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On with the Show!

When the pandemic first hit in March (which seems like several years ago at this point), we were riddled with nonstop questions… “How long will quarantine last? What will happen to our results? Will donors still give?” As a DMAW Board member, the most common question I was asked during those first few weeks was “What are we going to do about MAXIs?”

The MAXIs – for those of you who may be new to our industry – are the Marketing Awards for eXcellence and Innovation. For the past 40 years, we’ve celebrated the best campaigns in our industry, and it looked as though – like so many other things this year – the competition would have to be cancelled. After the countless hours of work that the DMAW community put into creating such amazing campaigns and completing the submission forms, we knew we had to find a solution.

So rather than focusing on what we could not do … we focused on the positive – what we could do.

We put the call out for judges to the DMAW community, and we were overwhelmed with the number of volunteers who wanted to help. After just 48 hours, we had confirmed an amazing group of 66 expert volunteers who were ready and willing to review the hundreds of submissions we received.

And, the positive… because we were judging virtually, members from around the country who normally would not be able to fly-in to judge the MAXIs could participate as a judge! What a great opportunity and response!

The coordination of sending packages around the country three times was nothing short of impressive and innovative itself. Amidst the sea of online orders I found “mysteriously” arriving at my door this year, receiving the UPS package full of MAXI entries to judge was even more exciting than the packages. Like a kid waiting to open their gifts on Christmas Day, I was forced to wait until the MAXI Judging Zoom call before I could open each of them to see what was in store.

And, the positive… while I was sitting at my dining room table judging, the familiar sounds of “Donna, I have a question about this submission” and the buzz in the background felt oddly comforting. We were virtual, and, yet together, all of us were doing something important to the industry.

And more positive… after 132 total hours of judging, we have an esteemed list of 62 award winning campaigns – including a Big Idea Award Winner!

We know all too well what a challenge this year has been. Yet, that should not stop us from celebrating the incredible work that we do daily.

So, be sure to tune into the MAXIs Awards – it’s FREE to everyone – on Thursday, November 5 from 5:30 – 6:30pm.

Last positive… YOU! We look forward to “seeing” YOU there!

Marie Kosanovich is an Account Director at Lautman Maska Neill & Company. In addition to volunteering for several years as a MAXI judge, she also serves on the Board of Directors for the DMAW as Immediate Past President. She can be reached at or 202-296-9660, ext 235.