Wow. Wow. Wow.

I think you could summarise what happened on Friday at the AEO Awards with one word (repeated multiple times - once for every award ), WOW.

Team Picture at AEO Award

I was tasked with a couple of challenges when I first joined the business, 5.5 years ago. One of those challenges eluded me... it was winning an AEO award.

And on Friday, we did, though we picked up not just the one, but TWO awesome awards for Visit and Poken and another award for GES! Wahoooo (Can you tell I'm still a little excited?!)!!

 We won: Best Use of Technology | Innovation | Sustainability (GES)

The real icing on the cake though, was when I was working (pre-GES) with ASP Design, we designed these very awards. We designed them in gold to reflect the Oscars style nature of the AEO awards. On Friday, the 25th Anniversary of said awards, they went silver. So, not only had I finally been able to collect an AEO award we had designed, but we collected TWO limited edition silver ones. Again, excuse me a moment, but WOW!

I wrote a blog a few years ago on the ups and downs of awards, what they really mean to people, and how hard they are to win. It's easy to get complacent at awards events, particularly as our industry seems to have one every couple of weeks - my friends think all I do is go to awards - but winning them, especially when your team has worked so hard on delivering the results behind the award, always offers an incredible explosion of emotion. From the cheers on the night. The shock. The excitement. The congratulatory high fives and handshakes. The smiles. The love. The extra drink. The electrifying energy. The sheer joy of being able to collect something on behalf of our entire team and seeing over 1,000 industry peers cheering for us. That. That is a pretty awesome feeling.

But we can't forget how we got this award. More details will come on an official press release soon I'm sure, but I'm going to go all Oscars on you for a moment here... I shall save calling every name out as I'm bound to miss someone so...bear with whilst I get #totesEmosh.

We wouldn't win these awards if we didn't have something that is helping revolutionise our industry. We wouldn't win them if we didn't have clients who wanted to test out these new concepts and help turn them into reality. We wouldn't be able to deliver them if we didn't have the development team in place or the operational team ready to respond to last minute changes to get things done. We wouldn't win them if there wasn't a coming together of many different elements to create a greater being than one person can achieve solo. So thank you. Thank you clients, thank you teams and thank you visitors and exhibitors who help validate what we do.

But also, I want to say a special thank you to my own team. I said it on the night, but if Carlsberg made marketing teams, mine would be it.

It takes a lot of effort to create award winning entries. Often limited by word count or submissions in a certain style. Often not sure if we have included too much or too little context. Often waiting...waiting for stats or proof of the story we are creating, to ensure it validates everything we've just said. Waiting for images to support our case studies. Often unsure if that extra bullet point constitutes an additional word or is it just a character (we pay close attention to word counts)... like I said, there is a lot that goes into an award entry and I have huge amounts of respect for anyone that has had to write one! But back to my team... my team helps get it done. Marketing teams are like the unsung heroes of awards events (bold statement number 1)! Maybe more on that on a future blog.

So my team, my team is the best fricken marketing team there is. Bold statement (number 2)... but what makes a team? Or rather, what makes my team?

I can talk about all the years of experience between us, or what qualifies us to be marketeers, but in reality, it comes down to a common desire to succeed at what we do. We work hard. We play hard. We know we can count on each other to get things done. I know these guys can help me to shape award winning entries, having taken home our fair share over the last 12 months. I know that these guys give a s&@t about what we do and want to help push our company forward as an award-winning business. So thank you Tamla and Grant, we couldn't have done this without you.

And now? Growing up watching the "World Series" in America, when people asked “what’s next?” I'd like to say "we're going to Disneyland" (if you're not familiar with that analogy...sorry). And if not...we're still in with a chance of winning a trip to Disney with the AEO competition ;-).

Wow. Wow. Wow.

What I'm actually going to say to Grant and Tamla on our morning marketing call is "How are you coming on with those next award entries?"

See you all next time,



About the Author

Matt  Coyne

Matt has been working in events & exhibitions for over 15 years. From organising, to design, to website, and onto registration, engagement and intelligent data services, Matt has extensive experience at every level. With a background in organisation, marketing and design Matt is able to cut through the technology and approach engagement and registration solutions with the end users in mind. As Group Commercial Director for Visit by GES and an active participant in the industry, Matt has been involved in a variety of industrywide research projects and is an expert in creating effective event experiences.

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