By Todd Wilms
There are plenty of literary tomes to fall on about being first. First is great for sports, but not always for business. Betamax lost the battle to which they arrived first, Takeda Pharmaceutical’s “Sleeping Pills for Children” (really?!?!) had disaster written all over it, or if McDonald’s would invent the “Double Chicken Pizza Burrito” you might just want to skip that test market. We had to wait for Windows 7 to help us purge the taste of Vista. First-to-market for anything can have some challenges – some bugs to work out. There are, fortunately, some noticeable exceptions to the rule. The 1st Bees Awards were such an exception.
Held November 9th in the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, the Bees Awards illuminates the best of social media professionals and honors both the vision and the execution of great minds and leaders in the discipline. The brain-child of Bastien Beauchamp and Cara Drolschagen and with the help of a devoted team of individuals, sponsors, and partners, the awards brought a few hundred people out of their shells and the cold, wet weather to celebrate these accomplishments. There were problems, to be sure – no internet connection in the pavilion was a big one; the uncomfortably long dance interludes during the ceremony were small ones. Those are just details to revamp for future events. The upsides overshadowed these nuances.
Here is what we learned:
- Saatchi and Saatchi Los Angeles likes to send people en masse to these events. They were fun and enthusiastic and might have “burned that mother down” if they had not won “Agency of the Year.” Good for us that they did.
- We are still in awe and in love (did I say “awe”?) with Weiden+Kennedy for their Old Spice ads. I won’t even bother to hyperlink here because we all have these ads bookmarked (even if we won’t admit it)
- Good to see student work get recognized. It is not all agencies and large brands.
- The surprise of the night – one group was disqualified from competition for filtering some online commentary. Kudos to the jury and organizers for both handling this well – diffusing the situations with a little humor and grace “live and on stage” – but for also furthering the brand of the Bees Awards by taking the high road.
- Great mix of old and new. Marble halls and Rodin statues looking down on us as we ate our crab puffs and discuss how to bring content to the masses like some modern day social Trotskyites.
It wasn’t perfect, but it was sincere and it was honest and it was fun. If they keep that for the second, then being first was alright.