Merkle’s Annual Awards Program

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Company: Merkle, Columbia, MD
Company Description: Merkle is a global data-driven, technology-enabled performance marketing agency. For more than 25 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle, the nation’s largest privately held agency, to maximize the value of their customer portfolios.
Nomination Category: Live Event Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Internal Recognition/Motivational Event

Nomination Title: Merkle’s Annual Awards Program

The date on which this nominated production was first presented: April 2015

Briefly describe the nominated event's objectives and how it met those objectives (up to 525 words):

The Merkle Awards are an event that employees look forward to each year. A highlight for the executive team who review each potential nomination, is seeing highlights of the amazing work done across the business and experiencing the spirit of celebration that comes from being nominated by their peers. Each nominee looks forward to the process. From the company-wide announcement of the nominations through the planning leading up to the celebrations, to the awards gala at the end of it – it’s a once in a lifetime type of experience.

The annual Merkle Awards were designed 16 years ago to recognize and celebrate the amazing talent at Merkle. The awards ceremony is open to those who are currently below the VP level, with employees and teams being nominated by their colleagues within the company based on achievement and excellence over the last calendar year.

For the 2015 awards, the nominees in 22 categories were invited, along with their spouse/partner, to attend a two-day celebration.

Award categories included: Excellence in Sales, Excellence in Consulting, Excellence in Analytics, Excellence in Leadership, Excellence in Service, Best Team Player, Innovation Award, Best Client Team, Best Internal Team, Unsung Hero, Rookie of the Year, People’s Choice Award, Lifetime Achievement Award and Chairman’s Award. The Chairman’s Award is the highest honor bestowed at the event, the winner of which receives an all-expense paid two-year lease on a BMW.

The celebration began the first night with a reception and evening under the stars at the home of Merkle’s CEO. That evening nominees, their guests and Merkle’s senior leadership team danced the night away under a tented lawn while enjoying live music and local cuisine. The next day, the local office (Merkle’s world headquarters) hosted nominees and their guests for a barbecue lunch where everyone got to mix and mingle, celebrating the achievements that earned the nominees their spot on the roster. The day wrapped up with a red carpet awards dinner at a downtown Annapolis hotel. True to how it sounds, the affair gave nominees the real red-carpet experience, complete with paparazzi!