#JurySpeak #WOWAwardsAsia2020: Akshay Kotenkar, Anirban Basu, Vaibhav Singh, Nidhi Shah

Business Events | August 11, 2020 | Feature

JurySpeak WOW Awards Asia

The 12th edition of WOW Awards Asia 2020, the region’s largest business and recognition platform for the experiential marketing, MICE, live entertainment and wedding industries, is scheduled for Friday, 14th August 2020. The Extended Reality Awards Ceremony can be viewed on EVENTFAQS Media YouTube Channel from 5pm.

In this #JurySpeak series, we bring you perspectives of the esteemed jury members who evaluated the very best work from not just last year, but also in the last decade. We asked them about the categories they judged, prominent features/ trends amongst the work and their biggest takeout/learning from the judging process.

“There is no substitute for personalised and carefully curated experiences.”
- Akshay Kotenkar, Director, NBA

I judged the WOW Decade Awards  (Festivals, Automobile Expos, Weddings, etc.) at WOW Awards 2020. The overarching trend was how brands and event agencies both provided an outstanding and memorable consumer experience; be it to the potential consumers at an Auto Expo; guests at a wedding or the audience at a music/art festival. There is no substitute for providing personalised and carefully curated experiences.

“Nothing can be more interesting than true human stories.”
- Anirban Basu, Senior Brand Manager Black Dog, Diageo India

The categories that I judged included Concert Of The Year, New Intellectual Property of the Year, Festival of the Year - Art / Culture / Lifestyle, Festival of the Year - Music and Special Event of the Year for a Brand.

The most prominent trend was the clear reflection of an honest attempt to understand the consumer pulse, to demonstrate that all executions are relatable to consumers. Being authentic is the call of the hour and I was really happy to see how most of the entries were true to that crucial factor.

My biggest learning was how imperative it is to appreciate different stories that exist around us. The true power lies in ‘being open’ - to be able to acknowledge the different value systems and truly absorb the beauty that lies in diversity. Nothing can be more interesting than true human stories and the way the entries reflected consumer viewpoints is something I take back as a big learning

“It’s all about storytelling and creating magical experiences.”
- Nidhi Shah, GM Marketing and Branding, Brookfield Properties

I have judged Experiential Marketing at WOW Awards 2020. Experiential marketing is all about creating experiences that leave people with long-lasting, positive brand impressions. Most of the entries received had done some fantastic work wherein they had utilised all five senses during events to fully immerse customers in a brand experience. It’s all about storytelling and creating magical experiences for customers!

“The ideas and thematic suggestions need more intricacy.”
- Vaibhav Singh, Ex-Head – Marketing, House of Anita Dongre

I have jugged Experiential Celebrations and Experiential Marketing at the WOW Awards 2020. Most entries need more work on documentation and storytelling. The large-scale projects had a lot of pompous elements, which did not necessarily fit the theme or the project requirement. In some sense, there were a lot of unnecessary elements. However, few others had a minimal approach but were very thought through and those were the ones that stood out the most.  

Most projects, especially on the events front, do not justify the client’s brief. Given the fact that it is an open canvas for an event company to play on, the ideas and thematic suggestions need more intricacy. They need to take a deeper dive into the clients’ lives and character in order to understand the nuances and thereby showcase and bring that out in the theme and execution. It is these finer details which I feel are overlooked, which happen to be the most important in a creative thematic event execution scenario.

We asked them about the categories they judged, prominent features/ trends amongst the work and their biggest takeout/learning from the judging process.

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