The next few conference days weren’t that special. I just wandered around the exhibition venue and spoke to some people here and there. Strangely I didn’t meet any other website owners or nominated and shortlisted people in my niche during those days.
I deliberately chose not to tell anyone it was my birthday. Partially because of the potential face loss in the case of losing the award but, mostly because it’s not the usual me wanting to be in the epicenter of everyone’s attention. So there were no happy birthday wishes. Apart from the two phone calls of my parents, my girlfriend and digital ones on Facebook.
Finally, the dawn of the last day of the event had broken and as I got up, I dressed up in the fanciest way possible. From what I had read on the time table, it was going to be at a very fancy place: Café de Paris in the Mayfair district and Al Pacino himself would be the host for the evening, announcing the nominees, shortlisted people and winners.
First, I went to the conference hall to see my new friend Eric and his employees. I basically hang around at his booth and close around it all day, killing time. When it was around six o’clock, we went all together to the place where the prizes would be awarded. It was a grotesque circle shaped ball room, all with fancy tables, waiters and what have you. It looked like a Dîner dansant kind of place which I had seen in movies previously but never in real life. Eric’s two employees were also baffled, I could tell by the look on their faces.
After we had a very nice dinner again, we had Tom Stade performing stand-up comedy, fire shows going on, magicians walking around the tables and finally, the awards themselves. As niche after niche showed on the screen, I got more and more nervous. Finally, it was the moment of truth: the category ‘Best Foreign language Affiliate Website’ was up on the screen and Al Pacino was struggling spelling all the Greek, Italian and eventually the only Dutch name on the board, which was my website and name with it.
After a few-second drum roll Eric’s website name filled the entire screen, confetti dropped from the ceiling and we all stood up from our seats and clapped loudly, as he walked proud on to the stage to receive his prize and standing ovation.
Well, what can I say? We all expected it and it was like I was more part of his team than there for myself. After all, it once more was of an honor to be with all these famous people and to attend such a great event.
After the awards we all had a big after party with the Infected Mushrooms playing, a lot of dancers and even more fire shows. It was the party of a lifetime and a big lesson learned: you cannot always be the best or win, or be sad because your competitor won, you can also just enjoy the moment and party happily together.
Produced by: JoyFun.blog