Thursday, October 17, 2002

Behind the Scene at the International EMMAs

~ by Tery Spataro , Consultant, Mind Arrays

It was my first visit ever to the clean city of Toronto. I am thrilled to be heading there for my second year of judging the EMMAs. John Rodgers, Chief Executive of the EMMA Foundation, said "This year was an exciting time for the EMMAs. It is the first time that the judging event has taken place outside of Europe and we have been fortunate to have the support and assistance in Toronto from IMAT in helping to ensure that this was a wonderful experience for all involved."

I arrived early Wednesday, October 17, to make the Master Classes organized by Tom Green, Multimedia Program Coordinator for Humber College in Canada, who filled the audience with eager young college students wanting the learn latest from the industry pundits and specialists. The sessions were truly interactive and very informative.

October 18 began our judging. There were many old friends to greet and may new ones to meet. The EMMA judges are a seasoned enthusiastic group of international professionals from the Internet and interactive industries. We take very seriously the judging that we do and we give comments back to each and every entry submitted regardless of winning. This year brought some very impressive submissions. You can see the list of nominations at In November the winners will be announced. "The quality of the submissions exceeded expectations yet again and whilst this caused the jury excessive deliberation, decisions were reached, and we are now delighted to be able to announce the finalists for this year's EMMAs", said John Rogers.

As we take our decisions and judging very serious we also take our time to get to know one another equally seriously. I for one always enjoy learning what's new from a business perspective from the industry. It was very interesting to be in Canada, our little brother to the north, to see how they have grown and what technologies seem to be widely used. Europe and the UK are still ahead of the game with wireless as a development platform. I long for the day when the US will catch up in this front. Aside from technology comparisons we also explored a wide variety of Cosmopolitan recipes. We concurred that Cosmos will be the official drink of choice among the EMMA judges.

Having some free time after judging I did part take in my favorite pass! And I dragged along Alexandra Fiedler, from Germany and of DAB bank AG. We had a lovely time exploring the Eaton Mall. Yes, I actually went to a mall. There I discovered how far the American dollar would go in Canada. Later, that night the EMMAs enjoyed a wonderful dinner atop the CN Tower over looking the beautiful city of Toronto. We learned that Fawzia Pirbhai, Head of New Media for Decca Music Group and Madam Chair of EMMAs passed the Chairman baton to Ailsa Barry, whose impressive background with Microsoft to the BBC will only enhance to foundation. The International EMMAs (Electronic Multimedia Awards) recognize excellence in digital media content creation through the acknowledgement of best practice and ongoing educational programs.

Celebrating their 11th anniversary this year, this European based international award program attracts entries from over 40 countries and has the widest reach of any digital awards event worldwide.

The EMMAs are respected for their independence and impartiality and are widely recognized as the most prestigious interactive media awards. The EMMAs are organized in conjunction with an international steering committee comprising experts from all sectors of the industry and the sole objective of the competition is to reward excellence. In line with this policy, a single award is presented in each category, but only where the high standards that have become synonymous with the EMMA name have been achieved.

The EMMA Foundation is a not for profit company which encourages the creative, technical and professional development of digital media on a worldwide basis. Designed to support individuals and organizations who think and act globally, the Foundation provides an environment for developing networks, sharing knowledge and creating partnerships across all branches of the industry. The Foundation also manages the International EMMAs, which recognize excellence in all forms of digital media through the acknowledgement of best practice.

2003 EMMAs are almost upon us so do consider entering this prestigious competition!