So last week was The Special Event in Phoenix, AZ and I was honored to be a speaker at the conference.  The best thing about going to these is that you get to meet new folks, learn and network.  This year’s The Special Event was my first one to attend and it was definitely worth the trip!
Some of the general themes that I came away with was the importance of social media and using it the right way, and hearing about many different trends and ideas for businesses in general.  As usual there were very specific sessions for caterers, designers etc, but I mostly attended more general topics.  Here’s a few more shots from the week as well as a few comments…
Jenise Fryatt of Icon Presentations discusses social media.  Hidden behind her is her co-presenter Lindsay Fultz answering questions during their presentation through Twitter.  That was one of the themes everywhere: how do you most effectively use twitter?  Try out Fryatt’s recommendation of #EIR – Engage, Inform and Retweet.  Of course there’s more detail about each of those, but basically you have to contribute to the overall conversation going on on Twitter, so hence engage.  A great way to do that is to inform people of cool things going on and relevant info.  To do that, you can retweet relevant tweets.  Simple… but effective!
Networking of course is a great part of any event, and this was the Tweetup that was hosted at the Hyatt.  This group was pretty international, hailing from Canada and the Netherlands and we got to share thoughts on the conference, the learnings, and I discovered that the man in the blue shirt was someone who’s tweets I was following during the convention: @ruudwjanssen.

It’s also great to see folks you know and I ran into Kate Kovalick-Patay of Creative Coverings in her booth.  She was super busy with some of her new fabrics that were getting a lot of attention and like many industries, the new trends are what gain and keep people’s attention.  When you are doing special events for a living, you have to keep things fresh and the show floor was full of great ideas.