26 Nov 2012
Ah, the Channel Awards. After 12 months of early mornings, late nights at the office, last-minute deals and vendor events in Daventry, I'm sure we all welcome the one night a year where we all get to dress up and party like a supercharged hybrid of Mario Balotelli and Charlie Sheen.
Other than the fact that Dodgi was once again criminally overlooked, this year's fiesta of bacchanalian excess did not disappoint. Although I heard from my chums at CRN that some other attendees were feeling a little more sheepish afterwards. Especially when the official pictures of everyone grinning, gurning and grooving were published.
It seems a couple of bad sports got in touch to ask if snaps featuring their mug could be removed from public view. Obviously we assume this was because the people involved are big-hitting industry thought leaders, and it just doesn't become them to be pictured with four bottles of beer and a tie round their head, woozily trying to do the Gangnam Style. And certainly not because they may have been suggestively draped over someone other than their better half.
Rules of engagement
Of course, embarrassing yourself can be easily avoided if you take care not to put yourself in compromising positions.
I understand one reseller sales bod took the precautionary measure of confiscating the mobiles of his sales director and MD in a bid to stop them tweeting something ill-advised after one too many lemonades.
I also heard on the grapevine that the marketing chief of one firm tried to ensure their co-workers didn't bring themselves or their employer into disrepute by sending round a pre-event email reminding them of their role as company ambassadors and outlining some best practices for a 10-hour sesh with 1,700 of your peers and partners.
Simple steps such as drinking soft drinks as well as alcoholic ones, reacting graciously when other people win awards, and not engaging in tittle tattle or Chinese whispers were suggested.
But there was one golden rule awards attendees were encouraged to adhere to above all others: "Do NOT get really drunk and talk to journalists."
Or at least that's what someone drunkenly told my friend, the journalist.
I was encouraged to see that interest in next year's CRN Fight Night event appears to be as strong as ever, with one VAR representative appearing particularly eager.
The prospective pugilist seemed really fired up for the event, so I asked him if there was anyone he'd like to get in the ring with.
"I think we'll have to do a royal rumble this year; there's at least 20 guys I'd like a go at," he roared, while ripping his shirt and Hulking up. "Particularly those wallies from Reseller X."
I told him he didn't have to wait for an officially sanctioned boxing event, he could just get the ball rolling in the car park with a carefully misplaced word about his rivals' marital capabilities.
Falling for you
I was delighted to see one of my vendor partners walk off with an award, although sadly walking off proved to be the hard part for one of the senior UK execs.
The channel chief strode beatifically out of the venue, proudly clutching her award. Indeed, she was so rapt in the general outstandingness of her achievement that she failed to notice the steps in front of her and took a tumble.
As she gingerly rose to her feet she was relieved to realise she had no obvious injuries, and even more relieved to see no one appeared to have noticed the fall - shortly before an eagle-eyed reseller pointed out her misfortune to a gaggle of colleagues and she was swiftly swarmed by an army of well-wishers offering sympathy, medical assistance, blankets and hot drinks.
There may have been no physical scars as a result of the unfortunate incident, but I get the feeling her ego was feeling a little bruised afterwards.
Global channels and marketing manager Freek Hemminga, discusses the company's plans for the future and what direction the industry is headed in this sponsored video
SPONSORED BY SMART TECHNOLOGIES SMART Technologies and its partners discuss the changes in the interactive displays market and how the channel can cash in