The National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) is revamping its awards banquet this year, including rolling out a literal red carpet for attendees to make a grand entrance.
The goal, officials said, is to emphasize the importance of honoring the industry's achievements — and to add a touch of glamour to the ceremony.
"We are a group that does great work and doesn't like to get out and say, 'Look at what we did,' — but we need to," Theresa Anderson, co-chair of the awards program along with Launi Schmutz, told SBF. "These are very important awards."
The ceremony will be held on the evening of Sunday, Oct. 21, during NAPT's 2012 Summit in Memphis, Tenn.
In past years, an additional awards program was held on the morning after the evening program. NAPT Executive Director Mike Martin told SBF that the association decided to combine those two events, so all of the awards will be given out during the evening ceremony. The awards committee also saw an opportunity to transform the affair.
"The fundamental concept is to celebrate and recognize the people who are really the stars of the event: the award winners themselves," Martin said.
To that end, the new banquet has been dubbed "Rolling Out the Red Carpet — YOU Are the Star!" Along with dinner, musical accompaniment will be provided.
Martin said that likely one or two local groups from Memphis, a city with a rich musical history, will play throughout the evening.
"The theory is that because we're in Memphis, we can showcase some of the local culture as well," he said.
To up the glitz factor for the event, Anderson said that "swag" bags (sponsored gift packages typically given out at Hollywood ceremonies) are in the works.
The awards banquet will be a semi-formal affair.
"We're calling it 'after-five attire,'" Anderson said. "It's fun to dress up on occasion, but people are welcome to wear anything they want."
She also noted that the deadline for award nominations has been extended to Friday, Aug. 14. For more information, go here.