It’s Time for an Event to Celebrate You!

The team from the Venetian Palazzo accepts its Gala trophy at The Special Event 2019.

Are you an event planner or event industry supplier?

Have you produced or supplied for an incredible event that happened between Sept. 1, 2018, and Sept. 30, 2019?

Then you're eligible for a Gala Award! Submit your nomination today!

Rules & Submission Guidelines   Submit Nomination Here   Awards Ceremony Tickets

Now in its 35th year, the Gala Award honors the finest work in special events worldwide. 

The Special Events magazine advisory board will review each anonymous submission, rate and score each event. The Short List is announced in the spring in Special Events magazine. Then, the winners will be announced LIVE at The Special Event in March 2020.

New this year

You can enter the Catersource 2020 ACE Awards in the same online portal as the Gala Awards. Catersource and The Special Event will co-locate in 2020, March 9-12 in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Both the Gala and ACE Awards will be presented on March 12 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center at the Awards Celebration immediately following the cocktail and appetizer reception.  Tickets are required to attend the event.

The categories entered must correspond directly with the work that was done. For example, if you enter Best Wedding, you must oversee the wedding, not provide only one element such as floral. (Here, it might be smart to consider a joint entry.)

Ineligible events: Industry events based primarily on donations—e.g., events at The Special Event, ILEA chapter events, etc.—are not eligible. Events must have been created for a paying client or as part of an in-house event professional’s salaried job.

How do you get a Gala Award? Here's a quick list of what you'll need!

1. THE 100 WORDS
A 100-word synopsis of the event or service. Do not include your name or company.
2. 1,000 WORDS
Description including name of the event, date(s), and number of guests tailored to the award category.
3. THE FOUR QUESTIONS
In 1,000 words or less (total) answer each of the following:
  1. What were the objectives of this event/entry, and how were they met?
  2. What noteworthy challenges arose, and how were they overcome?
  3. How was the event/entry unique, distinctive and professionally executed? Give examples.
  4. How does the event/entry demonstrate value for budget spent?
4. THE PHOTOS
Include at least 10 high-rez (1 MB, JPEGs or TIFFs) photos of the event; no watermark or company name.
5. THE BUDGET
Please use the Budget Template here. Please submit as a Word document (PDFs do not submit correctly).
6. SUBMIT
For each category nomination:
  1. Submit the required documentation listed above.
  2. Do not include your name or company.
  3. Submit and pay the $99 entry fee by Oct. 25, 2019, by 4 p.m. Pacific Time.
    1. The fee is $160 if the entry is received/paid for by Nov. 1, 2019, by 4 p.m. Pacific Time.
    2. Joint entries are $200 at all times.

Gala Award Categories: 
1. Best Fair/Festival
2. Best Fundraising Event
3. Best Event Produced for a Nonprofit Organization
Best Wedding
   4. Best Wedding Budget Under $1,000 Per Guest
   5. Best Wedding Budget $1,000 and Above Per Guest
6. Best Multiple-Day Event Program for a Corporation or Association
7. Best Tent Installation
8. Best Achievement in Technical Support
9. Best Achievement in Logistics
10. Best Achievement in Event Rental Support
Best Event Entertainment Concept and Execution
   11. Best Entertainment Budget Under $100,000
   12. Best Entertainment Budget $100,000 and Above
13. Most Outstanding Spectacle
Best Event Produced for a Private Individual(s)
   14. Best Event for a Private Individual: Budget Under $1,000 Per Guest
   15. Best Event for a Private Individual: Budget $1,000 and Above Per Guest
16. Best Event Marketing Campaign
17. Best Event Venue
Best Decor
   18. Total Decor Budget Under $250,000
   19. Total Decor Budget $250,000 to $500,000
20. Total Decor Budget Above $500,000
Best Event Produced for a Corporation or Association
   21. Best Event Produced for a Corporation or Association: Overall Budget Under $500,000
   22. Best Event Produced for a Corporation or Association: Overall Budget $500,000 and Above