Ok, I agonised over whether or not I should post this. On one hand, we all know disasters can and do happen even with the best planning. On the other hand, the fail in this instance was so unbelievably … well … inept that it defied … um … belief.

I was at an advertising awards event recently. The majority of the work shown was commercials made for TV and/or the cinema.

The work was great, the food was great, the organisation was great. But the whole evening was severely marred by the really bad AV set-up. Some of the notable and unbelievable fails were:

If I had not been there myself, I would not have believed how bad this aspect of the event was. And no, this was not the first time the award’s been on.

The AV people were either not properly brief, or they did not understand the intention of the event and had other priority.

They clearly spent time on making the (bad) looping logo piece, and the (good) category intro pieces. Unfortunately there was no one looking at the big picture stuff.

Was the lack of time an issue? Possibly. Then again, if these AV people were actually good at what they do, they would have been able to prioritise properly and made things work (albeit with simpler elements). They should have ditched the time intensive animated intros. They should have used simple and reliable stills and focused instead on making sure that all the video pieces were present and looking fabulous – surely the whole point of the event was about the work! They should have spent time rehearsing the run sequence with the emcee.

This was a regional event. A senior representative of the government’s media body was present, as were key people from the region’s advertising agencies. How embarrassing for the organisers. I really felt for them.