React. Adapt. Adopt: How awards are responding to the global crisis

React. Adapt. Adopt: How awards are responding to the global crisis

React. Adapt. Adopt: How awards are responding to the global crisis

Industry Insights

By Donna O’Toole

Having been on full lockdown for over a month, the awards and events industry have had to react, adapt, and adopt in response to the current Coronavirus crisis.

Back in March, we shared how the awards industry is being affected, and we told you that ‘the show must go on.’ And that is still true.

Award organisers around the world are utilising online entry platforms, video judging sessions, and live streaming their awards ceremonies so that you can still win the awards you deserve.

Because at the end of the day, the value of winning awards is in the recognition you receive and what you do with that new power. The winner’s logo is just the start!

Here’s how just a few of our top industry awards have reacted to the crisis and the opportunities this gives you to get involved and recognise your own business’s ability to React. Adapt. Adopt.

EUROPEAN CONTACT CENTRE & CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARDS

Just one of the awards making a change is the European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards (ECCCSA).

During this time, getting your customer service right has never been more important, or more challenging. Your customers will remember how you treated them during this time and that will play a huge role in whether they stick with you or not!

The ECCCSAs is one of the longest-running and largest awards programmes in the customer contact industry. The awards recognise organisations across Europe that are leading the way in delivering exceptional service to customers.

Chair of the Judges Ann-Marie Stagg has introduced new categories so that you can thank those teams that have gone above and beyond to respond quickly to the coronavirus outbreak;

  • Best Homeworking Programme
  • Responding to a Crisis – Supporting Colleagues
  • Responding to a Crisis – Supporting Customers
  • Responding to a Crisis – Providing Leadership
  • Responding to a Crisis – Supporting the Community
  • Responding in a Crisis – Best Partnership Solution

LLOYDS BANK NATIONAL BUSINESS AWARDS

The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards are considered THE business award to win in the UK.

With backing from Lloyds Bank and other fantastic partners including Elite Business, SME Guidance for Business Growth and Institute of Export & International Trade. Plus media partners including The i, Yorkshire Post and The Scotsman, the National Business Awards continuously support their entrants.

This year they are continuing as normal, with judging scheduled for September and their awards ceremony taking place in November. But as a special thank you, they will be adding an extra special tribute to the heroic work of the NHS during the crisis.

Awards Director Sarah Austin said;

Sarah Austin NBA Awards Director - statement

OTHER RESPONSES

Some of the other things award organisers are doing is extending their submission deadline. They understand people are collaborating on entries remotely causing delays, people are furloughed and writing award entries may not be a priority right now (or it might be the perfect time!).

But they still want to see those entries and make sure the companies that deserve to win, have a chance to get their entries in!

Awards International who run the Digital Experience Awards and UK Business Awards amongst others have taken their full process online for some of their awards. They’ve also added the ‘Awards International Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Heroes’ award, for finalists to nominate their colleagues or suppliers who have gone above and beyond to contribute to their organisation during the crisis.

WINNING AWARDS IN 2020

There is no doubt that awards this year will be different, and the recognition they bring is more valuable than ever for motivating your people and strengthening your brand.

If you don’t enter this year, you will miss out on a whole year of recognition for the success you have already achieved in 2019. Awards look back not forward – they want to see results, evidence and case studies of what you have achieved until now – so don’t give up on all that because of the current storm.

We are all in this together, and awards programmes over the coming months and years will reflect this time period and shine a light on those who persevered, showed resilience. and had the strength to help others and themselves.

We are still open and working to support the best businesses to win the awards they deserve. Get in touch today to book your free consultation and we can discuss how awards will help you grow in 2020 and beyond.

 

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Awards Open in May 2020

Awards Open in May 2020

Awards Open in May 2020

Industry Insights

By Donna O’Toole

Hello and welcome to your monthly round-up of awards open throughout May!

The world is still in a state of flux with lockdown and social distancing rules in place. But we’re still here supporting businesses to win top industry awards, and award organisers around the world are adapting and updating their programmes to help entrants get the most out of their programmes.

Awards look back at what you have already achieved in the past 12-18 months, so now is the time to celebrate those achievements and strengthen your brand for the future.

The importance and benefits of winning business awards is more important than ever. The value, credibility, and huge boost that awards bring your business, product, employees and customers is vital for business growth.

  • Winning valuable business awards will:
  • Raise your business profile
  • Build team morale and motivation
  • Make you stand out in your industry
  • Encourage new customers/clients to choose you
  • Provide fantastic PR opportunities

And so much more!

So take a look at some great awards open now and give your people and business a boost.

AWARDS OPEN MAY 2020

The Sunday Times & HSBC Top Track 100

The Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s top 100 private companies with the biggest sales. It is compiled by Fast Track and published in The Sunday Times each July.

Deadline: 29 May 2020

PR Week Awards

The PR Week Awards provide the opportunity to showcase your creative and ground-breaking campaigns, hard-working teams and outstanding achievements over the last year. The awards offer over 30 categories to choose from. Give your work and people a chance to be recognised for their accomplishments. 

Deadline: 4 June 2020

Training Journal Awards

The TJ Awards are part of the Training Journal brand which supports those involved in workplace learning and development with their CPD. The Awards recognise the ingenuity, creativity, passion and hard work of learning and development professionals from around the world. The categories allow a broad range of companies and individuals to participate and reflect the increasing diversity and scope in the L&D landscape.

Deadline: 12 June 2020

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BUSINESS AWARDS YOU ARE LIKELY TO WIN?

There are thousands of awards out there, we’ve handpicked just three here which are credible and valuable to their industries – but there are so many awards out there that could help you meet your business goals in 2020.

The businesses with a proper awards strategy win more awards than those who jump in and out ad-hoc. So let us take the guesswork out of awards and create a bespoke awards strategy tailored specifically to your business, detailing each and every award you can enter and have a good chance of winning and giving you the best chance of success.

Get in touch today to book your free consultation and find out how we can support you to win!

 

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2019 New Year’s Honours List

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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 April 2020

Awards Open in April 2020

Awards Open in April 2020

Industry Insights

By Donna O’Toole

Welcome to the April edition of our monthly awards roundup!

We’re not going to pretend everything is normal, because we all know life (personal and business) is far from that for most of us. The coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption and we’re all just trying to stay safe and keep afloat.

However, the importance and benefits of winning business awards still stands. In fact, maybe more so than ever.

The value, credibility, and huge boost that awards bring your business, product, employees and customers is just as important as it has ever been for business growth.

Winning valuable business awards will:

  • Raise your business profile
  • Build team morale and motivation
  • Make you stand out in your industry
  • Encourage new customers/clients to choose you
  • Provide fantastic PR opportunities

And so much more!

So if you find yourself with time now that you never had before, and you want to celebrate what you had ALREADY achieved (because awards look back at what’s already happened) don’t neglect entering awards during this period, take a look at some great awards open now.

The awards industry is adapting and changing due to the impact of the Coronavirus, but it’s all for the better and you can read more about this here.

AWARDS OPEN APRIL 2020

HR Distinction Awards

The Annual HRD Awards celebrates innovatively designed and executed people strategies, that have contributed to outstanding organisational performance and play a role in curating the new business landscape.

Deadline: 14 May 2020

Global Recruiter Awards

The Global Recruiter Awards is your chance to shine, to go head to head with your contemporaries on a level playing field, responding to clear criteria and to be judged by a panel of industry professionals who understand what it’s like to build a business, and to rise above the competition.

Deadline: 14 May 2020

Retail Industry Awards

The Retail Industry Awards have continued to cast a spotlight on the industry’s highest-flyers, strongest performers and hottest brand launches. The awards are one of the only events which bring together the entire industry, as it celebrates the success of the smaller independent retailers alongside the larger supermarkets and symbol groups.

Deadline: 22 May 2020

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST BUSINESS AWARDS

There are thousands of awards out there, we’ve handpicked just 3 we know are credible and valuable to their industries for this newsletter – but there are thousands more out there that could help you meet your business goals in 2020.

To find the best business awards for your organisation we can offer you two great solutions:

1. We can create your bespoke awards strategy for you.

Or

2. You can join our ‘Create your 2020 awards strategy’ live online training event and learn how to find the best awards and categories and make your own awards plan.

With an awards plan in place you will be so much more focussed and you will win more! Get in touch today for more information and to book your free consultation.

 

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2019 New Year’s Honours List

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How Coronavirus is Affecting the Awards Industry

How Coronavirus is Affecting the Awards Industry

How Coronavirus is Affecting the Awards Industry

Industry Insights

By Donna O’Toole

These last few weeks have been totally surreal.

Last year, when the awards industry was planning its 2020 calendar of events, it did not expect to be re-planning them just a few months later, in possibly the most challenging circumstances any of us have ever known.

So naturally, after getting past the initial shock of the arrival of COVID-19 into our lives, and making all the necessary checks on our families, friends, colleagues, customers and connections. And after giving huge thanks for the incredible heroes looking after us all on the front line of hospitals, schools, shops and more, our conversations have turned to business.

The most popular business question I have answered all week is without doubt:

“So what’s happening in the awards industry?”

And my answer has been simple.

“The show must go on!”

Because that’s exactly what I’ve been told by awards organisers around the world. And my goodness they are rising to the challenge!

But before I give you the industry insights, and feedback from some of our most beloved awards programmes, I need to be clear about something.

Awards are NOT about shiny trophies, sparkly dresses, and penguin suits.

Awards are about PEOPLE.

  • The thousands of people who work in awards teams to deliver exciting, engaging awards programmes to recognise the best businesses and individuals across every industry.
  • The thousands of people who work in hospitality and events day and night to create and implement the spectacular ceremonies that bring your teams together.
  • The thousands of people who apply their expertise to every single awards programme with lighting, music, sound, and film as well as the artistes who entertain us.
  • The thousands of people who spend their ‘spare’ time judging your award entries and pouring over the tiniest details to find the right winners.
  • The thousands of people who work in awards, marketing, and PR agencies to support businesses and individuals to raise their profile through winning awards.
  • And the thousands upon thousands of people who work so hard every year in their businesses, departments, and teams to deliver the projects that are so worthy of awards recognition.

ALL these people matter to the awards industry.

And right now, they are ALL pulling together to do quite literally everything in their power to bring you the best awards you will ever experience. Despite the challenges.

Why?

Because we, the industry, are passionate about our purpose.

We are proud of our people and our skills.

And we are positive that we can help you to come through this incredibly difficult time with a stronger brand and a higher profile than ever before, so that you can move into the coming years with all the power you need to succeed.

We know the value that professional, credible recognition will bring to your business. We see the millions of pounds of business that happen at every awards ceremony. We experience the incredible partnerships and friendships made at the events. And we feel the power and energy that recognition gives to YOUR people and YOUR brands.

Right then…so what IS happening in the awards industry?

Adaption. Adoption. Innovation. That’s what.

The awards ceremonies due to take place over the next few months are either adapting and moving their ceremony to a later date, or they are adopting new technologies and innovating to take their celebrations online.

So there is no need for you to miss out on a single trophy, and you might even find that you end up with more time to prepare, and more valuable digital assets to promote you than ever before!

Remember, awards look BACK at what you have already achieved – so you can take advantage of this and use your growth from the last few years to help you get some positive PR for the years ahead.

We’ll also be setting up our training online so you’ll be able to use your time wisely to upskill and prepare for your next award entries very soon too.

Personally, my hopes for when we come through this, are that we will have grown as people, supported each other, innovated for good, and that the awards industry will be recognising people and brands for their incredible and heroic behaviour, resilience, partnerships, collaborations, crisis management and above all else, kindness.

Stay strong. Stay safe.

Together we will win.

 

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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

Strengthening Your Brand During a Crisis

Strengthening Your Brand During a Crisis

Strengthening Your Brand During a Crisis

Industry Insights

By Donna O’Toole

In the midst of a global crisis, this morning I picked up the paper and look what fell out…

IMG_4744IMG_4749

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Saga brochure advertising the company’s “Award-Winning” boutique cruises.

At a time when we all face personal and professional uncertainty, when we are all thinking about the health and safety of our family and friends, and when we quite literally don’t know what our next business steps will be, there it was…Saga’s battle plan.

We have all been hit by the same overwhelming problem, and the travel sector is one industry amongst many that has been thrust into utter turmoil by Covid-19.

Cruises have suffered hugely from the impact and publicity given to outbreaks on board. And the over-50s ‘Saga’ market are the exact people we are being told to tuck away until it’s safe to come out again.

So why on earth are Saga ploughing their resources into beautiful awards-laden brochures that shout about what a great cruise holiday choice they are?

Because they are a very good example of a resilient, resourceful, trustworthy brand, that’s why!

Saga built its brand on “trust, quality, dependability and value for older people”. And in response to the crisis, they are putting themselves in the spotlight to prove that this is EXACTLY what they STILL are!

This is a smart and absolutely necessary marketing strategy because it not only reassures existing customers, it will attract new ones.

The brochure shows beautiful images of cruises. A money-back guarantee. And reassuring, tempting, values-driven messaging that showcases a safe, relaxing, enjoyable holiday. Perfect!

And the awards they show in the brochure are up to date, relevant, and highly regarded so they bring real value and credibility, and are HUGELY reassuring for their customers and contacts.

Well done Saga. We’re all right behind you.

WHAT’S THIS GOT TO DO WITH YOU?

This is a pivotal moment for all sectors, not just the travel industry. And sadly only the most crisis-resilient brands will be able to keep fighting for their place at the top of their sector.

Back in January I shared a blog that showed how the brands who pulled back on their marketing during the financial recessions of the last 100 years were overtaken by the successful brands who were brave enough to shift gears and keep going during the crisis. And I explained how once life was all back to normal, the ones who had waited, had effectively handed over their top spot as the market leader.

AND I DON’T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN TO YOU

This will be one of the most challenging business times of our lives. So as soon as you can, you need to start strengthening your brand by sticking to your marketing strategy and boosting your brand presence as much as you can.

One of the quickest and most effective ways to do this is by winning the best awards you possibly can NOW.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO WIN

The vast majority of business awards will be taking in entries over the next few months, but their ceremonies are not until the autumn or beyond.

In the meantime, many awards organisers have also told me of their contingency plans to go ‘virtual’ or to adapt events that are coming up. So there is no need for you to miss out on a trophy. Here’s a few insights that might help too:

  1. Awards will help to keep your team’s morale up, show them you value their hard work, and give them something POSITIVE to focus on to keep them motivated, engaged and reassured through tough times.
  2. Awards that look at your financial performance will examine your growth in the last 1-3 years (typically). Now in the next few months could take a dip, but that won’t be relevant to your 2020 award entries because awards look BACK to what you’ve already achieved when scoring points! So MAXIMISE the awards you can enter now, don’t leave it until next year when a dip in 2020 could stop you from winning. (I know that sounds harsh, but it’s true. There will be other brands you’ll compete against next year who avoided a dip, and even grew during this period – like the companies making hand sanitizer, soap, loo roll, and digital tools!)
  3. Your existing customers, partners and suppliers NEED to hear some good news from you to feel reassured and stay faithful! Becoming an awards finalist, and later, a winner will keep raising your profile and boosting your marketing and PR messages.
  4. New customers need extra confidence to buy from you, so show them you are credible with as many CURRENT awards badges as you can. I can guarantee your competitors will be promoting themselves heavily, so don’t just sit back and let them take all the business because their awards wins are more up-to-date than yours.
  5. All’s fair in love and war – and awards (well, the ones we work with anyway) and frankly, logic says that if everyone else is too busy to enter – your chances of winning will only go up! Take advantage of the fact that your competition could be too distracted to enter and get focused on your award entries so you increase your likelihood of success.

We are already set up for flexible working so we’ve left the office for a little while, but this is your opportunity to book a FREE ZOOM MEETING to chat through your situation, see if there are any awards out there you could be winning, and find out what you need to do to keep your brand strong during the coming year.

And even if you’re not sure about awards and just want to chat to someone who will be positive, give you hope, and a bit of inspiration, I’m very happy to hop on a call with you too. No strings. No obligation. Just a bit of business support from one person to another. Because right now, we all need to do everything we can to keep each other’s businesses thriving. It’s all hands on deck until this particular saga sails into the sunset.

Stay strong. Stay safe. Together we will win.

With my warmest wishes,

Donna

Ps. We’re moving our unique awards training programme into a series of live-learning events you can join from home to get you winning too. These will have a limited attendance for each masterclass so let me know if you’re interested and I’ll make sure we send you the details first.

Pps. And when this is all over, let me show you how your strength and survival can help you to win some excellent Business Resilience Awards. You got this!

 

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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

The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards 2020

The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards 2020

The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards 2020

Business Awards News

By Donna O’Toole

The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards are open for 2020!

These are one of the most prestigious business awards in the UK. They provide a national platform for you to share your success story.

And with media partners including Business Matters Magazine, The i, The Scotsman and The Yorkshire Post, the PR opportunities are incredible and not to be missed!

We have supported entrants to win year-on-year and for the second year running we have been chosen as the awards official entry partner.

So if you are headquartered in the UK and have a great success story, these are the awards to win!

AWARD CATEGORIES

The Lloyds Bank Exporter of the Year Award
The Lloyds Bank Mid-Market Business of the Year Award
The Lloyds Bank New Business of the Year Award
The Lloyds Bank Small to Medium-Sized Business of the Year Award
The Lloyds Bank Positive Social Impact Award
The Inflexion Entrepreneur of the Year Award
The Data Excellence Award
The Give a Grad a Go Employer of the Year Award
The Castle Corporate Finance Scale-Up Business of the Year Award
The LDC Growth Through Innovation Award
The Virgin Atlantic Customer Experience & Loyalty Award
The Artificial Intelligence Award
The Business Enabler of the Year Award
The New Entrepreneur of the Year Award
The Leader of the Year Award

HOW TO ENTER

The first stage is to submit your award-winning written entry; early-bird deadline 24 April 2020 and the final deadline is 5 June 2020.

And on the 27 March 2020 we will be hosting a ‘How to Write a Winning National Business Award Entry’ webinar. The webinar is free and you can click here to sign up.

The shortlist will be announced the 14 July 2020. Finalists will then be asked to present to a panel of judges in September 2020.

EXCLUSIVE AWARDS SUPPORT

We have no view or influence on the judging process. But we do have years of experience in crafting winning entries and we know what catches the judges’ attention.

Our support for the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards is highly limited.

We only work with one organisation per category.

So if you would like our support to win get in touch today to secure your preferred category.

And we will see you at the glamourous awards ceremony in London on the 10 November 2020!

 

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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