Busy event professionals who want extra recognition for their work are getting some extra time to enter this year's Gala Awards competition. Entries can come in to the Special Events Magazine offices by Friday, Sept. 5, by 4 p.m. Pacific. With this deadline, the entry fee is $99 for each entry. (There is no extra charge for joint entries.) For those who cannot make the Friday deadline, entries can arrive by 4 p.m. on Sept. 12--the entry fee for "late-bird" entries is $125 each.
This year's competition is open to events that have taken place between Sept. 1, 2007, and Aug. 31, 2008. Events that place after Aug. 31 may be entered in next year's competition.
The Special Events Advisory Board revised some of the rules for this year's competition. Highlights are:
- entrants must be anonymous
- entries must include a budget and a timeline
- entries based primarily on donations (e.g., events at The Special Event) are no longer eligible
For the link to the official Entry Form and the official Gala Budget Template--either a plain document or an interactive PDF--and instructions, click here.
To help you prepare your entry, here are some frequently asked questions:
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?
Yes. This year, all entries must include a budget. And 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. You can download the Gala Budget Template by clicking here.
Besides a budget, I see that I also must include a timeline. Is there a specific form for that?
No. The judges just want a sense of how your event was developed and executed over time. There is no required form for the timeline.
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.
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 the invitation, etc.)
Yes, it is OK if your client's name appears in the entry.
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 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.
Is there an extra charge for a joint entry?
I don't see the title "Theme Decor" anymore--it's just "Decor." My event had a very specific theme--can I still enter it?
Yes. The judges are looking for beautiful decor, whether or not it carries through a specific theme. Feel free to enter.
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.
When are Gala entries due?
The regular deadline is Sept. 5 by 4 p.m. Pacific Time; the fee is $99. The special "late-bird" deadline is Sept. 12 by 4 p.m. Pacific Time; the fee is $125.
Help, I still have questions! Whom can I contact for help?
You are welcome to e-mail questions here.