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Special Events

Past Gala Award winners share benefits of winning the industry's top prize

If you ask winners of the Gala Awards-given annually by Special Events Magazine at The Special Event trade show-how it feels, many will tell you it's when they knew they had "arrived" in the event industry.

"Winning the Gala Award was a wonderful verification to our entire company that the hard work we do as a team is noticed and appreciated. It also was a recognition that the people we partner with value the contribution that entertainment makes to a successful event." - Paul Creighton, T. Skorman Productions, Orlando, Fla.

"Winning was a pinnacle of personal achievement. I knew that my peers and my industry were recognizing me as the best of the best. It's made me continue to strive for originality, creativity, uniqueness." -Andrea Michaels, Extraordinary Events, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

"I began my career out of my garage in California. I've had the opportunity to grow with The Special Event and become the proud recipient of many Galas. That success enabled me to be discovered in Las Vegas. The Gala Award is our Oscar; our Emmy, our Tony .... The feeling of winning one just doesn't get any better!" - Cheryl Fish, Mirage Resorts, Las Vegas

"The exhilaration of being publicly honored and acknowledged for our efforts has given us a new level of respect from our peers and the profession." - Robert Hulsmeyer, CSEP, and Jaclyn Bernstein, Empire Force Events, New York

"To be chosen by our peers as a Gala Award winner was a wonderful affirmation of the work of both our team at Culinary Capers Catering and Simon Cooksley and David Yanchuk, our designers from PartyArt Design. David and Simon were first-time attendees, and the look on their faces when it was announced that we had won was a moment that I will never forget." - Debra Lykkemark, Culinary Capers Catering, Vancouver, British Columbia

"Winning Gala Awards expanded my peer group, friendships and associations, enabling our company to offer an even wider range of professional services worldwide." - Patti Coons, CSEP, Patti Coons & Associates, Orlando

"The Gala Award lends additional credibility to your product and gives clients a level of comfort in knowing that the vendor that they are picking is recognized as one of the best in the business. Clients have actually said that the one thing that made the final decision to go with us was because of our awards." - David Merrell, An Original Occasion, Los Angeles

"I will never forget the first time I entered the Gala Awards six years ago. I had great hesitation, thinking, 'Was my event fabulous enough to get nominated?' Well it was, and I haven't stopped entering since. The recognition the nomination alone provides greatly impacts and betters the quality of your client base. Entering the Gala Awards should be a priority every year! Trust me, the rewards are phenomenal!" - Steve Kemble, Steve Kemble Event Design, Dallas

"When I call hotels, I tell them I won a Gala Award, and they are eager to do business with me. And even though we didn't win for the best incentive event, we have gained new incentive business as a result of the nominations we received." - Harith Wickrema, Harith Productions, Oreland, Pa.

"Winning the Gala Award resulted in extensive media coverage, allowing many potential clients, suppliers and artists to discover Festivex and our creative world of special event coordination." - Guy Thibault, Festivex, Aylmer, Quebec

Now that you're inspired, turn the page for the Gala Entry form- your chance to enter the 2000 Gala Awards!

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