Toad Suck Daze placed in three categories at the International Festivals and Events Association’s 2013 Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Ceremony during the IFEA’s annual convention and expo in Pittsburgh, Sept. 16.
The Central Arkansas festival known for toad races, live music, family fun and food received top honors with the Gold Pinnacle Award in the category of Best Emergency Preparedness and Risk Management Plan for an Event.
Toad Suck’s incident command structure is modeled after the system used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Conway Area Chamber of Commerce developed the festival’s localized incident command structure with help of leadership of the Conway Fire Department and Conway Police Department. Toad Suck Daze also received the Silver Pinnacle Award for Best Children’s Programming, and recognized for its children’s merchandise in which it received the Bronze Pinnacle Award for sunglasses in the Best Other Merchandise category.
The Pinnacle Awards recognized the world’s top festivals and events, including the Indianapolis 500, Kentucky Derby and Pasadena Tournament of Roses in the United States, and Ulsan Whale Festival in South Korea and Burlington Sound of Music Festival in Ontario Canada among some of the international festivals.
The IFEA convention was also an opportunity to recognize festivals and events industry professionals who have attained their Certified Festival and Event Executive designation.
Mary Margaret Satterfield, director of events for the chamber, was one of five professionals to receive their accreditation at this year’s convention. Requirements for obtaining the CFEE include experiential career achievements, required course work, published research-based event planning articles, professional speaking requirements and meeting the professional standards of the association and its assessment board.
Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, the IFEA works with festivals and events industry leaders to provide a worldwide network of resources, ideas, information and education opportunities for the common vision of “a globally united industry that touches lives in a positive way through celebration.”
Satterfield refers to the IFEA as the Clearinghouse of festivals. She said the conventions are a great place to network and share ideas with other festival leaders.
“I enjoy it because you’re there with some festivals that are huge and everybody’s recognizable,” Satterfield said. “They’re doing some really, really neat things and I get to bounce ideas off of them, and make those contacts, so that when Toad Suck Daze is ready to grow, and do something really cool, I have those contacts.”
Satterfield said she’s honored to be the director of events for Arkansas’ most renowned festival.
“You’re up against some large cities, and there’s not really any other festival in the state of Arkansas that is competing at that international level, and I think that is a really cool thing to be able to know that Toad Suck Daze is such a well respected festival, and I’m the go-to person,” she said.
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