Balloons over Waikato took the honors for Best Established Community Event in the New Zealand Association of Events Professionals (NZAEP) Awards at Shed 6 in Wellington on Wednesday July 22. There were 26 finalists across nine categories, all of which bring people and communities together as well as drive domestic and international tourism,
In the Community Events category Balloons over Waikato rose above the Ports of Auckland Round the Bays, Meridian Gardens Magic and the Wanaka A&P Show.
The judges, who included CEO of Tourism New Zealand, Kevin Bowler said, Balloons over Waikato is an amazing event, its looks to have a good growth strategy, with good scale, branding and engagement. The use of Smartrak GPS is extremely clever. The event has a massive crowd engagement of 120,000.
Event manager Michele Connell ( left of picture) said: The calibre of the other finalists was incredibly high, so for Balloons over Waikato to win makes us all feel very proud and is a huge achievement. It speaks of the quality of everyone involved in this wonderful magical event, the pilots and crew, event staff, our partners and the hundreds of wonderful volunteers who we could not do it without. We are so thrilled to have the Waikato highlighted as having the Best Established Community Event in New Zealand.
The NZAEP awards celebrate the countrys leading events and event professionals. The judges of 2015 have said, We were impressed by the quality of this years applications and feel the calibre and variety of events that New Zealand event professionals produce every year is phenomenal. Balloons over Waikato 2016 takes off Wednesday 16th March Sunday 20th March.