#JurySpeak #WOWAwardsAsia2020: Lubaina Sheerazi, Shravana Sachdeva, P Anand, Aalhad Wadekar

Business Events | August 14, 2020 | Feature

WOW Awards Asia WOW Awards Asia 2020

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’s YouTube Channel from 5 pm IST.

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 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.

“It is imperative to focus on innovative ways to stand out.”
- Lubaina Sheerazi, Indian Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman

I judged categories like Photography of a Social Wedding Celebration, Videography of a Social Wedding Celebration, Pre Wedding / Social Celebration Photography, Pre-wedding Videography and Innovation in Capturing a Social Event/Wedding for Social Media at WOW Awards Asia 2020.

In the category of Social/Wedding Celebration Photography, I have had the privilege to judge some great work, including a few that have pushed their limits to create stellar storytelling content via imagery and videos.

Capturing precious moments at a wedding or celebration is an amalgamation of innovative ideas, passion and creative spirit. Photographers constantly need to feed their creativity and evolve. From the use of ultra-modern camera techniques to capturing the most intricate details are prerequisites for shooting celebratory moments.

More so, social media has changed the way we look at photography. With rapidly changing trends, it is imperative to focus on innovative ways to stand out. One such takeaway has to be the art of emotional perspective photography. A picture is worth a thousand words is a pure definition of what clients are looking for before sharing an image on social media. Photos that inspire and provoke a range of emotions and memories. It interacts with the character of the subjects and their relationships. All of these essential aspects of photography are what makes an image timeless.

“There is a definite move away from a documentary style to storytelling.”
-Shravana Sachdeva, Director, WittyVows

Innovation in Social Media, Social Events Pre-wedding Photography & Videography and Photography & Videography - Wedding Celebrations are some of the categories I judged at WOW Awards 2020.

One trend that's starkly visible in these categories is how professionals are actually placing their client's personalities at the centre of not only the story, but, also the style in which the narrative is built  - both in photography and videography. There is a definite move away from a documentary style to storytelling that borrows from the couple’s inherent character. Another trend is the development of an editorial style of photography that seems to be much preferred by the couples from this season’s entries.

Integrating more deliverables from a social media perspective is another prominent trend. Professionals have tailored their offerings to Instagram as a platform. The acceptance of this as a major platform for delivering their work to the couple’s circle is visible in the way they render their work  - from the duration of the videos to the frames in photography. This influence is widely spotted not only in the entries but also in the work I interact with on our platform WittyVows.

Photography and videography are evolving at a rampant pace year on year. It's lovely to see that not only the technology in this respect but also the couple/clients’ acceptance towards artistic concepts and the importance they give to unique techniques in cinematography. More and more professionals now have an open playing field to experiment with their style, owing to the changing mindset of the millennial couples.

“The most prominent feature I found was the audience-centricity.”
- P Anand, Chief Services and Solutions Business, Tata Steel

The awards I judged belonged to categories such as Best Rural Engagement Properties, Industry Conventions, Exhibition Stalls, Special Events for Governments and Knowledge Exchange Properties. The most prominent feature I found among most of these entries was the audience centricity. In almost every case, there was a keen understanding of who the audience is, along with a clear focus on making the experience as relevant and memorable for them as possible. The second aspect I really felt stood out was the comprehensiveness of the action plan to attract and engage the audience – instruments to do this were identified and detailed down to the last letter.

My major takeaways from judging the entries follows from these stand-out points. Given that I lead a business that is striving to grow exponentially, I firmly believe that customer centricity would be the cornerstone of this growth. I hope to instil in my team and the ecosystem around my business the same qualities of customer centricity and attention to detail that I could see in a lot of the entries. I would also share the innovation I observed in certain ideas with my team because I feel this could serve as inspiration when we are planning our own campaigns and events.

“The work is worth a thousand mentions.”
- Aalhad Wadekar, Category Manager - CVO, Grease, Gear Oils and Specialities, Gulf Oil Lubricants India

I judged the WOW Decade Awards  (Festivals, Automobile Expos, Weddings, etc.) at WOW Awards 2020.

Usage of technology for curating delightful consumer experiences on ground is the most prominent feature/trend that I see amongst almost all the work in these categories.

Judging WOW awards was a wonderful opportunity for me to understand how experiential marketing works in varied fields and is effective too. Some of the work that I came across had the scale which makes you proud that such experiences are curated in India by Indian teams and can safely be stated as cutting-edge work that can compete with global events. Heartiest congratulations to each of the entrants; irrespective of winning awards or not, the work is worth a thousand mentions.

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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