NEW: How to Make the Most of The Digital Awards

Wherever you’re based, our Digital Awards (DA) schemes offer excellent county-wide exposure.

But if you’re sponsoring a category, how do you make the most of such a great promotional opportunity?

And if you’re lucky enough to be named as a finalist, how do you use this achievement to bring you maximum publicity?

Danielle from Indy Consultancy, our Content Partner for the Essex Digital Awards (EDAs) 2018, is a past sponsor. She’s been involved in the EDAs in a number of capacities for nearly five years, and during that time, she’s witnessed different approaches towards self-promotion and experimented with various marketing ideas.

She’s collected all of her experience into this article, which lists tips to help sponsors and finalists make the most of the Awards before, during and after the main award-giving event.

Sponsors

As part of the largest business awards in the county, the DA sponsorship packages offer exceptional value as it is, but believe it or not, there are even more ways you can use the scheme to get your brand in front of potential customers. It may take a little time and organisation, but the end results are definitely worth the effort.

1.Make room for your marketing materials

It doesn’t matter if it’s a simple roller banner or a whole box full of branded goodies – the more marketing collateral you can place in front of an audience, the more likely they are to remember you. Always speak to the event organisers to see if it will be possible to display your merchandise at a key point during the evening, such as the welcome drinks.

2.It’s all about the freebies

Everyone loves to think they’re getting something for free – including Indy! So why not arrange to give away a unique gift to everyone who attends the event?

You could even take this one step further and organise an exclusive competition for attendees. Regular sponsors Nimbus Hosting have hosted some great giveaways in the past – for example, at the Hertfordshire Digital Awards in September (2017), they gave guests the chance to win a variety of prizes by running a tombola draw. The setup encouraged loads of interaction with the company’s staff (and their Twitter account), and the winners were over the moon with their free gifts.

3.Reach out to other sponsors

Whenever you attend any kind of awards evening or networking event, you’re going to be surrounded by other companies that are clamouring for attention. But why not work with them instead of against them? You never know – you may end up referring business their way, and vice versa.

My advice would to be always take the time to meet and greet other event sponsors and understand what they do. The Awards now offers pre-event networking events that give you the chance to make these valuable connections in a less formal setting.

And if you don’t get a chance to talk to everyone, make a note of their contact details and introduce yourself via email. A quick ‘hello’ might just secure your place as a preferred supplier, if the need arises.

4.Introduce yourself to the finalists

Being shortlisted for an award is always a big deal, so why not give our finalists and winners a well-deserved pat on the back? Whether you choose to approach them in person to offer your congratulations, or drop them a message via email or Twitter, the sentiment will not go unnoticed and you’re sure to stick in their minds.

A great way to keep a record of the winners on the night is to make notes next to the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in the Awards programme. It may mean foregoing a couple of glasses of wine during the main presentation, but you can always make up for that afterwards…

5.Get writing

Sponsoring the DAs is certainly a great conversation starter, so talk to your audience by putting together some timely, relevant content. To start with, you could write a blog on your website that announces your involvement in the scheme. If you want to take things one step further, you could put useful tips into a mini-whitepaper and hand it out exclusively at the event.

I would recommend rallying support for the event using your various social accounts, too. The advantage here is that the DAs already boast a huge online following. The Essex Digital Awards’ Twitter account, for example, has nearly 4,000 followers at time of writing. So if you talk about the awards as often as you can (and via as many different channels as you can), I guarantee you’ll generate a great deal more exposure for your company.

(If you’re struggling to find the time or the resources to create this kind of content, this is something an external copywriting agency such as Indy can help you with. Just a thought.).

6.Be creative!

If you’ve got extra ideas, don’t be afraid to share them with the Awards organisers. They’re always looking to add as much value to your awards experience as they can, and they’re very open to new ways of engaging their guests and associates.

Finalists and Winners

If you’ve made it to the finals, you deserve a great big well done. You’ve beaten hundreds of other entrants and you’re going to soak up the amazing atmosphere at the next Awards ceremony. But the benefits of being celebrated as a finalist don’t have to end there.

1.Blitz your social accounts

I’m sure you’re very socially active anyway, but make sure you shout about your achievements by announcing your finalist status via social media. It’s an easy way to boost your reputation and encourage enquiries in one fell swoop.

If you’re lucky enough to take away Gold, Silver or Bronze on the night, live-Tweet from the event and share your good news with the rest of the world! Use the right hashtag to associate yourself with the event and you’ll put your brand in front of even more people. For the next Essex Digital Awards, it will be #EDA18 (and it always follows that format for each county).

Bear in mind, too, that the Digital Awards team will be sharing various posts and graphics relating to your win; make sure you like and share everything you see for maximum gain.

2.Prepare your speech in case you win

Nobody ever expects to win – but if and when you do, you’ll be invited to take to the stage and deliver an acceptance speech to around 300 successful business men and women. Have a think about what you’d like to say and who you’d like to thank. It’s worth jotting down a handful of notes prior to the event to make sure this information is fresh in your mind.

3.Share your news

Write a blog post announcing your win – or, better still, send out a press release to industry contacts. The media are always keen to hear about business success in their area, so you may even be able to generate some extra exposure from a local newspaper or community website.

4.Make use of your unique banners

All Award winners will automatically receive a unique digital banner from the team. These can be used on your company website and even within your email signatures, so make good use of them.

5.Watch out for your video interview

If you’ve been involved with the Awards before, you’ll know that all Gold winners take part in a video interview straight after they have collected their award on the night. This footage will be online shortly after the ceremony, so keep an eye out for it and be sure to share, share, share!

6.Show off your accolades

Prizes are a fantastic talking point in any work space – and if you’ve won an award, you want to show it off to as many people as possible, right? If you manage multiple offices, be sure to buy a plaque for each location and display it proudly in a prominent place.

I’ve mentioned a few ways of making the most of the Awards here, but this list is by no means definitive. I’d love to hear your own ideas in the Comments section below.

PM Declares Support for Superfast Broadband

The Prime Minister has declared her future support for High Speed Broadband in Parliament today (September 7, 2016).

Teresa May, who came to office in July, gave her backing to the UK-wide rollout of internet connectivity in the first Prime Minister’s Questions since the Summer recess.

Her statement came following a call for continued Government backing for the Superfast Broadband schemes across the country from James Heappey, MP, who supports a rollout in his Somerset constituency.

Mrs May said: “I am very happy to give my Right Honourable Friend that assurance and also to join with him in paying tribute to his Council and the work that they are doing and indeed all those involved in that innovative scheme. High Speed Broadband is an important part of the 21st century infrastructure and we will be doing everything we can to ensure it is there and available for people because that will enable us to develop jobs and grow prosperity in this country”.

The Digital Awards is working with and fully supports Superfast Broadband rollouts in Essex, Surrey and Cambridgeshire through Superfast Essex, Surrey Connects and Connecting Cambridgeshire.

 

 

 

SURREY: SDA17 Entry Opens September 1

Entry for the Surrey Digital Awards 2017 will open on September 1.

Categories for the scheme include “Use of Social Media for Business”, “Mobile App” and “Website”.

SDA17 is the first and only Awards scheme dedicated to celebrating the online achievements of businesses charities and schools across the county.

SURREY: SDA16 Winners On Film

The team behind the Surrey Digital Awards has released a set of video interviews with the Gold winners at that year’s event.

SDA16 unearthed an array of digital talent from businesses, charities and schools across the county on March 10 and we caught them on film, right after they claimed their awards.

Click here to view our interviews with winners and sponsors of the event including representatives from Surrey County Council, Nero Blanco IT, Surrey Chambers of Commerce and Surrey Mirror.

SURREY: The Mirror Lauds Surrey Digital Awards 2016

The team at the SDAs love working with the Surrey Mirror, who have been our Media Partner since day one.

Following our second Presentation Evening at HG Wells Conference & Events Centre in March, the reporters down at The Mirror began compiling fantastic coverage of the big night.

In case you missed it, click the image above to see the two-page special about the fabulous winners and sponsors of SDA16.

SURREY: SDA16 Winners Announced

The online achievements of businesses, charities and schools across Surrey have been celebrated at the second Surrey Digital Awards.

Accolades across 16 categories including ‘Website’, ‘Mobile App’ and ‘Use of Social Media for Business’ were presented to deserving organisations at the HG Wells Conference & Events Centre on March 10.

Compering the event was former BBC broadcaster Robin Bailey who presented Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes to a host of worthy winners.

Rob Bloom, the Group Head of Digital & Social Media at McLaren F1, based in Woking, gave an inspiring key note speech ahead of the awards ceremony about the global firm’s digital marketing strategy.

Other special guests included Cllr Linda Kemeny, from the headline sponsor Surrey County Council, Chief Executive of Surrey Chambers of Commerce, Louise Punter, Editor of the Surrey Mirror, Dee Blaylock, and Conrad Murray from associate sponsor Nero Blanco IT.

The Surrey Digital Awards was set up in 2015 solely to showcase online work.

SDA16 was headline sponsored by Surrey County Council and backed by the Mirror, Nero Blanco IT, Surrey Chambers of Commerce, Gatwick Airport, Woking Borough Council and Capricorn Media.

Surrey Digital Awards 2016 – The Winners

Blog: Business in association with Woking Borough Council
GOLD – Ramsac
SILVER – Plantpassion
BRONZE – WATB Creative

Blog: Entertainment
GOLD – Expert Home Tips by Veneficus
SILVER – All About U
BRONZE – UHub

Digital Innovation Award in association with University of Surrey Business School
GOLD – Physical Digital

Mobile App in association with Gatwick Airport
GOLD – StaySafe
SILVER – BrandStreet
BRONZE –
uMAXit Football by Big Orange Software

Online Retailer
GOLD – Corporate Baby
SILVER – Film My Show by The Big Yellow Feet Production Company
BRONZE – The Guardian Bookshop by Lab

Responsive Website
GOLD – Cielo Move by Valiant Design
SILVER – Chaddesley Sanford
BRONZE – Mirage Parties by WATB

Spirit of Surrey in association with Surrey Chambers of Commerce
GOLD – Brooklands Museum

Use of Social Media for Business in association with Surrey Mirror
GOLD – The Guide 2 Surrey by TG Media Group
SILVER – Surrey Mummy
BRONZE – taxhelp.uk.com Ltd

Use of Video for Business
GOLD – Buttons Children’s Parties
SILVER – The Big Yellow Feet Production Company
BRONZE – Ramsac

Website in association with Surrey County Council
GOLD – WS Planning & Architecture
SILVER – Corporate Baby
BRONZE – Inalytics by Valiant Design

Website: B2B in association with University of Surrey Business School
GOLD – Sage Pay by Lab
SILVER – Flic Creative
BRONZE – Corporate Baby

Website: Lifestyle & Culture
GOLD – La Residence Interiors
SILVER – The Guardian Bookshop by Lab
BRONZE – Maag Kitchens

Website: Marketing & Creative
GOLD – Flic Creative
SILVER – WATB Creative
BRONZE – Voices UK

Website: School, Education or Charity
GOLD – Hemsley Fraser by Lab
SILVER – Oakleaf Enterprise
BRONZE – Rydens Enterprise School

Website: Small Business in association with Nero Blanco IT
GOLD – The Great Holiday Collection by OH Creative
SILVER – Aubeterre Blue
BRONZE – 418:Conf by WATB

Website: Sports & Entertainment
GOLD – Film My Show by The Big Yellow Feet Production Company
SILVER – Voices UK
BRONZE – The Guide 2 Surrey by TG Media Group

SURREY: Digital Boss At McLaren To Speak At SDA16

The man behind the digital media strategy for Formula 1 giant McLaren has been lined up as guest speaker at the Surrey Digital Awards 2016.

Rob Bloom, Group Head of Digital & Social Media, at McLaren – which is based in Woking – will share insight with finalists and sponsors at SDA16 on the motorsport firm’s  “significant strides” made in the digital and social media arena.

Mr Bloom has been instrumental in growing and driving McLaren’s online, social media and mobile strategy since joining the company in 2012.

He has established a sophisticated fan engagement and partner value proposition for the McLaren Formula 1 team, delivering against brand, commercial and communications objectives.

Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso currently drive for their F1 team.

Mr Bloom’s work has repositioned McLaren’s global content and social media engagement strategy, delivered a number of standout campaigns, and established the brand’s mobile-first platform ethos – including the launch of the McLaren App in 2014.

Prior to McLaren, Mr Bloom held roles within various blue-chip FTSE organisations, including HomeServe PLC, and founded a successful digital content marketing agency.

The Surrey Digital Awards celebrate the online achievements of businesses, charities and schools from across the county.

The awards are supported by Surrey County Council (Headline Sponsor), Nero Blanco (Associate Sponsor), Surrey Chambers of Commerce (Key Supporter), Surrey Mirror (Media Partner), Gatwick Airport, Woking Borough Council and Capricorn Media.

The Presentation Evening  will be held at HG Wells Conference & Events Centre, Woking, on March 10.

The event includes an arrival drink, two-course meal, 1/3 bottle of wine per person ad on-stage entertainment and the awards ceremony.

Tickets are available here http://sda16.eventbrite.co.uk

SURREY: Nero Blanco Login As Associate Sponsor of SDA16

A leading IT firm has signed up as Associate Sponsor of the Surrey Digital Awards 2016.

Nero Blanco IT helps companies migrate or roll-out new software programs including Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, Azure, Active Directory and Lotus Notes.

The team, based in Banstead, has provided IT expertise to many organisations including JP Morgan Chase, Birmingham City Council and HSBC.

The move to join up with SDA16 will see them present the “Blog: Business Award” at the Presentation Evening on March 10, at HG Wells Conference & Events Centre, Woking.

They company – which promotes the strap line “Let Us Migrate You, Hassle Free” – also benefit from a range of other benefits through taking the position of Associate Sponsor.

Conrad Murray, Senior Messaging Architect at Nero Blanco, said:”We are delighted to be supporting the Surrey Digital Awards, an event which is celebrating businesses from across the county through their digital work.

“Digital technology lies at the core of our business as we help companies effectively and efficiently launch, migrate and successfully manage their email communications systems.

“With a combined total of more than 50 years’ experience amongst our team in the messaging arena.

“We are perfectly placed to work for businesses who want to improve all aspects of their email messaging infrastructure from system migration to storage solutions and everything in between.

“The Surrey Digital Awards is a brilliant initiative and we can’t wait to meet the finalists in March.”

The Surrey Digital Awards is the first and only scheme exclusively to recognise the online achievements of businesses, schools an charities from across the county.

Iain Johnson, from the team behind the SDAs, describes the Nero Blanco’s involvement as a “highly credible appointment”.

“Nero Blanco are experts in their field, which is working with companies to migrate or roll-out new software programs including Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, Azure, Active Directory and Lotus Notes.

“To have them on board as our Associate Sponsor is great news and I would urge everyone attending our Presentation Evening on March 10 to meet these guys, they have a lot of wisdom to share”.

To find out more about Nero Blanco and their services visit http://www.neroblanco.co.uk

SURREY: SDA 2016 – Finalists Announced

The finalists of the Surrey Digital Awards 2016 have been announced and the Presentation Evening tickets are now available.

The remaining contenders in each of the categories are now in with a chance of clinching Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes at the winners’ ceremony on March 10 at HG Wells Conference and Events Centre, in Woking.

Tickets are on sale now and are expected to shift quickly following last year, which was hailed a tremendous success.

SDA organisers claim this year’s event will be the “best one yet”, with plenty of  networking and organised fun lined up alongside the awards presentation.

Presenting an award at the Presentation Evening will be Nero Blanco IT, which signed up as Associate Sponsor for the scheme this week.

Nero Blanco IT helps companies migrate or roll-out new software programs including Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, Azure, Active Directory and Lotus Notes.

The team, based in Banstead, has provided IT expertise to many organisations including JP Morgan Chase, Birmingham City Council and HSBC.

Conrad Murray, Senior Messaging Architect at Nero Blanco IT, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Surrey Digital Awards, an event which is celebrating businesses from across the county through their digital work.

“Digital technology lies at the core of our business as we help companies effectively and efficiently launch, migrate and successfully manage their email communications systems.

“With a combined total of more than 50 years’ experience amongst our team in the messaging arena.

“We are perfectly placed to work for businesses who want to improve all aspects of their email messaging infrastructure from system migration to storage solutions and everything in between.

“The Surrey Digital Awards is a brilliant initiative and we can’t wait to meet the finalists in March.”

The Surrey Digital Awards 2016 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 £54.95 + VAT with a special 10% discount on tables for ten. To purchase tickets click here http://sda16.eventbrite.co.uk/

The SDAs, which are being supported by Surrey County Council, Surrey Mirror, Surrey Chambers of Commerce and the University of Surrey Business School, are the first and only scheme within the county to celebrate the online achievements of businesses, schools and charities.


Surrey Digital Awards 2016 – The Finalists

Blog: Business
Inside Outside Marquee Hire
Plantpassion
Ramsac
Rapport Solutions
Reigate Grammar School Weather Station
Resourceaholic by Glyn School
WATB Creative

Blog: Entertainment
Adele Mitchell
All About U
Busylizzy
Expert Home Tips by Veneficus
Kirstie Smillie
Media For Good
UHub

Mobile App
BrandStreet
Explore Thames by Big Orange Software
StaySafe
The Good Time Guide by TG Media Group
uMAXit Football by Big Orange Software

Online Retailer
Aubeterre Blue
Corporate Baby
Deco Baby
Film My Show by The Big Yellow Feet Production Company
Pomegranate Living
The Guardian Bookshop by Lab
Thinklaser by WATB

Responsive Website
418:Conf by WATB
Better Bones by Lab
Chaddesley Sanford
Cielo Move by Valiant Design
Maag Kitchens
Mirage Parties by WATB
WS Planning & Architecture

Use of Social Media for Business
Challengers
Cophall Parking Gatwick by Space & Time Media
Denbies Wine Estate
Howard Cundey LLP
Surrey Mummy
taxhelp.uk.com Ltd
The Guide 2 Surrey by TG Media Group

Use of Video for Business
APVideo
Buttons Children’s Parties
Film My Show by The Big Yellow Feet Production Company
Ramsac
The Big Yellow Feet Production Company
The Creative Colony
Wurkrs

Website
Better Bones by Lab
Chaddesley Sanford
Corporate Baby
Inalytics by Valiant Design
Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity
Sage Pay by Lab
WS Planning & Architecture

Website: B2B
Corporate Baby
Flic Creative
Inalytics by Valiant Design
Sage Pay by Lab
TaxHelp.uk.com
The Clever Consultancy
Voices UK

Website: Lifestyle & Culture
Busylizzy
La Residence Interiors
Lend Lease by Lab
Maag Kitchens
The Guardian Bookshop by Lab
The Guide 2 Surrey by TG Media Group
The Hersham Hub

Website: Marketing & Creative
Flic Creative
Girl Friday Media
Lorraine Ansell Voiceover Artist
The Creative Colony
Voices UK
WATB Creative

Website: School, Education or Charity
Daisy First Aid
Hemsley Fraser by Lab
Leatherhead Youth Project
Oakleaf Enterprise
Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People
Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity
Rydens Enterprise School

Website: Small Business
418:Conf by WATB
Aubeterre Blue
Film My Show by The Big Yellow Feet Production Company
La Residence Interiors
Maag Kitchens
Surrey Mummy
The Great Holiday Collection by OH Creative

Website: Sports & Entertainment
Campaign Paintball & Multi Activity Centre
Film My Show by The Big Yellow Feet Production Company
Get Rocking
The Guide 2 Surrey by TG Media Group
Topspin Monkeys
Voices UK

SURREY: Surrey Mirror Launch SDA16!

Media partner of the Surrey Digital Awards, the Surrey Mirror, had published details of the big launch for 2016.

The newspaper, which also owns the Dorking and Leatherhead Advertisers which also support SDA16, will be giving rolling coverage up until and after the Presentation Evening in March.

Headline Sponsor of SDA16 is Surrey Council Council and the scheme is also backed by Surrey Chambers of Commerce and the University of Surrey.