I worked in advertising for 10 years before I switched over to the client side of design. Working in healthcare technology, I miss the creativity and pace of advertising. Years ago, I met an awesome freelance writer who recommended me to the Addys judging panel. I just flew down for my third year to help judge the local entries in Reno, NV.
I've only ever been to Reno for Addys judging. It's a funky like town at the foothills of the Sierras. It's the gate to Burning Man and the city is sprinkled with artwork from the music festival. I am always so inspired by art in other markets. During judging we watched some beautiful interactive content, laughed at funny internet commercials, and were in awe over some photography and illustration.
Judging is actually a pretty challenging feat. It's a long day of reviewing entries from print to branding to television. It's important to approach each individual entry with an open mindset ... and to judge it fairly. There are over 300 items to go through and, while tiring, each entry deserves a fresh and energized look.
The Reno Addys team is incredibly generous and fun to spend time with. They put us up at nice hotels for the weekend, treat us to great dinners, and take really good care of us while we're there. It's a long day for them as well but their enthusiasm is contagious. The breakdown for the awards goes like this:
Step 1: Start at a local chapter competition
Step 2: A set of top-scoring winners in each category moves to the regional competitions
Step 3: Nationals competition
I've worked at multiple agencies that have Addy awards sitting on their shelves. I understand how much work goes into campaigns and how exciting it is to win an Addy. It was an honor to be a trusted participant in the process and would highly recommend attending a competition if you have the chance!