One area of commercial life that seems to flourish, almost regardless of the prevailing economic climate, is business awards schemes.
There seems to be an award for almost every business achievement and market sector. But are they worth it? Do they really add value to a company’s operations?
Oliver Johnston, owner of The Little Silver Country Hotel, Tenterden – itself the winner of commercial awards, including Best Wedding Venue in Kent – led a debate on this topic at a recent Wealden Business Group breakfast meeting.
Richard Harvey, of Richard Harvey PR, who specialises in writing award-winning entries for clients, commented that the value of any scheme depended on criteria including the standing and prestige of the awards organiser, the credibility of the judges, and the subsequent benefit in marketing exposure and staff motivation.
Photographer and videographer Brian Russell of BRD Associates, who has covered many awards events, felt that those with Royal patronage and a charitable element were worth considerably more than commercial schemes.
Terry Thorpe of DG East, vehicle brokers and motor consultants, argued that the only award required for business success was happy customers.
Other members recognised the value of awards schemes in branding on websites and promotional literature – even reaching an awards Finalist shortlist was worth publicising – and that those which resulted from customer recommendations had particular value.