The 2020 Marketing Edge Awards may have come and gone, but the beautiful memories will linger in the minds of Integrated Marketing Communications practitioners for long. The high octane event, which held at the exquisite and expansive hall of D’podium international event centre on 16th October 2029, lived up to its billing as one of the most glamorous annual events stakeholders look forward to in the IMC industry.
The event, earlier scheduled for June, was put off indefinitely as a result of the outbreak of the Covid-19 global pandemic. The pandemic had severely affected the social and economic lifestyles of the people in unimaginable proportions. The restrictions occasioned by the pandemic would not permit such social gathering that is usually accompanied by glitz and glamour. Even when the restrictions were relaxed, there were concerns about people’s willingness to attend social events because they were not assured of such events’ compliance with government protocols. As a responsible organization, the organizers took these concerns into consideration and this much was alluded to by the Publisher/CEO of MARKETING EDGE, John Ajayi, during his speech at the ceremony.
Hear him: “For us at MARKETING EDGE, this year’s award is one with a special attraction and uniqueness. It was organically planned and designed to reboot, re-start and re-energise the social, intellectual and entrepreneurial landscape of the Nigeria IMC. We are particularly excited to organize this award event to celebrate the triumph of humanity over the calamitous ravage of Covid-19 even as we observe the Covid-19 protocols put in place to make this event a success.”
During the days leading to the event, many observers had raised concerns about the possibility of MARKETING EDGE organizing a seamless award ceremony this year. However, the annual Summit held virtually on 15 October erased every iota of doubt in the minds of industry watchers who realised that the avant-garde publication outfit wasn’t in business for jokes. Indeed, the virtual summit became a major talking point in the IMC industry as it featured seasoned professionals and industry intellectuals who dissected the theme: “Making Your Business Future fit: The Post-Digital Challenge” in a very robust manner. It was the first time in the annals of events organized by the publication and indeed the entire IMC industry that such a galaxy of accomplished global thought leaders and professionals would have a 9-hour session on various aspects of the IMC industry.
The biggest challenge was to, however, surface hours leading to the award ceremony when there was an upsurge in the activities of the #EndSARS protests in the country. Indeed, there were real threats on organizing a smooth event considering the fact that Ikeja (also venue of the event) had become the epicentre of the protests in Lagos. As fate would have it, the protests did not affect the event. The venue, which usually witnesses traffic on weekends, was surprisingly free-flowing with officers of LASTMA having less to do in terms of traffic control.
Then came the hour that everyone had been waiting for, as the event started exactly 6:45 pm and the atmosphere, which had been in expectant mood, became electrified with sonorous music, comedy and dance performances. With the apprehension about the security situation resulting from the protests and the Covid-19 imposed social withdrawal, many had expected that a large chunk of the awardees and guests would not show up. To the chagrin of most watchers, the expansive hall was almost fully occupied as attendees sat down to enjoy the pot-pourri of displays and presentations for the night.
Many brands took turns to identify with the MARKETING EDGE’s brand as evidenced by the presence of customized tables that aesthetically lit strategic locations in the hall. Many CEOs and practitioners in the IMC industry registered their presence. For the award presentation, a lot of digital innovation was deployed in announcing the winners of the awards.
In fact, the digital innovation for this year’s event was topnotch as incoming guests were able to watch proceedings of the event from outside the venue. In all, the event was a masterpiece that got guests glued to their seats, asking for more. MARKETING EDGE has raised the bar in event management and one wonders how the numero uno marketing publication has continued to be a trailblazer in any endeavour it veers into. MARKETING EDGE, Nigeria’s leading marketing publication has been at the forefront of promoting the brand idea and setting agenda for the IMC industry in the last 17 years.