Behind the Curtain – Life as an Awards Organiser

Josh Sweetman-
Lemay

Consultant, Boost

Here at Boost Awards writing award entries is in our blood. It is what we do for a living and over the years we have become pretty darn good at it.

With over 1,100 award wins under our belt, our extensive knowledge of how to meet a range of different judging criteria, both with evidence and innovation, has developed into what at times could be considered a superhuman power.

But in a world where we have access to an awards list of over 3,500 awards both domestic and international, it’s easy to overlook just how much effort award organisers put in behind the scenes.

We can all relate to shedding the proverbial blood, sweat and tears when compiling an awards submission. An emotional rollercoaster that sees the detailing of a strong story compiled down to a required word count so that you can be judged on your achievements.

Nothing screams relief more than the final click on the submit button, but recently we have found ourselves asking just what does it take to organise an awards programme? From marketing the awards, getting entries in, organising the judging and of course to the big event itself.

Mark Hamill – Awards International

In an exclusive interview with Mark Hamill, managing director of Awards International UAE, we have been lucky enough to get a behind the scenes insight into some of the challenges of organising awards.

“The biggest issue is last minute stuff. Last minute entries, last minute scoring, last minute bookings and last minute changes. This is the nature of the beast but doesn’t make it any easier to prepare for.” He said.

While you have to be able to improvise at the drop of a coin, this hasn’t seemed to deter awards organisers. Day-by-day new schemes are added to our international awards list, and the trend for new industry awards shows no signs of abating. So are there big differences in the way awards are run in different regions of the world? The simple answer is yes there is some variation – North American awards for example tend to be more ‘rankings’ and league tables with less emphasis on the more traditional award entry format that Europe tends to favour. Despite having not worked on many UK initiatives, Mark concedes that there is a difference between other domestic award schemes and those that are organised in his Middle East location.

“I cannot say there are many fundamental differences. The main difference, I would say, arises from the unique format of the awards, with the presentations and scoring done on the day of the ceremony meaning that people do not know if they have won or not in advance. This of course has positives and negatives. Something people in this market are getting used to.”

Awards Sponsors and Supporting Partners

You would think that with the stress organising awards causes, Mark and his team would be reluctant to push ahead with adding to their already impressive portfolio. However, with the awards industry seemingly booming in the Middle East, demand is becoming greater and support from the Government is on the up. Because of this, Awards International recently increased the number of schemes they organise in the region.

Mark said: “We have been very lucky to have found fantastic Government Partners to help us get each programme off the ground. With the Dubai Economy, they have been instrumental in assisting us with the International Business Excellence Awards and Gulf Customer Experience Awards.

“We have also had the Land Department be a huge part in launching the Gulf Real Estate Awards as well as the International Humanitarian City and Dubai Carbon Centre for Excellence assisting us for the Gulf Sustainability and CSR Awards.

“The Awards we launch do not deviate from the vision of the country’s leaders, in fact we try to actively support their initiatives.”

 So despite the hard work, long hours and coping with last minute changes, we asked Mark what he thought were the best things about organising awards.  

“There are many things I enjoy about the role but I think to summarise I would say it would be seeing the joy of the winners and the sheer adrenaline rush for our team after a successful event.

I’m also fond of other aspects like finally meeting people you have been speaking to for months, but the happiness we can help create is the biggest thing for me.”

“There are many things I enjoy about the role…seeing the joy of the winners and the sheer adrenaline rush for our team after a successful event.”

Mark Hamill (second from right)

Mark signing a strategic partnership between the Dubai Real Estate Institute and The Gulf Real Estate Awards.

If you would like help to experience the joy of winning awards, contact Boost Awards today to see how our team of award entry writers can significantly improve your chances of success. Boost is the world’s first and largest award entry consultancy, having helped our clients win over 1,000 credible business awards. Email: info@boost-awards.com.

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