Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, President and CEO, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)
The Adrian Award Celebration is just around the corner on February 13th and returning to New York City for the first time since 2019. The Adrians are the longest-running and most prestigious awards in the hospitality industry, annually celebrating the finest in hospitality advertising, digital marketing, and public relations. In the run up to the celebration, I want to share insights into this year’s awards. Our theme, WanderLOVE, perfectly captures the essence of this celebration – a love for travel, exploration, and the diverse experiences that the hospitality industry offers.
In 2023, we added new entry categories:
- Trending: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG)
- Digital: Creators: Multimedia, video, and short form
- Integrated Campaign: Affiliate Marketing, Broadcast Integration, Reputation Management
With our new categories, we saw strong digital entries, showcasing how our industry continues to innovate and connect with travelers in the digital realm. Integrated Campaign submissions were again prominent, reflecting our industry’s ability to weave stories across multiple platforms, inviting travelers to experience the joy and wonder of travel.
We saw the continued evolution of technology influencing campaigns that emphasized the significance of direct engagement and personalized experiences in resonating with today’s travelers. Additionally, submissions in Social Media Campaigns and Website Design proved the importance of robust online engagement, while well executed New Opening/Launch campaign submissions highlighted the excitement of unveiling new destinations and experiences. On one such entry, a judge commented, “This campaign is everything a PR campaign should be – relevant, creative, timely – and focused on generating visitors to the state.”
The diversity of participants, from Destination Marketing Organizations and Hotel Chains to Individual Properties, echoes the theme of WanderLOVE, celebrating the various ways our industry invites people to explore and fall in love with new places.
In addition to the new categories, we updated the competition to provide more opportunities to get the recognition the great work deserves. There will be:
- One President’s Award for the top scoring entry in each entry category for small, medium, and large budget entries, as well as multiple Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards.
- Four Best of Show Awards in the Advertising, PR/Communications, Integration Campaign, and Digital divisions.
This year’s celebration is not only an awards ceremony; it’s a homecoming and a reaffirmation of our industry’s enduring spirit of wanderlust. In embracing WanderLOVE, we are not only recognizing exceptional marketing achievements but also toasting another year of inspiring journeys and unforgettable stories.