After months of preparation and plenty of chewed fingernails along the way, the first ever ARN IT Industry Awards passed without a hitch last week. In fact, dare I say it, the evening was a resounding success.
It is always difficult to get the scale right when launching an event of this nature but, with the 460 seats effectively sold out a month in advance, it looks like we will need to find a bigger venue next year. That said, I think everybody agreed that Doltone House in Sydney's Jones Bay Wharf was a spectacular setting.
ARN would like to thank Clean Up Australia founder and chairman, Ian Kiernan, for joining us as guest speaker.
The evening had an environmental theme and we made a pledge of $22,000 to this national non-profit organisation, which is lobbying for the reduction of e-waste as part of its efforts to clean up the country and conserve the environment.
A big thank you also to comic entertainer and MC for the evening, Vince Sorrenti, who had everybody in fits of laughter; local Japanese drumming ensemble, TaikOz, for a thrilling performance; and the Spanish guitarists who brought proceedings to a close. Most of all, thanks to everybody in the industry that helped to turn a good idea into a very successful reality - our sponsors, the judging panel, everybody who attended and anybody who took the time to a nomination or cast a vote.
Congratulations to our winners for the contributions they have made to the local channel during the past year. There are too many to list here but please visit our website this week to see a list of the winners as well as heaps of photos and a video we produced on the evening.
There were no standout awards of greater importance than the rest, but I personally took great pleasure in the Hall of Fame category. David Henderson, Peter Kazacos and Jon Shein were all inducted this year and, fittingly, were the only winners given the opportunity to say a few words.
If your company failed to win, or even make a shortlist, it could well be because we never received a nomination. You have to be in it to win it and, having received hundreds of nominations this year, I suspect we will be inundated in 2008 after the success of the inaugural event.
The ARN IT Industry Awards and our celebration dinner were an opportunity to take a quick break from hectic schedules and acknowledge the outstanding work being done by so many companies and individuals. Speaking to many people on the night, there was definitely a feeling that the industry has been crying out for an event of this nature. I have been to many industry events during the past five years but can honestly say this was the best list of attendees that I have ever seen.
See you next year for a bigger and hopefully even better ARN IT Industry Awards. The bar has been set high, but we like a challenge.