One Show, ADC Awards go online-only due to COVID-19

The One Club will replace Creative Week events, set for May, with live-streamed ceremonies.

All in-person Creative Week events this year will move online, due to the precariousness caused by the spread of COVID-19.

The One Club for Creativity announced on Monday that the events, scheduled for several New York venues from May 11 to 15, will now be streaming online. That includes the One Show, ADC Awards and Young Ones Student Awards, with other live events being cancelled. Last week, the club announced the change from in-person to online judging for this year’s awards.

“This change allows jury members from around the world to continue to review entries in safe environments, and enables The One Show and ADC Annual Awards to maintain the same global integrity and quality to the judging process,” the release states.

“With so much uncertainty at the moment, the prudent step is for us to extend our stance of not putting people at risk,” Kevin Swanepoel, CEO of The One Club, added in the release.  “We switched from in-person to online judging last week, and this change with Creative Week is driven by the same abundance of caution for the well-being of the creative community.”

The One Club noted how online iterations of the awards ceremonies, as well as other related content, are being discussed with more details expected to come in the subsequent weeks. To put a positive spin on the changes, the organized pointed out that announcing The One Show and ADC Annual Awards winners online would reach a bigger audience than those that can attend in New York.

“Investing in premium streaming content offers an exciting opportunity for us to reimagine what Creative Week can be, connect with the agency and brand worlds at large and celebrate the year’s best work on a global scale,” Swanepoel said.  

There’s a growing sentiment and thought-process among other companies to announce restrictions on non-essential travel. Just last week, the City of Austin announced that SXSW – the annual tech, media, music and film confuence in Austin, TX – announced it was cancelling this year’s conference, scheduled to take place from Mar. 13 to Mar. 22, due to the coronavirus. It came following several weeks of big-name companies pulling staff and participation from the events, as well the cancellation of other events, such as Facebook’s F8 and Google’s I/O developer conferences. Cannes Lions parent company Ascential – which cancelled the Dubai Lynx event – has so far said that the awards show/industry conference “remains firmly open for business” in mid-June.

The One Club specifically called out Cannes in its release, saying that – as a non-profit organization – it is not financially dependent on any one awards show.

“Award shows are an important gauge of industry trends and who is doing the best work,” Swanepoel said.  “However, they should never be put before people’s health and safety.”

The One Club holds several other events throughout the year, such as Portfolio Night, Young Guns, Creative Boots Camps and the Creative Leaders Retreat. It has yet to say if those will be impacted, but Swanepoel said, “as health conditions improve and business travel resumes, we will have ample opportunity during the year to engage the creative community as usual.”