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Congratulations to This Year's Gala Award Recipients!

Submissions Now Being Accepted for 2024 Awards

Special Events magazine is delighted to announce this year's recipients for this year's Gala Awards, who were honored during Catersource + The Special Event on March 30th in Orlando, FL. 
Congratulations to all of this year's finalists

Best Entertainment

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Photo courtesy Andreas Keller Fotografie

Insglueck | Kazakhstan Pavilion Expo 2020 - Mainshow "Unlimited Space"

The Main Show marks the dramaturgical climax of Kazakhstan Pavilion Expo 2020. During a captivating high-tech multimedia show with a 270-degree panorama cinema, an acrobat interacted with a robotic arm in a multimedia show that engagingly documented the future of mankind and artificial intelligence through a unique live performance.

Best Event for a Private Individual

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Photo courtesy Justin Munter Photography

Star Trax Events | Take Over The Night

“Take Over the Night” Bar Mitzvah was a spectacular affair. The colors, lights, and attention to details added to the extravagant and dazzling décor. A 24’ LED wall surrounded by a 50’ custom design with floor to ceiling neon customized the room. Star Trax Events organized a video shoot of the honoree and incorporated him into the custom content throughout the evening, including: a kid’s soda bar with custom Jones soda bottles, highlighted initials with different sayings and neon signage, a custom 3-D photo backdrop, and custom menus. Accent water goblets and an elevated dinner experience for kids and adults alike added to the originality and uniqueness of the event.

Best Event Produced for a Corporation or Association

Photo courtesy Ivan Piedra Photography

Lenny Talarico Events and Cerbelli Creative | MAPFRE - The INTREPID Celebration

A Spanish insurance company hosted a long-awaited incentive reception in New York City aboard the iconic aircraft carrier Intrepid. This event marked the first time in 3-years employees gathered for this occasion post-pandemic. A fitting venue to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the event, the spectacular celebration provided guests opportunities to mingle amongst vintage aircraft, museum artifacts and the space shuttle Enterprise. The project was the largest entertainment production ever assembled onboard the historic vessel; it included 175-performers, 2-bands, a DJ, specialty performers, a Flash Mob, choreographed production segments and costumed atmosphere performers. Attendees enjoyed libations and unique culinary offerings.

Best Fundraising or Nonprofit Event

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Photo courtesy Brian Dennehy Photography

Peace Arch Hospital Foundation | La Dolce Vita

This fundraising gala for Peace Arch Hospital Foundation celebrated the lush beauty, tantalizing food, and succulent wine that goes hand-in-hand with The Sweet Life, Italian-style.

Best Multiple-Day Event Program for a Corporation or Association

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Photo courtesy Scott Chaffee @oakimagery

Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations | Chandler Chamber Ostrich Festival 2022

Organized by Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations (SLE), the Chandler Chamber Ostrich Festival is known as one of the premier festivals in the southwest and a long-standing community tradition. The Ostrich Festival is a family-friendly event featuring national and local entertainment, thrilling stage shows, over 50 exhilarating midway rides and games, classic festival food, and of course ostriches! The festival also features interactive educational activities, exciting attractions, upscale arts and crafts and much more!

Best Wedding

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Photo courtesy Kelsey Regan Photography

Jaclyn Watson Events | Green Envy

For this wedding, the primary palette focused on the variations and use of the color green, in an already lush green landscape. Various shades and textures were used, along with accents of gold and light purple touches that blended beautifully with the property's deep greens and stone greys. A mixture of dark farm and linen tables blended with the natural Vermont environment, with the luxury touches that encompassed the couple. The linens were a vibrant pop of green with a floral inlay, along with stunning see-through white floral runners.

Most Outstanding Spectacle, Fair, or Festival

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Photo courtesy Andreas Keller Fotografie

Insglueck | Kazakhstan Pavilion Expo 2020 - Gateway to tomorrow

The Kazakhstan's innovative, immersive and interactive pavilion gave guests the opportunity to experience the country’s past, present and future. Pre-historic rock engravings and Scythian animal motifs in the entrance area documented a thousands of-years-old nomad culture.

Designer of the Year

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Photo courtesy John and Joseph Photography

Kristin Banta Events | Kristin Banta

Kristin Banta has been an innovator for over twenty years, setting the standard for high-end events – exclusive corporate galas, memorable brand activations, hip entertainment industry soirées, society weddings and destination extravaganzas – among a private and corporate clientele who all share a passion for the dramatically different. At the cutting edge of the latest trends in decor, catering and entertainment, Kristin Banta takes the client’s vision to an epic new level, orchestrating truly original celebrations in locations worldwide that are provocative and impact all senses, telling a distinct story to each and every guest.

Submissions Now Open

It's once again time to celebrate the best of the best! Nominations are now being accepted for the Special Events 2024 Gala awards!  We invite you to submit your best work from the past year. Join in the excitement and the spirit of our industry as we celebrate the hard work and exceptional accomplishments of our peers.

The categories for 2024 are: 

  • Designer of the Year
  • Best Fundraising or Nonprofit Event
  • Micro Event of the Year
  • Virtual or Hybrid Event of the Year
  • Sustainability in Events
  • Best Wedding: Budget Under $1,000 Per Guest
  • Best Wedding: Budget $1,000 and Above Per Guest
  • Best Event Produced for a Corporation or Association: Overall Budget Under $500,000
  • Best Event Produced for a Corporation or Association: Overall Budget Over $500,000
  • Best Event for a Private Individual: Budget Under $1,000 Per Guest
  • Best Event for a Private Individual: Budget $1,000 and Above Per Guest
  • Total Décor: Budget Under $500,000
  • Total Décor: Budget Over $500,000
  • Best Entertainment: Budget Under $100,000
  • Best Entertainment: Budget $100,000 and Above
  • Most Outstanding Spectacle, Fair, or Festival
  • Best Multiple-Day Event Program for a Corporation or Association

To submit an entry to this year's ACE awards, please visit our awards portal.

Important Dates

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2023 | Gala Award Submissions Open
  • September 1, 2022-September, 30, 2023 | Eligibility Period for Entries
  • Sunday, October 15, 2023 | Regular submission deadline ($99 fee)
  • Tuesday, October 31, 2023 | Late Bird submission deadline ($160 fee)

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If you are interested in entering in the ACE awards instead, you can enter the 2024 Catersource ACE awards in the same online portal as the Gala awards. Catersource + The Special Event will run February 12-15, 2024 in Austin, TX. Both the ACE and Gala awards will be presented during the conference at a to-be-determined location in Austin.

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