The IFEA World Festival & Event City Award was designed and created as a way for the global festivals and events industry to encourage and support positive local environments for festivals and events worldwide.

“The IFEA and VISA are pleased to recognize and fly the flag of those cities and markets who have worked, through concerted efforts, to provide an environment conducive to successful festivals and events,” said IFEA President Steven Wood Schmader, CFEE, during the presentations. “Through this award, the IFEA hopes to create a continuing dialogue between events and cities around the world, at a time when each needs to be supporting the other more than ever. The quality of all the entries paints a bright picture for our industry and those cities recognized with this award are helping to build a strong foundation and example that we hope all cities, globally, will work to emulate.”

Rowena Alegría, communications director for the Mayor’s Office, City of Denver, accepted the award on behalf of Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, stating: “In Denver, we pride ourselves on being a year-round festival and events center. Whether it’s hosting big events such as the pope’s visit at World Youth Day, the Summit of the Eight or the 2008 Democratic National Convention, or hosting the final stage of the most grueling bicycle race in America – the USA Pro Challenge – or being home to fun events such as offering 2,700 different beers for tasting at the Great American Beer Festival or having the world’s largest Zombie Crawl, Denver is an event-full city.”

Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau, said, “It takes a partnership to host successful events, and we have a great team in Denver among our city, our arts and venues, public works, and fire and safety departments. We at VISIT DENVER understand the complexity of staging events, and we are very proud to see our city honored with this award.

“Festivals and events create tremendous community and economic capital in the markets that they serve, but the partnership with and support from the local community, at all levels, is critical to the success and sustainability of existing festivals and events, as well as the ability to attract and encourage new events,” Scharf said.

City entries were judged by an international panel of industry experts and divided into population categories in the only recognition program of its kind.

Each city entry was considered based upon a compilation of detailed information in the following areas:

· Community Overview – Providing the judges with a better understanding of each community and the infrastructure in place to host and/or support those producing and attending festivals and events.

· Community Festivals & Events – Providing the judges with an understanding of the diversity and success of current festivals and events that serve each market’s city residents and visitors.

· City / Government Support of Festivals & Events – Helping the judges to understand the strength and depth of support by each applicant City and other area governmental bodies (County, State, taxing districts, etc.) as it pertains to festivals and events.

· Non-Governmental Community Support of Festivals & Events – Helping the judges to understand the commitment to festivals and events and direct support provided by community individuals and non-governmental organizations. Without this type of support most festivals and events could not achieve the level of success that these important partnerships help to build.

· Market Leveraging of the “Community Capital” Created by Festivals & Events – Helping the judges to understand how the City and its non-governmental partners maximize the branding and marketing images/opportunities provided by local festivals and events to leverage return in other areas; and

· An Extra Credit section giving each city the opportunity to highlight additional programs, services and event-related resources that were not covered in the areas above (local University degree programs in Event Management, local certified professionals, shared event-resource programs, etc.)

2012 IFEA World Festival & Event City Award Recipients included:

Under 1 Million Population:
· Hampyeong-gun, Jeonlanam-do, Korea
· Grapevine, Texas, United States of America
· Campos do Jordão, São Paulo, Brazil
· Maribor, Slovenia
· Ballito-KwaDukuza, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
· Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China
· Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
· Dublin, Ohio, United States of America
o Judges Selection for Most Outstanding Global Entry in Population Category

Over 1 Million Population:
· London, England
· The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
· Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
· Denver, Colorado, United States of America
· Dubai, United Arab Emirates
o Judges Selection for Most Outstanding Global Entry in Population Category

*To maintain the goals, purposes and intent of this award, the IFEA does not release names or information about non-winning entries.