Event professionals from throughout the world are gathering in Chicago for The Special Event 2013, which opens officially today at McCormick Place. The event runs through Jan. 18.

Kicking off the week was the two-day Academic Event Professional Conference, serving college and university event professionals in development, alumni relations, marketing and fundraising. A highlight was the presentation Sunday by protocol expert Chris Young, who gave practical advice for navigating the complicated world of international protocol.

EDUCATION PROGRAM BEGINS

The slate of education programs launched yesterday, with seminar including "Negotiating Food and Beverage," "Developing a Signature or Legacy Event for a Nonprofit Organization" and "The Psychology of Successful Wedding Planning."

The new showcase event "Spotlight on Chicago's Legendary Ballrooms" took place yesterday as well, offering an insider's tour of the city's historic ballrooms.

The day closed with the "TSE Starts Here" party at Chicago's House of Blues.

Today's events will include the Opening General Session, where the winners of the 2013 Tabletop Gallery competition will be named.

SHOW FLOOR OPENS TODAY

Other highlights today will be the opening of the trade show floor, more education sessions, and the Opening Night Celebration at Skyline Loft.

For more information about education sessions, showcasing events and exhibits, visit The Special Event.

Photos © Special Events

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