Much of the conversation over the past year has centered on the economy and the effect that it has had on the special events industry, and on entertainment in general. As we mark the one year anniversary of the meltdown, it seems like as good a time as any to look back, take stock of what we learned, and to look forward to what lies ahead.

First of all, I don’t think that anyone can dispute the fact that the special events industry took an unfair hit by the media, based on the high-profile stories about AIG, Wells Fargo, and Northern Trust, to name a few. Companies that spent money on big-ticket celebrity talent made for a sexy headline. The backlash was immediate and predictable. Corporations and their planning teams ducked for cover. Events were canceled, many because the company didn’t want the “appearance” of impropriety.

But here’s the good news. I believe that we’re seeing signs of the business returning. Calls are coming in, and proposals are being written. Yes, budgets are tighter, and the ideas being shared are more “client-oriented”, but the message that I’m taking from these calls is that clients are remembering why entertainment is such a vital part of meeting industry. Good entertainers help raise the energy of the attendees, they help deliver key messages, and they help refocus guests towards the stage when attention starts to drift. All of which points to creativity and quality leading the way in the future.

By Paul Creighton, CSEP

So, while it’s good to back, it’s also important to remember, we never left!

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