FIRST picked up two awards at the inaugural V Awards, Best Agency (more than 40 employees) and Best Use of Production for Univision Upfront 2020. We share some of the highlights from their winning entries…
Best Agency (more than 40 employees)
Winner of Best Agency (more than 40 employees), FIRST is a global agency with 450+ employees across 11 regions that has been creating brand experiences for 25 years and is proudly still independently owned and run. FIRST was not immune to the challenges of 2020: but saw it as an opportunity. The agency redefined itself with five key expanded offerings and a refreshed brand identity. With renewed focus, FIRST delivered conferences, training and seminars, networking events, fundraisers, meetings, roadshows, awards ceremonies, and press events; in virtual and hybrid settings – over 9,000 virtual events were executed in 2020 alone.
The agency scaled-up its Content and Data & Analytics teams and offering, while growing existing internal education programmes, and introducing new engagement and support initiatives including Growth Academy, a Diversity & Inclusion Council and a new engagement plan called BOOST – designed to attract, retain, and develop talent.
FIRST retained clients; grew acquisitions; expanded its proprietary strategic meetings management model, FIRST Solutions, into new regions and clients; has made 110 new-hires so far in 2021; and is on track to exceed its 2021 financials target.
The agency has also launched a new initiative, Build Back Better, where every person from every area of the business is regularly encouraged to provide feedback on the culture at FIRST, and the industry.
Best use of Production
Univision Upfront 2020
FIRST paired up with Univision to bring its traditionally in-person annual Upfront to life for the first time virtually. The goal was to excite, inspire, and uplift Univision’s audience of over 3,000 ad agency partners, press, executive leaders, and internal teams and to showcase the brand’s content and advertising opportunities.
FIRST provided enhanced production services, speaker coaching and content consultation, while supporting the full campaign lifecycle from concepting through to execution. Highlights included a month-long digital engagement campaign full of celebrity performances from the likes of Pitbull; appearances and keynotes from industry leaders; live audience Q&As; and an exclusive, live press event.
Univision’s broadcasting studios in New Jersey and Miami and conferencing spaces in the New York office were used for both pre-recorded content and live streaming broadcasts.
The Intrado platform was chosen to host the fully live streamed May Business Update, allowing pre-recorded content alongside fluid conversations and live Q&As. At-home AV production supplement kits were sent out to speakers ahead of individual coaching sessions to guarantee optimum broadband connectivity, crystal clear audio and balanced lighting.
The Virtual Upfront put Univision on track to beat market sales expectation, welcomed 100% increase in attendance vs 2019 with over 2,500 tuning in live, exceeded 3,900 online impressions, reached over 3,200 views, and gained major press traction with positive media in Forbes, Variety and Adweek, to name a few.