With nearly 400 entries — a 20 percent boost over last year — from North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, competition for this year's Gala Awards nominations was fierce. Here are the nominees as selected by the Special Events Magazine Advisory Board. Look for descriptions and a photo of each nominee in our January issue, then cheer the winners at The Special Event 2009, Jan. 30 in San Diego, Calif. See you there! — The Editors

BEST FAIR/FESTIVAL

EventPros, Kansas City, Mo.

“KC RiverFest”

JHE Production Group, Harrisburg, N.C.

“Food Lion Speed Street”

The Lundquist Co., Sacramento, Calif.

“First 5 Sacramento Children's Celebration”

BEST INVITATION

ASE Group, Overland Park, Kan.

“Ben-Mitzvah”

BK Design, Boston

“60: The New 40”

Hannah Handmade, Evanston, Ill.

“Driehaus 66”

BEST DINING TABLE DESIGN

Designs by Sean, Dania, Fla.

“Love Across the Ocean”

Janet Flowers Wedding and Event Design, Rockville, Md.

“Couture Yourself”

Janet Flowers Wedding and Event Design, Rockville, Md.

“Le Charme Automne”

BEST OFF-PREMISE CATERED EVENT

Gourmet Fine Catering, Denver

“Legendary V Club”

Someone's in the Kitchen, Tarzana, Calif.

“Bash in Bel Air”

Someone's in the Kitchen, Tarzana, Calif.

“Farber Trifecta”

BEST CATERED EVENT PRODUCED BY A HOTEL BANQUET DEPARTMENT

Harith Productions, Willow Grove, Pa., and Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro

“Spirit of Rio”

Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, Las Vegas, and LTeventions, Las Vegas

“Jersey Boys Grand Opening Gala”

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

“The Ultimate Chef's Table”

BEST FUNDRAISING EVENT

Alison Silcoff Events, Montreal

“The Daffodil Ball”

Catalina Island Conservancy, Long Beach, Calif.

“13th Annual Conservancy Ball: Earth, Wind and Fire”

Total Entertainment, Carlstadt, N.J.

“A Marketplace for Peace”

BEST EVENT PRODUCED FOR A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION

E=MC2 Event Management, Calgary, Alberta

“David Foster Foundation Gala”

Method 42 Productions, San Jose, Calif., and Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery, Pleasanton, Calif.

“Viva La Mediterranean”

Tom Bercu Presents, Los Angeles

“Valentino @ Valenti”

BEST WEDDING: BUDGET UNDER $1,000 PER GUEST

Future Affairs Productions, East Providence, R.I.

“An Unconventional Wedding”

Magic Moments, Norcross, Ga.

“A Tasteful Halloween Wedding”

Wedding Design 3, Marietta, Ga.

“Gatsby Wedding at Oheka”

BEST WEDDING: BUDGET $1,000 AND ABOVE PER GUEST

Events of Distinction, San Francisco

“Reaching a New Pinnacle”

Fiori Fresco Special Events, La Habra Heights, Calif., and Details, Details, Irvine, Calif.

“Rock-Mink Wedding”

Honeysweet Productions, Los Angeles

“My Big Fat Kodak Wedding”

BEST MULTIPLE-DAY INCENTIVE EVENT

Designs by Sean, Dania, Fla.

“Inner Circle 2008”

Harith Productions, Willow Grove, Pa., and Designs by Sean, Dania, Fla.

“Evening of Carioca Pride”

Jobe & Associates, Dublin, Ohio

“Island Royalty”

BEST MULTIPLE-DAY EVENT PROGRAM FOR A CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION

Jobe & Associates, Dublin, Ohio

“National Sales Summit”

Total Event Resources, Schaumburg, Ill.

“Drive”

Total Event Resources, Schaumburg, Ill.

“Team Up”

BEST EVENT STAGED IN MULTIPLE LOCATIONS

Affinity Sports Marketing, Southlake, Texas

“Midnight Gaming Championship”

Circ Corporate Experience, Wiesbaden, Germany

“Marketplace of Innovations”

Event Architects, Chicago

“2008 Procter & Gamble My Black is Beautiful Tour”

BEST FLORAL DESIGN

Janet Flowers Wedding and Event Design, Rockville, Md.

“An Enchanting Autumn Evening”

Janet Flowers Wedding and Event Design, Rockville, Md.

“The Young and the Guestlist”

The Precious Moment Beijing, Beijing

“Continuity with Variations, Movement in Stillness”

BEST TENT INSTALLATION

Classic Party Rentals/ Ducky-Bob's, Dallas

“Ranch Wedding and Reception”

Regal Tent Productions, Stoney Creek, Ontario

“University of Pennsylvania Gala”

Top Productions, Richmond, Calif.

“Google Holiday Party”

BEST USE OF LIGHTING

Designs by Sean, Dania, Fla.

“Inner Circle 2008: Color Your World”

Global Events, Madrid

“Real Madrid Championship Celebration”

Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, Conn.

“'70s Disco New Year's Eve Celebration”

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN TECHNICAL SUPPORT

Aggreko, Houston

“Beijing 2008 Olympic Games”

Brite Ideas by Greg Christy, Foothill Ranch, Calif.

“Grand Opening of BCAM”

Global Events, Madrid

“Championship Celebration”

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN LOGISTICS

Raymond Production Group, Pembroke Pines, Fla., and Bravo! Entertainment, Dallas

“2007 Entertainment Showcase”

The Arrangers, Denver

“Sustainability Expo and Concert”

Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, Las Vegas, and Luminous, Wan Chai, SAR, China

“Celebration Macau 2008”

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN EVENT RENTAL SUPPORT

Classic Party Rentals/ Ducky-Bob's, Dallas

“Neiman Marcus Centennial”

Classic Party Rentals, McCook, Ill.

“Sanford Health Celebration”

Top Productions, Richmond, Calif.

“Scion United”

BEST NEW, INNOVATIVE EVENT PRODUCT/TECHNOLOGY

Fireworks Concepts, Wilmington, Del.

“Fire and Ice Luminaria”

Pink Inc., New York

“The Cove/DIFFA's Dining by Design 2008”

Velon Designs, San Francisco

“Manus Valentine's Day Ball”

BEST EVENT ENTERTAINMENT CONCEPT AND EXECUTION: ENTERTAINMENT BUDGET UNDER $25,000

Designs by Sean, Dania, Fla., and Andy Kushner Entertainment, Rockville, Md.

“Inner Circle 2008: Daydream in the Desert”

Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, Las Vegas, and LTeventions, Las Vegas

“Jersey Boys Grand Opening Gala”

BEST EVENT ENTERTAINMENT CONCEPT AND EXECUTION: ENTERTAINMENT BUDGET $25,000 TO $100,000

Alison Silcoff Events, Montreal

“The Daffodil Ball: Tribute to James Bond”

Dorene Collier's Event Show Productions, Tampa, Fla.

“Nilda's Surprise Birthday Party”

Experiential Events, Calgary, Alberta, and Bravo! Entertainment, Dallas

“Feel the Beat”

BEST EVENT ENTERTAINMENT CONCEPT AND EXECUTION: ENTERTAINMENT BUDGET ABOVE $100,000

Hello Florida, Orlando, Fla.

“Beach-A-Thon”

Tom Bercu Presents, Los Angeles, and Extraordinary Events, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

“Welcome Reception”

Vok Dams Group, Wuppertal, Germany

“Launch Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4”

MOST OUTSTANDING SPECTACLE

Global Events, Madrid

“Championship Celebration”

The Full Effect, Bedford, England

“Light Fantastic”

Vok Dams Group, Wuppertal, Germany

“Evonik Industries Brand Launch”

BEST EVENT PRODUCED FOR A PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL: BUDGET UNDER $1,000 PER GUEST

ASE Group, Overland Park, Kan.

“Ben-Mitzvah”

Events of Distinction, San Francisco

“A Kaleidoscope of New Possibilities”

Rogers and Gala Creative Partners, Charlotte, N.C.

“Everything's Coming Up Roses”

BEST EVENT PRODUCED FOR A PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL: BUDGET $1,000 AND ABOVE PER GUEST

A Special Event, Dallas, and Larry Leathers Design Services, Dallas

“Morgan Takes Manhattan”

E=MC2 Event Management, Calgary, Alberta

“Mamdani 40th Surprise Birthday”

Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, Las Vegas, and Luminous, Wan Chai, SAR, China

“Celebration Macau 2008”

BEST EVENT MARKETING CAMPAIGN

The Lundquist Co., Sacramento, Calif.

“Fifth Anniversary for City of Rancho Cordova”

Vok Dams Group, Wuppertal, Germany

“Evonik Industries Brand Launch”

Wachovia Bank, Charlotte, N.C., and Synergy Events, Ocean, N.J.

“Way 2 Save Challenge Tour”

BEST THEATRICAL ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTION

Global Events, Madrid

“Championship Celebration”

Global Events, Madrid

“Renault Laguna Presentation”

Vok Dams Group, Wuppertal, Germany

“Launch Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4”

BEST DECOR: TOTAL DECOR BUDGET UNDER $20,000

BeEvents, Minneapolis

“Artful Connections”

Designs by Sean, Dania, Fla.

“Theatre of the Sea”

Robert Fountain Event Designs, San Francisco

“100 Years of Living”

BEST DECOR: TOTAL DECOR BUDGET $20,000 TO $49,999

Catering by Design, Denver

“Raising the Bar”

Planning Factory International, Wilmington, Del.

“146th Long Service Awards”

The Precious Moment Beijing, Beijing

“TrendsHome Awards Ceremony”

BEST DECOR: TOTAL DECOR BUDGET $50,000 TO $150,000

Decor and More, Oakville, Ontario, and E=MC2 Event Management, Calgary, Alberta

“Andy Warhol POPS”

Hello Florida, Orlando, Fla.

“20th Annual Black and White Gala”

The Precious Moment Beijing, Beijing

“A Walk Through the Seasons”

BEST DECOR: TOTAL DECOR BUDGET ABOVE $150,000

Alison Silcoff Events, Montreal, and Dick Walsh, New York

“The Daffodil Ball”

The Catering Co. Decor, Chapel Hill, N.C.

“Carolina First”

Tom Bercu Presents, Los Angeles, and Extraordinary Events, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

“Streets of San Francisco”

BEST EVENT PRODUCED FOR A CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION: OVERALL BUDGET UNDER $100,000

Harith Productions, Willow Grove, Pa., and GB Internacional, Rio de Janeiro

“Evening of Carioca Pride”

Phoenixville Foundry, Phoenixville, Pa.

“Hankin Group Holiday Party 2007”

Total Event Resources, Schaumburg, Ill.

“Pirate Adventure on Canuoan Island”

BEST EVENT PRODUCED FOR A CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION: OVERALL BUDGET $100,000 TO $249,999

Cindy Thompson Event Productions, Portland, Ore.

“Artists of Innovation: Technical Excellence Awards”

Harith Productions, Willow Grove, Pa., and Designs by Sean, Dania, Fla.

“New Seven Wonders”

Total Event Resources, Schaumburg, Ill.

“Holiday Toy Workshop”

BEST EVENT PRODUCED FOR A CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION: OVERALL BUDGET $250,000 TO $500,000

Designs by Sean, Dania, Fla.

“Inner Circle 2008: Color Your World”

Extraordinary Events, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

“Customer Appreciation and 40th Anniversary”

Welcome Event Marketing, Copenhagen

“A-Day is Here”

BEST EVENT PRODUCED FOR A CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION: OVERALL BUDGET ABOVE $500,000

Global Events, Madrid

“Renault Laguna Presentation”

Pleon Event & Sponsoring, Bonn, Germany

“Mercedes-Benz CLC World Premiere”

Tom Bercu Presents, Los Angeles,and Extraordinary Events, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

“Streets of San Francisco”