It was a tough day out of the office July 29, but somebody had to do it.
“It” was the Southeast Building Conference at Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando where Team Spiro was honored with Excel Awards, honoring our achievements in marketing and great work on behalf of our business and our clients’ business.
This Southeast Building Conference event is the largest building industry trade show in the Southeastern United States, and affiliated with the Florida Home Builders Association and the National Home Builders Association.
While the program was nice, it was the getting there and getting home part that really made the day a most remarkable one.
Under the cover of darkness at about 5:30 a.m., we loaded the rented Mercedes party bus with snacks, water and adult beverages, then headed out of the office on our journey to the Land of Mickey. Our first stop? MacDonald’s for hold-us-over take outs to supplement the granola bars and chips.
Are We There Yet?
Actually, time flew by pretty quickly because before we knew it, we were in Orlando ready for an adventure. First up was the trade show, where we perused materials and goodies from dozens of vendors who were flaunting their products and services. Complimentary tote bags quickly filled with complimentary pens and other tchotchkes.
After all that vigorous walking of the halls, our stomachs screamed for lunch, so off we went to Wrecker’s Sports Bar — “Orlando’s hottest sports bar featuring the largest sports screen in town.”
Besides big-screen TV-viewing, we enjoyed big burgers, salads, sandwiches and other nourishment from the casual menu. A few adult beverages were also in order.
After busting our bellies, a change of clothes from shorts and other travel ware into Excel Awards party-ware was in order. It was almost time to begin practicing our acceptance speeches for whatever honors awaited us on the big stage.
But first, a lovely reception was held for all the winners were we networked, hung out and sipped some tasty wines for about 45 minutes.
Excel Awards: The Envelopes Please!
Spiro & Associates Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations & Brand Architecture won eight Excel Awards. Among them was Marketing Director of the Year / Agency for founder and CEO Christopher T. Spiro — his second consecutive year earning the honor. Also for the second year in a row, the agency was the only Lee County firm to be honored among all entrants from the 12-state region and the Eastern Caribbean.
In case you don’t know, Excel Awards are kind of a big deal for those of us in the industry.
They honor advertising professionals and others who make major contributions to the residential home building and commercial construction industry through superior, innovative and creative sales and marketing.
Here now are the rest of the awards we won:
- Best Overall Advertising or Marketing Program for our new website launch
- Best Direct Mail Piece for an Associate/Agency
- Best Television Commercial for an Associate/Agency for Modern Services (Fort Myers)
- Best Brochure for a Builder for Luxury Homes Solutions (Fort Myers)
- Best Newspaper Ad or Insert for a Builder, Medallion Home (Sarasota)
- Best YouTube-Type Video for a Builder, Medallion Home
- Best Realtor® Promotion for a Developer/Community for Neal Communities’ Indigo Community in Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota
Dinner is Served
To celebrate the wins, we headed over to the fanciful Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse inside the Hyatt Regency Orlando. This rustic Italian restaurant converges with a contemporary Florida steakhouse.
Our server quickly filled our sumptuous orders of steaks, poultry entrees, fine Italian meals and other fare that was oh-so-freakin’-good. The pièce de résistance? The sweetest and tastiest tiramisu anywhere in Orlando. Heavenly some say.
Of course, wine bottles and other adult beverages flowed fairly freely during the nearly four-hour stopover. (Ask us offline about the Louie XIII Cognac produced by Rémy Martin).
Sadly, it was time to head back to reality, so we jumped back into our casual clothes and piled into the party vehicle for a wonderful ride home. Once again, wine was involved for those mighty enough to hang. And a night capped off nicely with champagne toasts. Oh, and karaoke. Yes, you read that right. Karaoke singing the night away to 1980s tunes.
By 1:30 a.m. Saturday we finally arrived back at our office, safe and sound. A day to remember. And now eight pieces of shiny hardware in our conference room as a visual reminder of why we love it all.