TrAANsformers invaded the City of Angels last Thursday, with over 150 party-goers making the second annual AAN event for film-industry ad buyers a resounding success. From 6:30 to 8:30, the group dined on various hors d’oeuvres including sliders, won prizes, drank from the hosted bar, and mingled at the Avalon Beverly Hills Hotel.
Attendance was up slightly from last year’s AANtourage party, with a total of 64 publishers and staffers from AAN papers and 87 film representatives present for the event, which was designed to demonstrate gratitude to our clients for their support.
Bill Risteen, vice president of print media sales for Phoenix Media, says that industry people were buzzing about TrAANsformers when he met with them earlier on Thursday. “Conversations went from ‘who won what’ last year to what they wanted to win that night. The raffle was a brilliant idea and the ‘hook’ that brings these guests to the party.”
In all, 27 door prizes — donated by AAN members — were handed out, with attendees winning such luxe items as a Mexican Riviera cruise, box seats at the Hollywood Bowl, a weeklong getaway for two to Cabo San Lucas, and a lovely “Apple” fruit basket with an iPhone, an iPod Nano, and Apple TV.
“I’ve been visiting studios and agencies for years and I know those folks really appreciate the now-annual event,” says Tim Keck, publisher of The Stranger and president of The Portland Mercury. “I think we’re the only group that throws a party that has a nice vibe and tons of gifts. One of the best signs was that both guests and AAN paper folks hung out way after the free booze was gone and the presents had already been doled out.”
Philadelphia City Paper publisher Paul Curci agrees: “It’s clear that our guests truly appreciate the effort put forth on their behalf. I’m not sure the dailies do anything of the kind.”
Curci adds that the party “also reinforces the notion that we’re all working together as a team to help the film industry grow. You could barely tell the movie folks from the AAN folks.” It’s a sentiment that’s echoed by Keck.
“Both the newspaper industry and film industry are traveling down a dark curvy road,” he says. “If we don’t stick close, we’re going to lose each other. We need to have a happy, friendly relationship to really find out what the studios and agencies need. If we don’t, we could wake up one morning missing a bunch of film ads.”