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Showmen take to the stage

IT’S no longer just about winning an award these days – it appears that stealing the show on the night is just as important in the game of one-upmanship needed to win the gong in the first place.

Where MC and comedian Tim Ferguson took a while to crack the staid veneer of the black tie “exporters and industrialists” audience, three of the multitude of award and commendation winners stood out for their antics on stage.

First up, naturally, was Kym Illman from Messages on Hold, a company whose trademark marketing strategy is to steal attention from others.

Mr Illman took to the stage and offered a dainty twirl, revealing his company’s brand name across the bottom of his jacket.

Next was the turn of Frank Koentgen from laboratory rat breeder Ozgene, who started stripping as he took to the dias. Fortunately, it was only to expose a T-shirt bearing information about his company. In hindsight, he could have improved the wow factor if he’d pulled a live, furry rodent from his pocket – but that takes a lot more award-winning optimism than donning an undershirt.

Finally, Steve Birkbeck underlined his indigenous credentials by waiting until he’d been on stage for a third time (to win the premier’s award) to unveil a huge painting from the US depicting an American Indian and an Australian Aborigine in a stylised setting.

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