The Special Event Company leads the post-pandemic return for AEP conference academic event professionals to convene in Boston, Oct. 16-18, 2022. The Special Event Company (TSEC), the North Carolina-based global event producer, will once again lead the annual Academic Event Professionals (AEP) conference in Boston on the campus of Boston University. The 2022 AEP conference marks the return of the in-person event after a hiatus during the pandemic in 2021. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Brave New World.’

2022 AEP Conference

2022 AEP Conference

The AEP conference began as a specialized workshop by TSEC CEO Sally Webb at the Special Events Show, the annual industry trade event. The popular session was first produced as a stand-alone event when Webb and her team founded the AEP conference in 2006. TSEC remains the official event planning company for the conference.

“Academic events have been part of our DNA since The Special Event Company was founded in 1987,” said Webb, who serves as AEP Advisory Board Chair. “We are proud to lead this one-of-a-kind conference in such an important category of event planning where so much depends on the success of each project, whether in fundraising, alumni relations, research or recruiting.”

2022 AEP Conference

2022 AEP Conference

Learn and Share Best Practices

For more than 15 years, the AEP conference has offered a forum for academic event professionals to learn and share best practices and exchange ideas to develop and hone event skills in an educational setting. The conference program provides a rare opportunity for event planners in academe to receive tailored professional development, network with one another, and visit vendors specializing in products and services for academic environments. The conference focuses on issues, opportunities and challenges unique to higher education, attracting seasoned planners and industry newcomers.

Featuring a variety of keynote speakers, workshops and break-out sessions, AEP 2022 will focus on the evolution of academic events in a post-pandemic world, with topics to include:

  • How virtual, hybrid, and in-person academic events will look in the future
  • Reclaiming the role of academic events in institutional communications and strategy
  • Challenges faced by those new to event planning
  • Designing events to reach new, diverse audiences
  • Creating a healthy work/life balance for event planners

Event Professionals or Dream Facilitators?

Karen Cochran, CFRE, founder of Philanthropy Innovators and a nationally recognized expert on higher education fundraising, will give Monday’s keynote presentation: “Event Professionals or Dream Facilitators? Inspiring and Developing Your Events Team.” Cochran knows academic event professionals’ critical role in conveying their organization’s mission and impact. After over three decades at universities and academic health centers, Cochran charts the path for high-achieving teams to embrace their roles as dream facilitators in this “brave new world.”

TSEC, under Webb’s leadership, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic events in the U.S. and internationally and continues to produce events for Duke, Princeton and smaller universities such as Salem State and others. Known as an events industry pioneer and influential woman business owner, Webb has built the Raleigh-based operation into one of the most respected event producers in the U.S., handling high-profile projects for YouTube, Twitch, Teen Cancer America, Boy Scouts of America, NHL All-Star Weekend and Amgen, to name a few.

TSEC Event Planning Company

A perennial industry award-winner, TSEC continues to execute global in-person, virtual and hybrid programs, providing turn-key event solutions, strategy, and full-service digital production services at its studio headquarters in Apex. N.C.

The 2022 AEP conference will occur at the Boston University Questrom School of Business. Additional information, including the three-day conference agenda, can be found at

About The Special Event Company:
The Special Event Company (TSEC) has provided exceptional strategic and creative delivery of meetings and events since our formation in 1987. The company executes global programs seamlessly from our headquarters in Raleigh, N.C. We offer a turnkey service for strategy development, site selection, planning, logistics, A/V, virtual events and studio production, transport, collateral and graphic design. Our professional planners will effectively budget, design, source, contract, and execute award-winning programs that exceed clients’ goals and deliver excellent ROI. For more information, please visit