HSMAI Perspective: The Next Great Chapter – Adrian Awards

By Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, President and CEO, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) 

As we look in anticipation to the future of the industry, I want to take a moment to reflect on the 65-year history of the annual Adrian Awards that have honored excellence in hospitality advertising, digital marketing, and public relations. The Adrians began in 1956 – nearly 40 years before the internet was even invented. Still the largest competition of its kind in the world, the Adrian Awards have adapted and stayed relevant through significant technological advances, massive changes to the landscape of travel and hospitality promotion, and every geopolitical or economic storm the industry has witnessed. Today the best practices identified by the Adrian Awards Competition will showcase the recovery and the innovation of travel marketers in a post-pandemic landscape.  

The HSMAI Adrian Awards

I attended my first Adrian Awards Celebration years before I joined the HSMAI staff team 26 years ago. The celebrity emcee was Willard Scott and I remember thinking, “Wow! This is like the Academy Awards for travel and hospitality marketing!” I continue to be impressed by the scope of the submissions, the meticulous review of the entries by the judges, the joy of winners being notified, and the satisfaction that through the decades the Adrians continue to identify and recognize the people behind the “best of the best” in travel and hospitality promotion and marketing. 

We’ve proven repeatedly that this is a resilient industry. It’s time to turn the page and see what is next. As ancient Roman philosopher Seneca said, and 90s American band Semisonic popularized, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” 

As we continue to adapt the awards to the priorities of the industry, this year, we have introduced three focus areas: 

  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Marketing will recognize marketing that considers diversity in all forms, including LGBTQA+. 
  • Recruitment Marketing celebrates tactics used to attract and retain employees. 
  • Audience Marketing on New Platforms includes marketing programs on new consumer or technology channels including TikTok, the metaverse, gaming, and NFTs. 

The Next Great Chapter has begun, and I’m excited to see what innovation will look like in marketing, advertising, PR, and communications. All those years ago, I likened the Adrian Awards to the Academy Awards, and this year it will be even more so as we are bringing the Adrian Awards Celebration to the West Coast for the first time. I hope to see you in Los Angeles February 23, 2023! 

The deadline for entries in this year’s Adrian Awards is September 30th.  

Categories: Marketing
Insight Type: Articles