The Bookmarks are an opportunity for agencies, publishers, teams and individuals, working in the digital space, to showcase their work and appreciate and recognise their peers for phenomenal work done in the industry. The organising team, particularly Nikki Cockcroft and Rob Stokes, asked me to MC the event. It was an honour to be asked to be included in the event and I immediately accepted. It was an astounding success overall, their hard work really paid off. Well done. And well done to all the winners.
I could not believe the lack of respect for each other in the industry. The crowd couldn’t keep quiet, so the rest, who were paying attention, were struggling to hear who won which award. It was pathetic.
When I walked on stage and started the gig, there was still a murmur through the crowd as they were completing drinks orders at the bar and finding their spots for the remainder of the awards ceremony. As a professional MC I understand this dynamic, so I made small talk until it quietened down. Or at least, until it should have quietened down. It didn’t.
Now, I’ve been doing this for years, so when people don’t want to pay attention to the host or MC, it more than likely means they’re really not in the mood for it (or they don’t like his/her style of humour), they want you to get on with the show. I have no issues with this at all, you’re there for the awards, not me, it’s very valid. I’m paid to keep you entertained, and entertain I will, so I introduced the awards. Thing is, though, the crowd still kept making a noise through the entire awards ceremony. I had to constantly reprimand the crowd and ask them to keep quiet, and have some manners and respect for the winners, but they still just didn’t give a fuck.
Long story short: A team of people, through their own time and capacity, spent at least 9 months working hard to make last night a reality, and the crowd couldn’t have cared less. They paid their R400 for their tickets, they drank their free (mostly) drinks, and felt an entitlement to do whatever they wanted to. Reality check: You can’t. It’s an event for everyone, not just for you. So why would you act so badly and not respect your peers in your own industry?