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ACE Awards 2020 Competition Winding Down!

Get ready to show your best catered event work to your colleagues—and clients: The Catersource 2020 ACE Awards are open and there is not a moment to lose to get your entry in!

Catersource and The Special Event will co-locate in 2020, March 9–12 in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Both the Gala and ACE Awards will be presented on March 12 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. As such, this year, you will enter in the same online portal as The Special Event’s Gala 2020 Awards, though the awards consideration is separate for each show.

The team from Chicago's Blue Plate took home an award in 2019.

Here are answers to frequently asked questions:

1. What catered events are eligible?

This year's competition is open to catered events that have taken place between Sept. 1, 2018, and Oct. 30, 2019. Events that place after Oct. 30 may be entered in the 2021 competition. Please note that despite that the timeframe for ACE entry has moved slightly over last year, we can’t accept any entry for 2020 that was also entered in 2019.

2. When are ACE entries due?

The regular deadline is Oct. 25 by 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; the fee is $99. The special "late bird" deadline is Nov. 1 by 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; the fee is $160.

3. Can a catering company from anywhere in the world enter the ACE Awards?

Yes! We are honored to receive entries from Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, etc. There is an international category for your convenience. You do not need to belong to any association to enter the ACE Awards.

4. How are you accepting entries this year?

All entries are entered online. Your descriptions, photos and payment are all uploaded here.

5. I have entered ACE awards in the past. Is there anything different about this year’s process I need to know about?

Yes! The ACE awards are reverting to their original name (Achievement in Catering Excellence) and breaking into on-prem and off-prem categories. Additionally, just one caterered event per entry is required, versus the two that were required in previous years. You may, however, enter as many times as you wish.

6. Any tips for a successful entry?

Choose photos that truly speak to the event your guests experienced versus sending photos of your staff pre- or post event. Don’t rush your application but think about how you can best convey how awesome it truly was! Check out this article for additional tips!

7. I’m curious about who won ACE awards in 2019.

You’re in luck! Click here for an article about the 2019 winners!

8. Before I start my award submission: is there anything you can tell me that will help me prep?

You will be asked to answer these questions:

• Give us a brief overview of your event
• What challenges did you face executing this event?
• Choose at least two of your favorite aspects of this event and talk about them
• Please tell us why you believe your company to be unique and worthy of this award.

You will also need at least five of your favorite images (up to 10) to represent your event. You can also provide event documentation such as menus, floor plans etc., although this is optional.

There is also an area to upload additional editorial photos, should you have more than 10 photos you would like to share.

9. How do I pay for my ACE entries?

All payments—credit card only—are made online here.

10. When do I find out if I am nominated?

The nominees in each category will be notified by the end of December 2019.

11. When are the ACE Awards presented?

The awards will be presented on March 12, 2020, at the Catersource/TSE shows in Las Vegas. Winners need not be present.

12. Help, I still have questions! Whom can I contact for help?

You are welcome to email questions here.

Ready to register for Catersource 2020? registration opens mid-August 2019. Click here for the latest information.

Kathleen Stoehr

Kathleen Stoehr is the Director of Community & Content Strategy for Catersource, which includes print and digital content, as well as live education at both Catersource, the Art of Catering Food, and Leading Caterers of America Executive Summit.