29th January 2021 saw FMBE Awards go virtual. The success of the event was way beyond expectation and has heralded a new future for FMBE awards and magazine – the awards looking to a hybrid future and the magazine gaining traction as a studio show alongside special reports and its existing online news and blogs. FMBE Live was born.

Our awards coverage wasn’t studio in style or support, but it was real and it was meaningful and received with rave reviews and stunning reach.

Content was king. FMBE’s Frank Wainwright did 78 interviews allowing the finalists to do the talking. The most commented category was Brand Ambassador of the Year, a heartfelt category that allowed FMBE to celebrate the influence of key workers on a COVID year.

Brand Ambassador Gabriella Batchelor noted: “I’ve been watching all morning and this afternoon and just want to say it’s been fantastic and very engaging furthermore the word I would like to submit is ‘Inspirational’.”

Agency leader Joel Kaufman, Link Communication said: “So much valuable content, insight and ideas in these interviews”

Here’s a look at the Brand Ambassador category, the longest broadcast of the day because it had so many great tales to tell. Frank was supported in presenting it by Tim Fletcher, Contact Strategy Manager, Britvic Soft Drinks. The brand ambassadors interviewed were:

Adam Judge, Field Sales Solutions, Gillette

Andrea Evans, Powerforce, Molson Coors

Andrew Elliot, REL Field Marketing, Weetabix

Bianca Chan, Acosta Europe Reach, Heathrow

Carly Gamble, Blue Square, Samsung

Chris Williams, Field Sales Solutions, P&G

Dean Crook, Field Sales Solutions, Ferrero

Our audience peaked at 10,500. Viewing figures were fairly stable throughout 24 broadcasts in 13 hours but the most watched categories were evenly spread through the schedule – Instore Marketing,  Team of the Year, Brand Ambassador of the Year, Immersive Event (mass consumer), Stand/Display, Virtual Event, FM Agency of the Year and BE agency of the Year.  Total reach for the day saw over 100,000 unique visitors to the event page with many more reached via shares and relays. One agency along previewed the event to 50,000 brand ambassadors globally, whilst brand participation from Molson Coors, Britvic, Haribo, Kraft Heinz, Pladis, Philips, Coca-Cola European Partners and Costa ensured that reach was an industry-wide one – Client – Agency – Specialist Suppliers – Brand Ambassadors.

Many of the most talked about segments were short format views – here’s a great example of a 15 minute broadcast that told three amazing marketing stories – about Peroni’s instore chillers installation programme, Costa’s doordrop sampling during 2020 lockdown and Sky’s environment-friendly Ocean Rescue Cafe.

The stories are told by Freya Wakefield, (agency) Field Sales Solutions, Peroni, Daria Ford, (client) Costa Coffee and Tin Brown, (agency) Cooper Collective, Sky

The future? During COVID FMBE will launch “Your 15 minutes of FMBE”, a series of bite size interviews with leading lights in FMBE. After COVID we will expand this into broader topics with studio based recorded events.