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Alexandra of Union Jack News with Dave Olson of HootSuite

Last Thursday night, the first-ever Vancouver Social Media Awards kicked off at Yaletown’s Roundhouse Community Centre.

1/2 of evening's emcee team, Nick Routley aka @phanyxx 1/2 of the Van Eats team, nominated for Best Social Video Channel 2013 Social Media Awards-1 2013 Social Media Awards-3 2013 Social Media Awards-4 Le Tigre's kick-ass rice with pork belly

A packed room of students, social media lovers, and industry people enjoyed mingling over appetizers from various Vancouver eateries, Red Truck Beer, and Blenz Coffee.

Photo booth fun at entry

The popular Snap Stands photo booth at the entrance gave people a chance to pose and have their photos shared via social media as well as sent to their own email addresses.

2013 Social Media Awards Emcees Nick Routley and Dawn Chubai
[2013 Social Media Awards Emcees Nick Routley and Dawn Chubai]

Once registration was over, event emcees Dawn Chubai and Nick Routley got the action started, soon inviting event organizer Mark Woo and Vancity Buzz’s own Karm Sumal onto the stage for a few opening remarks.

Best Blog Awards presented by Rebecca Bollwitt, aka Miss 604
[Best Blog Awards presented by Rebecca Bollwitt, aka Miss 604]

Best Blogs awards were then handed out by Rebecca Bollwitt, aka Miss 604. Best Student Organization Award was presented by Steve Kim.

Best Student Organization Award presented by Steve Kim
[Best Student Organization Award presented by Steve Kim]

A brief and lively performance by talented word jammer Francis Arevalo served as a quick intermission during the first part of the awards.

Halfway through the awards ceremony, a panel got underway with Gillian Shaw of Vancouver Sun, Lien Yeung of CBC Vancouver, and Amy Judd of Global TV. The three ladies of the TV, newspaper, and online world traditional vs. new media trends. A Q&A from Twitter questions posted during the panel followed.

Traditional Media to New Media Panel: L to R: Amy Judd, Global TV; Gillian Shaw, Vancouver Sun; Lien Yeung, CBC Vancouver
[L to R: Amy Judd, Global TV; Gillian Shaw, Vancouver Sun; Lien Yeung, CBC Vancouver]

One of the questions dealt with tech and the developing world. Demonstrations around the world through social media gives voice to people who otherwise might not be heard. HootSuite usage during the Egyptian uprising was brought up as a classic example of citizen journalism by Gillian Shaw.

“From a TV perspective, it’s all about the pictures”, said Global’s Amy Judd. Amy continued in this thread, adding “Seeing first-hand YouTube videos, tweets, and photos are invaluable for spreading info.”

Lien made a point in bringing up that Twitter and personal brand are intertwined and very important.

Judd added that a certain presence on social media adds value to a TV personality. Their unique voice adds to the flow of conversation and audiences like to hear their take on matters. “Television personalities are very much held to accuracy regarding sending out tweets, right down to the periods!”, commented Lien.

“We can be served as citizens by having strong voices from many difference sources”. An excellent final statement from Gillian Shaw.

Best Social Video Channel Awards presented by Peter Chao
[Best Social Video Channel Awards presented by Peter Chao]

After the lively, interactive discussion, the remaining awards were handed out. Here’s a list of all the winners:

Student Awards

Best Blog: Curtis Ng of Foodobyte
Best Social Video Channel: Linda Dong of Leenda D Productions
Social Media for a Student Organization: SFU Student Marketing Association
Must Follow: Farhan Mohamed

Company Awards

Best Blog: Whitecaps FC
Best Social Video Channel: Matt Dennison and Jason Lucas of I.F.H.T.
Must Follow: Mijune Pak of Follow Me Foodie

Best Social Media Campaign (Non-Profit): FundRazr’s “Sharecraft Save the Children Challenge”
Best Social Media Campaign (Profit): Vancity Credit Union’s “Good Money Mob”
Best Social Media Campaign (Public): Tourism Richmond’s “365 Days of Dining”

Best Social Video Channel Award winners Matt Dennison and Jason Lucas
[Best Social Video Channel Award winners Matt Dennison and Jason Lucas]

Must Follow Student Award winner Farhan Mohamed
[Must Follow Student Award winner Farhan Mohamed]

Must Follow 2013 Award winner Follow Me Foodie aka Mijune Pak
[Must Follow Award winner Follow Me Foodie aka Mijune Pak]

The afterparty was held at nearby Hurricane Grill, where networking and friendly conversation continued well into the night, with appetizers making the rounds.

2013 Social Media Awards: Felix Kay interviews Peter Chao
[Felix Kay interviews Peter Chao]

This was a very-well planned event from the signage and online information right down to the party!

HootSuite Owly represents The Siddhartha Indian Kitchen team DJ Yurie
[L to R: HootSuite Owly represents; The Siddhartha Indian Kitchen team; Awards DJ Yurie]

I hope to see more awards categories and an even-bigger presence at the 2014 Social Media Awards. More of my photos from the night can be found here.

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