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Conference Updates

Catersource & The Special Event will co-locate once again in March 2021, this time in the beautiful, sunny city of Miami Beach, Fla. 

To be held in the recently renovated Miami Beach Convention Center March 8 to 11, about a 12-minute drive from Miami International Airport, the convention center is nestled amongst 5-star restaurants, expansive beaches, and beautiful hotel properties. 

With a focus on rebuilding our industry, it will be time to get together, share best practices, enjoy each other’s company, and bring back solid ideas to your companies: recipes, research and development, décor ideas, business building, leadership, and innovative products that are in development right now in response to our new societal norms. Here’s a look at what you can expect:

Call for speakers: Call for session speakers is now open via this link: and will remain open until about June 26. Sessions can include demonstrations, hands-on activities, powerpoint presentations, and more. All track focuses are listed on the website but include culinary techniques and trends, staff development, on and off-premise catering strategies, event production, and health and safety. We’d love to have you share your expertise at this show. All speakers receive an education pass to attend all four days of the show.

Show ambassadors: Catersource and The Special Event have also announced its evening event ambassadors. Overseeing the catering partners will be Catersource’s 2018 Michael Roman Lifetime Achievement winner, Bill Hansen, founder and CEO of Bill Hansen Catering and Event Production (Miami, FL). With an eye toward event execution, Heather Rouffe (right), managing partner of Atlas Event Rental, Boynton Beach, FL has stepped up.

Awards competition: The Catersource ACE, Special Event Gala, and ICA CATIE awards nomination portal will be ready for entries beginning July 15, with new categories. Awards will be presented on Thursday evening, March 11 at a TBD location in the Miami area.

Eligible events run from Sept. 30, 2019, to Sept. 30, 2020 with a first deadline for entry on October 26. Late bird deadline is November 2. Nominees will be notified no later than December 18. Go to in mid-July for information or to enter.

Diced & Swizzle competitions:
Both competitions will be held at the Miami Beach Convention Center on March 10, and we are currently seeking chefs and bartenders to compete in these lively (and slightly revamped for 2021) events. Email [email protected] for details.  

Registration: Registration should open in mid-Q3 of 2020. Go to for the latest information.

Art of Catering Food 2020 update

The Art of Catering Food (AOCF), in partnership with International Caterers Association (ICA), has postponed and moved its epic tastings, hands-on sessions, and expert-led discussions into Q3 2021.

Same place (Philadelphia, PA), same great chef-forward content with a focus on culinary techniques, fresh ingredients, food costings, but now slated for August 23 to 25, 2021 at Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown.

Via conversations with the ICA and Catersource, the two collaborating teams made the decision to move the conference for myriad reasons related to the virus outbreak in the U.S.

If you submitted a proposal to speak: the Call for Speakers site will remain open and active, with updated information. Session proposals will now be accepted until March 30, 2021.

While we were all looking forward to enjoying the beautiful city of Philadelphia in August of this year, all good things come to those who wait!

Rebuild & Rise content series






For many caterers and event planners, 2020 was shaping up to be a record-breaking year of financial gain. In response to the need for information regarding rebuilding, innovating, and recouping losses due to the virus outbreak, Catersource has built a series of articles, podcasts, and an upcoming free webinar series featuring industry experts. 

Leading the charge to improve upon a most certainly scaled back financial outlook, industry experts will write, virtually teach, and podcast on topics such as food safety, contracts and negotiation, and communication. Watch for the Rebuild & Rise logo touting this robust content via the Rebuilding Strategies topic link ( on the website. 

Kathleen Stoehr

Kathleen Stoehr is the Director of Community & Content Strategy for Informa Connect | Catersource and Special Events magazines, including all digital content for both websites and e-newsletter products. She also vets, hires, guides and coordinates all live education at Catersource Conference & Tradeshow, Art of Catering Food, Leading Caterers of America Executive Summit, and bridge content at The Special Event.