A resilient industry: The Travel Marketing Awards

In early March, we collaborated with the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Travel Group to stage their 12th annual Travel Marketing Awards at the London Hilton on Park Lane. Unbeknown to us, this would be our final ‘in-person’ event of 2020 before the UK government announced a countrywide lockdown due to COVID-19.   

The Awards night shone a light on the exceptional achievements made within travel marketing across a range of disciplines including Advertising, Brand, Digital, Marketing, and PR. There were some special categories added for 2020 including Travel Brand of the Decade, won by easyJet and Destination Brand of the Decade, awarded to Tourism Northern Ireland.  

As well as an awards ceremony, guests enjoyed high-end networking, a drinks reception, three-course meal, live music from a DJ (yes a real DJ!) and entertainment from host and award-winning comedian, Russell Kane. Originally from a marketing background, Russell was warmly welcomed by the travel marketing professionals in attendance. He kept the audience engaged throughout the 37 award presentations with his quick wit and refreshing sense of humour – no mean feat!

The evening also featured talks from Richard Carrick, President of CIM Travel Group, and Keith Cartwright, Chair of CIM Travel Group, who both acknowledged the challenges that the industry had been facing in 2019. In light of the coronavirus outbreak, they saluted the industry’s latest demonstration of pulling together during unprecedented times. Whilst at the cusp of an incredibly testing time for travel, it was good to see the industry come together to show solidarity and to recognise hard work.

It was slightly different to previous Travel Marketing Awards with award winners touching elbows instead of shaking hands and embracing in hugs. In early March, we were still quite unaware of what was coming our way. Nevertheless, as we look back now, we realise that we were very lucky to deliver our last event with such a bang!