2020 Year in Review

2020 Year in Review

2020 Year in Review

Company News

By Donna O’Toole

Last year we wrote…

2019 oh what a year!

It’s been another 12 months of political turmoil, climate chaos and of course Brexit. But despite the doom and gloom, our clients have been shouting about their business successes and winning lots of awards to show how strong their businesses really are!

…in hindsight, maybe 2019 wasn’t so bad!

Fast forward to 2020, and this year has been one of the most difficult, tumultuous and downright stressful years, but thankfully it hasn’t all been bad.

We’ve had the pleasure of continuing to support our fantastic clients to benefit from a plethora of amazing awards (even when working from home!) including;

  • The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards
  • The International Business Awards
  • UK Customer Experience Awards
  • The Learning Awards
  • Amazon Scale-Up Awards
  • UK Employee Experience Awards
  • National Technology Awards
  • BITC Responsible Business Awards
  • Marketing Week Masters
  • BusinessGreen Leaders Awards
  • Reuters Responsible Business Awards
  • International Customer Experience Awards
  • HR Champion Awards
  • National Contact Centre Awards
  • Great British Entrepreneur Awards
  • And many, many more!

And with our Who Wins When you Win campaign we launched in Summer, we’ve been celebrating our clients’ success by donating and making an impact on others’ lives.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise

In April 2019 we celebrated our clients winning the prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise!

We were so proud to support HIB to win in the Innovation category and this year, in particular, it really meant a lot for their team. Robert Ginsberg, Managing Director said,

Despite the difficult times many of us are facing, it is heartening to know that we can share some positive news with our partners, suppliers, employees and wider community and celebrate this significant award, which is a huge achievement for everyone at HiB.

Winning Awards during a Pandemic

Every year we are always very fortunate to attend some of the biggest and best award ceremonies. But little did we know after attending the 2020 Learning Awards live Finals at London Hilton Park Lane in February that this would be the last live event for the foreseeable future.

We pride ourselves on the relationships we hold with our partners, including award organisers of some of the worlds most-loved awards. And when the news broke of events being cancelled indefinitely, no one in the awards and events industry knew what would happen.

And after a short period of uncertainty, award organisers agreed the show must go on… online!

We’re lucky to operate in such a positive industry, celebrating success and recognising those that put the hard work in and make an impact. And this year the addition of celebrating the covid-19 heroes, with dedicated categories to reward those who have gone above and beyond to help others.

So we want to say a huge thank you to award organisers for the time, effort and dedication they’ve put in to switch to virtual ceremonies, to ensure their awards go-ahead and for those winning businesses to get the recognition they deserve.

We wrote about the success of the virtual ceremonies we’ve attended this year, read all about it here.

Team August

Here at August HQ we have had quite the eventful 12 months!

We moved into our beautiful new office in January, starting the year off on a high. Unfortunately, we had to leave mid-March and switch to working from home – luckily this was a simple switch for us.

One of the biggest challenges we had was taking our in-person live training event and making it virtual. But we can confirm our virtual Awards Accelerator training programme has been a huge success, with attendees winning awards not long after they’d completed the day! Like Tam Lever, Operations Manager of RoundPeg Search,

I completed the August Awards Accelerator training in November and wanted to Thank Donna for delivering such an insightful and inspiring day! Prior to the training I had no clue where to start, and no confidence that entering awards would be time well spent for the company. Within 5 minutes of commencing the training, Donna had blown all my misconceptions about business awards out of the water! The Accelerator training covered everything I needed to know, from how to build our awards strategy, right through to how to use awards for marketing our business. I’m looking forward to sharing my ideas with the rest of the company so we can get cracking on our entries for awards in 2021. Thank you August 🙂

We can’t wait to hear some of the winning stories from this year’s cohort and to continue training entrepreneurs and employees how to win in 2021!

And we are very excited to introduce our wonderful new Project Manager and Editor Ben to the team.

Ben joined us in November with vast experience in shaping, developing and growing brands from his work with Fulham FC and glorious Goodwood. He’s already making a huge impact and supporting our clients to grow their own brands through the valuable recognition awards bring, so do say hi to Ben and test his sporting knowledge next time you are in touch – he loves a challenge!

Celebrating Your Success

Continuing our support – we’re looking forward to celebrating even more success with our clients and training more entrepreneurs and individuals to win.

Winning Awards Podcast – we launched our Winning Awards Podcast summer 2020 and we’ve had such a positive response, we’re looking to sharing even more inspiring stories next year (get in touch if you’d like to make a guest appearance!)

Partnering with The Girls’ Network – The Girls’ Network supports over 1000 girls each year across the UK to reach their potential. From January 2021, every time you win an award we will celebrate your success by making a donation to The Girls’ Network on your behalf, supporting them to inspire and empower girls from the least advantaged communities by connecting them to a mentor and a network of professional female role models.

With the impact of the coronavirus pandemic carrying over into 2021, it’s hard to imagine what life is going to look like in 12 months time. But there is definitely still a lot to look forward to!

THANK YOU

Finally, we would like to thank you for your continued support and wish you the very best for the festive season!

We will be closed from the 21st December and returning on the 4th January, refreshed and ready to make your 2021 award-winning.

Best wishes, Team August.

 

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2020 Year in Review

2020 Year in Review

2020 has been one of the most difficult and tumultuous years, thankfully it hasn’t all been so bad. Here is our 2020 year in review and our plans for 2021!

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Who wins when you win?

Who wins when you win?

Who wins when you win?

Company News

By Donna O’Toole

Who wins when you win?

I’ve always believed that every single one of us is capable of achieving our goals with the right support in place. And as a female entrepreneur who started with nothing, I’ve depended on hard work, self-development, continued education, and relationship-building to reach my own goals.

Like many entrepreneurs, as a young person, my personal journey was not easy or straightforward. I started full-time work at the age of 16, my first business at the age of twenty, and a full-time degree in my thirties – whilst juggling two little daughters and a writing job! And I’m in no doubt that the people I met in my teenage years were pivotal to me overcoming the hurdles life had put up and finding my own way.

SHARING YOUR SUCCESS

Every year, thousands of girls across the UK are still disadvantaged by their background, parental income and even their gender. Their potential is overlooked and they can’t access the support they need to succeed. So we’re delighted to be partnering with The Girls’ Network, which supports over 1000 girls each year across the UK to reach their potential.

Now, every time you win an award we will celebrate your success by making a donation to The Girls’ Network on your behalf.

With your help, this initiative will inspire and empower girls from the least advantaged communities by giving the vital funds and support they need to connect to a mentor and a network of professional female role models.

The Girls' Network, August The Awards Consultancy, August Recognition, Who Wins When You Win, The Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, UN Sustainable Development Goals, Impact

I am passionate about empowering young girls to access the education and skills they need to create a better future for themselves and their families, and I’m delighted that this project also helps us to support many of the UN’s Global Goals including Gender Equality and Quality Education for all, as well as creating opportunities for Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Disability | United Nations Enable

We really want your incredible awards results to have an even bigger impact. So all you need to do is work within us on your exciting awards journey and the more awards you win, the more help you will give to young girls who are in great need of our support.

Contact me if you would like to know more, and if you’re not sure whether you are ready to win awards you can take our FREE TEST and join me in a free awards strategy meeting to start your journey.

Let’s work together to create winning results for you, and for every young girl who needs our help.

Donna

 

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2020 Year in Review

2020 Year in Review

2020 has been one of the most difficult and tumultuous years, thankfully it hasn’t all been so bad. Here is our 2020 year in review and our plans for 2021!

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Queen’s Birthday Honours List October 2020

Queen’s Birthday Honours List October 2020

Queen’s Birthday Honours List October 2020

Queen’s Honours

By Donna O’Toole

Frontline key workers and volunteers have been honoured for their contributions during the Covid-19 pandemic in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

The list was postponed from being published for the Queen’s official birthday in June until October to allow for all those who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic to get the very highest recognition they deserve.

Alongside key workers and volunteers, some well-known faces also received honours.

Manchester United and England Footballer Marcus Rashford for his services to vulnerable children, and to The Body Coach, Joe Wicks for his free national PE lessons during lockdown and donations to charity, both received MBEs.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the recipients of this year’s honours are “a testament to the sort of country we are – caring, compassionate and resolute in the face of a global pandemic.” And that “the hard work and dedication of these local, often unsung heroes has helped carry us through.

WHO RECEIVED A  2020 QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY HONOUR

The Queen’s Honours list highlights those people from all backgrounds who have given their time to their community, industry, charities and the country.

This year’s 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours list;

  • 1,358 candidates have been selected at BEM, MBE and OBE level:
    537 at BEM
    561 at MBE
    260 at OBE
  • 137 candidates have been selected at CBE and higher
  • 1,069 honours have been given to people who have volunteered in their communities and completed outstanding work
  • 740 women have been recognised in the List, 49% of the total
  • 13% are from a BAME background
  • 6% consider themselves to have a disability (under the Equality Act 2010)

You can see the full lists of recipients here.

KEEPING THE COUNTRY GOING DURING THE PANDEMIC

14% of the total 1,495 recipients on the list are health and social workers.

Just one of those is Felicia Kwaku, from Islington, North London, who has been a nurse for 30 years. As associate director of nursing at Kings College NHS Foundation Trust, she championed the cause of nurses from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background.

Also honoured are fundraisers who have raised millions during the pandemic, like 100-year-old Dabirul Islam Choudhury who has been made OBE for raising £420k.

Jay Flynn’s viral virtual pub quiz has landed him an MBE for his charitable activities raising £750k whilst cheering people up from around the world reaching up to 180,000 people.

72% of recipients have been awarded for their work in the community, supplying free meals to those shielding, volunteering, and delivering care packages.

And of course, the Cabinet couldn’t forget to recognise the experts working in the Science, Health and Pharmaceutical fields who are at the forefront of studying COVID-19 symptoms, testing and making headway with a vaccine.

THE IMPORTANCE OF RECOGNITION

Recognition is so valuable, it’s valuable to our mental health, our personal progression and serves to inspire others.

We see this every day in businesses and teams we work with, and we know first-hand that the difference some credible recognition makes can be life-changing.

Receiving an Honour from The Queen is the highest official form of recognition an individual can achieve. And as it’s such a prestigious award only those who truly, truly deserve it will be given one.

And every year for the Queen’s Birthday Honours and New Year’s Honours we get so excited to find out who has received an honour and learn more about their fantastic achievements, and we’re always blown away by some of the stories.

You hear about the celebrities and public figures who receive MBEs, OBEs, CBEs, Damehoods and Knighthoods, but the real-life “normal” people who receive honours are where the magic is…

The business owner who has been a thought leader for their industry over the past 50 years, the nurse who has served her community for 30 years, the 16-year-old who has raised thousands of pounds for charity – these are the stories we love to see and read. If you want to nominate someone you know for their incredible efforts you can do so by clicking here.

And listen to our podcast episode on How to Create a Queen’s Honours Nomination below;

 

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2019 New Year’s Honours List

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Who do you trust?

Who do you trust?

Who do you trust?

Industry Insights

By Donna O’Toole

Did you know that TRUST has now become the #2 reason that people buy, beaten to the top of the list only by PRICE.

I get it.

For far too long, our lives have been dominated by fake news, political u-turns, bluffing, blagging and bad behaviour. We’ve heard the good, the bad, and the ugly tell us ‘their truth’ only to get called out for misleading us five minutes later.

This year, people have lost their jobs, their holidays, and their hard-earned money as companies struggled to deliver on their promise and customer experience went out the window.

In the worst cases, responsibility got shifted around, communications became impossible, and small print was activated to protect companies from paying out whilst their customers’ cries for help fell on deaf ears.

Well, enough’s enough. It’s time to go back to basics, it’s time to remember that old adage:

“Actions speak louder than words”

Now more than ever, consumers need to see and feel why they should trust a company with their money, loyalty, and recommendation. And thankfully there are plenty of companies out there who ARE doing the right thing.

And thanks to websites, social media and online review platforms, it doesn’t take long for a consumer to sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to choosing who to trust to buy from, or who to do business with nowadays.

So what can you do to make sure your next potential customer KNOWS they can trust you?

First and foremost, just do the right thing!

Stick to your word. Act with honesty, compassion and empathy. And look after your employees, because they will only be able to (or want to) look after your customers if you are truly looking after them.

In my recent podcast with Ian Golding, International CX specialist and Chairman of the Customer Experience Awards he explains how you can create an award-winning customer experience if you do this one thing now.

And when it comes to winning awards, I judge hundreds of entries, and direct my team to craft even more every year, and I promise you this: talk is cheap. The companies who can prove that they truly live and breathe their values will always win.

So…

Don’t tell the judges that you are ‘diverse’ – be it!
Don’t tell the judges that you care about your employees’ well-being – show it! (hint: fruit bowls and ping pong tables really don’t prove that point!)
Don’t tell the judges you care about the community/environment/charity – invest in it!

You get the picture.

Be real. Be Fair. Be relatable. Be kind. Be transparent, and you will be trustworthy.

Then SHOW your customers that they can truly trust you by using valuable and visible trust signals on your website and all your marketing materials. Add reviews, up-to-date awards logos, feedback and case studies to make it easy for a potential buyer to see what you are doing well, and you’ll see your business blossom. One of our clients saw his sales rise by 30% within weeks of adding a credible awards logo to his website, because that logo implicitly said ‘You can trust us with your money and your time’ to everyone who saw it!

So if you don’t have recent business awards or don’t know if you’re ready to win, head over to our unique Business Awards Test to find out what you need to do to win today.

Of course trust is also an important factor in entering awards, and in my podcast interviews with the UK’s leading awards organisers you’ll hear me question them, explore their processes and find out exactly how their programmes work, so that you know you can trust them too.

Lastly, thank you for trusting me to bring you honest and open awards advice, it’s been a true pleasure helping to strengthen so many brands to come through 2020 with a renewed sense of pride and achievement.

I can’t wait to see you shine in 2021.

 

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2019 New Year’s Honours List

2019 New Year’s Honours List

Congratulations to the 1148 who people have started the New Year with an incredible accolade; an honour from The Queen in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List. The list features celebrities, sports professionals and extraordinary individuals, honouring them for their achievements, dedication to charity, and outstanding work in their chosen industries.

read more

Awards Open in October 2020

Awards Open in October 2020

Awards Open in October 2020

Industry Insights

By Donna O’Toole

Hello and welcome to your monthly newsletter of awards open throughout October!

Now usually we’d all be donning our best black-tie outfits and heading to glamourous venues for awards ceremonies and celebrations, but with events still not able to go ahead, we’ve had to adjust to virtual ceremonies.

And what a fantastic job the award organisers have been doing!

UK EXA 2020 virtual ceremony

We’ve had the pleasure of attending several virtual awards ceremonies this year, and for all the finalists the buzz of being up for an award is still there. And the excitement of hearing your name read out as the winner is still palpable, even on Zoom!

It’s been fantastic to see teams and individuals getting the recognition they deserve for their work, especially for those winning specific COVID-19 crisis categories.

Winning awards has never been so important. Having a winners logo on your website, marketing and comms will play a huge part in building back better and ensuring your customers that you are the right choice.

Take a look at some awards you can enter right now!

AWARDS OPEN OCTOBER 2020

Think Global Awards

The Think Global Awards are open for entry from individuals, companies, and communities. The awards are a way of recognising achievements and promoting the awareness of thinking globally for individuals, communities, start-ups, small and medium-sized businesses, global brands, and large scale international organisations.
Deadline: 30 November 2020

Complaints Handling Awards

These are the only awards in the UK dedicated to recognising complaint handling excellence. Brought to you by Awards International, the UKCHA celebrates the incredible work done by complaint handling professionals – and gives you a chance for recognition!
Deadline: 10 December 2020

Innovation in Talent Development Awards

The Innovation in Talent Development Awards are given in recognition of an innovation that has a measurable impact on an organisation or audience, moves the talent development industry forward, is sustainable, and is replicable. This award can be presented to an individual or a team.
Deadline: 31 December 2020

STOP WAITING. START WINNING.

There are an abundance of awards around the world just waiting to recognise the best businesses in their industry, sector or country.

If you have good results, a good case study or project you are really proud of, the time to enter awards is NOW.

Because if you wait too long, your results will become old news and you’ll miss out.

Take the first step today and complete the Win Business Award Test to find out if you are ready to enter and receive your invitation to our next Awards Strategy meeting!

 

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Contact us now to find out which awards you could be winning.

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You might also like

2019 New Year’s Honours List

2019 New Year’s Honours List

Congratulations to the 1148 who people have started the New Year with an incredible accolade; an honour from The Queen in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List. The list features celebrities, sports professionals and extraordinary individuals, honouring them for their achievements, dedication to charity, and outstanding work in their chosen industries.

read more