The Special Event 2015: A Design Recap

Event professionals can always count on The Special Event to start the year off with great education, design inspiration from the show floor to the events, and networking with old and new friends. This year, The Special Event 2015 was held at the Anaheim Convention Center. New ideas, and Disneyland were a big draw for attendees from all over the world. We all were once again reminded that in the event industry, it is a small world after all! DesignDawgs publisher David E. Merrell was chosen as an Ambassador for the event. Together with his co-Ambassador, Janet Elkins from Event Works, he opened and closed the show with panache.

The week was packed with visual imagery. Here’s a recap of some of our favorite moments in design straight from our editorial team’s Instagram feeds.
open and close

The Ambassadors — Janet Elkins and David Merrell from AOO Events and DesignDawgs — at Opening Session, and at The Gala Awards closing the show.


The Opening Night Celebration at Anaheim’s Garden Walk featured action in keeping with the show’s overall “So Cal Style” theme.


dd booth collage

At our booth, designed by AOO Events, we featured a new social media technology from Social Point and a classy cell phone charger from SOS Charging Solutions.

too cool

Cool Finds

The Sail Tent was one of many cool new items from Town & Country Event Rentals | David Merrell looking too cool at the Backdrops Beautiful booth | Retro throwbacks enjoying Lounge 22 from Cort Event Furnishing’s new “Draper collection,” yes, as in Don Draper!



The Ceilo Blanco table from Town & Country was perhaps one of the most photographed tabletops with its clever blackboard top | At GBS Linen the Tiffany sequin linen was paired with gold placesettings and flatware, and cupcakes … Tiffany, gold and chocolate … talk about a triple threat | Chameleon Chairs mixed natural surroundings, leather chair covers and muted tones and then went over the top by adding crystal table chandeliers. The look truly demonstrated the company’s “chameleon” ability to adapt to any environment.


Simply Pretty

The Oasis booth.



Quest Drape presented a stylish modular booth.



Big announcements!

There were some big announcements on stage from wedding proposals to great new collaborations such as this one between kool. Party Rentals and David E. Merrell.


Always a sold-out event, this year the Wedding Event was produced by Pauline Parry of Good Gracious! Events and Ryan Zynger from Zynger Events. It was held at the Business Expo Center, a large, raw space.


Guests walked into a preview room with models set up down one wall in various poses. The room glittered with silver and blue accents and an ice bar featuring a large engagement ring. Can we get a big “yes” for all the ideas from this event! Oh, we see we have that! Lettering was an integral part of the design, adding yet another texture to it.



A before and after shot of the main space.


The dining room was centered with a large DJ podium covered in white and lined with flowers. Later it became the stage for acapella singers. In each corner vignettes displayed wedding cakes, fashion and more entertainment.


The week ended with a raucous evening of celebration at the Gala Awards after-party. Next year The Special Event will be traveling from Disneyland to Disneyworld. See you in Orlando!

Photos: Marcus Anthony Gray, Liese Gardner, and thanks to Robin Ballard for The Wedding Event before and after

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