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Home > Convention & Expo > 63rd Annual IFEA Convention, Expo & Retreat - ReCap

63rd Annual IFEA Convention, Expo & Retreat - ReCap

It's a Wrap! The 63rd Annual IFEA Convention, Expo & Retreat, presented by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance, went off with great success October 1-3, 2018 in San Diego, California, U.S.A.!

The IFEA would like to thank all of you who were in attendance at the Convention in addition to a special thank you to all who contributed their time, resources and efforts in making the Convention such a great success! We look forward to seeing you again in 2019 for the 64th Annual IFEA Convention & Expo which will be held in . . . . . Watch this space for more details!

Exact Location and Date to be announced soon!

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The Convention May be Over - But Don't Stop the Networking!

After another great year at the 63rd Annual IFEA Convention, Expo & Retreat, presented by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance, meeting old friends and making new ones, don't let the distance between you stop the networking! You traded business cards, you talked about great ideas, you discovered new vendors and suppliers . . . you said you'd be in touch . . . well, what are you waiting for? Pick up that phone, jot down an email, follow through and stay in touch!

If you can't find where you put that business card or phone number, check out your convention attendee list. And if that doesn't work, give the IFEA a call. No matter what - if there's even one person you enjoyed chatting with at the convention this year, keep in touch . . . you never know where things will lead!

Thank You to All Our Speakers

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A special thank you to all our speakers for being part of the 63rd Annual IFEA Convention, Expo & Retreat presented by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance in San Diego, CA, U.S.A. this October and for sharing your time and expertise with your fellow attendees. Your participation added an important dimension to our educational programming and will ultimately help to improve the quality and success of events throughout our industry.

Convention Presentations Available Soon

If you're looking for a specific presentation from the Convention, those speakers who provided us with copies of their PowerPoints or Handouts will be found here within the next week.

Congratulations to the 2018 IFEA CFEE Graduates

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Together with CFEE Program Sponsor, Kaliff Insurance, the IFEA would like to congratulate our 2018 CFEE Graduates:
  • Alexa Beasley, CFEE, City of Forney, Forney, TX, USA
  • Billy Collins, CFEE, Thompson Rivers University-Tourism Management Department, Kamloops, BC, USA
  • Zach Fisher, CFEE, Kentucky Derby Festival, Louisville, KY, USA
  • Erin Fortune, CFEE, Music for All, Indianapolis, IN, USA
  • Annie Frisoli, CFEA, CFEE, Ohio University, Athens, OH, USA
  • John Haak, CFEE, Red Frog Events, Conroe, TX, USA
  • Maura Haberman, CFEA, CFEE, Town of Acton, Acton, MA, USA
  • Beatrice MacGregor, CFEE, Alderney Landing Association, Dortmouth, NS, Canada
  • Sai Powers, CFEE, Scottsdale Arts, Scottsdale, AZ, USA
  • Keli O'Neill Wenzel, CFEE, O'Neill Events & Marketing Management, Kansas City, MO, USA
To learn more about the IFEA's Certified Festival & Event Executive Certification Program, Click Here.

Congratulations to our 2018 IFEA Award Winners

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The IFEA made a big impact on the world October 1, 20018 as we honored the recipients of our many awards programs. We would like to extend a huge congratulations to all of our recipients, winners and inductees! To find out who was recognized, just follow the links below:

To learn more about IFEA's Award Programs, Click Here.

Share Your Success with Others - Order Duplicate Awards Today

Congratulations to all the 2018 IFEA Award winners! You are probably making arrangements this very second, to celebrate with your staff, volunteers, board, sponsors and community for all their hard work in putting on such a great event!! As you do so, why not take a moment to recognize their hard work and efforts by giving them their own Award. It's a great way to recognize all those that were involved and give them the pride of being affiliated with an award-winning event or city!

  • Order Duplicate 2018 IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Here
  • Order Duplicate 2018 IFEA World Festival & Event City Awards Here
If you are a past IFEA/Zambelli Fireworks Volunteer of the Year or a past IFEA Hall of Fame Inductee, and would like to order a duplicate award or a current trophy - please contact Nia Hovde at
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Congratulations to the 2018 Photo Scavenger Hunt Winners!

New, exciting and capturing some of the Convention’s most picturesque moments to share on their social media, the inaugural IFEA Photo Scavenger Hunt had over 30 participants vying for first, second and third place prizes. The scores were close and our congratulations go out to the three lucky winners:
  • 1st Place: Diana Hamby of Kissel Entertainment
  • 2nd Place: Sai Powers of Scottsdale Arts
  • 3rd Place: Betheny Kopera of Belvidere Park District.
Special thanks to Gayle Hall for contributing our first place cash prize, the IFEA for the second place 2019 Convention discount, and Alison Baringer and the North Carolina Azalea Festival for the third place gift card.

To see their posts and other fun photos from this year’s convention, search #IFEA63 in Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Your Type Surprises with Giant Letter Give-Away

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New IFEA vendor member Your Type held a surprise drawing after the 63rd Annual IFEA Convention, Expo & Retreat, for all who were in attendance, generously giving away a total of $10,000 in product! Congratulations to the following attendees for being the lucky recipients of this very fun and eye-catching product:
  • Michele McCall-Wallace with Hillsboro Parks & Recreation
  • Sarah Harkins with Macon Georgia’s International Cherry Blossom Festival
  • David Eads with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses
  • Evan Schaefer with Degy Entertainment

The Show Goes On!

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The 2018 IFEA Expo may be over, but you can still purchase the products and services you need from industry suppliers that exhibited at the 2018 IFEA Expo, and get $100 off your 2019 IFEA Convention registration! Our Expo 2018 New Business Incentive Voucher allows you to earn credit for doing business with IFEA exhibitors, even if you weren’t able to attend the IFEA convention.

Simply purchase a product or service from one or more of our 2018 Exhibitors – complete list available in our Virtual Trade Show – then submit your completed voucher form and proof of purchase by November 30th to qualify for the discount. The offer may be used up to 5 times per organization, as long as the supplier is one that you’ve not worked with in the past year.

View the 2018 IFEA Exhibitors Here.

Foundation 'Surf's Up' Party A Gnarly Success

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The IFEA Foundation Party & Auction – “Surf’s Up” and the “Ultimate Experience Raffle” teamed up for a repeat success that had attendees stoked in 2018! The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for a laid-back California evening spent amid the pools, fountains, and palms of the Town and Country’s Grand Plaza and filled with the surf and sun music of the 1960’s. Guests also raised a glass to the Foundation’s 25th Anniversary with a special “Tikirita”, mixed just for the occasion!

Anticipation quickly built as the night’s festivities got underway and we drew the winners of the 50/50 Cash Raffle and Ultimate Experience Raffle. Congratulations again to Mack Weaver from the Memphis in May International Festival, and Harry Dennery from the Kentucky Derby Festival, on their respective wins! Harry chose the “Memphis in May World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest” for his Ultimate Experience package.

The evening livened up even more after that with eager participants ready to bid for 13 Live Auction Item Packages. With packages ranging from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Tickets, Experience Thunder Over Louisville, Discover Washington D.C., Imagine South Africa and much more, this year’s lucky winners walked away with some fantastic once-in-a-lifetime experience packages!

Thank you to all who were in attendance for the IFEA Foundation Party & Live Auction and to all who helped contribute to the event’s success including: The Town and Country, Big Events, Fabulous Inflatables/ Dynamic Displays, Kaliff Insurance, Saffire, the IFEA Foundation & World Board of Directors and all those who donated and bid on silent and live auction items and purchased raffle tickets for a chance to win. We greatly value and appreciate all your support.

Thank You Auction Donors and Bidders

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A world of thanks goes out to all of those who donated items to the IFEA Foundation’s Live and Silent Auctions this year, and to the many excited attendees who bid on them during the 63rd Annual IFEA Convention, Expo & Retreat, presented by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance. Your generosity on all fronts helped to make this 25th Anniversary year for the Foundation an even more memorable one and helped to ensure that future IFEA programming and resources have support for many years to come. Your participation is greatly appreciated and thank you again for taking the time to support our industry.

Congratulations to the 2018 IFEA Foundation Legacy Scholarship Recipients

Thank you to the IFEA Foundation and their Legacy Scholarship program for providing scholarships to fourteen deserving students and new professionals, allowing them to attend the IFEA Convention this year. Scholarship recipients are able to return home with new ideas, information and motivation to take their own events and careers, as well as our industry, to the next level.

  • The Arts Festival Legacy Scholarship – Awarded to: Yifan Xu, Ohio State University Student
  • The Nick Corda Memorial Scholarship - Awarded to: Carissa Johnson, Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival
  • The Carolyn and Lee Crayton Legacy Scholarship - Awarded to: Collin Holder, Parliament Arts Organization
  • The Georgia Festivals & Events Association Scholarship – Awarded to: Ally Hussaini, ATDC Georgia Institute of Technology Student
  • The Judy Flanagan Scholarship – Awarded to: Krislyn Powell, Downtown Tempe Authority
  • The Bill & Gretchen Lofthouse Memorial Scholarship - Awarded to: Nausheen Punjani, ATDC Georgia Institute of Technology Student
  • The Daniel A. Mangeot Memorial Scholarship - Awarded to: Amelia Abraham, Experimental Aircraft Association
  • The Jean McFaddin Legacy Scholarship – Awarded to: Kimberly DeMeritt, Downtown Tempe Authority
  • The Mid-Atlantic Festival & Event Professionals Scholarship – Awarded to: Katelyn Calderone, Temple University Student
  • The Bruce & Kathy Skinner Scholarship - Awarded to: Terri Reeve, Summer of the Arts
  • The Tennessee Festival & Event Professional Scholarship - Awarded to: Jacqueline Sparks-Davila, Memphis in May International Festival
  • The Pete Van de Putte Scholarship - Awarded to: Jaime Stubbs, University of Iowa Student
  • The Don E. Whitely Memorial Scholarship – Awarded to: Erin Margenau, City of Fort Collins
  • The George Zambelli, Sr. Memorial Scholarship - Awarded to: Magnolia Ceballos, Our Lady of the Lake University

For more information about IFEA Foundation Legacy Scholarships, Click Here.

Thank You to Our Entertainers

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A special thanks to our roaming entertainers from Animal Cracker Conspiracy, Living World Entertainment and Mango & Dango, for adding an element of fun and surprise to each day’s events, to Printed On Site for their free convention t-shirt contribution, Dynamic Displays/Fabulous Inflatables and Big Events for their whimsical balloons and to Sultans of String for kicking the convention off with great energy!

Congratulations to the 2018 IFEA City-Event Challenge Winners

Our inaugural IFEA City-Event Challenge successfully concluded the last day of the Convention with the group presentations given to the panel of judges. Congratulations to Team 1 that won the challenge. Team 1 included: Jon Fillman, CFEE, City of Asheville; Nicole Stanner, Fair Saint Louis, Lizette Gomez, CAPS; Michelle Ullman, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and Janet Landey, CSEP, IFEA Africa.As their prize, each individual will receive a one-year subscription to IFEA’s live Webinar presentations.

63rd Annual Convention Photos Available

For those of you in attendance at the IFEA Convention and even for those who couldn’t make it but are curious to see some of the happenings at the Convention, the 2018 IFEA Convention & Expo Photos are posted online! Check back often as we’ll be posting more soon!
(If you would like a high resolution copy of any of the images, please copy the image you'd like and email it to to receive the higher resolution.)

Thank You to Our Sponsors

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