Excellence Awards Gala Instructions and Schedule

The Gold Quill Awards are presented at IABC’s night of nights, the Excellence Gala, held as part of the annual World Conference. The Excellence Gala is a black tie-optional dinner that has long been one of IABC’s most prestigious events. It’s a perfect opportunity to celebrate the hard work and achievements of your team and/or clients.

This year, the Excellence Awards Gala will be held on Tuesday 13 June 2017 at the Washington D.C. Hilton. Join your peers for an evening of excitement and delight!

Before the event
Download the World Conference app. Please take a moment to download the World Conference app so that we can stay in touch with you during the event. See instructions for downloading the app here.

Locate your category number in the
winners list. You’ll be called to the stage according to your category number, so you’ll need to know the number.

When you arrive
After you arrive at the Washington Hilton, please visit the registration desk to pick up your badge and get your Gala tickets. Then stop by the IABC Concierge Desk to get your plaque (metal platelet to adhere to your award) and details for your participation in the Gala.

Event agenda

4:50 – 5:30 p.m. Pre-awards – International Ballroom Foyer

4:50 p.m. Doors open at the International Ballroom. Submit your ticket and take a program. Secure a spot at the front of the room with other winners going on stage. Enjoy champagne and appetizers.

5:15 p.m. The announcer will ask you to take a seat.

5:30-7:40 p.m. – Awards ceremony (theatre style) – International Ballroom Center

5:30 p.m. Awards ceremony begins.

  • MCs will announce winners by category.
  • When you hear your category called, join other winners at the stairs leading up to the stage.
  • When you hear your company name and project title called, walk across the stage (with your team if you like) to accept your award on stage.
  • A photographer will take candid photos (no need to pause).
  • Continue to walk across the stage to the stairs on the opposite side and back to your seat.
  • If you have won in more than one category, your name will be called again to accept your other award(s).

7:40-10:00 p.m. – Post-awards dinner party  – International Ballroom

7:40 p.m. Awards ceremony ends and a party with open seating begins.

  • Enjoy wine (complimentary until 9 p.m.) and delicious food.
  • Visit the photo booth if you’d like to take have your picture taken.
  • Pick up a box for your award near the entrance for the first hour of the party.
  • Wear your dancing shoes! Music provided by the DJ until the end of the evening.

10 p.m. Evening ends.

29579254491_1be772089d_cSix exciting awards

The celebration include recognition of awards for excellent work submitted by an agency or organization. The awards are judged based on the number of winning submissions from a particular entrant. Excellence awards give higher weighting than Merit awards.

  • IABC Gold Quill Boutique Agency of the Year (Five or fewer employees)
  • IABC Gold Quill Small Agency of the Year (Six to 20 employees)
  • IABC Gold Quill Mid-Size Agency of the Year (21 to 50 employees)
  • IABC Gold Quill Large Agency of the Year (51 to more employees)
  • IABC Gold Quill Corporate Communications Department of the Year
  • IABC Gold Quill Not-for-Profit Communication Department of the Year

Best of the Best

Recommended by the Blue Ribbon Panel evaluators and reviewed by the Awards Committee, the Best of the Best Awards recognize the most exceptional work from across all divisions.

Special awards

All entries earning an Award of Excellence are considered for:

  • The Jake Wittmer Award – for outstanding research commissioned or developed by a communicator that was instrumental in ensuring the success of a communication program.
  • The Business Issue Award – for addressing a critical business issue that threatened the well-being or viability of an organization and shows strategic involvement while presenting an effective, innovative resolution with measurable results.
  • The Sharon Berzok Student Award – for the student who achieves the highest standard of communication excellence in the student categories. The winning entrant will receive a US$500 scholarship to use for professional development, education or training.