The nominations reception for the 9th annual Canadian New Media Awards were held last night in Toronto. All the possible nominees came out to see who was going to stay on the island for the final round that takes place at the nextMEDIA Toronto at the end of the month.
So what was last night’s event about? Simple - a few grown up drinks, tech people and media all gathered to talk and mingle with some of the best and brightest in Canada’s new media community. Over 200 companies entered in 19 categories from best use of social media to best mobile app and everything else in between.
MyThum Interactive is a mobile media company that is helping brands to connect with customers using their mobile devices. They have two nominations in the same category for best in mobile marketing for Coors Light and another for Rogers MTV Live.
According to Michael Carter of MyThum one of the biggest issues in mobile is the low barrier to entry and getting over all the noise in the market. The challenge for their Rogers entry was more technical while for the Coors it was working with many different partners on an integrated campaign.
This is an exciting time and Carter takes an optimistic view that for the average consumer mobile and notebooks are already starting to converge. He sees the next hot spot for the mobile coming from the expansion of location based services and mobile e-commerce.
For the best mobile application IBM and Air Canada worked together to create the first check-in app done by an Airline in North America according to Abrar Siddiqui a Project Manager from IBM that worked on the project.
Their biggest challenge was ensuring that they had a consistent experience for the user irrespective of the platform whether they were using the iPhone app or the mobile check in. For the iPhone they were able to take advantage of the accelerometers so that all customers had to do was shake the phone to refresh the information.
Siddiqui said that the app has exceeded their expectations, with a lot of reviews and feedback from customers and hundreds of comments on the app that is helping them in development. IBM is working with Air Canada to make a short list of features for the next version based on the feedback to give users more control.
IBM and Air Canada are ahead of the curve with their iPhone app and recently launched a Blackberry app. For Siddiqui these mobile applications allow people to be more efficient and spend less time entering information so they know the information they need when they need it.
So what does the future hold for new media? That is the question and while on one knows what the future will look like innovative companies like MyThum, IBM, Air Canada and all the nominees are who will make it happen.
For more information on the Canadian New Media Awards and nextMEDIA click here.