The Eventia Awards 2011! What a great night! Record level of submissions; over 700 attendees; £10,000 raised for charity; partying until the early hours; and much more. But surely this is no surprise? The Eventia 2011 Awards were always going to be a massive hit weren’t they?
Well, actually, no, not necessarily! A number of factors kept the Eventia Awards team on their toes and cautious in making any such assumptions. Consider the following:
Firstly, the business climate is tough with every pound of spend by agencies, partners and sponsors under ever closer scrutiny. Supporting any awards is a commercial decision which has to show pay back.
Secondly, there is now a confusion factor created by the plethora of awards focusing on or including events, all within a matter of a few months. So which to support or attend?
Thirdly, as most people know, this was the first time that we had produced our awards ‘in-house’ having previously relied on a commercial partnership. We were disappointed and surprised when the third party told us that our awards were no longer attractive to them from a strategic and commercial perspective - after all they have produced hundreds of awards ceremonies so they must know a thing or two. And of course we were even more surprised when that same third party went on to set up another awards event only two weeks before the Eventia Awards!
So, you see, it was far from a racing certainty that the Eventia Awards 2011 would unfold without issue and all without effort.
As it turned out there was a great deal of effort … and the event did unfold fantastically.
On the night I had no fingers of complaint jabbing me in the ribs nor did I receive any negative whispers in my ear from the usual suspects. Instead I experienced a wave of back slapping, high fives and positive comments. PM&M made a spontaneous and generous offer on the night to gift flights and hotels to be auctioned for our charity. X Factor’s Johnny Robinson hit the right note. The twitter feeds were buzzing. You could sense the positivity and atmosphere in the room. And to greet me first thing this week I had a flurry of encouraging emails from all corners of the events industry.
So, yes, the awards were a huge success. Why? Well, our Awards team worked long and hard to deliver, but it really was the 700 events professionals who turned up to celebrate excellence in our industry. We never ever set out to prove to any of the other awards bodies that “our awards are better than yours” but I do feel that we have really consolidated our position as the only awards event created by people in the events industry for people in the events industry.
Let’s do it all again next year.
Finally, let me point out that there is no truth in the rumour that a Hollywood agent is setting up a new duo act featuring Johnny Robinson and Simon Hughes.