While we all love a party, particularly as we were also marking the Marketing Society's 50th anniversary, we must not lose sight of what the awards are really all about - recognition for exceptional work.
The supplement accompanying this issue details the hard graft of many brands and their agencies. As a judge, the entries - 223 of them this year - always open my eyes to some genuinely fascinating case studies.
After a few years in the wilderness, Hovis has once again taken its place in the marketing hall of fame. Its 'Go on lad' ad is excellent, but the brand has also demonstrated an impressive focus on other marketing disciplines, such as research, reformulation and packaging. The result is a well-deserved win in the brand revitalisation category.
Sainsbury's ability to anticipate the financial crisis made it a worthy winner of the Grand Prix. Its 'Feed your family for a fiver' strategy really capitalised on the mood of consumers. This award was also recognition of its outstanding turnaround, built on 'Try something new today'. The two ideas fitted together so well, they could have come from the same blueprint, and came at a time when rivals retailers are still struggling to get to grips with recession positioning.
Finally, the judges were delighted to recognise mobile-phone operator O2 for leading-edge thinking. Who would have thought that the much-derided Millennium Dome could be reinvented as one of the world's most popular music venues? The project was much more than a sponsorship deal, giving its customers real value while strengthening loyalty to the brand.
Congratulations to all the winners.