Award shows aren’t built in a day – particularly when they’re for an audience of advertising professionals.
By Hal Schild, Senior Vice President of Creative Services, PCI.
PCI Senior VP of Creative Services, Hal Schild, and Levick’s VP of of Digital Communications, Erin Flior, co-chaired the 2015 American Advertising Awards-DC. The American Advertising Awards is the advertising industry’s largest competition, attracting more than 40,000 entries each year in local American Advertising Federation Club competitions. This year’s American Advertising Awards-DC took place Tuesday April 7, 2015.
Flior has led award-winning teams in providing innovative and fully integrated communications solutions involving public relations, events, digital integration, social media, metrics and analysis, and grassroots strategies. Her clients have included such companies as AT&T, American Airlines, AXA Equitable, and CITGO as well as trade associations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Schild sat down with Flior to reflect on this year’s event.
Schild: Briefly describe the scope of the American Advertising Awards-DC. What is its primary objective or significance?
Flior: The American Advertising Awards-DC is the premier celebration of advertising achievement in the Washington metropolitan area and the qualifier for the American Advertising Federation’s annual national awards. Awards recognize achievements from across the advertising industry, from collateral materials to digital advertising. The event is a fairly large production, generally attracting around 300 attendees. It provides the DC advertising community a venue to reflect on the year’s innovative efforts.
Schild: What are the initial planning steps to getting this event off the ground?
Flior: It’s important to have an event production team familiar with setting up comprehensive timelines. With so many details, it’s easy forget a crucial element. Make sure your key deadlines are outlined, but also include details for all sponsorships, promotional emails, decor, etc. In the beginning, no detail is too small. Once you move into implementation, you will thank yourself for putting in the time to plan.
Schild: This year’s American Advertising Awards-DC theme was Casino Cubano, featuring Cuban-inspired food and drink, live music, and gambling! What was the creative process that went into choosing this theme?
Flior: We were lucky to secure a great location right off the bat, the Almas Temple, the headquarters of the Almas Shriners. The building’s facade is an historic landmark, and we wanted a theme that would complement the aesthetics of the space and provide for engaging entertainment. The casino aspect of the theme came to mind quickly, lending itself to fun activities for attendees. When the Cuban element was added, however, it elevated the theme with an overall look and feel that resonated for both mood and cuisine.
Schild: What was most important to smooth production?
Flior: Detailed planning and days of rehearsals are essential. It’s important to have a knowledgeable event production team to make sure presenters, talent, and hosts know their roles. Rehearsals allow event managers to strategically place action and helps the technical crews prepare.
Schild: What is the one essential element of event production you believe is often overlooked?
Flior: The importance of having a team that gets along and works well together. I could not have had a better partner in crime than you, Hal, and we both knew one could rely on the other completely. This made the process run smoothly and the process fun — even when planning and production was at its craziest.
Schild: What was your favorite element from this year’s Awards?
Flior: The band was by far my favorite part of the event — they were fun, their sound was fantastic, and they kept people lively and excited! Incorporating the band into the actual awards presentation, instead of having them just perform, provided a seamless event experience.
For more information on PCI’s event production, check out our event page.