Do you want to get your event career moving? Then you will want to be part of The Special Event 2013, Jan. 15-18 in Chicago. With the theme “Events in Motion,” the leading conference devoted to special event professionals will again offer an unmatched blend of education sessions, valuable exhibits and showstopping showcasing events.

Two industry icons — wedding planner Frank Andonoplas, MBC, of Frank Event Design, and “Empress of Schmooze” Audrey Gordon, of Audrey Gordon Parties Ltd. — are our Show Ambassadors. You may have been to Chicago, but you don't know Chicago as well as these two do. “There is so much to do here that it is our hope after getting a taste of Chicago, you will return to further explore,” they say. “So grab a Chicago hot dog, deep-dish pizza and some Garrett's popcorn and enjoy!”

MANY EDUCATION OPTIONS

The extensive conference schedule will feature more than 100 sessions in nine tracks: Business and Professional Development; CPCE Fast Track; Design; Event Management; Event Tools and Resources; Food Services and More; ISES Track; Sales and Marketing; and Wedding Trends. You can pick from a menu of education options, including the full education package or an education “day pass.”

Candidates for NACE's CPCE designation can benefit from the special one-day “fast track” training program on Jan. 17; the test itself is given on Jan. 18.

“Keeping your event skills sharp is essential to saying ahead of the pack,” says conference manager Tara Melingonis. For help determining which education option is best for you, contact her at 203/358-3708 or tara.melingonis@penton.com.

SHOWCASE SOLUTIONS

Learn firsthand what exciting new features you can bring to your next event with The Special Event's legendary showcasing events.

This year's Spotlight Event, on Jan. 15, will offer an insiders-only tour of Chicago's historic hotel ballrooms. The “TSE Starts Here” party, also Jan. 15, will take attendees to the landmark House of Blues.

The Opening General Session, on Jan. 16, will look at the amazing differences between various generations in the event industry, while The Opening Night Celebration, also on Jan. 16, will take guests on a wild, Prohibition-era theme party — dress ready to sneak into a speakeasy!

Jan. 17 brings back the popular “Hot List” from master showman Michael Cerbelli, along with the Masters Brunch, a session for high-level event professionals that will be moderated by former White House director of events Laura Schwartz. Also that day, marvel at the beautiful vignettes in the Wedding Gallery displays and the “Red Hot Weddings” seated dinner.

The grand finale of The Special Event will be the Gala Awards Ceremony and Celebration, Jan. 18, honoring outstanding event work from throughout the world.

“Developed by the top talents in the industry, our showcasing events will reignite your creativity and passion,” says Kim Romano, head of showcasing events and sponsorships. For more information on showcasing events sponsorships, contact her at 203/358-4257 or kim.romano@penton.com.

EXCITING EXHIBITS

A mainstay of The Special Event has always been the show floor, which will give attendees the opportunity to meet face-to-face with some 300 potential vendor partners who can help make events even more effective.

The exhibits will be open Jan. 16-18 to offer a one-of-a-kind display of products and services to keep events on the cutting edge.

“As always, our exhibit hall will be packed with thousands of great event inspirations for attendees to review,” says exhibit sales manager Wanda McKnight. For information on exhibiting, contact her at 913/981-6143 or wanda.mcknight@penton.com.

FAVORITES RETURN

Other longtime favorites returning to The Special Event 2013 show floor are Tabletop Gallery — a showcase of 10 terrific tabletop designs — and the Gala Boards, an insider's look at this year's Gala Award nominees.

The Special Event 2013 will also bring back its popular Hands-on Hundred program, enabling volunteers to work side-by-side with event producers on the show's major events. For more information, contact HOH manager Kari Strolberg at ekstro@yahoo.com or 317/423-3590.

To register or for more information, visit thespecialeventshow.com or call 708/486-0731 or 866/486-0731 (toll-free).