With our bags packed days in advance, it wasn’t hard to tell just how excited we were for our big trip to The Special Event Show in Nashville, TN. Joined by GigMasters Co-Founder Michael Caldwell, our crew braved sub-zero wind chills and frozen roadways on the first leg of our journey to the one and only Music City, USA. Little did we know we’d go on to face cancelled flights, standby miracles, and a whole lot of airport shenanigans.

But not even the Polar Vortex could stop us!

After roughly 15 hours of travel, we finally arrived at the famed Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. At close to one million square feet in size, the stunning venue played host to The Special Event 2014. 

Complementing the event’s four-day workshop series, 172 exhibitors from the event industry— including GigMasters— set up shop on the trade show floor. As if by magic, the massive, stark hall was transformed overnight into a colorful labyrinth of boundless creativity. Like kids in a candy shop, event planners and industry professionals alike were invited to walk the floor for inspiration and unparalleled networking opportunities.

Among the array of brilliant displays were companies boasting custom designed backdrops, elaborate table arrangements, and just about every piece of chic décor a party planner could dream of. Vendors of all shapes and sizes offered up every product from bedazzled bon bons to original butt sketches (yes, you read that right…) The atmosphere only seemed to underscore the growing trend that odd is in. That is to say, clients are asking for increasingly unique, one-off styles of decorations, goodies, and entertainment.  Thanks to platforms like TSE 2014, planners are finding new ways to provide just that.

Fittingly then, all were welcomed to the GigMasters booth with some unique entertainment of our own. Celebrated magician Keith Westwowed audiences with magic tricks that had even us scratching our heads (I’m still not sure how he had me levitating on stage!) Meanwhile,Chuck Baril proved he’s more than a local celebrity, as attendees from across the country lined up for photos with the well-known Elvis impersonator. Did we mention Mike Gatty and his team from US Event Photos partnered up with us to shoot and print on-site souvenir photos for guests? Add professional Las Vegas juggler Michael Goudeau and showgirl Kitty Marie Holten into the mix and it was clear to all that “the party starts here” is more than just a tagline – it’s our mantra here at GigMasters.

For the planners who chatted with us about using the site to find and book entertainers and party vendors in the past, we were most excited to unveil our recently added Event Planners category. Now Event Servicesprofessionals, including event planners, can list their businesses on the site with custom-built profiles all their own. (So be sure to stay tuned for more updates on this exciting expansion!)

By the end of our stay, we had laughed, learned, and, yes, even line danced. A special thanks to the incredible folks behind The Special Event 2014, our wonderful members who joined us, and everyone— especially all of you event planners— who stopped by the GigMasters booth. We hope to see you again soon!

If you’re an event planner and couldn’t make it to TSE 2014, not to worry. Drop us a line at marketing@gigmasters.comand we can help you expand your client base with a GigMasters profile today! Just be sure to include the subject line: “Starting my event planner profile.”