choices, we offer our rundown of highlights in each track.

SOCIAL BUSINESS

With weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, and other social events gaining ground, the Wedding Planner Track puts the focus on staying sharp in an increasingly competitive field.

Seminars with a marketing slant include “Marketing Your Wedding and Event Business — Even if You're on a Shoestring Budget,” slated for Jan. 8. Presented by Scott L. Vogel, president of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.-based WeddingAndEventMarketing.com, the hour-long course includes an eight-step process designed to secure client response, generate referrals and point out hidden revenues.

PRO GROWTH

Decision making, time management and error reduction are the focus of the Business and Professional Development Track.

On Jan. 10, the popular two-part “Anatomy of an Event” program makes a return appearance, with the expert staff of Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Extraordinary Events breaking down an event from first phone call to final delivery.

DESIGN IN MIND

For creative thinkers, the Design Track covers floral, lighting, special effects — everything event pros need to enhance event environments.

Presented by Vincent DiGiorgio of Kensington, Md.-based Digital Lighting, “Lighting 101: An Introduction to Special Event Lighting,” offered Jan. 8, looks at conventional lighting, intelligent lighting, gobos, gels and much more. Attendees receive a gel swatch book, gobo catalog and list of useful lighting terms.

On Jan. 10, a trio of top event professionals, including Randy Fuhrman of Los Angeles-based Randy Fuhrman's Creative Concept, get together to present “Designing Men,” with a focus on theme design and execution.

GOOD TASTE

From tabletop to culinary trends, the Food Services Track tackles the business of catering.

On Jan. 9, J. Wilbur Smith of Atlanta-based Eventscapes shows attendees why “Linens are Linens, But the Fluff's the Stuff” at a seminar focused on tabletop technique and the pros and cons of renting versus owning.

IN CHARGE

The Event Management Track gears courses toward those who work on every event aspect from venue selection to post-event follow-up.

For the environmentally minded, the Jan. 10 panel “Recycling Food, Waste and Floral Excess in the Special Events Industry: A 21st Century Vision,” moderated by Victoria Karno of San Francisco-based Mosaic Event Management, examines food donation and the legal issues of recycling.

On Jan. 11, “Special Event Security,” presented by Robert D. Shuster of Oakton, Va.-based Vance International, covers modern event threats including explosives and demonstrations, and offers specific deterrents and responses.

RENT RIGHT

Presented by rental experts and event pros, seminars in the Rental Track tender tips on smart renting.

Potential trouble spots are the focus of “It's Too Hot, Too Dark and I Can't Find a Bathroom,” presented Jan. 11 by representatives from Sheboygan, Wis.-based Kohler Rental Power.

SMART SELL

In the Sales and Marketing Track, presenters instruct on the art and science of sales and promotion.

Courses include “The Marketing Plan: Delivering Measurable Results,” an exploration of corporate objectives and return on investment, presented Jan. 9 by Ingrid Ludquist, CSEP, of Sacramento, Calif.-based The Lundquist Co.

On Jan. 11, Dave Schwarz of Las Vegas-based DAV Productions takes marketing into the new millennium with “Getting the Most Out of the Internet: Proposals, E-vites and Virtual Events,” a seminar that examines the relationship between new media and events.

LIVE AND LEARN

Also available at The Special Event 2003 are numerous other possibilities for professional development. Among them, an ISES Track offers courses worth points toward CSEP certification. Roundtables cover everything from association memberships to commitment ceremonies. Even spectacular scheduled events offer instruction by example — one of The Special Event's biggest benefits.




For more information about these and all education opportunities at The Special Event 2003, call 800/927-5007 or 203/358-3751, or visit www.thespecialeventshow.com.