The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards with Awards Director Sarah Austin

The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards with Awards Director Sarah Austin

The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards with Awards Director Sarah Austin

Winning Awards Podcast

By Donna O’Toole

In this episode of the Winning Awards Podcast, Donna O’Toole chats with The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards, Awards Director Sarah Austin.

The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards is one of the UK’s most prestigious awards programmes, recognising and rewarding excellence across all sectors. These awards are considered “the ones to win” – all UK companies are invited to enter, regardless of size or industry. The awards have a range of categories suited for any successful organisation to tell their story.

Sarah shares;

  • her journey into events and awards, from doing work experience at the NBAs and getting her degree in Events Management
  • the challenges for the events industry and their suppliers in 2020
  • the opportunities available to NBA finalists and winners 
  • her plans for the 2020 awards programme and beyond

And more!

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EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS

[01:47] Sarah got her first taste of the thrill of the National Business Awards and live events from doing work experience at the NBAs and going on to get her degree. Since then the awards have changed and evolved over the years.

 

“…for 24 hours I went into this madness, table planning, helping people with all these queries and really just running around the Grosvenor House in high heels. And it was brilliant. And I loved it. And that’s when I got the taste.”

[06:27] The National Business Awards have always aimed to celebrate the very best in British business and support British SMEs, which they do through their media partners and events, including their summer party at The House of Commons.

 

“The aims of the awards have always been to celebrate the very best of great British business. And so you can always under that umbrella, you know, there’s so much that you can work with, my particular themes that I like to bring out in it as you know, to celebrate innovation, ethics, teamwork, you know, very basic fundamentals and values that are important to a successful business.”

[10:57] The global pandemic has caused challenges for us all, and Sarah is no exception. Both personally and professionally, Sarah discusses some of the heartbreaking challenges for the events industry and their suppliers. Plus how vital the #WeAreEvents movement has been to raise awareness.

 

“I think the awards industry in particular, like with events, people by our very nature, were quite adaptable. So I knew that ideas would come out and we’d be okay but the with the #weareevents movement that’s happening recently and it’s like the camaraderie between everybody is amazing. And we can see, you know, all the venues lighting up and ready to send their message that we are events. We’re ready. We are adaptable. We can do it. And I think that’s so powerful.”

[18:24] Sarah and Donna reminisce about past NBA awards ceremonies and some of the amazing keynote speakers, Sarah also drops some hints on what to expect from the virtual 2020 awards ceremony.

 

“I think one of the things that 2020 is going to allow me to do is have more people involved than we normally would have. So I can’t give any names away. If you go by alumni, you will see we have you know, Buzz Aldrin, Tim Peake, Mo Farah. And you know, and that’s just the ones that come to my head. There’s been some incredible people. that we’ve had over the years. And I think each year we’ve set the bar higher and higher.”

[22:35] Awards naturally promote positivity, but a theme in this year’s entries was the confidence and honesty to say ‘this went wrong, but here’s how we adapted and coped with it’ and to see so many businesses going above and beyond to support their employees, customers and communities.[27:53] The National Business Awards give businesses the opportunity to say ‘we are the best in the country’ and Sarah’s message to those businesses who are wondering if they’re ready for national recognition is to seize the moment and put yourself forward.

 

“All of these businesses have something that is unique. And something that will be what perhaps to you is something quite normal. That actually if you put yourself in front of a panel of judges, that work that you do is sensational. You need to be recognised for that.”

 

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Winning Awards with Neil Skehel, CEO of Awards International

Winning Awards with Neil Skehel, CEO of Awards International

Winning Awards with Neil Skehel, CEO of Awards International

Winning Awards Podcast

By Donna O’Toole

In this episode of the Winning Awards Podcast, Donna O’Toole catches up with Awards International CEO Neil Skehel.

Awards International launched in 2008 and they successfully organise 11 Awards Programmes in the UK, UAE, Netherlands and Germany, giving much-deserved recognition to outstanding business initiatives. They believe winning awards creates real possibilities for personal and professional growth.

Neil shares;

  • His journey into awards, from award-winning McDonald’s Restaurant Manager to organising some of the most popular awards in the UK and Internationally,
  • The challenges of moving to digital award ceremonies in 2020,
  • His message to aspiring businesses.

And more!

Winning Awards, Winning Awards Podcast, Donna O'Toole, Awards Expert, Awards Judge, Neil Skehel, Awards International, UK Customer Experience Awards, Employee Experience Awards, International Business Excellence Awards

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS

[01:48] From Restaurant Supervisor to CEO of UK and International Awards Programmes, Neil shares his journey into the world of awards, how awards have played a huge part in his career and how he came to be CEO of Awards International.

“We’re all in the business, in the awards business. Do you know that? And I was thinking, you know, when I got my first award, I think it was for swimming five metres when I was about five years old, generally and awards play such an important part in people’s lives.”

[06:58] Awards International awards portfolio has been successfully growing, reaching into new markets including The Netherlands and Germany. In 2020 the pandemic has put a halt to all live events, but Neil and his team have pivoted to overcome the challenge.

“I thought we were done for I thought, “What on earth is going to happen?” And I spoke to a few people who I do use as mentors to sort of cheer me up from time to time. They were like, No, no, no, no, you’ve got to do this. You’ve got to make this work”

[11:26] Neil and his team have successfully converted their 2020 awards programmes to be fully digital using their own software that ensures their scoring is as robust and secure as their in-person judging, and the event is still entertaining and enjoyable for entrants and guests.[14:40] Transparency is key when it comes to judging, and Neil has no problems being open and honest about the judging process Using their own unique software and large panels of independent judges, everyone has the same chance of winning no matter whether you are an SME or a global corporation.

“So for me, transparency has always been a really important part of what we do.”

[20:14] As our world continues to change and adapt, there is a place for digital events but Neil assures us live physical events will come back once it’s safe to do. But for now all eyes are on the UK Customer Experience Awards and how the event will be as incredible as it always is year-on-year.[29:41] With the pandemic affecting all businesses in unique ways, Awards International have included specific COVID-19 categories to reward those who have gone above and beyond to help their business, customers or employees.

“But you know, the world has changed. There is no going back. You know we know the conversation will all be about what we are doing. So you have to change, you have to change the categories.”

[33:33] Neil’s final thoughts and overriding message for all businesses is to just ‘do it,’ enter the awards, now is the perfect time to enter and will help with the recovery.

“The challenges that the coronavirus has brought us entering your team for an award can be just so powerful in terms of their own performance, in terms of reward, in terms of fun in terms of development, and all of those things are really important now as ever before.”

 

Click here to listen and subscribe!

 

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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 September 2020

Awards Open in September 2020

Awards Open in September 2020

Industry Insights

By Donna O’Toole

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

It’s been 6 months since the pandemic rocked the world, and as we all adjust to a new way of living and working, award organisers around the world are adapting to ensure you can still get the recognition you and your teams deserve for all your hard work and accomplishments.

There are still so many awards open and accepting entries, with additional categories available to recognise businesses’ Covid-19 response.

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

AWARDS OPEN SEPTEMBER 2020

FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards

The FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards shine a spotlight on the tech industry’s most exceptional talent, from the UK and beyond, providing an opportunity for companies and individuals to put forward candidates for categories celebrating all stages of their career journey.
Deadline: 11 October 2020

Transform Awards Europe

The Transform Awards Europe 2021 will award excellence in rebranding and brand strategy. The awards will recognise best practice in corporate, product and global brand development work in the region, with categories that focus on strategy, execution, content and evaluation.
Deadline: 23 October 2020

edie Sustainability Leaders Awards

The edie Sustainability Leaders Awards recognise excellence across the spectrum of green business; from the best efficiency programmes through to product innovations, from stakeholder engagement and social sustainability initiatives to the people on the ground who are making change happen.
Deadline: 30 October 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!

 

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

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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

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 success is far more enjoyable when you share it.

How great does it feel to know that you have made someone else smile?

How rewarding is it to know that you’ve done something to make someone’s life better?

And how amazing is it when you see that person grow and achieve their own success thanks to the little seed that you sewed?

Infinitely, that’s how much!

We’re all sharing our ‘little wins’ on a daily basis, as leaders sharing our success with our teams, customers and contacts to give them better outcomes, as parents sharing our successful experiences with our children to shape their lives, and as friends and partners sharing our success with our loved ones and enjoying the rewards together.

So I’ve always wanted to be able to share the success of our award-winning clients and celebrate in a way that really mattered. That wasn’t only to raise their profiles so that they could go on to do even more amazing things, but for us to tangibly create our own positive impact on the world too. And I’m delighted to have found the perfect way!

Now, every time one of our clients wins an award we will be celebrating and sharing their success by providing 5 days of business training to a woman in zimbabwe. This will give every woman we support the training and skills she needs to unlock new opportunities and work towards a better future.

As a female entrepreneur who started with nothing, I’ve depended on hard work, self-development (and a big smile) to help reach my own goals, so this is a project really close to my heart. I am passionate about giving people the education and skills they need to create a better future for themselves and their families, and to give back to the world whenever possible. 

I was introduced to the B1G1 movement by Daniel Priestley, co-founder of Dent Global and author of the inspirational Key Person of Influence book and high-impact accelerator programme for entrepreneurs. Daniel challenged me to think about what I truly cared about, and how I could use my business successes as a platform to help others. Going on that journey of discovery has been hugely positive for me, and was made even better when I signed up to B1G1 and received a call from their awesome Chairman Paul Dunn to say thank you for joining! 

This has been a great initiative for us all as a team, as not only are we even more incentivised than ever to make sure our clients win (and that’s saying something!) we are truly living our ethos, to help people to achieve their personal and professional dreams by winning the best awards in the world. And to know that when they do, they are already helping someone else to achieve their dream too.  

If you haven’t already found a way to share your joy and success in a way that can make someone else’s life a bit better I encourage you to take a look at the B1G1 website, read the stories and think about what truly connects to your heart and soul. If you could share your success in a way that would make a difference what would you do? 

And that leaves me with just one question…

Who wins, when you win?

 

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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

Awards Open in August 2020

Awards Open in August 2020

Awards Open in August 2020

Industry Insights

By Donna O’Toole

Happy summer, and welcome to your monthly newsletter of awards open throughout August!

We may be having a slightly different summer this year as the world continues to handle the Coronavirus pandemic. But as we all take holidays and staycations to rest, recharge and enjoy the sun, there are still plenty of awards out there, ready and waiting for your entry.

September is a popular month for awards to deadline. So unless you want to submit a last-minute entry, now is the time to prepare and put together a strong, impactful entry!

AWARDS OPEN AUGUST 2020

Engage Awards

The Engage Awards are one of the only customer and employee engagement awards programmes, so if you’ve achieved great things with your engagement initiatives, then the Engage Awards could be perfect for you.
Deadline: 7 September 2020

International Business Excellence Awards

The IBXA recognise businesses achieving long-term sustainable profitability through the practice of excellence. There are 20 categories available and the 2020 awards finals will be a full-day experience, held fully online using the latest video conferencing software.
Deadline: 17 September 2020

DMA Awards

The DMA (Data & Marketing Association) Awards celebrate and reward the campaigns with intelligent marketing at the heart. With 35 categories split across Industry Sector, Channels, Campaigns, Data and Craft.
Deadline: 18 September 2020

STOP WAITING. START WINNING.

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!

 

Share
Contact Us

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

Contact Us

Latest Tweet

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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