It's that time--the 2012 Gala Awards competition opened on Friday. The award, handed out by Special Events magazine since 1986, recognizes the finest work in special events worldwide.
This year's competition is open to events that have taken place between Sept. 1, 2011, and Aug. 31, 2012. Events that place after Aug. 31 may be entered in next year's competition.
For last year's awards Gala Awards, the magazine received nearly 340 entries in 35 categories from Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Russia, Spain and the United States.
Entries are $99 each if received by 4 p.m. Pacific Time on Friday, Sept. 14. (The "late-bird" entry deadline is Sept. 21 at a fee of $125 each.)
The Gala Awards will be handed out at The Special Event 2013 on Jan. 18 in Chicago.
For entry forms, click here.
SECRETS OF SUCCESS
Do you want insider secrets on winning a Gala Award? You will find them here:
Can an event company from anywhere in the world enter the Gala Awards?
Yes! We are honored to receive entries from Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, etc.
I am entering the category “Best Achievement in Logistics.” Do I need to include a budget?
No! Only categories with a dollar figure in the title need to include a budget. So, if you are entering "Best Floral Design," you do not need to include a budget. But if you enter "Best Wedding: Budget Under $1,000 Per Guest," you do need to include a budget.
If you do need to include a budget, be sure the use the Gala Budget Template so that you include all the line items the judges are looking for. The judges realize that not all entries will require each line in the template, but try to follow the template as closely as you can.
As a Gala Award entrant, should I make sure to keep my company’s name out of the descriptions in the entry?
Yes! In years past, the Gala Awards did not require anonymous entries, but the judges have decided this is important to preserve the integrity of the competition. Be sure to double-check any DVD labels, production schedules, etc., for your name.
But what about my client's name—is it OK to have that name in the entry? (My client's name appears in decor, on signage, on the invitation, etc.)
Yes, it is OK if your client's name appears in the entry—this is vital in branding events.
But I am an in-house event professional--I created the event for my own company. Is it OK that my company's name appears in the binder?
Yes, that's fine—the purpose of many special events is to emphasize a brand. And the judges don't know if the in-house event professional or an outsider creates the event. Just remember to avoid referring to yourself as an employee of the "client" company.
How do I know what the Gala judges are looking for?
Here is a sample judge's sheet. You can see the judges rate on important criteria such as creativity, effectiveness, understand of objectives and professionalism.
The entry form asks for entries to be supplied in three-ring binders, but my part of the world uses four-ring binders. Is that all right?
Can I get my Gala entry returned to me?
No. All Gala entries become property of Special Events.
Help, I still have questions! Whom can I contact for help?
You are welcome to e-mail questions here.
REVIEW WINNING GALA WORK
For a list of last year's winners, click here.