Special Events

You Still Have Time: Gala Entries Due Sept. 14

If you worry that you missed the deadline to enter the Gala Awards, take heart. You can still enter this year's competition by the "late-bird" deadline of Sept. 14. The Special Events Magazine office will accept entries until 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time that day.

The 2007 Gala Awards competition--the most prestigious honor in special events--is open to events taking place between Sept. 1, 2006, and Aug. 31, 2007. Nominees will be notified by mid-November, and winners will be named in January at The Special Event 2008 in Atlanta.

Event professionals are invited to enter in any of 35 categories, which run the gamut from "Best Floral Design" to "Best Event for a Corporation, Budget $500,000 and Above."

"Late-bird" entries are accepted till Sept. 14; the fee is $125 (U.S.) each.

Although the rules for year's Gala Awards are largely the same as in years past, "We've tweaked a few items based on recommendations from our judges," notes Special Events Magazine editor Lisa Hurley. New this year:

Budgets should follow the Gala Awards budget template. Judges sometimes complain that the budgets they review are poorly organized or don't include enough detail, Hurley says. To solve the problem, this year's Gala competition requires entrants to follow a basic budget template; the template is available on the Special Events site by clicking here.

The budget cutoff for private social events is now $1,000 per guest. "Our judges told us that they see so many high-end events that using $500 for the cutoff made no sense anymore," Hurley notes.

Corporate events now stand alone. Events produced for associations now are grouped with events for nonprofit organizations. "While some associations have big budgets for events, we found more often that many events are staged by associations that are themselves nonprofits and face tight budgets," Hurley explains.

"I urge all entrants to read the entry form carefully so they don't let a little clerical error hurt their entry's success," Hurley said.

For entry information--including the official entry form, instructions and a credit card form, click here.

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