By Greta Bush
As the last Fall Awards Gala guests of the evening trickled out of the ballroom and towards the hotel bar for a nightcap, the Renaissance event staff flooded the floor, swiftly breaking down tables and stacking chairs. It was a typical scene after a big night, when the lights are turned up bright to reveal the previously beautiful centerpieces, now scavenged, and crumpled event programs hanging off seat chairs and scattered about the floor. Evidence of a great party.
I sat at an empty table, took off my heels, and reflected on everything that had gone down over the past four weeks. I’m new to the AHBA, and already I’ve been impressed by the teamwork implemented by the AHBA staff and membership that make it possible to host the multitude of meetings, social and networking events, and large-scale events such as the Parade of Homes and Fall Awards Gala. The level of volunteer involvement of committee members, the Board, and many others, is inspiring. But there’s even more to it than that.
While the Gala focused on the achievements of our members, we can’t forget the vital piece of the puzzle that allows all of this to happen: our sponsors. The items necessary to pull together a seamless-seeming event is significant:
- Signage for each of the 44 houses on Parade
- Printing costs for 9,000 magazines (free to the public) featuring our members
- An extensive regional marketing campaign that drives the public to the Asheville Parade of Homes website and to tour the houses
- Hosting a plated dinner awards gala for 300 guests
- Many other odds and ends
It’s a lot of fun and gets our members really great exposure. But these perks cost money, and our sponsors showed up for us. We work to put together packages to give our sponsors exposure that they deserve, and are glad they find it as meaningful as we do.
Behind the scenes
We want to extend a huge thank-you to the companies who literally made this all possible with their generous sponsorships. To Coldwell Banker King, we thank you for your Presenting Sponsorship of both the Parade of Homes and Fall Awards Gala. We were so happy to feature you at the Gala, both on the cover and in a full-page ad in the Parade magazine, in our regional marketing, on-site at each house in the Parade, and on our Parade of Homes website. We’re also grateful to additional Gala sponsors Union Home Mortgage (photo booth sponsor) and Bellweather Design & Build (bar sponsor). Your support added an extra touch of fun to a great evening! An extra thanks to Greater Scapes Landscape and Lawncare for making us look good, Wired Right Electrical for making us sound good, the talented Dave Lagadi for the amazing tunes, and Blossman Gas for keeping us warm on an unexpectedly brisk evening!
To our Parade of Homes Featured Builder, Osada Construction, and our Featured Development, Olivette Riverside Community and Farm: thank you! Osada’s house #5, located in Olivette, became the key image that marked all of our advertising and tied the 2019 Parade theme together. Their second home entry, #40, drew a big crowd as well. We were so pleased to feature both companies via two-page spreads and on the cover of the Parade magazine, in our regional marketing efforts, on-site at each house in the Parade, on our website, and at our Gala.
The list goes on
Contributing sponsors Ambiente Furniture, Builders First Source, Haywood Appliance, and Snow Creek Landscaping, LLC: we are so grateful to you! We hope you’ve found benefit in your half-page ad in the Parade magazine, a link from nearly every page of the Parade website, presence in every home on Parade, and your logo and listing in our online directory. This is a crucial level sponsorship and we appreciate your support so much.
Our Patron Sponsors: Hi-Tech Integrated Systems, Inc., HomeTrust Bank, and Tucker Materials, Inc. What would we have done without you? We were happy to recognize your support via benefits such as 1/8 page ad in the magazine, inclusion and link on the Parade of Homes website, your name on signage in each house on the Parade tour, and logo displayed with our member directory.
To our Friends of the Parade sponsors: Crossville Studios, Expressions Cabinetry, LLC, Solid Surface Specialists, and Retro+Fit Design, LLC: a round of applause. We were pleased to be able to show appreciation with your listing in the Parade magazine, inclusion and link on our Parade of Homes website, your name on signage in each house on the Parade tour, and logo displayed with our member directory.
Thank you to Fred Anderson Nissan for donating the vehicles used to drive our Parade judges all over the county. Thanks to two uneventful days of touring, our judges were able to determine our award winners—a major focus of our Gala evening!
And finally, on the front-end of the all of this, thank you to our Parade Partners who stepped up back in January to offer discounts and deals to our Parade of Homes builders for use on their home entries. From services during construction to interior finishings to photographing the final product, these member vendors were there for our builders.
The Fall Awards Gala provided an opportunity for AHBA members to gather and celebrate the year’s accomplishments. It also gave builders the extra boost they needed to host their final, busy weekend of open house tours. None of this would have been possible without the collective support of sponsors, members, volunteers, and staff. Cheers to a great Parade season!