SimpliFlying Awards for Social Media Excellence 2011: The Journey, the Experience

What a fabulous journey it has been! To say that the 2nd SimpliFlying Annual Awards for Excellence in Social Media were a success, would perhaps be an understatement. Right from sowing the seeds online to reaping the rewards offline in Amsterdam on October 10, this year’s SimpliFlying Awards journey has been exhilarating and extremely rewarding.

Behind the Scenes

In more than a year of being with SimpliFlying in various capacities, helping get the Awards machine up and running has been by far the grandest enterprise I’ve been involved with. The first and most immediate challenge that faced us was to ensure that we received a fairy representative roster of nominations. In this we succeeded most handsomely, getting almost 70 nominations over 4 categories.

Then came the greater challenge: actually getting votes for the top nominees. In this endeavour, we pursued three diverse methods: first, we constantly promoted #SMAwards on the SimpliFlying Twitter channel that has close to 8,000 followers. By means of numerous retweets and mentions on Twitter, we reached a wide audience. Second, we used our SlideShare channel to promote the top nominees in each category by producing 4 individual case-packs – revenue, engagement, airlines and airports – illustrating the campaigns for which they had been shortlisted in the 4 airline/airport categories. Last, and perhaps most importantly, the SimpliFlying Awards were even featured prominently on the homepages of airlines such as Air New Zealand and Malaysia Airlines. That certainly gave a push to voters across the globe.

Stating all this as matter-of-fact is perhaps understating the actual effort that went into ensuring that everything was running smoothly: getting word out, preparing slide-decks, writing articles, shortlisting judges, emailing numerous stakeholders, following up and following up again. Even choosing attractive trophies was a detail we paid attention to. Sleepless nights, numerous conversations, innumerable revisions, incessant planning… The list continues!

Some stats to blow your mind:

69 nominations

30,000+ votes from 4500+ cities

10 articles on receiving 4000+ likes on Facebook

5 case-packs on SlideShare receiving 16000+ views.

The Real Show

On a cold, rainy morning in Amsterdam on October 10, after rushing to ensure that everything was finally in place, we held first the awards presentations and then the ceremony later in the evening. Top airlines, airports and hotels had flown their representatives in to present strictly 10-minute pitches in a bid to impress the judges and take home the trophies. Our live-blog and tweetstream covered the event as the audience was blown away by the innovativeness of various campaigns.

In the evening, a glittering presentation ceremony ensured that the SimpliFlying Awards received a fitting end to what was a long-drawn effort that lasted over the course of 3 months. Having previously wrapped up the harder part of preparing for the Awards, I had a good time simply taking photographs and basking in reflected glory!


Looking Ahead

As a complex whirlwind of emotions – pride, satisfaction and of course, quite a bit of exhaustion – unravels over the next few days and weeks, you can be sure that our minds are already at work to plan our next grand venture. A huge thank you to all those who participated so enthusiastically in the nomination and voting process; kudos to all airlines, airports and hotels for promoting the bejesus out of their nominations and flying down their presenters to Amsterdam; the warmest round of applause to the winners; last but not least, thanks to our partners EyeForTravel, Hotel Marketing Strategies blog and our three judges who made great decisions in what was undoubtedly a very  close contest.

For all that has been – Thanks!

For all that will be – Yes!

See you next year!

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