Motor Trend Of The Year Awards: Behind the Scenes – The Lohdown

#hashtags: #February 2016 #Motor Trend #Christmas #SUV #Enthusiast Network #Mind Over Eye #MOE

Four days before we shipped the February 2016 issue of Motor Trend (find it at newsstands on Christmas), we made history by announcing our 2016 Car, Truck, SUV, and first-ever Person of the Year awards at one special gala celebration at the YouTube Space Los Angeles. If you tuned in to our livestream of the event, you saw a team composed of Motor Trend; our parent company, The Enthusiast Network (TEN); and brothers and sisters at Mind Over Eye (MOE) execute on a plan several months and hundreds of thousands of dollars in the making.

To get to that point, so much had to happen.

We had many, many meetings and discussions. TEN’s Karen Brown led the event production team composed of Maria Jamison, Suzanne Polverino, Lyn Woodward, and Alexandra Ponce. They oversaw every detail, from tasting the food to plucking the foam for the trophy cases.

Pictured above, the walk-through 3 hours before doors open.

We hired a comedian to host our event but did our best to keep the talent in-house. TEN’s CFO Bill Sutman voiced the house announcements, while chief content officer and MT’s editor-at-large Angus MacKenzie and I wrote much of the material. The actual awards presentation was also taken care of by our editors: Jonny Lieberman (SUV of the Year), Jason Cammisa (Truck of the Year), Angus MacKenzie (Person of the Year), and me (Car of the Year).

MOE’s Duane Sempson managed the stage show and livestream, an incredible feat of coordination. What I’m most proud of is that much of the heavy lifting was taken care of in-house. Video and still imagery came from Cory Lutz and the MT photo team, led by Brian Vance. Nearly all of the design work—everything from the invitations and signage to the gold logos on the cigar bands and cocktail napkins—was handled by Andy Mock and Alan Muir, two of the guys who lay out MT.

More from The Lohdown:

Where Are We Going — And Who Is Driving? Change of the Year 2015 Best Driver’s Car: In It to Win It 6 Reasons to Subscribe to Motor Trend On Demand Racing to Win

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