#1 Special Event Business Handbook
Now in its New Second Edition
from C.H.I.P.S.

Exceptional Events
Concept to Completion
Second Edition
by Betsy Wiersma, CSEP
and Kari Strolberg

Exceptional Events: Concept to Completion, now in its Second Edition, is your guide to creation, planning and execution. Following the success of the first edition we wanted to add even more power to the Second Edition.

The book takes you on a simple path through strategic choices and teaches proven systems to use as best practices. The suggested forms and samples are prototypes for all types of special events. Easy-to-spot icons are used throughout the book to emphasize key areas.


  • complete handbook for the special event planner
  • photos of sample events throughout the book
  • suggested forms for planning and control
  • contracts • letters • scripts...and much more
What's New in the Second Edition
  • Every chapter is expanded with new tips and photos
  • New featured authors with case studies of security, crowd flow, scripting and MORE!
  • A whole new chapter on the business of the special event business. Betsy shares her 20 years of experience and her secrets of success. This chapter also includes insights and advice fromother leading event industry professionals


  1. The World of Events
    Special Events: A Definition
    Overview of Opportunities

  2. The Business of the Special Event Business

  3. Begin with the Basics
    Setting Goals and Measurements of Success
    Questions to Answer
    Sample Preliminary Event Strategy Plan

  4. The Creative Process
    Brainstorming: The Brainstorming Session
    Adding the “WOW”
    Finding Other Event Ideas
    Other Ideas For Going Beyond the Conventional - More “WOW” Tactics
    Organizing the Possibilities: Matching Tactics to Goals

  5. The Planning Process
    Where to Begin
    Systemizing the Approach to Event Planning and Documentation

  6. Sponsorships
    Understanding Public Sponsorship
    Auditing Your Opportunities
    Targeting Sponsors
    The Sponsorship Package
    Assigning Value to the Package
    Agreement Documentation and Management
    Legal Contracts
    The Follow-up Report
    Sample Public Sponsorship Proposal
    Captive Audience Sponsorships
    Sample Captive Audience Sponsorship Proposal

  7. The Marketing Plan and PR Component
    The Marketing Plan
    The Public Relations Component

  8. Team and Volunteer Management
    Organizing Your Team/Committee
    Using Job Descriptions
    Committee Planning Kick-off
    Internal Communication Plan
    Holding an Effective Meeting
    Committee Helpful Hints
    Working with On-site Volunteers

  9. On-site Implementation
    Implementation - Just Do It!
    Key Questions Before the Event
    Secrets of Scripting
    Sample Production Script
    Sample Overall Script
    Command Central
    Sportswear/Staff Uniforms
    Problem Solving - Preparing for the Unexpected
    Sample Incident Report Form
    At the Event Tips
    Staff Briefing and Debriefing
    Working with a Master of Ceremonies
    Working with Entertainers
    Creating Your “Event Bag”
    Equipment Management

  10. Crowd Movement and Traffic Flow
    A Case Study by Lisa DeFino, LD Events, San Diego, CA
    Maximum Capacities
    Event Space and Design

  11. Working with Food Vendors
    Working with Food Vendors
    Recruitment and Management
    Sample Food Vendor Packet
    Sample Food Vendor Contract
    Sample Food Vendor Evaluation Form

  12. Event Documentation and Evaluation
    The Role of Documentation
    After Event Process

  13. Glossary
Final Note From the Authors


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Exceptional Events
Concept to Completion
Second Edition
by Betsy Wiersma, CSEP and Kari Strolberg

ISBN 0-9708584-5-0 • 248 pages • $79.95 + shipping
Texas residents please add 6.75 % sales tax

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