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June 12, 2009
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EuBEA:It’s time for the UK to make it’s mark on Europe’s events scene




This year EVENTS:review is the official UK media partner for the European Best Event Awards. Last year saw a poor showing from the UK, we believe it’s time for that to change.

With the European Best Event Awards open for entry until 30 June, we spoke to the events creator Salvatore Sagone and owner of the ADC Group about how the idea for a Europe-wide event awards ceremony came about.

“In 2004, ADC Group, the leading publishing group in Italy in the events and communication industry, organised the first Italian Awards for events: BEA Best Event Awards,” explains Sagone. “At that time the industry in Italy was developing and all the people involved in events organisation needed a reference point of excellence. For the first time awards were given to a new means of communication, the event, which was taking on more and more importance in companies’ marketing mix. The Award’s objective was to promote events as an innovative means of communication within the marketing mix and also as a key part of companies’ wider communication strategies.”
 
In 2006 Sagone decided that the events industry was now so much more high profile that it was time to organise an awards ceremony aimed at a European level to give the industry a cross country reference point of excellence. “There weren’t and still aren’t any awards open to all agencies/ companies based in Europe so we launched EuBEA – European Best Event Awards,” he says.

 


Sagone: Putting events at the heart of
Europe's marketing mix


Centre of creative excellence
EuBEA is held in Italy because it was born as brand extension of BEA Italy. And Sagone believes  that it reflects the country’s long creative tradition and the respect Italy has garnered at international level in the communication and design industry. “With this in mind it seemed the right place to celebrate the EuBEA winners,” he continues. “That said, our aim is to move EuBEA from country to country in order to allow all the people involved in the events industry at a European level to experience the best creativity in Europe, and we have had some proposals for next year that we are currently evaluating.”

Since its first ceremony in 2004, EuBEA has experienced a continuous growth and last year there where 105 entrants from 10 different countries. The 2008 Awards ceremony itself was attended by people from 12 countries: Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, England, Russia. Lithuania, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and Poland. And this really underlines the core aim of the awards, and ADC, which is to create a common “events culture” across Europe. “We are also building relationships among the various national events trade associations and are working towards creating a European one,” enthuses Sagone.

EuBEA is positioning itself as THE international events awards, thanks to its well respected judging panel, comprised of the most important events experts at international level. This year’s president of the judges is Christoph Tessmar, congress manager for Sanofi-Aventis (Spain). “We are also building the profile of the awards through global media partners and trade associations,” Sagone adds. “The jury panel looks mainly to award its winners for creativity and innovation, that’s the reason why events with all budgets can win in EuBEA.”

Keep up with the times
There are 17 categories for EuBEA, covering the full spectrum of almost all types of events agencies and companies that organise events. “Every year, after the judging sessions, we ask the judges to give their opinion about the categories and suggest changes or additions,” he continues. “Last year we added music and sports events as the judges considered them important types of events in the European market. This year we have added Unconventional Event (awarded for the best guerrilla marketing and ambient media activities). Previously these events were judged in the Public Event category, but their growing use within companies’ marketing mix has allowed them have their own category. We pay attention to the trends in the industry and always ensure EuBEA is kept up to date.”
   
Sagone is bullish about the standing of the event in the face of the current downturn: “We do not forecast a growth for this years awards, but we do expect to have more or less the same number of entries as last year,” he proclaims. “In order to make the awards truly accessible for everyone we are keeping the entry fee the same as last year, indeed it has been at this level since 2006.”

So does Sagone feel that the awards ceremony is still relevant in today’s economic climate? “Yes, I do consider we should still be holding awards ceremonies as they are useful for benchmarking performance and for the development of the industry, besides it’s important in a downturn to aggregate people and give positive messages,” he opines. “Of course, everybody this year will organise cost saving ceremonies, focussed much more on the winners than on the show around them. We are also predicting a more sober event in step with the industry.”

EVENTS:review is the official UK media partner for this year’s awards and we would encourage agencies to apply, it’s time we showcased our creative talents in the events arena to a European audience. After all, in a tough economic climate, what better way to woo tough to convert than by saying you are officially the best agency in Europe.

Entries should be completed by 30 June 2009. For more details click here


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