The awards industry presses on, despite it all.
So here we are, five months down the line from the start of lockdown in the UK, and how life has changed – in so many ways. The majority of office-based employees continue to work from home, face coverings are the norm, and anxious parents (and children!) are hoping that the planned return to school, post-summer holidays, goes ahead. First and foremost, we hope that each and every one of you is safe and well, and coping the best you can in these very odd times.
We couldn’t really predict what would happen within the awards industry when things started getting serious; would there be a raft of cancellations of planned awards programmes? How would awards presentations manifest (if at all)? Would entrants even have their mind on such things, when so much else is going on?
Now that we have some time under our belts to assess the situation, we’re pleased to say that – from our experience, at least – things are pretty much carrying on as normal. Indeed, in some sectors, there’s even be an upturn in the number of enquiries and new clients that we’ve welcomed. It would seem that many awards managers are seeing this as the perfect time to press ahead, with the need to bring a much needed boost to industry, by recognising and shouting about brilliant achievements by brilliant individuals and organisations.
The beauty of managing a whole process online – from creating an entry site, to entering, to judging – is that it doesn’t matter where you are, in order to take part. All you need is an internet connection. We’ve been lucky enough to see the return of existing clients, as well as a host of new ones. Each and every one is seeing the same – if not better – level of engagement from entrants, and judges who are able to score with ease from their homes and/or offices.
Not only that, but one of our oldest and dearest clients – Creative Circle – hosted an online awards event, hosted by the inimitable Edith Bowman, that became the talk of the creative industry town!
Some of our recent sign ups include:
The Phoenix Fund – a joint initiative between the Global Fund for Children and The National Lottery Community Fund, using AwardStage to gather grant applications by BAME-led charities and groups for emergency funding during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Indie Awards – the only large scale international awards designed exclusively to recognise talent amongst independent agencies, and judged by independent agencies.
Airwards – founded to showcase best practice and new technology within the drone industry.
Irish Business Design Challenge – a collaboration between the Design & Crafts Council Ireland, The Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices – inviting Irish businesses to share the challenges they are experiencing as a result of COVID-19 and the solutions they have designed to resolve them.
We extend a big welcome to them all, as well as all our other new clients, and of course those who have returned to us for a new season – we will continue to support you to the very best of our ability, to ensure that your initiatives are successful.
If you’re an awards manager currently pondering the best course of action for the year ahead, then we’d love to talk to you. Not to pressure you to go ahead, rather to impart some of what we’ve learned over the last few months, and what has and hasn’t worked for others. We can show you AwardStage in action and, hopefully, reassure you that the systems are there to give you, your entrants, and your judges the best experience possible, should you wish. You can get in touch with us here.