Hosting the All Ireland Marketing Awards 2020

In August 2020, The Marketing Institute contacted RTÉ. They had a problem. Typically, earlier this year, planning would have been under way for the All-Ireland Marketing (AIM) Awards; a large-scale black-tie ceremony for Ireland’s top marketing professionals. However, Covid-19 restrictions meant that an indoor event of that type would be impossible and so, The Marketing Institute needed to pivot their plan.

Cancelling the awards for 2020 was not an option and so it was time to think virtual! After initial conversations, it became clear that the new Studio 5 facility in RTÉ would be ideal. At just under 2,000 square feet, Studio 5 is one of the smaller studios in RTÉ Television. In 2019, the 50-year old space was completely renovated and upgraded to a state-of-the art studio. A 27-metre LED video wall, extending along two sides of the studio, was installed - the largest fixed video wall in Ireland. The studio went live in September 2019 as RTÉ Sports hub for the Rugby World Cup.  Since then, the studio is in regular use for sports broadcast and RTÉ News & Current Affairs programming, such as Primetime.

For this project, we quickly assembled a team of professionals from The Marketing Institute, their AV partner Avcom, RTÉ Studio Planning & Production, RTÉ Technology and myself, working on behalf of RTÉ Commercial.

While Studio 5 is a very agile broadcast studio, a “virtual” awards ceremony, with many links into studio, as well as feeds out, posed challenges. However, with careful collaboration, RTÉ Technology and Avcom delivered a technical solution for the online event. The plan allowed for five finalists in each of eighteen different categories to stream live to studio, and to remain on standby before each award was announced.

Separately, The Marketing Institute and Avcom worked with RTÉ’s set design and graphics teams to create a visual that was both interesting and instantly recognisable as the AIM Awards.

Working together, the team created something more than a simple substitute for the traditional indoor event. And so, the virtual All Ireland Marketing Awards were born, giving Ireland’s marketeers something fresh during these difficult times of restrictions and restraint.

With well-wishes from An Taoiseach Micheál Martin, a welcome from RTÉ Director-General, Dee Forbes, it was then over to long-time Master of Ceremonies, Bryan Dobson to host the highly-anticipated event. Over 70 minutes, more than 1,000 marketing leaders tuned in to watch and celebrate with the 18 overall winners and to honour this year’s All Ireland Marketing Champion, Supermacs founder Pat McDonagh.

RTÉ Commercial is thankful to The Marketing Institute for giving us the opportunity to showcase Studio 5, and for choosing us to host the highly-regarded AIM Awards here in RTÉ.

We have supported the AIM Awards since its inception and were delighted to have the opportunity to help the Marketing Institute of Ireland host the awards despite Covid-19 restrictions this year. We're so proud to have our Studios as a resource a resource we hope to be able to continue to offer to clients as opportunities arise and as Covid allows in 2021 and beyond.
Geraldine O'Leary, Group Head of Commercial, RTÉ


If you would like any further information regarding this event and how RTÉ Studios can be utilised for purposes other than Television broadcast, feel free to drop me a line at

The All Ireland Marketing awards is the flagship event of the Marketing Institute. Now in its 14th year, things were proving a lot different this year! RTÉ came to the rescue, when Brian Geraghty introduced us to Studio 5 as an option to host the first ever virtual AIM Awards. The collaboration with the professional RTÉ team was superb from the initial planning to the project management. No stone was left unturned with great attention to detail and nothing was ever a problem. My team and I certainly enjoyed the experience and the phenomenal feedback that we received from the audience showed what a great success the event was.
Marie-Therese Campbell, Media and Events Manager, Marketing Institute of Ireland