I am writing this the morning after the magazine’s ninth annual Best of Colorado readers’ choice awards and Hall of Fame induction. After nine years of being editor and the Vanna White of this event, I came away from last night with a few observations.
1. Attention to Details Wins Fans – Sometimes there is the one thing that slips by almost everyone, but a partner who is always watching your back is worth a pot of gold. Allée Photography came to my rescue, calling to say they hadn’t heard anything about photographing the magazine’s editorial advisory board, which they had done at least two times at our meeting before awards in the past. Once again we will have a fun photo to run with our state of the industry Open Mic that appears in our summer issue. Thank you Kevin and Betty Kay!
2. A Good Emcee Keeps Event Light & On Track – Scott Friedman, our 2014 Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame inductee, stepped into the shoes of emcee for this year’s awards. It is not an easy task to keep a crowd of 500 listening and on track when there is networking to be done and friends to catch up with! Scott handled it with good humor, a song and a railroad whistle!
3. Special Touches Are Noticed – Just a few of the many things that caught my eye. Ultra-mini pizza boxes with the Best Of Colorado logo that contained mini ham and pineapple pizzas by Relish Catering; the cool lighted “wall” provided by longtime partner Fastlane Productions was an amazing backdrop; the lit trees set up on the mezzanine level overlooking the main space by Décor ‘N More were an awesome atmosphere creator; and really cool grocery/shopping totes (think light, washable fabric, cool patterns, and easy to roll up and keep in a purse or car) provided by Vail Resorts made the gift bags fly off the front table.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New – Having the same event year after year requires shaking it up a bit. A cowboy at the front entrance, a different venue, new twists on décor, and unique entertainment like Empty Canvas that melds painting and live music (with one of the vocalists creating a painting while singing and giving that painting away in a drawing at the end) are a few things we tried. Thank you to Talent West for helping with entertainment.
5. Historic Locations Provide Awesome Backdrops – After working in the downtown revitalization field for many years, it’s no surprise that venues like Mile High Station speak to me. However, the exposed brick walls and overall character that the venue brought to this year’s Best of Colorado was key.
This doesn’t begin to express appreciation to all of our event partners. It takes a team of professionals to make an event happen successfully! Next, it’s off to the Meetings Industry Council of Colorado Educational Conference and Trade Show, which is shaking it up this year as well.