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AUCKLAND, Last night: (Story by M+AD writer Scott Pryor.) As you might expect – the NZ Events Association certainly know how to host an event. Their Awards Gala held last night at Auckland’s Shed 10 was slick with every detail carefully considered and managed.

The venue was dressed beautifully and so were the guests. Annie Crummer kicked the evening off with a high-energy performance from the musical We Will Rock You (produced by her nephew) which will open at the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna later in the year.

Mike Puru, who was a superb host, continued the musical theme with a comical Phantom of the Opera tribute to event sponsor La Lumiere who lit the “shed” with the six largest crystal chandeliers NZ has for hire.

Wings Over Wanaka soared to the top, taking home two of the top awards, Best National Event and the People’s Choice award for New Zealand’s Best Event, voted directly by the public.

“Our event is the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere the 3rd biggest globally.”

WOW general manager Ed Taylor told Pryor: “I’m thrilled we’ve been recognised by our industry peers for the quality of our event. We are a small team who rely on the efforts of 250-plus volunteers, many who wing-in from overseas.

“Our event is the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere the 3rd biggest globally and we’ve generated more than a quarter of a billion dollars into our regions’ economy since inception.”

37 South and New Zealand Rugby won Best International Event for their presentation of the HSBC NZ Sevens, an event they had to relocate from Wellington, setup and sell in just 12 months.

The event was held at FMG Stadium run by H3 Group who won the Best Venue award for hosting both the 7s and the 2017 RLWC.

Best regional event went to Tremains Art Deco Festival held annually in Napier and run by the Art Deco Trust.

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