I have just accepted the honour (or “honor” as I think you say in the USA) of presenting the Interactive Marketing Awards on the 6th March in Fort Lauderdale and I think the awards are going to start flying. I’ll tell you why.

These awards go out to companies that have started to really leverage new ways of targeting customers. If you have a responsive marketing technology… one that helps agencies target the RIGHT people, rather than MORE people, then you should probably look at getting on on the ground floor with this event. When I started getting a marketing budget for Majestic, many years ago, I found that targeting the cream of the crop in a similar awards event was a really valuable way to broadcast our message to our audience. After all – if the WINNERS are using your technology, what does this say to the people that didn’t even make the shortlist?

By the way, the shortlist has soem pretty smart Internet Marketers on it. Stonetemple and GoFish Digital have two of the people I most admire in this industry.

But it is not just about the names on the shortlist. Getting in with this crowd and really engaging with the people on the shortlist will – I promise – help to propel a smart mareter with a smart marketing technology. Here was my tactic… which I used to GREAT effect with first ever the US Search Awards. 3 Tips for Sponsoring/Attending/Influencing Awards

1: Get in early, go in hard

Majestic was the lead sponsor at the first ever US Search Awards. Because we got in early and went in pretty hard, we managed to get a LOT of marketing for our money. Our brand was all over the Twitter wall (which was rocking all night) and also at the photo booth. They didn’t find a sponsor for the Vodka Louge Ice Sculpture in the first year, but perhaps we missed a trick, judging by the stories of the night:

The Ice sculture melting in a hotel bathroom after the US Search Awards.
…Those crazy Swedes…

By the way… that first US Search Awards as in Las Vegas… I saw a picture just last week of the Ice Sculpture taking on a life of its own… someone stole it (I blame Scandinavians) and took it around Vegas all night long, then tried to leave it with the concierge of their hotel!… well… it started to melt…

2: Use your table wisely

At those first US Search Awards, We also got a table RIGHT at the front of the action and we invited our best customers to come and enjoy a fabulous dinner. The opportunity to spend such good quality time with customers and potential customers in a relaxed but still vaguely businesslike environment is incredibly rare. Usually, networking events are either stand up and mingle events where you are lucky to be able to talk to your key actors for more than a couple of minutes, or worse, they are in noisy clubs with live or canned music making networking all but impossible. A formal dinner, though, give you quality time with quality prospects. That, alone, is worth the effort… although hopefully there will also be quality food and drink as well!

3: Clock the others in the room

There is a saying, that “fortune favours those who turn up”. I really believe it. Often it is difficult to know whether people and companies actually have money and actually ARE successful, or whether they are all smoke. The ones that actually get to these award ceremonies are the cream of any industry and have also jumped a metaphorical bar of achievement. The people in the room are interesting to the tool technologies, and their names are all on the seating plan! Take a photo of it!

I think it is too late to register for an award at this event, but if you I’m sure the sponsorship opportunities are still available and being “last minute” you could probably drive a bit of a bargain.


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