Industry Awards: Coveted Accolades or Insignificant Paper Weights?

When I look back to the defining moment when I decided to pursue a career as a creative professional, I recall vividly a passion that was awakened, and a certainty that this was indeed what I was meant to do for the rest of my life. There is something truly exhilarating about the opportunity to imagine, create, and reinvent.

Those who create are granted the personal satisfaction of being able to step back, admire their creation, and feel content with their masterpiece. However, this sense of pride is often not enough. Any honest creative professional will attest to the fact that we often seek recognition and validation from our peers. Reflecting on the first award I ever won, in that moment, I felt as if my work was worthy of being placed on a pedestal for the entire world to see. More importantly, I felt complete. 

But as I've matured in my career, I've often struggled with the true value of Industry awards. Creative award shows have reached a point where they've become a bit pervasive in our industry. It seems as if every week, a new one pops up. And while there are those who will continue to tout their creative accolades, I can’t help but ask the question: when clients, physicians, and ultimately, patients who receive therapy are the judges, why bother to seek the recognition and creative validation from industry peers?

It wasn’t until my recent attendance at the Lions Health festival that the true value of industry awards became profoundly clear. I suddenly had a refreshed definition of the concept of “winning”. The Trophy itself remains an artifact of inconsequential value, but the experience at the event was priceless. I was surrounded by industry professionals united in a celebration of creativity. There was a vibe, an energy, a mojo that placed creativity on a pedestal where it belongs. All who were in attendance were paying homage to great ideas.

As the celebration began to fizzle out, I was granted a rather rare opportunity for personal reflection. Without a doubt, I left the festival more inspired than when I came. But more importantly, I took with me a challenge to never stop celebrating great ideas. I took with me the true value of industry awards. 


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JOSH TUMELTY

SVP, Executive Creative Director
Strong believer in creativity as a problem-solver. Passionate about uncovering profound human insights. Enthusiastic dad.