Tauranga's One Love music festival has been crowned New Zealand's favourite event at the annual New Zealand Events Association Event Awards.
The festival joined two other top Bay of Plenty events in winning big at the award ceremony tonight.
Tauranga's AIMS Games nabbed wins in both the Best Regional or National Event category and the Best Sports Event category, while Rotorua's Dancing for Hospice took away the title of the Best Not-for-Profit or Cause-related Event.
The global events industry had faced "unprecedented challenges" this year but they were all ready for a "strong comeback" after the tough lockdown months, NZ Events Association (NZEA) general manager Ségolène de Fontenay said.
"While the outlook is uncertain owing to the unfolding global situation, the sector is ready for its recovery phase which in turn will help drive much needed domestic tourism.
"New Zealanders love their events, and that's been clear in the quality and sheer number of entries received for the 2019 season."
She said it had been noted that up to one-third of domestic travel was driven by people looking to take part in events.
"That's a multi-billion dollar spend directly linked to the work of event professionals."
She said the public vote option for New Zealand's favourite event of the year that was given to Tauranga's One Love showed that the festival was a "crowd-pleaser".
She commended the industry for navigating the "most unusual of Covid environments" and for the "resilience and professionalism".
AIMS Games tournament director Vicki Semple said the win was an extraordinary way to finish the year and it gave them a massive boost with planning for the 2021 tournament.
"I'm a little bit stunned at the calibre of the other events we managed to beat but it just shows how far we've come as a tournament and just what passion and hard work can do alongside our partners and supporters," she said.
Last year's Anchor AIMS Games featured more than 11,000 entries and injected nearly $6.5 million into regional coffers but the 2020 tournament was cancelled due to the ongoing restrictions of the Covid-19 outbreak.
AIMS Games Trust chairman Henk Popping said the award was fantastic recognition for the strategic direction the tournament was heading.
"Many events around the country have had a body-blow because of Covid-19 but it's clear just how important the likes of the Anchor AIMS Games are to our schools and communities.
"We've set ourselves the target of making our tournament an exemplar event in New Zealand and this is the ideal way to show we're heading down the right path."
Best Emerging Event Professional 2019 (Sponsored by NZICC): Briar Jones
Best Established Event Professional 2019 (Sponsored by NZICC): Carla Steed
Best Event Sponsorship Professional 2019 (Sponsored by ATEED): Monique Gibson
Category: Best Arts or Cultural Event (Sponsored by Fresh Info)
Winner: Te Matatini ki te Ao 2019
Entered by: Te Matatini Society Incorporated
Category: Best Corporate Event
Winner: Building Nations 2019
Entered by: Infrastructure New Zealand
Category: Best Not-for-Profit or Cause-related Event
Winner: Harcourts Dancing for Hospice
Entered by: Rotorua Community Hospice
Category: Best Sports Event (Sponsored by Fresh Info)
Winner: Anchor AIMS Games
Entered by: AIMS Games Trust & Tauranga City Council
Category: Best International Event (Sponsored by Eventfinda)
Winner: 2019 HSBC New Zealand Sevens
Entered by New Zealand Rugby & 37 South Events
Category: Best Regional or National Event (Sponsored by Eventfinda)
Winner: Anchor AIMS Games
Entered by AIMS Games Trust & Tauranga City Council
Category: Best Local Government Event (Sponsored by Eventfinda)
Winner: Highlight: Carnival of Lights
Entered by Hutt City Council
Category: Best Community Event (Sponsored by Sidekicker)
Winner: TEDxChristchurch 2019
Entered by Missing Link Consultants
Category: Best Event Sponsorship
Winner: ASB Auckland Marathon
Entered by ASB
Category: Best Music or Entertainment Event (Sponsored by ATEED)
Winner: Second Unit – What Will You Do in the Shadows
Entered by Tāwhiri
Category: Best Design & Build
Winner: The Sephora Beauty Bus
Entered by DARKHORSE
Category: Best Event Marketing
Winner: Paintvine Paint and Wine Events
Entered by Paintvine
Category: Best Food Experience (Sponsored by ATEED)
Entered by Missing Link Consultants & Vbase
Category: Best Supplier (Sponsored by NZICC)
Winner: Sidekicker for The All Blacks Game at Westpac Stadium (July 2019)
Entered by Sidekicker
Category: Best Venue (Sponsored by Sidekicker)
Winner: Wellington Regional Stadium Trust for Te Matatini ki te Ao 2019 and Eminem Rapture 2019
Entered by: Wellington Regional Stadium Trust
New Zealand's Favourite Event (Sponsored by Fresh Info) by public vote
Winner: One Love 2019
Entered by: Pato Entertainment