By Karen Riordan
I was pleasantly surprised to see that we sold 60 more tickets than we did the past year for ADDYs. A sold out crowd! The Ad Club also achieved its sponsorship goal for the event (which was unexpected) and although the total number of entries was down, the same number of entrants stepped up and entered back in January. I see that as a real article of faith that agencies and clients were determined to make 2010 a better, more successful year than 2009.
Seeing that entire auditorium at the Carnegie fill up was really very powerful and the energy was contagious. I was struck by the amount of optimism and excitement at the ADDYs event. Now, maybe it was the amazing spring weather we had over the weekend, or the free Guinness, but almost everyone I spoke with was in an upbeat mood. And they were upbeat about a few different, but related things:
- The show that night and the truly stellar work on display. Many people commented that the level of creative work across the categories was higher than the past year. Maybe adversity brings out the creativity in us.
- The industry wants and needs to feed off the positive energy of each other and ADDYs is a way to do that. We love to see the work in the gallery, we love to see who wins during the show, but most of all, we love to see old friends and make new acquaintances at industry events. Even better yet, we love to meet potential new business clients or star employees.
- The ad community is pretty resilient and vibrant. I saw small, two-person shops really excited to see if they would win a gold or silver ADDY and the bigger agencies and clients hoping to make a good showing in front of clients and prospects. The range was great and it is one of the things that makes the DC ad community so special and unique.
- The phone is ringing for many agencies and marketing firms and CEOs are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. More RFIs being sent out, more inquiries, more movement, more chances to improve fortunes.
- I read a statistic recently that said that more accounts changed hands in the past 18 months than in the former five years combined. I think that with all the economic turmoil it has caused many CMOs and marketing executives to take a step back and re-evaluate their budgets and their needs, which is actually a pretty healthy thing.
So, last year it was all about change, and that felt lousy. This year it’s all about change, but that’s a good thing. Which just supports the old axiom that the one thing we can all depend on is indeed change.
(NOTE: To see a Capitol Communicator video on the ADDY Awards, check out Capitol Communicator TV on the home page.)
Karen Riordan, Chair of the 2010 ADDYs, is president of Arnold/DC