Adam Froman founded “Delvinia Interactive”:http://www.delvinia.com/ in 1998 and has led its growth to become one of the leading digital agencies in Canada.
He has received several awards, including CANARIE’s prestigious “Application of Technology” I-Way Award for pioneering innovative uses of technology related to the development of Canada’s information highway.
Adam is the Founder and Executive Producer of the “Canadian New Media Awards”:http://www.cnma.ca/, and is a member of the CMA and the Market Research Industry Association (MRIA), formerly the PMRS.
*One Degree: You are (obviously) a strong believer in the relevance of the CNMAs to the Canadian industry. Can you flesh out what you feel the CNMA adds to our industry?*
The intent of the awards is to recognize the work of the industry and the people within it at a national level. My vision has been to create an environment where the leaders of the industry (the approximately 50 finalists) from across the country can come together, share experiences, build relationships and celebrate our Canadian talent. We create a memorable experience for the finalists and eventual winners both leading up to the event, during the event and after the event. It has always been my desire to create an environment where we as Canadians working in new media can celebrate our capabilities together.
I am not aware of any other awards event in the Canadian new media industry that has the longevity nor the continued focus to achieve this vision as we have with the CNMA. According to a survey we just launched regarding the CNMA, over 70% of industry respondents felt that the CNMA is important to the industry.
*One Degree: The CNMA is sponsored by many levels of government. Do you feel that, in general, our leaders are more aware of the importance of the Internet and supporting a vibrant industry?*
Well, I think that they are definitely more aware of the importance of the Internet, however, apart from individual departments such as “Canadian Heritage”:http://www.pch.gc.ca/index_e.cfm, there is still a long way to go to in terms of supporting the industry. With that being said, the government is not there to dictate what is important, I am very much someone who believes that we as an industry must accept the responsibility of helping itself. By supporting the CNMA, and supporting our vision to bring together the industry, while creating a platform to celebrate our successes, is a demonstration that our government leaders support this industry. From there our leaders can build the necessary arguments to justify why they should use public funds to support our vibrant industry. Also, those who are selected by their peers to be finalists and winners for the CNMA, provide the government with not only evidence that there is a vibrant industry, but with names of individuals and companies, when they are looking to either promote the industry or call upon industry leaders for advice on how to help the industry. Being nationally focused, the CNMA provides the government with a one stop shop of the leaders from across the country.
*One Degree: A personal question – how do you balance the demands of running Delvinia with producing the CMNA?*
Great Question! Since I started in this industry in the early 90’s I have recognized that if you want to be in interactive, you need to be passionate about what you do and you have to evangelize this to everyone else. I have been fortunate enough to experience first hand the growth, downturn and growth again of the interactive industry, while remaining committed to promoting and contributing to the growth of the industry.
Since I love working and living in Canada, you have to be willing to commit to building the industry that you are in. I am able to do that through our support of associations like the IAB Canada and CMA which are directly associated with the industries that Delvinia services. Finding a balance to run Delvinia while producing the CNMA isn’t really a choice – it’s a responsibility that I feel that is important to accept. The other way I balance is by having a great team in place to produce the Awards.
*One Degree: How has the industry changed since the first CNMA seven years ago?*
When the CNMA started in 1999, the industry was growing at a pace that most of us could not even keep up with. At that time, the CNMA was about having a big party to celebrate the growth. Through 2000 to 2002, as the interactive industry experienced the economic downturn, the CNMA was there to support those who chose to remain committed to weathering the storm. The CNMA tried to keep the light at the end of the tunnel burning strong – which we all knew was there, since the Internet and other IP-based channels were not going away. While people struggled to remain in the interactive industry during that period, we saw the CNMA as a way of inspiring them about why they were doing what they did.
As we saw the industry recover in 2003/2004, the CNMA was there to congratulate those who had survived and create a venue where everyone who had simply had their heads down running their businesses could come and share their experiences and discuss ideas that would help position them for the anticipated growth. A much more humbled and mature industry sector, the focus now is about building sustainable businesses than simply creating the next IPO. The industry is now about people who have survived the past 10 years to become business leaders that are building profitable, focused and sustainable businesses that just happen to be related to new media. We are in a period of growth, but it definitely feels less chaotic than before the dotcom crash.
*One Degree: Any hints on what we’ll see at the awards gala?*
This year is all about creating a memorable experience for the finalists and eventual winners. The CNMA team is currently working on creating a day where the approximately 50 finalists from across the country can come together, share experiences and get to know each other. RBC Royal Bank will be hosting a luncheon for the finalists, sponsors and VIPs on the day of the Awards and Tannis is working on some amazing Finalist gift packs. The day will be focused on creating an environment for the finalists to building relationships and sharing experiences on both a personal and professional level. The gala where approximately 500 people will attend will be held once again at the “CARLU”:http://www.thecarlu.com/thecarlu.html in downtown Toronto, which is wonderful venue to hold a such an event.
The team is working on an evening that will definitely NOT be just another boring awards show and will extend our theme of creating a memorable experience for the finalists. We are working closely with our sponsors such as CBC.ca, Yahoo! and Sympatico/MSN, Mohawk College, The City of Toronto, EDS, Thindata and others to not only contribute funding, but to help to enhance the experience. The evening will definitely be where the who’s who of the interactive industry will be. It should be quite an event!
Please check out the relaunched “CNMA Web site”:http://www.cnma.ca. For those who want to have the opportunity to enjoy the entire experience should make sure they get their nominations in before March 8th. For those who are interested in getting involved or supporting the CNMA, or even becoming a judge, they can contact Tannis Wengel via the CNMA site.
Also, if anyone would like to share their opinions about the CNMA, feel free to complete our “5 minute survey”:http://www.cnma.ca/survey.html.