LAS VEGAS After two years without an annual awards show, Mashable.com resurrected and renamed its previous show and debuted it in conjunction with the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Thursday evening. Dubbed the “Fourth Annual Mashable Awards,” the event replaced the social media news and review blog’s previous “Open Awards Awards Gala.”
Mashable chose as its venue the Zumanity Theatre at Las Vegas’ New York New York Hotel & Casino, home of Zumanity, arguably the most risqué of the seven resident Cirque du Soleil shows in town. “Having been in discussions and communications with Cirque du Soleil about other projects, the opportunity and availability for the Zumanity Theatre was an opportunity we could not pass up,” said Mashable chief operations officer Adam Hirsch. “It’s a beautiful theater without any bad seats, and the stage is large enough to set different moods. The Zumanity teams were incredibly helpful in planning and production, so it was a pleasure to work with them.”
The multicolored lighting, red walls, and ornate red velvet couches in the theater’s reception area provided a backdrop for guests, men and women alike, to have their photos snapped by professional photographers while sporting colorful boas and drinking Mashable signature cocktails.
Another big plus, Hirsch said, was the ability to incorporate a Zumanity act into the evening. Other entertainment included Eclectic Method, a trio of audiovisual producers and DJs that provided live video-and-music pre-show entertainment, and an audiovisual presentation before each of the evening’s 25 award presentations that incorporated content about each nominee. Baratunde Thurston, director of digital at The Onion, served as M.C. and resident comedian. “We knew we wanted a host and M.C. who could not only talk about the key topics of the awards and understand the digital aspect of them, but someone who could also make fun of it and engage the audience with humor.”
The event, which recognized everything from Most Promising New Company in the social media space to Best App for Small Businesses, was followed by a BlackBerry-sponsored after-party at the nightclub ROK Vegas, also in New York New York, where guests mixed and mingled among 360-degree digital screens airing BlackBerry and Mashable awards images and graphics.