Media Moves

We shall overcomb: The 2015 Financial Follies

November 15, 2015

Posted by Bill C. Smith

BillSmithThe 73rd annual Financial Follies, a “Dinner and Entertainment Gala” hosted by the New York Financial Writers’ Association, took place this past Friday, Nov. 13.

The Follies is an evening of song and dance and food and tuxes that raises money for student scholarships provided by the organization.

This was my third Financial Follies, so with the help of YouTube, I knew how to tie a bow tie in under six minutes and had handwritten tiny pitch letters on the back of my business cards to hand out to every reporter in attendance (you’re welcome).

But this year, something was different.

I was rocking a new haircut.  Also, instead of congregating at the New York Marriott Marquis, the 2015 Financial Follies was held at The New York Hilton Midtown, a majestic venue.

The Follies started at 6:30 p.m. with two separate cocktail hours. There was the exclusive “President’s Reception,” an event where the various organizations who had purchased tables sent their managing directors and executive vice presidents to smoke cigars and discuss taxes and living in Westchester.

The rest of us non-VIPs congregated outside the Grand Ballroom at the general cocktail hour, and discussed Brooklyn and things Millennials do.

At around 7:30 we were shepherded into the Grand Ballroom, which had about 99 tables.  Yes, 99 problems but a pitch ain’t one.  This year, our guests included reporters from The Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch.  Going with my gut on this one, but I think there were about 37,000 folks in attendance.

According to Britt Erica Tunick, executive manager, New York Financial Writers’ Association, there were actually about 1,200 in attendance.  Those in attendance featured a who’s who of financial media, including reporters, producers, PR execs and financial services firms.

After finding our sets, we were treated to a collection of musical numbers which included “Greece better have my money” set to the tune of Rihanna’s “….Better have my money.”  There was a significant amount of material devoted to Donald Trump, joke o’ the evening being “we shall overcomb.”  There was also a Taylor Swift song, but I was eating my entree at that point. The steak was superb, as was the gnocchi.

After the final number, the lights went up, some Wall Street Journal folks at an adjacent table helped us extinguish the last of our Dewar’s (Rupert would be proud), and the crowd retreated to the various after-parties at Midtown bars.

Kudos to Britt Erica Tunick and the NYFWA for hosting another boisterous and charitable networking event.  We’re already looking forward to next year’s event.

Bill C. Smith (@BillCSmith87) is an assistant vice president at Makovsky Integrated Communications in New York.

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