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CAMP Inspired Gala

This past June, individuals in the Austin event industry came together at the Fairmont Austin to celebrate each other and a year of persevering and making it through the pandemic in what is known as the annual ILEA Gala. ILEA stands for The International Live Events Association. It is a global community of thousands of creative event professionals whose skills, expertise, and experience power some of the most recognized and respected live events around the world. ILEA provides education and collaborative networking opportunities that achieve creative event experiences. This year, the ILEA board chose “Camp” as the theme.

The board chose camp because it was fun and vibrant, and it was what the industry deserved after a year of trials and tribulations. When guests walked up to this walkway, complete with a balloon entrance by The Balloon Collective, Signage by Fine Day Press, and backdrops by Stong Events, they knew they were in for an evening of fun!

The Fairmont Austin ballroom was transformed into the perfect "Camp" themed gala complete with Premiere Event vibrant color linens, fun ghost chairs, and fun dinnerware! Pop & Drop also blew us away with their fringe installation on all of the tables.

This was the first year that ILEA had cash sponsors for the event, so it helped underwrite a lot of elements like the drag queens or the graffiti wall. Typically they are just given money for food and beverage, and the rest is donated, but part of what Eclipse Event Co.’s Lauren Chumbley did on the board was help come up with ways to provide benefits to those with cash sponsorships as well as make sure ILEA wasn't asking vendors to 100% donate. Lauren said, “I think we created a lot of demand with our really slick marketing deck and fun sponsor package names based on people from RuPaul's Drag race. We ended up being able to throw one heck of a party which will set us up for success when getting sponsors for next year.”

The fun and vibrant florals by Bella by Sara and The Bloom Bar brought the room together! They were the perfect centerpiece to add to the colorfulness of the room.

The room also featured funky lounge furniture by Panacea Collective. It added to the ambiance of the event, and they were the perfect accent for the room for people to gather together and chat!

Loot Rentals also provided the perfect lounge chairs for cocktail hour, where Spacecraft Entertainment provided music. These chairs added a pop of color to the space before guests walked into the reception area.

Strong Events did an amazing job with this fun artistic bar that screamed everything Camp!

Gonzo Viz also blew us away with this graffiti backdrop. This was the perfect picture spot as individuals walked in and out of the ballroom space. The color lighting the lit up this walkway provided by Disch Events made this section of the gala a MOMENT!

Fine Day Press made the most beautiful vibrant signs for the event that added to the color and the “Extra” theme of the evening!

Neema from Bat City Beats also got individuals on the dance floor at the end of the night and provided poppin' music throughout the event!

The ILEA Gala was also a fundraiser! It raised money from ticket sales, a raffle, a wine pull, and the sale of blinky rings for a date night! The funds raised at the event went directly to operating costs for the association, leadership training for the board, and paying for future speakers to come present to our membership. ILEA was also able to give out scholarships later in the month for people to attend the ILEA Live Conference.

We can’t forget the dessert table provided by Cakes Rock. These delicious desserts were loved by many and were all gone by the end of the night!

It wouldn’t be a party without our amazing ILEA members who showed up in the most AMAZING outfits! They took this theme seriously, and we absolutely loved them for it! Some attendees took weeks to put together their outfits, and it showed with the glamor and the over-the-top looks. The energy in the room was phenomenal. We met at a time when everyone had just been recently vaccinated. The numbers were great, and we were able to have 200 people in a room without incident. People were happy, and the joy was palpable.

The guests also loved the 360-degree photo booth provided by Booth Easy!

The drag queens from Extragrams! were absolutely one of the biggest highlights of the night. They brought unparalleled energy to the room, and we were so happy they were able to make this great night even greater!

The Goal of the night was to celebrate. Celebrate seeing each other again. Celebrate surviving 2020. The goal was obviously to raise funds for the chapter and hand out awards recognizing those who gave so much to our industry over the last 12 months.

Goal = accomplished


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