We looked simply darling in our big poofy dresses. We felt beautiful. We felt like princesses. As a matter of fact, we felt like belles of the ball. (See pics below) Every year, N'digo Magazine hosts its Annual Gala, a classy affair dedicated to honoring the black socialites and the urban elite. Ordinarily held in downtown amphitheatres, the tickets come with a hefty price tag. As media, we avoided the $250 charge to mix, mingle and see Fantasia perform live. With no real plans to attend this year's soiree, we were approached by DWilliams PR to assist with marketing the event through the Flair TV network. Perhaps ticket sales were low, considering other media outlets like Red Level Entertainment and Industry Buzzz were approached with the same plea. However, we were submissive, only asking for an interview with Fantasia. Unfortunately, that didn't happen since she high-tailed out of the building after her applausible, yet rogueish performance. We imagine she left so suddenly with no knowledge of Flair TV waiting to interview her.
Like always, we get the short end of the stick. We do our part and get cheated. We help out and don't get helped, which is reminiscent of the activities that took place for the 2008 Gala. Hermene's camp invited us to interview its Scholarship recipients to produce a final video to showcase during the Gala. However, the "Stubborn Belle" opted to have another company produce the video without our knowledge. She looked at us with the foul disposition as if we were an inconvenience to her at that moment. We saw that same look on Sunday night when she barely spoke, waved, or smiled after we grabbed her attention fanatically across the room. It seems Chicago loves to praise Mean Hermene Hartman for her accomplishments in media and her compassion for seeing others succeed. Please don't believe the hype. We beg you. We are two young, African American women on the move, running a high profile media company, and making awesome strides. Some time after the 2008 Gala, we approached Mean Hermene about any upcoming events she knew of and for advice in marketing and branding. She responded to the initial email asking what we wanted and then ignored our response. We reflected on that instance when "Timmie" King accepted his award this year, thanking Hermene, reminiscing on how much she's motivated and encouraged him along the way. We know for a fact she's got a thing for the male species, going out of her way to help them while giving the ladies the flux, the frowns, and the attitude. She probably smiled long enough to corrupt these sponsors into paying for a night full of ulterior motives. Even worse, it seems she corrupted us too! We left the night hungry because there was no real food. We were $200 poorer from wardrobe purchases, gas, parking, and production costs. We didn't get the guaranteed interview with Fantasia.
And lastly we did not get a logo or company listing under 'Special Thanks' like ALL of the other media outlets did. So why us? We did what was asked of us: to market this event on our entire network for two full weeks. We could have at least been allowed to put a flyer or something in the gift bag.
If nothing else, this year's N'digo Gala gave us a rare oppotunity to get dolled up and feel our best. We also were excited about Tracy Schmidt's N'New Media award as the co-Founder of ChicagoNow.com, the blog site that has given us this platform to write these types of articles.(Thanks, Tracy!)
From Flair's perspective, we can offer words of advice as young, fresh, and hip media mavens:1) If you're going to charge a car note price for a ticket, at least serve your guests a beautiful spread of FILLING food and not rabbit food. 2) At least pretend you care about the future of the scholarship reciepients. These are our future leaders and they deserve to have a voice like the the honorees did. 3) Be sure to highlight deserving individals who have really given back and not just people who will help you reach your sponsorship goals (Ahem, Pam Morris) 4) Choose a more graceful performer to represent your bourgeois event instead of one who tramples across the stage barefoot, in a tight club dress showing their unmentionables. Change it up and try a comedian next year 5) And lastly, Ms Hartman needs take a seat and allow someone else to be the Master of Ceremonies. Everyone knows you're the woman behind N'digo, so take a front seat, enjoy the program, and just prepare closing remarks for the end. 6) Best of all, just let Flair TV help out with the planning. We know that's a hard notion for N'digo to N'gest. It could work in their favor...just the way Hermene likes it.
Photos By: Melissa Morley