Frequently Asked Questions
- What is GALA?
- How do I enter GALA?
- Why would we want to enter?
- Who can enter GALA?
- What information is required for advertising category submissions?
- What are Grand Awards?
- Is there an entry fee?
- Are the entry fees refundable?
- How many entries can I submit?
- How do I submit my entry forms?
- I'm having trouble saving my entry form.
- I'm having trouble attaching my photos to my online entry.
- Who are the Judges?
- When will the judging process begin?
- What are the judging criteria?
- What are Judges looking for in the category of Innovative Land Planning?
- What are Judges looking for in the category of Community
of the Year?
- My Community of the Year entry is still in land development
during the Judging Period.
- My Home Design entry is still in drywall stage during the
- My Land Plan entry is still in the marketing stage during the
- How do we purchase tickets?
- Do we receive complimentary tickets with our entries?
- Are there discounted hotel rooms available at the event venue?
- Cat. 29 Clubhouse Merchandising: How do I determine the sub category size of clubhouse or club area?
- What about EHO logos or statements?
- How do I order a duplicate award?
- Where do I send my Custom Category Entry Binder and when does it need to be received?
- What is GALA? (Top)
- GALA (Great American Living Awards) program is the most prestigious residential design, sales, and marketing competition in the metropolitan Washington market. Builders, developers, architects, sales, marketing, merchandising, and advertising professionals have judged these awards for more than 50 years and to win a GALA is considered the "Best of the Best."
- How do I enter GALA? (Top)
To get started, simply visit the My Forms page and enter your login credentials or register as a new user for the 2017 GALA Awards. Your username is your email address (assuming you previously created an account during the 2016 award entries). You can utilize the "Forgot Password" feature to retrieve your password if necessary.
For NEW Accounts: On the new account registration form you will need to provide a valid email address and password along with your basic contact information, and choose your company from the list of members. Once you have submitted this information, you will receive an email that confirms your registration. Then, you're ready to start submitting entries!
You can view and create entry forms once you log into the system. Just follow the simple steps and fill out the easy form for each entry. Remember, for each entry, you must create a unique name for your form to distinguish it from your other entries in the same category. For more specific instructions on entry forms, visit the Entry Forms page. Once all information is completed on your entry forms, you can submit your entries and proceed to payment.
- Why would we want to enter? (Top)
- To be a GALA winner signifies excellence and the finest the industry has to offer. It translates into true value for the consumer and signifies acknowledgement of excellence by peers. GALA is a true mark of distinction — assurance that your home, community, and the sales and marketing efforts that support it meets the highest standards. In recent years, consumer awareness and acceptance of the awards has increased, adding value to entrants.
- Who can enter GALA? (Top)
The Maryland Building Industry Association, the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association and the Washington Metropolitan Sales and Marketing Council invite any member who is developing, building, marketing or selling housing and communities in the Washington area to enter.
The entrant must be a member. Only members are allowed to display the GALA logo or use it as a marketing tool. Architects, Ad Agencies, Merchandisers, and any others who submit on behalf of builders/developers must also be members. Entries must be a new home, community, or rental apartment community located in one of the following areas: District of Columbia; Maryland Counties: Anne Arundel, Baltimore County/City, Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, and Wicomico, and St Mary’s; Virginia Counties: Alexandria, Arlington, Caroline, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, and Stafford; West Virginia Counties: Berkeley and Jefferson; Delaware Counties: Kent and Sussex.
All entries must have been available for sale, rental, sold, or viewed by 5/31/17. All Advertising Entries must have been published between 6/1/16 - 5/31/17. On-site visits by judges will occur between June 16 and August 3, 2017.
- What information is required for advertising category submissions? (Top)
All Advertising Entries must have been published between 6/1/16-5/31/17.
- What are Grand Awards? (Top)
- Home of the Year honors the best in Design & Architecture and Interior Design/ Merchandising for a Model. The winners in each Home of the Year subcategory represent the best overall entry in their class for a given year.
The winners in categories 24-28 and 30-37 are eligible to win Home of the Year, provided they are nominated by at least one judge in the panel of judges assigned to that Category. The winner(s) of Home of the Year will then be selected by a subcommittee of GALA following the onsite judging.
Community of the Year must be entered.
Hall of Fame and Sales Person of the Year are based on selections made by the judges.
- Is there an entry fee? (Top)
Yes, for all Sales Achievement Categories there is an entry fee of $110 per entry. All other categories will have an entry fee of $460 per entry submitted and paid by May 5; $485 per entry submitted and paid after May 5. Deadlines: All Completed Entry Forms and Fees (including Custom Category Entries) must be received at NVBIA by 5:00pm: Early Bird—Friday, May 5, 2017; Final—Friday, May 26, 2017.
- Are the entry fees refundable? (Top)
- Entry fees are non-refundable.
- How many entries can I submit? (Top)
- You can enter as many entries as you would like as long as each meets the criteria. View Categories and Eligibility. You may also enter multiple categories with the same product.
- How do I submit my entry forms? (Top)
- Once your entry form is saved, you will see an option at the top of the entry form screen that reads “Submit Entries.” This link will allow you to formally submit your entries to NVBIA. The online entry system will allow you to submit multiple entries at one time.
- I'm having trouble saving my entry form. (Top)
- An entry form that has been opened for a lengthy time may need to be refreshed. To prevent loss of any information, create a name for your form and save the form first before entering information in all fields.
- I'm having trouble attaching my photos to my online entry. (Top)
Please send your photos on a CD and clearly marked with your name and category to NVBIA, 3684 Centerview Drive, Suite 110-B, Chantilly, VA, 20151 Attn: GALA Awards. Winning entry photos will be used at Awards reception. Image specifications: Dimensions: 7" wide by 5.25" tall; Resolution: 72dpi or 96dpi; File Format: RGB .JPG.
- Who are the Judges? (Top)
- A distinguished panel of Building Industry Professionals selected for their expertise in New Home and Community Design, Building, Interior Design and Merchandising, Marketing and Sales.
- When will the judging process begin? (Top)
The Design & Architecture and Interior Design/Merchandising category judges are in the field judging during June 16 and August 3, 2017. The judges are encouraged to set appointments before visiting the entry. Sales Achievement judges will be judging entries and selecting the finalists. Interviews of finalists will take place, after which the winners will be chosen.
- What are the judging criteria? (Top)
- The major criterion for Design & Architecture and Interior Design/Merchandising is the best combination of design excellence, value and overall quality of living for its target market. For Sales Achievement the judges are looking for the best examples of individual face-to-face sales professionalism at the community level, and not the highest volume. The winners in each of these categories will embody the highest standards that represent the best qualities of our industry.
- What are Judges looking for in the category of Innovative Land Planning? (Top)
- Judges look at the special features, street network, landscaping, lighting, home/building orientation to streets, amenities, and open space. The land planner, as opposed to the architect, should be included in the entry information.
- What are Judges looking for in the category of Community of the Year? (Top)
- Judges look for the relationship among different land uses, special features, street network, landscaping, home/building orientation to streets, amenities and open space. If applicable, judges look at website design, advertising, merchandising, and marketing for the community.
- My Community of the Year entry is still in land development during the Judging Period. (Top)
Judges encourage entries to be in at least active land development stage during judging. Entries may be submitted as long as entry form is complete for the judges.
- My Home Design entry is still in drywall stage during the Judging Period. (Top)
- Judges encourage entries to be in at least drywall stage during judging. Judges are looking for the balance of design, value and curb appeal, and of course, consumer acceptance. Entries are not based on interior decorating.
- My Land Plan entry is still in the marketing stage during the Judging Period. (Top)
Land Plans may also be submitted as long as the entry form is complete for the Judges.
- How do we purchase tickets? (Top)
Tickets are available for purchase online until supply is gone or September 25, 2016 (whichever comes first); limited seating! A link where tickets can be purchased will become available when tickets go on sale.
- Do we receive complimentary tickets with our entries? (Top)
- No complimentary tickets are given to those who have entered GALA. However, sponsors receive complimentary tickets depending on their level of support. View the Sponsor section on website for more details.
- Are there discounted hotel rooms available at the event venue? (Top)
- Yes, there will be discounted hotel rooms available at the McLean Hilton. Rooms must be booked no later than September 23, 2017. After September 23rd, the room rate will increase to the hotels full cost. The special rate of $139 will be honored for October 5, 2017.
Guests may make room reservations online using our special reservation webpage, which will be made public on this website as it becomes available.
- Cat. 29 Clubhouse Merchandising: How do I determine the sub category size of clubhouse or club area? (Top)
For puposes of determining appropriate sub category, Clubhouse Size is the Interior Sq. Footage of free standing structure.
- What about EHO logos or statements? (Top)
Entries in Categories 13, 15-16, 18-25, 28, 30-32, and 36-38 must display Equal Housing Opportunity logo or statement.
- How do I order a duplicate award? (Top)
- Please click here to download the order form with instructions on how to place your order.
- Where do I send my Custom Category Entry Binder and when does it need to be received? (Top)
Custom Category Entry Binders must be delivered by noon on Friday, June 30th to:
3684 Centerview Drive, Suite 110-B
Chantilly, VA 20151