Held May 3-5 at McCormick Center in downtown Chicago, Shiftgig was on the show floor, sponsored the Ex Awards gala, and recognized the first ever 10 Brand Ambassadors of the Year. It was an exciting event that brought together thousands of experiential marketers from across the country, under one roof.
While it was a three-day whirlwind event, there are five takeaways I wanted to share about what made this year’s event so special.
1. Our 10 Brand Ambassador award winners. This was the first year the Ex Awards had a Brand Ambassador of the Year award, and Shiftgig was honored to sponsor the 10 winners. Getting to host them here in Chicago, present them their award in front of hundreds of people, and toast their incredible work in the industry was definitely the highlight of the entire conference.
2. Our Shiftgig booth. There was a lot of energy in our Shiftgig booth, and it was great to spend time on the convention floor, connecting with former colleagues. The Brand Ambassador world is a small one, and many of the people I worked with in my early days as a BA are now running very successful experiential agencies.
3. Seeing Shiftgig impact experiential. It was great to see the Shiftgig name all over McCormick. Our sponsorship of the Brand Ambassador of the Year award was a great way to thank the people who are on the frontlines, helping us make an impact in this industry. We helped create this category, and it was truly special to be the first in the industry to recognize these people on stage in front of their colleagues.
4. New experiential coming to market. Every year after the Summit is over we always leave blown away by the amazing things our peers are doing. And each year, we can’t imagine how next year will top it, how the vendors can get any more creative -- but it always does. One company that stood out to me this year was Thuzi. The founder is actually an old colleague of mine. They’re using your phone as a way to check you into events via a specific sound wave. It eliminates the need to use RFID or a bulky badge -- your phone just connects to the sound, and then you’re checked-in.
5. Meeting with industry leaders. Each year, Event Marketer creates a packed agenda of speakers and sessions -- and 2017 was no different. I saw some compelling leaders in the space talk about the new work they’re doing, and how they’re pushing the envelope in the industry.
Thanks again to all who helped to make this year’s event special.