Herts: HDA17 Winners Announced

Outstanding charities, schools and businesses across Hertfordshire have been recognised for their online work at the third annual Hertfordshire Digital Awards.

Accolades across 13 categories including “Website”, “Blog” and “Use of Social Media for Business” were presented to outstanding organisations at Knebworth House this evening, September 21.

Former BBC presenter Robin Bailey hosted and handed Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes to a host of worthy winners.

Special guests included Tim Dunton, from Headline Sponsor Nimbus Hosting, Tom Shurville, Managing Director of Distinctly and Lucy Gravatt from the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, all of whom presented awards.

The Hertfordshire Digital Awards was founded in 2015 to showcase online work from across the county, and is the 19th Digital Awards event since 2013.

SA Law, Fluid Studios and Advanced Web Designs grabbed the limelight after picking up two Gold awards each.

Solicitors SA Law, from St Albans, won Gold in “Blog” for The Reluctant Divorcee and “Use of Social Media for Business”.

Fluid Studios, a web design firm in Baldock, came out on top in “Website: B2B” for their SEC Group project and in “Website: Marketing & Creative” for their work on behalf of Big Reach Marketing.

Topping the podium for “Responsive Website” was Steven Oates by Advanced Web Designs, Hertford, who also led the way in “Website: Tourism & Hospitality” for their design on behalf of Holiday Tots.

The overall “Website” Gold was scooped by Hitchin-based Insites Digital for Town and Country Estate Agents, while HK Jewellery by Daymedia won out in “Online Retailer”.

Tasting success in “Use Of Video For Business” was Asset TV – based in Harpenden – which offers video content solutions to the investment markets.

Victorious in “Website: Small Business” was Hemel Hempstead PPC agency My Mustard and Bishops Stortford College saw glory in “Website: School, Education or Charity”.

Walking away with the top prize in “Website: Lifestyle & Culture” was CycleFox by Rubber Cheese, in Sawbridgeworth, and in “Website: Sports & Entertainment” Fangs FX by Smoking Rocket, based in Tring.

Hertfordshire Digital Awards 2017 – The Winners

BLOG
GOLD: The Reluctant Divorcee by SA Law LLP
SILVER: Vivacious Mum by Kiran Singh
BRONZE: VSL Group

ONLINE RETAILER
GOLD: HK Jewellery by Daymedia
SILVER: JSapphirah London by MzBee
BRONZE: Ultimate Performance by The Creative Clinic

RESPONSIVE WEBSITE
GOLD: Steven Oates by Advanced Web Designs
SILVER: Longcroft Cat Hotel by Link Digital
BRONZE: KDW Independent Financial Planning

USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS
GOLD: SA Law LLP
SILVER: HitchinTV
BRONZE: St Albans Cathedral by iUVO

USE OF VIDEO FOR BUSINESS
GOLD: Asset TV
SILVER: Cincera Productions
BRONZE: IGL Films

WEBSITE
GOLD: Town and Country Estate Agents by Insites Digital
SILVER: Vertas Group by Rubber Cheese
BRONZE: Fresh Lemon

WEBSITE: B2B
GOLD: SEC Group by Fluid Studios
SILVER: Parsons Architecture + Design by Shy Studios
BRONZE: Vertas Group by Rubber Cheese

WEBSITE: LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
GOLD: CycleFox by Rubber Cheese
SILVER: Ruby’s Rambles by Minos Creative
BRONZE: Sejal Anujah Shah by WPMaintain

WEBSITE: MARKETING & CREATIVE
GOLD: Big Reach Marketing by Fluid Studios
SILVER: MCS Creative
BRONZE: FWA

WEBSITE: SCHOOL, EDUCATION OR CHARITY
GOLD: Bishop’s Stortford College
SILVER: Mathematics Mastery by Rubber Cheese
BRONZE: Kings Langley Secondary School by FSE Design

WEBSITE: SMALL BUSINESS
GOLD: My Mustard
SILVER: Mainline Baits by Advanced Web Designs
BRONZE: The Illustrated Chef BBQ Company

WEBSITE: SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT
GOLD: Fangs FX by Smoking Rocket
SILVER: R3Store Studios by Netrix
BRONZE: Ultimate Performance by The Creative Clinic

WEBSITE: TOURISM & HOSPITALITY
GOLD: Holiday Tots by Advanced Web Designs
SILVER: Plymouth Gin Distillery by Rubber Cheese
BRONZE: Studley House Farm by Fluid Studios

 

HERTS: HDA17 Finalists Announced

The finalists of the Hertfordshire Digital Awards 2017 have been announced and tickets for the prestigious Presentation Evening are now available.

The remaining applicants in each category are now in the running for clinching Gold, Silver or Bronze awards at the third HDA dinner ceremony on September 21, at Tithe Barns, Knebworth House.

Tickets are on sale now and are expected to move quickly, following last year’s sell-out event.

An abundance of networking and entertainment is lined up alongside the awards presentation.

Presenting awards at the Presentation Evening will be Headline Sponsor Nimbus Hosting and Associate Sponsor Distinctly alongside a number of influential organisations across the county.

HDA17 is also supported by Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Department for International Trade, Welwyn & Hatfield Borough Council and Clare Reeves Voiceovers.

The Hertfordshire Digital Awards 2017 Presentation Evening will include an arrival drink, two-course meal and a complimentary third of a bottle of wine person.

The event will be hosted by the former BBC presenter Robin Bailey.

Tickets are priced at £62.50+VAT with a special 10% discount on tables for ten click

The HDAs is the first and only scheme within the county dedicated to celebrating the online achievements of businesses, schools and charities.


Hertfordshire Digital Awards 2017 Finalists

BLOG

Coffee with Meg
Eurochange
High Living Barnet
The DADventurer
The Reluctant Divorcee by SA Law LLP
Vivacious Mum by Kiran Singh
VSL Group

ONLINE RETAILER

COSMO Restaurants by The Lonely Pixel
HK Jewellery by Daymedia
JSapphirah London by MzBee
Marketing 4 Construction by Professional IMPACT
Plymouth Gin Distillery by Rubber Cheese
Travel Destinations by Link Digital
Ultimate Performance by The Creative Clinic

RESPONSIVE WEBSITE

KDW Independent Financial Planning
Longcroft Cat Hotel by Link Digital
Loseley Events by VISIX
My Moovie
New to Watford
Steven Oates by Advanced Web Designs
Wenta by Daymedia

USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS

AIM Sales and Marketing
Eurochange
HitchinTV
My Mustard
SA Law LLP
St Albans Cathedral by iUVO
University of Hertfordshire: International Office

USE OF VIDEO FOR BUSINESS

Asset TV
Cincera Productions
IGL Films
A Little Bit of Networking by My Mustard
MyMoovie
University of Hertfordshire: International Office
West Herts College by IGL Films

WEBSITE

Absolute Creative Media
Fresh Lemon
Hamilton Fraser Insurance by The Lonely Pixel
Kirkman & Jourdain by Link Digital
Rubica by Tutch Media
Town and Country Estate Agents by Insites Digital
Vertas Group by Rubber Cheese

WEBSITE: B2B

Kirkman & Jourdain by Link Digital
Maincourse Associates by iUVO
Mercer & Hole Chartered Accountants
Parsons Architecture + Design by Shy Studios
Portas Consulting by Daymedia
SEC Group by Fluid Studios
Vertas Group by Rubber Cheese

WEBSITE: LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

CycleFox by Rubber Cheese
Dinings by Tutch Media
Muddy Stilettos Herts
New to Watford
Ruby’s Rambles by Minos Creative
Sejal Anujah Shah by WPMaintain
Vapelab by Tutch Media

WEBSITE: MARKETING & CREATIVE

Absolute Creative Media
Big Reach Marketing by Fluid Studios
FWA
Ghost Pictures by Shy Studios
MCS Creative
MW Studio
The Reluctant Divorcee by SA Law LLP

WEBSITE: SCHOOL, EDUCATION OR CHARITY

Art In A Corner / EAZL by Absolute Creative Media
Bishop’s Stortford College
Hertfordshire International College
Housing Design Awards by Insites Digital
Kings Langley Secondary School by FSE Design
Mathematics Mastery by Rubber Cheese
St Anthony’s School for Girls by Innermedia

WEBSITE: SMALL BUSINESS

Bottle Bazaar
High Living Barnet
Mainline Baits by Advanced Web Designs
My Mustard
The Horse Diva
The Illustrated Chef BBQ Company
Town and Country Estate Agents by Insites Digital

WEBSITE: SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT

adidas by Stella McCartney SS17 by iUVO
All 4 Kids by Link Digital
Fangs FX by Smoking Rocket
Gymbo’s by Advanced Web Designs
Protec Soccer by Advanced Web Designs
R3Store Studios by Netrix
Ultimate Performance by The Creative Clinic

WEBSITE: TOURISM & HOSPITALITY

Amber Suite by WPMaintain
COSMO Restaurants by The Lonely Pixel
Holiday Tots by Advanced Web Designs
Plymouth Gin Distillery by Rubber Cheese
Studley House Farm by Fluid Studios
The Illustrated Chef BBQ Company
Wood Grill Restaurant Stansted by Professional IMPACT

SURREY: Sonin Celebrate Gold at SDA17

Following the third annual Surrey Digital Awards on 9 March, we spoke to Paul Jarrett, Managing Director at Sonin App Development, who won Gold for ‘Mobile App’ for their work for Forfeit Football.

Could you tell us a little about your organisation?
At Sonin we specialise in helping businesses and entrepreneurs in Surrey and beyond to utilise mobile apps and the latest technology to reach their customers, improve their businesses and create the most engaging mobile experiences. We’ve worked with a range of clients, from large enterprises, to SMEs, to independent start-ups.

What made you get involved in the SDAs?
As The Surrey Digital Awards is a platform to reward both innovation and forward thinking, we wanted to showcase to all businesses how effective mobile technology can be to achieve their goals, and see real results. Getting involved also gave us the chance to see fantastic examples of how other businesses are leveraging digital technology in new and innovative ways!

What does winning gold at the SDAs mean to your organisation?
Winning gold is a huge achievement not only for us, but also for our clients. In such a competitive market where first impressions are vital to the success of an app, it’s important that we give our clients that competitive edge to help them stand out from the crowd.

Where will you be putting your award?
In our reception area right next to our bronze award from 2016! We want everyone who walks through our doors to know that we only create award winning apps for all of our clients.

What was your most memorable moment from the SDA presentation evening?
Hearing that we won gold is naturally the most memorable moment for us. However, the energy in the room was fantastic and it was great to see so many businesses passionate about creating immersive digital experiences for themselves and their clients. Innovation is key, and this was certainly on show!

What’s the best thing about the Surrey business community?
The Surrey business community is a friendly and supportive network, who not only celebrate businesses who are embracing new technology, but encourage others during a time where digital is vital for all businesses.

You can find out more about Sonin at their website right here.

SURREY: Plug And Play Pick Up Two Awards at SDA17

Following the third annual Surrey Digital Awards on 9 March, we spoke to Gabrielle Richardson, Operations Manager at Plug and Play, who won Gold for ‘Website: Lifestyle & Culture’ for their work for Somlo, as well as silver in ‘Website: Sports & Entertainment’ for The Jockey Club Live.

Could you tell us a little about your organisation?
We are a full service digital agency offering web design and digital marketing services to a wide range of clients. We started out in a spare bedroom in 2006 and now have a team of 15 and offices in Surrey and London. Our clients are a mix of small businesses, startups and large corporates each looking to improve their online presence, which is where we come in.

What made you get involved in the SDAs?
We love working with our clients in Surrey- it’s where we started out and we’ve always had a strong presence in the area. We’re really proud of the work we’ve done recently and jumped at the chance to showcase it.

What does winning gold at the SDAs mean to your organisation?
Being recognised for our hard work with our nomination was really exciting, so winning was just the icing on the cake. Somlo was a real passion project for us so we’re thrilled that it’s been so well received.

Where will you be putting your award?
We’re leaving our office in Godalming to move to a base in Guildford over the next few months, so we are looking forward to our award taking pride of place in our new home!

What was your most memorable moment from the SDA presentation evening?
Sadly we weren’t able to make it to the night itself! We were really disappointed not to be able to pick up our award or meet any of the other nominees on the night, but will definitely be there next year.

What’s the best thing about the Surrey business community?
The variety of different businesses in Surrey is really interesting. We work with clients based in both London and Surrey and our Surrey clients are certainly as much fun as the London ones!

You can find a lovely post by the company themselves on their website target=”_blank”>right here.

SURREY: DadBlogUK Discuss Winning Gold at SDA17

Following the third annual Surrey Digital Awards on 9 March, we spoke to John Adams, founder of DadBlogUK, who won Gold in our ‘Blog’ category.

Could you tell us a little about your organisation?
I originally set my company up as a PR company. It was something I did on the side while blogging about parenting and fatherhood was a hobby. Over time, however, I realised I could make money as a blogger and turned the business on its head with the focus on blogging and writing with PR becoming a sideline. The fact remains, however, that I am the main carer for my children. I fit my blogging activities around family life: the school run, after school clubs, homework etc.

What made you get involved in the SDAs?
The Internet is without borders and operates internationally. This is how I have always approached my blogging. Although I have an International focus, I thought it was about time to cement my reputation as a Surrey-based blogger. I entered the awards in the hope it may increase my profile. I certainly didn’t expect to win a Gold award.

What does winning gold at the SDAs mean to your organisation?
Winning the Gold award is superb recognition of what I do. It increases my profile and further demonstrates that us bloggers are now a part of the mainstream media scene and have influence.

Where will you be putting your award?
I will be putting up some picture hooks and hanging it on the wall in my office.

What was your most memorable moment from the SDA presentation evening?
The most memorable moment was when Robin started reading out the description of the Blog award Gold winner. I was convinced Informed Choice was going to win but he started describing a parenting blog. As I was the only parenting blog in the finals it was clear I had won the award. I then had a minor panic as I knew I’d have to get on stage and say a few words when I hadn’t prepared anything! I was sat next to Catherine from Deco Baby who won the Silver Online retailer award. She had turned to me beforehand and said she thought I was going to win. They were very kind words but I was totally unconvinced until the big reveal.

What’s the best thing about the Surrey business community?
I have always found the Surrey business community to be very friendly and approachable. Being so close to London, I think the community is influenced by the city and very dynamic. I am glad to be a part of it.

You can target=”_blank”>find out more about DadBlogUK by clicking here.

CAMBRIDGESHIRE: Musings & More Strike Blog Gold at CDA16

Following the second annual Cambridgeshire Digital Awards on 24 November, we spoke to Emily, founder of lifestyle blog Musings & More, who won Gold on her CDA debut in the Blog: Entertainment category.

Could you tell us a little about your organisation?
Musings & More is a lifestyle blog I created in 2015. It provides a corner of the internet that features posts on a range of subjects including beauty, baking, travel and more and is there to provide my readers to enjoy a bit of light entertainment.

What made you get involved in the CDAs?
I remember hovering over the page for a while before I actually submitted my application but essentially it was a bit of a dare for myself because I can be a bit of a pessimist. “Do it! Enter! What’s the worst that could happen?” And look what did happen!

What does winning gold at the CDAs mean to your organisation?
It’s huge for me, especially given that my blog is fairly small. It’s given me such a boost of confidence for Musings & More and I’ve been inundated with supportive tweets and emails after it was announced I’d won which is the best thing.

Where will you be putting your award?
It’s going straight on the wall – and not in the bathroom either!

What was your most memorable moment from the CDA presentation evening?
Where do I start? I genuinely didn’t expect to even place bronze or silver so to come away with gold was staggering for me. Right from shakily making my way up the stage, everything was a blur and I was in shock for the rest of the evening. Not to mention to top off an already incredible night, I went and won an Apple TV for the selfie competition!

What’s the best thing about the Cambridgeshire business community?
Everyone is so passionate and so hardworking, you can tell they really care about what they are doing and I think that goes for everyone.

You can find out more about Musings & More here.

CAMBRIDGESHIRE: Cambridge Saxophone Strike Gold on Debut

Following the second annual Cambridgeshire Digital Awards on 24 November, we spoke to Dan Forshaw, founder of groundbreaking tuition site Cambridge Saxophone, who won Gold at their first ever CDAs in the Online Retailer category.

Could you tell us a little about your organisation?
I setup Cambridge Saxophone five years ago when I moved to Cambridge from Bangor, Co Down. I had kept a number of my students from Northern Ireland on over Skype and I wanted to be able to offer resources for them as I’d taken on a position as Director of Music for a Parish Church and my teaching time was limited. I did my research and worked out ways I could offer video lessons for subscribers, allowing me to ‘sell my time more than once.’ One thing Steve Jobs and Bill Gates agreed on was that IT was yet to truly revolutionise education in the way it had done many other areas of our lives, I believe sites like Cambridge Saxophone.com are doing this now!

What made you get involved in the CDAs?
I got involved in the CDA’s as a way of exploring how I could widen the appeal of my website and hopefully bring more students to the site.

What does winning gold at the CDAs mean to your organisation?
It inspires me to work even harder to deliver a inspiring, imaginative and innovative website to my customers.

Where will you be putting your award?
It’s on the wall in my studio, under a picture of me with three of my saxophone playing heroes, Chris Potter, Joshua Redman and Mark Turner.

What was your most memorable moment from the CDA presentation evening?
Convincing myself that as I was sat right at the back and hadn’t won anything, then to know as soon as the compare mentioned ‘Client Testimonials’ as the first thing the judges noticed, I knew I’d won.

What’s the best thing about the Cambridgeshire business community?
Constantly trying to improve – there is a recognition that there is something very special in the ‘Cambridge brand’ that speaks of high quality customer service and a first class product.

You can find out more about Cambridge Saxophone at their website here.

CAMBRIDGESHIRE: Two Years, Two Golds for Bridges Cafe

Following the second annual Cambridgeshire Digital Awards on 24 November, we spoke to Mandy Knapp, head of social media for Cambridge cafe Bridges, who won Gold for the second consecutive year for ‘Use of Social Media for Business’.

Could you tell us a little about your organisation?
Bridges cafe have been in their Bridge St location for 20 years, and were serve healthy dishes and juices using fresh seasonal produce. We also provide a great catering service.

What made you get involved in the CDAs?
We started getting involved with social media in recent years to reach out to new audiences. Vibrant pictures of our food looked great on the different platforms, and we had enormous fun getting the word out about what we do. We realised that people responded well to our message, and liked our engaging approach. So we thought, why not? Lets see if the judges of CDA like what we do too!

What does winning gold at the CDAs mean to your organisation?
Its so great to have that confirmation that what are trying to do really is seen as fun, engaging and effective. To win it two years running is amazing, especially as the competition was so hot this year. Its not all about the big corporates doing big campaigns. Us little indies can be in the mix too!

Where will you be putting your award?
Both our awards are proudly displayed in the window of our cafe.

What was your most memorable moment from the CDA presentation evening?
The shock of winning for a second time, when we really didn’t expect it. And we were on table 4, with two other gold winners. I think no4 will be our new lucky number!

What’s the best thing about the Cambridgeshire business community?
Everyone is so friendly and supportive of each other. Lots of businesses get together to do joint ventures, combining their skills, and this makes for a friendly and innovative business community.

You can find out more about Bridges Cambridge at their website here.

CAMBRIDGESHIRE: Sookio Discuss Winning Gold at CDA16

Following the second annual Cambridgeshire Digital Awards on 24 November, we spoke to Sue Keogh, founder of Cambridge-based digital agency Sookio, who won Gold for ‘Website: Marketing & Creative’.

Could you tell us a little about your organisation?
Sookio is a digital agency in central Cambridge specialising in content – things like copywriting, video production, design and social media. We do consultancy and training too, for people who want to improve their communications from within.

What made you get involved in the CDAs?
We do good work, and want to get recognised for it!

What does winning gold at the CDAs mean to your organisation?
We care about our work and we care about our clients, so it’s good to get industry recognition like this.

 

Sookio at Cambridgeshire Digital Awards 2016

 

Where will you be putting your award?
It’s currently balanced on some books until we find time to put it up next to last year’s silvers! Just busy busy at the moment…

What was your most memorable moment from the CDA presentation evening?
I’m worried about Say Sally May falling off the stage and breaking her leg to be honest.

What’s the best thing about the Cambridgeshire business community?
I’ll sum it up in five adjectives: Supportive, intelligent, fun, cutting edge, driven.

You can find out more about Sookio at their website here.

MILTON KEYNES: Aubergine Pick Up Gold and Silver at MKDA16

Following the Milton Keynes Digital Awards on 13 October, we spoke to Mark Tomkins, Creative Director at Aubergine, who won Gold for ‘Website: Lifestyle & Culture’, and Silver for ‘Website’.

Could you tell us a little about your organisation?
We’re Aubergine! We think we’re the perfect bake of designers and developers put together into a delicious dish of good quality, commercial design and skilful but clever development with a solid marketing base. We’re a team of 10 girls and boys with a range of skills from design, development and Search. This year we’ve taken the exciting move to expand the business and have set the plan to become a great company and not a great big one.

What made you get involved in the MKDAs?
We were actually asked and encouraged to get involved by one of our vital partners, Nimbus. At Aubergine, we’re all about strong and mutually supportive partnerships across our industry. It will increases the overall quality of that we all put out there.

What does winning gold at the MKDAs mean to your organisation?
It’s massive – We started an apprenticeship programme 18 months ago to bring on-stream two web developer apprentices as we took a view that we should grow our own talent to ensure quality and consistency – and to give something back a bit – it’s huge for those guys being involved in projects that get awards – a real encouragement for them. For the older campaigners, such as myself (ed. this is completed by Mark Tomkins), it’s about some peer acknowledgement that what we’re doing is a good job and best represents our industry.

Where will you be putting your award?
They’re up – we’ll nearly. If only we had the same high quality skills at DIY as we do design and web development! They’ll be on the main reception / meeting room wall for all to see – we even give our guests a guided tour of the two plaques when they arrive! (Not that we’re overly proud or anything)

What was your most memorable moment from the MKDA presentation evening?
Well, winning the gold for the Lifestyle & Culture category was epic, but winning the silver for the overall award was completely unexpected and were totally stunned. We must have looked like two rabbits in the headlights on stage waving their arms around in a manic celebration! We also very much enjoyed meeting some new friends with who we’ve connected and also seeing our partners and peers also win awards.

What’s the best thing about the Milton Keynes business community?
It’s supportive. It’s diverse and, above all the MK business community is just that, a community, and it allows you as a business to connect with other companies in both the same sectors and new ones that you can start to forge strong and long-lasting business relationships. We LOVE doing business in MK!

You can visit the Aubergine website by clicking here.