The use of this word isn’t restricted to corporate event types. Charities and not-for-profit clubs are amongst the worst offenders. It first came to my attention (or started to grate) as a member of a car club in NSW, when the club’s president decided that adding the word ‘gala’ to the front of every event made it sound more important. I was reminded of it today in an email I received about a fundraising dinner. And I can only imagine how many Australia Day ‘gala events’ are going on around the country as I type. In many cases, I think it’s used to indicate that the event is black tie or formal – why not say that?
Since the car club gala overload, I’ve heard it used often, for example:
- gala dinner
- gala presentation
- arts gala
- comedy gala
- gala ball
- gala party
In short, I think it’s a word that has lost its impact. Here’s a couple of suggestions:
- use it on its own – hold a ‘gala’ meaning festival rather than use gala as an adjective meaning ‘festive’
- drop it altogether and come up with a more creative name for your event.