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2018 Winners

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For the past 24 years, the Florida Festivals & Events Association has celebrated our members' achievements in event marketing, programming, service and innovation through the Sunsational Awards.

The Sunsational Awards are judged in three different budget levels and 19 different categories. Members may submit one item per category per event for nomination.

We had a record number of more than 400 submissions for the Sunsational Awards and we are thrilled to honor over 40 organizations and individuals representing over 120 events.

Congratulations to the following organizations on winning at least one award this year!
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ArtFest Fort Myers, Inc.
Blue-Grey Army, Inc
Boynton Beach CRA
City of Boca Raton
City Of Clearwater
City of Clermont
City of Coral Springs
City of Fort Lauderdale
City of Gainesville
City of Hialeah
City of Jacksonville Beach
City of Lake Worth
City of Mount Dora
City of North Port
City of Pinellas Park
City of Pompano Beach
City of Stuart
City Of Tamarac
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City Of West Palm Beach
Clay County Agricultural Fair
Coconut Grove Arts Festival
Collier County Agricultural Fair
Dania Beach Community Redevelopment Agency
Delray Beach Marketing Cooperative
Edison Festival of Light
Eventfest, Inc.
Evergreen Lifestyles Management
Florida Renaissance Festival
Florida State Fair Authority
Fort Myers Beach Film Festival
Lee County VCB
Leesburg Partnership
Lion Country Safari
Marine Industries Association of S FL
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Palm Beach County Public Affairs
Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce
Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau
Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival
Pompano Beach Community Redevelopment Agency
Schmidt Family Centre for the Arts
Seabreeze Jazz Festival
South Florida Fair
Spirit of Suwannee Music Park
Swamp Cabbage Festival
Town Of Orange Park
Village of Wellington
Visit Lake
West Palm Beach DDA
Winterfest, Inc.
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Complete photo gallery of award winners will be available soon!
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Distinguished Awards

Winners of the Distinguished Awards are nominated by their peers for their innovation, dedication to the industry and demonstration of leadership.
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Innovative Event or Project

ARTFEST FORT MYERS - GABI THE CHATBOT

ArtFest was interested in harnessing Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to go where “no festival had ever gone before” and to stay on the cusp of what is new and creative in the events field. The result after much research was an EventBot with a personality and a purpose. “Gabi” came to life as a team effort with extremely impactful results.

By communicating through text with responses generated through AI, Gabi worked to encourage attendees, artists and volunteers to connect over the festival weekend, building their network for future festivals.

She also served as an alternative channel to reach volunteers with directives in the event of an emergency.

The event improved attendee experience by utilizing cutting edge technology, delivering information in a format attendees desire and have a comfort level using.


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Emerging Leader

PATRICK STEWART

A “Rising Star” in the truest sense of the word, Patrick is an integral part of his organization, setting a shining example to others with his leadership, enthusiasm and dedication to his area. He is responsible for strategizing, organizing and implementing 6 major special events throughout the year to promote the area as a twelve-month destination.

Patrick's events continue to break past records while bringing in thousands of visitors to the destination. He is well respected in the area both personally and professionally. He volunteers with FFEA, the Panama City FSU Seminole Club and several other professional organizations and associations. With his enthusiasm and drive to succeed, he defines what it means to be an Emerging Leader.


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Supplier of the Year

SAFFIRE

Saffire is a nationwide company with more than 25 partner events in Florida - although their goal has never been about how many they serve, but how well their clients are served. They have been in business since 1998 and their passion is Empowering people to feel smart and successful.

One of their clients, an FFEA member, says “They are always looking at improving the way they do things and investing in keeping their product relevant. As a client, they're not just a business, they're your friend!”
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For more information on this year's awards program, visit our Sunsational Award Overview page or the Application Guidelines.
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