Philadelphia Named IFEA World Festival & Event City for 5th Year

Philadelphia Receives IFEA World Festival and Event City Award

For immediate release: October 12, 2018
Published by: Managing Director’s Office, Office of Special Events
Contact: Sarah Reyes (215) 686-6210

PHILADELPHIA – For the fifth year in a row, the City of Philadelphia has been recognized by The International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA), The Premier Association Supporting and Enabling Festival and Event Professionals Worldwide, as a recipient of their “IFEA World Festival & Event City” award.

The Office of Special Events, on behalf of the City of Philadelphia, was presented with the prestigious award during the 63rd Annual IFEA Convention, Expo & Retreat in San Diego, California, United States on October 1, 2018.  The City of Philadelphia was the only municipality in the United States to receive designation as an “IFEA World Festival and Event City” in 2018.

The Office of Special Events was also awarded a Silver IFEA Pinnacle Award in the category of “Best Organizational Website.” International Pinnacle Award winners included such diverse event organizations as RedFilo Events, Abu Dhabi, UAE; Destination NSW, Sydney, Australia; Guangdong Chimelong Group, Gaungzhou, China; Cuckoo Events, Dublin, Ireland; Rotterdam Festivals, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Festival Lent, Maribor, Slovenia and the Hanseong Baekje Cultural Festival, Songpa-gu, South Korea.

“In Philadelphia, we have events down to a science,” said Deputy Managing Director and Director of Operations Jazelle Jones.  “Under the leadership of the Office of Special Events, the level of expertise we bring to the table as a city, from an event perspective, cannot be understated.  Special events and festivals serve to encourage and empower Philadelphians to elevate their communities in meaningful ways. The Office of Special Events has never been busier than we have been in the last two years, proving the vibrancy and health of our event industry.  Philadelphia is now a destination city, no longer just a layover between Washington DC and New York, and special events are an important contributor to Philadelphia’s renaissance.”

“The IFEA is pleased to recognize and highlight those cities and markets who have worked, through concerted efforts, to provide an environment conducive to successful festivals and events,” said IFEA President Steven Wood Schmader, CFEE, during the presentations. “Through this award, the IFEA hopes to create a continuing dialogue between events and cities around the world, at a time when each needs to be supporting the other more than ever. The quality of all the entries paints a bright picture for our industry and those cities recognized with this award are helping to build a strong foundation and example that we hope all cities, globally, will work to emulate.”

City entries were judged by an international panel of industry experts in the only recognition program of its kind.  Each city entry was considered based upon a compilation of detailed information in the following areas:

  • Community Overview – providing the judges with a better understanding of each community and the infrastructure in place to host and/or support those producing and attending festivals and events.
  • Community Festivals & Events – providing the judges with an understanding of the diversity and success of current festivals and events that serve each market’s city residents and visitors.
  • City / Government Support of Festivals & Events – helping the judges to understand the strength and depth of support by each Applicant City and other area governmental bodies (County, State, taxing districts, etc.) as it pertains to festivals and events.
  • Non-Governmental Community Support of Festivals & Events – helping the judges to understand the commitment to festivals and events and direct support provided by community individuals and non-governmental organizations. Without this type of support most festivals and events could not achieve the level of success that these important partnerships help to build.
  • Market Leveraging of the “Community Capital” Created by Festivals & Events – helping the judges to understand how the City and its non-governmental partners maximize the branding and marketing images/opportunities provided by local festivals and events to leverage return in other areas; and
  • An Extra Credit section giving each city the opportunity to highlight additional programs, services, and event-related resources that were not covered in the areas above such as local University degree programs in Event Management, local certified professionals, and shared event-resource programs.

The complete list of 2018 IFEA World Festival & Event City Award Recipients included:

  • Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea
  • Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia
  • Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
  • Moscow, Russia
  • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Taichung City, Taiwan
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

The primary goal of MDO-OSE is to strengthen and expand the local and regional event industry by serving as the City of Philadelphia’s “one-stop shop” for special event planning, permitting and licensing.  The office also acts as the distribution hub for City equipment and support services for special events.
MDO-OSE processes more than 1,600 individual special event applications annually.  MDO-OSE has streamlined the special event application intake process, ensuring that stakeholders from the public and private sectors have a single point of contact to guide them through the special event application process.
MDO-OSE takes an active role in the event recruitment process as well, responding to RFP’s for major special events and working with external partners to bring world-class event producers and experiences to Philadelphia.

As a front-line municipal agency, MDO-OSE offers prospective event producers assistance with event production through in-person and remote consultations while delivering comprehensive customer service to the citizens of Philadelphia, local community groups, business associations, and event producers from around the world.

ABOUT IFEA World Festival & Event City Award
The IFEA World Festival & Event City Award was designed and created as a way for the global festivals and events industry to openly encourage, support and recognize positive local environments for festivals and events worldwide. Festivals and events create tremendous community and economic capital in the markets that they serve, but the partnership with and support from the local community, at all levels, is critical to the success and sustainability of existing festivals and events, as well as the ability to attract and encourage new events.

Photos of all winning city recipients can be found here.
View Philadelphia’s winning city video, produced by Creative Outfit.


2 thoughts on “Philadelphia Named IFEA World Festival & Event City for 5th Year

  1. Congratulations to a dynamic, diverse and collaborative city department. Your efforts, expertise have been noticed by the world! Let’s try 6 in a row!!!


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