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!