Sometimes I can be cynical. I mean, there’s a lot of awards around…
My personal favourite is ‘Loo of the Year’ – which I can assure you is giant and hotly contested. The “Roll” of honour is a prestigious place to be, and the winners are always flushed with pride. Etc.
There’s an award for pretty much everything – there’s even an Awards event for people who run awards events. I kid you not. And at certain times of the year, if you’re in the set that goes to the presentations, you might be significantly more familiar with the waiters at the Grosvenor House than with your family.
Is there any point in them all? Why don’t we just roll them all up into one, big, serious, best-of-the-best-of-the-best extravaganza, like the film industry does with the Oscars?
Well, for a start, there’s more film awards events than you can shake a stick at – Palme d’Or, BAFTA, British Independent Film, Golden Globe, Golden Reel, the Boston Society of Film Critics… the list is endless. Some of them are, frankly, an unnecessary jolly. But many of them seek to reward excellence in obscure back-alleyways of the film world. Special Effects Sound Editing is an example. It’s just too geeky for an Oscar category, but talented individuals dedicate their lives to it, and achieve excellence – why should they not get their moment in the sun?
In fact, apply this to construction, and say that celebrating excellence in obscure sub-sectors shows that it can be achieved, moves forward the general practice, and makes the industry a better place. If there’s no award for Best Fibrous Plastering contractor, how do you know what a good one looks like?
Winning awards is a good thing too. It makes your teams feel recognised, rewarded, proud. It gives you something to put on the creds slide in your new business pitch. It often gets you positive coverage in industry magazines. In fact, winning awards is good marketing. As a judge, I once gave an award to a company whose marketing strategy revolved around entering (and winning) awards, then telling everyone how many they’d won.
No. Awards events are A Good Thing - as long as they’re done properly of course. A decent awards event has a high quality, independent panel of judges who act without influence from the organiser, and whose goal is simply to find the best in the entries and hold it up for applause. There are many schemes like this, and winning these can significantly enhance your reputation.
Coinciding, roughly, with this post is the launch of the awards with the “Best judging panel in the world” (presumably that’s a category in the Awards Awards). This is of course the Built Environment Marketing Awards (formerly the Construction Marketing Awards). Winners of these show you what a difference good marketing makes - £5m added to the bottom line in one year was the claim to fame of one of the successful entrants last year. And yes, I’m a Judge.