2018 MN Star Awards Icon



The 2018 Minnesota Star Awards Call for Entries has been declassified. Submit your work for eligibility to be in the crosshairs of a nomination.

You DO want your name on this short list of those event professionals whose work ‘killed it’ in 2017.

The 14th Annual Minnesota Star Awards will be held on Saturday, April 14th. The ceremony will highlight the inspiring work of this years’ Star Award nominees and crown the winners live. The entire night, including reception and after-party, will showcase industry trends and innovative event production.

Recognized as the Best Association Event of 2017 by the BizBash Style Awards, this annual event is THE affair of the year! Place your bet now for a SPECTaculaRE night!

The International Live Events Association (ILEA) – Minneapolis-St. Paul Chapter launched the Minnesota Star Awards to recognize outstanding professionals in the special event industry for all of the events they create, plan, manage and execute each year.

Submit your case files now to be considered as a Star Awards nominee!


Submit an Entry


Rules and Regulations to Enter

View submission details and award categories

Remember: You do NOT have to be an ILEA member to enter most categories, you just have to produce outstanding events!

Online entries are due by 11:59 p.m. CST on Sunday, February 25, 2018 at a cost of $65 per entrant. 

 *An extended submission deadline will be available until 11:59 p.m. CST on Sunday, March 4, 2018 at a cost of $95 per entrant.


2018 Award Categories



Best Catered Event

The best catered event honors overall excellence in catering either on or off-premise. Did your team pull together to execute an amazing catered event in the face of logistical challenges? Did your chef design a first of its kind menu that wowed your client? 

No matter the catering situation, you excelled through planning, preparation, execution and/or presentation. Eligible entrants include caterers, restaurants, hotels, facility operators or any other entities that provides food and beverage to an event.


Best Culinary Innovation and/or Solution

The best culinary innovation honors excellence and creativity in providing a unique culinary technique, product or presentation for an event. Submissions in this category could include but are not limited to: a specialty item such as a wedding cake, a signature new menu item (food and/or beverage), the fresh presentation of standard items, or an entire menu uniquely designed for one event.



Best Event Design/Décor

1. Budget under $25,000

2. Budget $25,000 and over

These two categories highlight the original design and numerous décor details that combine to create a unique event environment. It recognizes the overall excellence in creating the look and feel of an event from concept through to execution, based on budget. 

The look or theme of the design/décor may combine the following elements but is not limited to using: props, lighting, rentals, florals, linens, draping, etc. to fulfill the vision for the event and take it to the next level. Tell us about how all the components pulled together into an immersive design experience to create a memorable event.


Best Use of Specialty Decor

It's true, events are often all about the details. Whether you supplied over-the-top floral, a spectacular balloon installation, ice sculptures, custom furniture or décor pieces, or any other specialty décor item, we want to hear about your component.



Best Marketing/Design Collateral

The best marketing and graphic design category honors excellence in the creation and execution of event collateral. Whether print and/or digital, design elements may include but are not limited to use of: logos, advertising, invitations, programs, posters, promotional pieces, packaging, signage, social media, website, unique distribution methods, and anything that both ties into your event and sets it apart from others’.


Best Event Photography - Wedding

Best Event Photography - Non-Wedding

These two categories highlight photos that tell a story, capturing the moments of what it felt like to attend, and visually documenting the details and what the event looked like for years to come. This category honors excellence in event photography whether it is for a wedding/social event, or a business related purpose for a corporate client, non-profit organization or public event.


Best Event Filmmaking (Videography)

This category celebrates the use of cameras and editing to tell an event’s story in an even more powerful way, to create a shared narrative experience that resonates with an audience and shapes memories. Eligible entrants are videographers or planning professionals who produced a video for business-related purposes. The event that was covered can include but is not limited to corporate, non-profit, association, public, wedding or social event.



Best Logistics - Non-Tent

Sometimes event coordination goes beyond normal day-to day business and requires a different level of detailed management. 

Maybe you orchestrated an event that happened simultaneously in several different locations. Or, maybe you worked on details involving very complicated travel arrangements for a large number of people, or your event involved detailed ground transportation movements and security for VIP's. No matter what—this category honors those events that required obsessive planning to accomplish the event’s goals.


Best Logistics – Tent/Temporary Structure

When there just isn't the right venue available in the right location, if you build [a tent], they will come. Temporary structures require unique engineering considerations for installation, but they also expand where it’s possible to hold an event. Because everything needs to be brought in (heating/cooling, lighting, tables/chairs, etc.) they are a blank canvas of event possibilities. This category honors excellence for the execution of tenting logistics.


Best Technical Production

It takes a well-rehearsed crew under a seasoned technical director to pull off a flawless live production. This category honors excellence in special event technical, design or execution services. Eligible items include but are not limited to lighting, audio visual, multi-media, staging and special effects.


Best Entertainment Production

Whatever the occasion, events are often graced with beautiful, exciting, funny or even emotional performances for the audiences’ enjoyment. The category recognizes the best use of entertainment to enhance an event.



Event Categories:

*The same event can only be entered into one of the six (6) Event Planning categories below. Choose the one that best fits. For example, if you are entering an event in the Best Corporate Event category, the same event cannot also be entered in the Best Non-Profit Event category.


1. Best Corporate Event

The category honors excellence for the production of a corporate special event, meeting, conference, incentive program, product launch, or other similar auxiliary event.


2. Best Non-profit Event

The category honors excellence for the production of a non-profit event including, but not limited to, fundraisers, institutions, campaigns, kick-off events and/or donor events.


3. Best Public Event

This category recognizes the production of a parade, fair, festival, tradeshow, concert, sporting event, or other public event.


4. Best Social Event (Non Wedding)

This category honors excellence in social event planning for private occasions including, but not limited to, bar/bat mitzvahs, personal celebrations, milestone birthdays, etc.


5. Best Wedding – Budget under $75,000

This category honors excellence in wedding events.


6. Best Wedding – Budget $75,000 and over

This category honors excellence in wedding events.



In most cases, the successful execution of an event involves a team of dedicated professionals that extends well beyond just the primary planner. Your most successful events probably also benefited from the work of many other key ILEA member companies who made the success of your event their mission. This award recognizes a group effort for an entire event or portion of an event that requires a minimum of three team members. The Team Leader is responsible for the entry submission.




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Want to get MORE exposure to the events community? Become a Star Awards Sponsor! View information on sponsorship levels and benefits here


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