It's been a long few days. I just got back from attending The 2005 Canadian Marketing Association Awards in Toronto. This year's event was branded as Full Contact Marketing (a hockey theme) and the event was a serious power play of the Canadian marketing industry's leaders. As a disclaimer, I was a Judge for this year's event.
I arrived in Toronto on Friday morning (very early) after my first flight on WestJet. I have to admit, it was damn fine. From the leather seats - that are fairly comfy for someone like me who requires the extra leg room - to the twenty-plus channels of satellite TV, it included a friendly crew and timely departure considering the falling snow.
I met some friends in the hotel lobby and off we went to the pre-awards cocktail. Once the event started, I was thankful enough to have two wing-people (thanks Tara and Michael) who guided me through the evening's flow. It seems like most people stick their heads into the actual ceremony and then duck out back to the hotel lobby bar where the action ensues.
We went back to the hall for the dinner and then it was off to the "private suites" for more beverages and schmoozing. Good times. Lots of laughs and one comment that will linger for years (it had to do with someone losing their monkey and no, it is not a euphemism).
For all of the criticism I can have of the marketing and advertising industry in Canada, this really was a unique night of celebration. It made me realize that the industry is continually strong in Canada and that there are many creative and intelligent people who are pushing the boundaries.
For a full list of this year's winners, please click here: The 2005 Canadian Marketing Association Awards Winners.