Entries have been judged. The finalists have been announced. Now, 336 finalists representing more than 120 Houston companies await the arrival of the 2017 American Marketing Association (AMA) Houston Crystal Awards Gala on May 11. That night, winners will be announced, trophies will be handed out, and a new class will join the ranks of Houston’s elite marketers. The Crystal Awards Gala is Houston’s largest marketing event—attended by the marketing crème de la crème from virtually every industry and career level.

After accepting a record-breaking (and website-crashing!) number of award submissions, the Crystals’ organizing committee assembled many of the brightest marketing minds from across the country to judge the cache of brilliant entries.

Twenty-two judges from a variety of industries including online marketing, PR, higher education and agencies and non-profits, set to work reviewing hundreds of entries. Senior marketers and leadership from companies including Ogilvy & Mather, FedEx, MetLife, as well as several U.S. AMA chapters, participated as judges. For each entry, two different judges evaluated and scored the work and its supporting write-up, and ultimately sought to answer this question: “Did this work?” The two independent scores were then combined to calculate the final score.

This year, entries incorporated striking, brilliant, innovative marketing ideas brought to life by insightful minds here in Houston. Among the 97 categories represented, the branding, social media, website, online marketing and AMA members-only categories commanded the fiercest competition and highest volume of entries. The Most Improved Website had the strongest showing, of all. As Stephen Brent May said, “There isn’t a single bad website left in Houston,” based on how many website entries received.

What’s more? Every entrant is eligible to win the pinnacle award of the night, Judges’ Choice—and there was no shortage of candidates. This best-in-show award will be announced at the May 11 Gala, in front of an expected audience of 700 of the most influential marketing leaders in Houston.

Congratulations to all Crystals’ finalists, for taking intelligent risks to innovate marketing further, and for demonstrating the achievement of superior results. You are exceptional leaders in strategy, innovation, creativity and execution, and have already earned an esteemed distinction as top marketers in Houston. That constant progression onward is the heart of what we will celebrate at the Awards Gala.

Join us, May 11, to see who will be named best of the best in Houston marketing, and who will take home a Crystal in each of the categories. Expect a few surprises at the show that promises to leave attendees in awe.

Tickets and tables are on sale now and seats are going fast, with a record number of guests expected to attend this year’s Gala. The early bird ticket discount ends April 28, so reserve your seat today.

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