The 17th annual C.T.I.A. Wireless Foundation’s Achievement Awards experienced a jump in both attendance and sponsorship last night, with 480 people present—130 more than last year—and nearly $442,000 raised. Foundation executive director Kimberly Bassett credits the 10 percent increase in sponsorships to additional marketing efforts that brought in 11 more sponsors than last year—42 total, including some first-time donors—and the improved energy and reputation of last year’s event.
“Last year was my first dinner, and we really are trying to bring the energy back, which is why we hired André [Wells] to produce this year,” Bassett said. “We also started reaching out to sponsors four months ago, created a sales prospective packet, and did a lot of follow-up.”
In addition to hiring Wells (of Events by André Wells) to produce the dinner—which honors Americans who have used wireless technology for heroic acts—organizers moved the event from Union Station, where it has been held for many years, to the National Portrait Gallery for the first time.
The event’s design began with the selection of a striped tablecloth that later inspired the colors and look of the invites, programs, and on-site decor provided by A Vista Events. After the reception on the third floor of the museum, guests moved to the courtyard atrium, where Wells set up mixed square and long rectangular dinner tables draped in multicolored striped linens. Gold tufted frames adorned the two video screens on either side of the main lectern onstage.
The award presentation recognized nine honorees found through recommendations of C.T.I.A. member companies and research by foundation staffers on events in which cell phones played a helpful role, such as an Amber Alert text that led to the capture of a child abductor.
Top sponsors included global communications company Syniverse and big-name cellular providers AT&T, Ericsson, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.