A number of organizations hold annual contests to judge work in the meeting profession. 'Tis time to be thinking of these and other programs that honor outstanding meetings, incentives, and events. If you missed this year's deadlines, mark your calendar for next year. Here's a roundup.
Meeting Professionals International accepts submissions in early spring for its Global Paragon Award. Judges look for “exceptional meetings/events that deliver measurable successes to an organization's bottom line.” MPI members compete in two budget categories: up to $1,000 per attendee (excluding transportation) and those with higher per-person costs. Entries can be in any of three areas: themed event, promotion for a meeting or event, and product launch. www.mpiweb.org
The Society of Incentive & Travel Executives recognizes incentive travel programs with its Crystal Awards. Open to members and nonmembers, the competition has six categories, including Creative Use of an Incentive Program to Solve a Marketing Problem and Outstanding Travel Reward Program. Judges look for an “exceptional travel experience” in addition to a program that reaches its goals, whether that is stimulating sales or some other measure. Entries for the 2006 Crystals are due July 10. www.site-intl.org
If your specialty is special events, try for a Gala Award. Special Events Magazine, sister publication to CMI, bestows the Gala Awards in more than 30 categories, including best theme décor, best achievement in logistics, and best event entertainment concept and execution. Entries are due September 10. Winners will be named in January at The Special Event 2007 in Los Angeles. www.specialevents.com
EIBTM, an international meeting and incentive exhibition held in Barcelona in November, offers the EIBTM Meetings and Incentives Industry Awards. The program rewards creativity and excellence in seven categories, including best product launch, and best incentive travel program. firstname.lastname@example.org
IMEX, the Frankfurt, Germany, exhibition for incentive travel, meetings, and events, and the www.greenmeetings.infoIndustry Council have the IMEX Green Meetings Awards. Categories include a Commitment to the Community Award, Green Meetings Award, and Green Exhibitor Award. Awards are given to organizations that have minimized the environmental and social impact of their events. Submissions for the 2007 awards are due in February 2007.
Finally, the International Special Events Society recognizes achievement in special events with its Esprit Awards. Members can submit entries in 13 categories, including corporate event planning and event design/décor (entries compete in budget categories). Members compete anonymously, and submissions earn credits toward the association's certification program. The deadline was May 1, and recipients are celebrated at ISES Eventworld in August. www.ises.com