Everything was different this year. Berlin, not Dortmund. Hybrid, not live. A kitchen at the Spreespeicher location instead of the big stage at the Westfalenhalle. However, the organisers of the BrandEx Awards 2021 responded to the challenges of the pandemic with a fun and entertaining hybrid event, staging an iconic award ceremony on the occasion of the third BrandEx at Berlin Spreespeicher with Aljoscha Höhn as the MC.
The organisers had invited their guests to an “Evening among Friends”, and a selection of this year’s award winners joined the live stream produced at the Berlin Osthafen Studios in a video chat. Aljoscha Höhn interviewed them on their award-winning projects, which were presented as videos, and can also be found on the www.brand-ex.org website. Streamed from the kitchen at the Spreespeicher to the living rooms of the virtual guests were inspiring and informative talks with jury members and industry protagonists like Matthias Toben, who was forced to reinvent his business due to the coronavirus and is now developing tiny houses instead of exhibition booths.
This year’s trophy- and prize-giving ceremony was completely different than in previous years, too. The BrandEx organisers received 101 submissions to the competition in the pandemic year, and, in an exceptional setting, recognised outstanding live communication projects in five winner clusters: Architecture, Planning/Craft/Production, Crossmedia, Event and Formats. Entries for the “Event” segment could be submitted in the categories “Best Brand Activation, “Best Live PR”, “Best Motivation/Best Employee Event”, “Best Corporate Event”, and “Best Conference”. The “Architecture” segment includes the categories “Best Stand”, “Best Brand Architecture”, “Best Thematic Exhibition”, and “Best Store Concept”. In the “Best Stand” category, entrants could submit projects in the formats “S”, “M”, or ”L”, depending on the size of the project.
The “Crossmedia” segment consists of the categories “Best Integrated Brand Campaign” and “Best Interactive Installation”. “Planning, Craft, Production” encompasses entries in the categories “Best Project Management”, and “Best Craft”. The new “Formats” segment is broken down into the subcategories “Best Tradefair”, “Best Festival”, and “Best New Format”.
38 laureates got up to the virtual winner’s rostrum and enjoyed receiving their trophies, which, in this special year, came in a very unique look: Not gold, silver, or bronze – this year, all awards came as the BrandEx Award Special Edition in white.
And another surprise was waiting for the guests behind the digital curtain: “BoB”, the Best of the Best list of the BrandEx Awards, celebrated its premiere at the event location on the banks of the river Spree. This list will from now on present the “Best of BrandEx”. Starting with the first BrandEx year 2019, the ranking makes it possible to compare the quality of submissions across all award years. It is based on a points system and is derived directly from the jury evaluations. The BoB ranking allows an identification of the differences in the levels of creative achievement across all award years.
A total of more than thousand attendees followed the invitation and joined the entertaining free live streaming of the BrandEx award ceremony on Wednesday. In the end, they received a new invitation saying “Dortmund is longing to see you again” – and Eva and Charleen joined the event in a special video call. They welcomed the digital guests to Dortmund exhibition centre and told them how much they were looking forward to seeing everybody again live when the BOE Red show is on at Dortmund exhibition centre on 9 and 10 June 2021.