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The events business in Finland is doing great – let’s celebrate!

This time, I choose to write in English. Not only because it’s easier (I am originally from Sweden and Finnish is only my third language) but also because some of my partners in crime do not speak or read Finnish. Call me a traditionalist, cause there are of course really good translating services online…(I of course use Bing Translator – both on my Lumia and my PC – enough promotion for today).

In less than two months, on March 25, the 2015 Evento Awards ceremony will take place. During the past couple of weeks a group of international and national event professionals are on a special mission: To serve as the judges for four of the Evento Awards categories – Consumer, Launch/promotional, B2B and Employee events. It is my privilege to serve as the Chairman of the 2015 Event Awards jury. You can imagine that our calendars are busy these days: We’ve reviewed dozens and dozens again of candidates across these categories. The winners will of course be a well-kept secret for the few until the time they’re announced, but I will disclose some of my observations that – in addition to the huge number of submissions – support my claim that the events business in Finland is doing great.

I’ll start with the Employee event category: We’ve seen a variety of submissions in this category: Christmas parties, training days, recreational activities and so on. We’ve also reviewed examples of how clever event agencies have created events that then have been implemented by several companies – these concepts are great win-win opportunities for both the client and agency – lower cost for the concept and setup of course can lead a more cost-effective solution for the clients! Another highlight for me is when I notice that even gatherings like Christmas parties have objectives that go beyond simply facilitating a good night with workmates. In cases where budgets are low some great ideas help to create the right impact of these internal events – that’s a generic observation across all four categories!

Moving on to B2B events, this was to me one of the hardest ones to evaluate: Participation at trade shows, customer hospitality events, trainings/information get-togethers, gala dinners and inaugurations are just a few types of events represented here. The budgets range from minimal to huge. This category is great evidence of how versatile agencies need to be – every event is unique! In some cases it was great to see clear and measurable objectives actually being evaluated, and also how the event creative and execution really helped to achieve and exceed the set targets.

The Launch/Promotional category was also rather challenging to evaluate as the category is like a wide net thrown out: We see submissions ranging from really small but super-creative launch initiatives to massive public launches – and everything in between. In some way this was the nicest one to review: It’s with events like these that one discover some of the best creative ideas in the business! I can’t wait to see which of the submissions will make it to the short list: I think that this category will be a very tight race!

Last, but not least, the Consumer events. It’s really humbling to review these candidates. This category IMHO boasts some of the best work in the industry. B2C events are also channels for organizations to reach out to consumers: The needs to be extreme approachable and clear can be noticed in many submissions. Another aspect of this category can be seen in some of the cases: The way to disrupt or otherwise be seen and heard in public places is challenging.

So, you may wonder, isn’t there any room for improvement? Of course there is! For future judging, I’d love to see more submissions that tick the following boxes:

  • Clear goals and how these goals where met or exceeded. The events that can show the impact – or even ROI – always gets higher marks
  • Disclosure of budget – it helps to assess the scale of the project
  • A to-the-point outline of what the project contained, including the creative idea and a brief description of the project
  • Visuals or (preferably) a video illustrating how the execution and creative came to life. A picture says more than a thousand words, a video tells an even better story!

Make sure to tune in after March 25 to see the fine work that made it all the way to the Evento Awards!

Björn

Björn Wigforss

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