Today we’re announcing that, much to the relief of the many of you who have been phoning our London HQ all week, we’re extending the deadline to enter the Meffys to July 31st. This means you’ll have more time to get your entries together for our biggest global mobile awards show yet, the 12th annual celebration of all things mobile. Check out the website for all the information.
Here, veteran Meffys Judge and industry journalist Tim Green reflects on those 12 years and what makes the awards unique, from their humble beginnings to the modern 17 category affair we know today, a reflection of the massive expansion and diversification of the mobile ecosystem.
It’s 12 years since a modest number of us piled into a side room at the Business Design Centre in north London. What were we doing there? Simple. Finding out who’d won the first ever Meffy awards.
It wasn’t a lavish affair. Essentially, the names were called out and… well, that’s pretty much it. There were only four awards, and I remember Vesa Matti Paananen got a special one for effectively inventing the ringtone market. In his thank you speech he talked excitedly about how drunk he was when he came up with the idea of a programmable tone. Very Finnish.
The event was all over in 20 minutes. No one sat down.
Today, nearly everything about the Meffys is different – except the spirit of celebration. MEF has grown its annual awards event into a lavish and esteemed tribute to everything that’s best about mobile content (and latterly commerce). The side room has been replaced by ballrooms. Over 300 guests attend. There are trophies. Dinner. Entertainment.
- Innovation in mHealth
- Innovation in Education
- Innovative App
- Innovation in Technology
- Innovation in FinTech
- Innovation in a Mobile-first Market
- Innovation in a Business Model
- Connected Lifestyle
- Consumer First
- Consumer Trust
- Monetization & Engagement
- Social Responsibility
- Life Tools
- Mobile Money
- News & Media
- Social & Entertainment
But perhaps the biggest evolution has been in the categories themselves. Of course, MEF itself has changed to accommodate market shifts. It’s E for ecosystem these days. And by the same token, the awards reflect the new centrality of mobile to people’s lives.
So they are no longer just entertainment. The ringtones have given way to finance, health, enterprise, social responsibility and more. Amazing when you think about it.
And this is what makes the Meffys unique. There simply aren’t any other awards like them. Sure, plenty of mobile products and services get prizes. There are annual celebrations for the best handsets. Mobile advertising and marketing campaigns also get a fair shake.
But the Meffys alone train the microscope on how mobile is changing lifestyles. Changing way we manage our money. Or learn new skills. Or track our health. Or improve our business systems.
And, of course, Meffys are global in scope, so we get to see and hear about amazing innovations happening beyond the usual beat of the US/European tech press. In 2014, for example, there was Smart e-Money – doing incredible work to move money to typhoon-hit communities. Or how about Eko, a company using mobile to reinvent the stethoscope.
Both outstanding, and fully deserving of the recognition the Meffys can bring. But it’s also worth stating that the awards mark courageous work by well-established enterprises. In the past Barclays and Citi, for example, have won gongs. Their products proved that you don’t have to be a start up to produce eye-catching innovation.
This year’s Meffys (back in London after two years in Silicon Valley) will reflect market evolution across 17 categories. As usual, a panel of journalists, analysts, academics and VCs will have their work cut out sorting through hundreds of entries. To remind you, the categories are above.
Mobile Money Revolution
You should enter your product/service straight away. And tell others to do the same. You’ll meet amazing, talented people from across the mobile ecosystem. You may win a prize. And you’ll be there for more than 20 minutes.
Tickets are also on sale now for the Meffys Gala dinner where the winners will be announced, this year to be held at the glamorous Rosewood Hotel in London. Visit the website for all the details.