The EVCOM Awards, which saw Yellowfish crowned agency of the year and Vista win conference of the year, was held at London Olympia with production by agency drp, which stepped in ten days before the event after the previous production partner dropped out due to budget issues.
Around 500 event planners attended the evening, a reduction from previous years, which Steve Garvey, chairman of EVCOM, attributed to a change in venue. He added that they were pleased with the event despite the last-minute switch and that drp and key sponsors, such as PRG XL Video, had worked incredibly hard to pull it together.
"As a membership association, we manage our budgets carefully and ensure we invest everything in creating business opportunities for members. Therefore, it's always a fine balance between throwing an over-the-top event or seriously looking at how we can save in areas to re-invest back into EVCOM’s networking and education events, said Garvey.
Reviews of the event have been mixed, with Garvey adding that the EVCOM Board will have a thorough debrief from evening and look at how future events can be tweaked to meet the expectations of all members.
"We're currently surveying guests and listening to all feedback on what worked well and what needs to improve for the EVCOM Live Awards 2016."
Ben Parkinson, commercial director at Bluehat Group, described the event as "a bit shabby chic", while Nick Terry, managing director of Top Banana, said he thought the event provided an excellent opportunity to meet with peers and celebrate the industry, but that etiquette was lacking.
He explained "The presenter did nothing wrong and was funny if you chose to listen. This is the format for many events now, but people were talking through it. I think it’s difficult to balance the need for networking with the awards announcements." He added that it was a challenge to create more opportunities for networking and that rudeness had become part and parcel of many events.