BEST OF 2008

The Year's Smartest Strategies and Most Innovative Ideas

November 24, 2008, 8:10 AM EST

Performance artists greeted guests at the entrance to the Watermill Center's summer benefit in the Hamptons.

Photo: for BizBash

Sure, 2008 isn't actually over yet. But as we get closer to 2009, it seems like a good time to take a look back at the innovative strategies, people, and ideas from this year that are sure to inspire events well into the future.

And, OK, we might as well confess, we put this package together for our final 2008 magazine issues in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, which have already been printed and mailed. So while we didn't feature ideas from all of 2008, we think you'll find some good ideas here nonetheless. Here are all of the stories from that package:

Spiced-Up Staging

Fashion Forward
Andrew Barrett is driving big sales increases at LG Canada with large event sponsorships, including a new series of fashion industry partnerships.

Profit Centers
Elizabeth Baker Keffer has turned around Atlantic Media's event division, sharpening its content-heavy programs and making them profitable.

New Ideas for Step-and-Repeats, Activities, and Entertainment

Change in Washington
André Wells offers an alternative to classic D.C. entertaining: decor-heavy evenings ripe with surprises.

Ceiling Makeovers

Scripting Reality
Valerie Brown is promoting Bravo's new and returning series with attention-getting stunts and tours.

Return on Investment
Lee Kite keeps sponsors coming back—with more than $2 million for one benefit.

New Ideas for Food and Decor

Home Maker
Jessica Meisels launched the Malibu beach house marketing pop-up, a format she kept alive this summer in the face of legislative challenges.

Lighting Takes Center Stage

Campaign Crusader
Yosi Sergant used youth-friendly ideas and instantly iconic artwork to help Barack Obama's grassroots efforts.

Car Talk
Andy Fuzesi revamped the dates of the L.A. Auto Show, doubling press attendance and boosting its international profile.

Grand Entrances

The Rebound
Sarah Schnell helped Diffa/Chicago's gala win back sponsors—and increase its revenue by 63 percent.

Slow Fizz
Kevin Tressler taught China how to drink Coke in an eight-year campaign that culminated at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Bird's-Eye View

Food Chain
Lee Brian Schrager, the man behind the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, this year set his sights on Manhattan, launching an ambitious sister event.

Innovative Product Placement

Off the Books
Comic-Con has grown from a modest gathering in a hotel basement to a convention that attracts big-time talent, sponsors, and exhibitors.

Building a Reputation
Tracy Bowie is incorporating eco-friendly practices throughout Canada's biggest interior-design trade show.

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