Celebrating the creative industry – are awards valuable to your business?

October 9, 2015

The nights are drawing in, which only means one thing in the Scottish business world – it’s awards season. Anyone who has ever entered an award will know that it’s sometimes a long and arduous process writing a submission, but is it a worthwhile exercise? We take a look at the benefits to Glasgow creative companies of entering, being nominated for and winning awards…

creative industry awards

Recognising the successes and achievements of Scottish businesses and individuals, the Glasgow Business AwardsThe Scottish Business AwardsThe Drum Scottish Creative Awards and The Herald Scottish Digital Business Awards are just some of the glittering ceremonies taking place over the next few weeks. Looking at the shortlists this year, it’s heartening to see a notably large pool of Glasgow businesses featuring from the creative industries, including app developers SwarmOnline, web design agency Screenmedia, loyalty programme Swipii, creative agency MadeBrave, business accelerator Entrepreneurial Spark and digital marketing agency Equator to name a few.

But what do these awards mean for your business? Given the time commitment required to enter and cost involved in buying a table to attend the awards ceremony itself, it is important to focus on awards that are extremely relevant to you and your company. There is no value in entering awards for the sake of it and it is unlikely that you’ll be shortlisted, never mind win, in a category that isn’t appropriate, meaning you waste both your own resources and those of the judging panels.

Being nominated or winning an award can help raise your profile, both personally and professionally. If you win an award, you should shout it from the rooftops. It’s confirmation that you’re one of the best at what you do in your industry and adds credibility to your name, something which is incredibly valuable to attract new customers. Winning an award is also free PR for your company, as you’ll feature in the winner’s list which is subsequently posted across multiple media channels including the event and sponsors’ websites, various blogs, social media and print, giving your business the exposure it deserves.  Even having the acclamation of ‘award-winning’ in writing within your marketing collateral can be the winning hook you need to secure new business and set yourself apart from your competition.

An additional benefit of winning is the motivational effect on the wider team, as it is recognition for all their hard work and is validation that the business is doing well, which is particularly important for small businesses and start-ups, still in their infancy.

Andrew Duncan, founder and managing director of Glasgow based app development company, SwarmOnline was nominated for ‘Young Business Person of the Year’ while the company was shortlisted for ‘Best Performing Business (1-10 employees)’ at the Glasgow Business Awards last week. The company has been shortlisted for various awards in the past few years and is also currently up for Tech Company of the Year at The Scottish Business Awards 2015 with Andrew put forward for ‘Digital Professional of the Year’ at the seventh Herald Scottish Digital Business Awards 2015.

Talking about his recent nominations, Andrew said, “SwarmOnline is delighted to be nominated for these awards. For a relatively new company that is seeking to establish itself in the market, it’s a real vindication of our strategy.”

“They also provide some valuable PR for SwarmOnline both in terms of publicity but also the opportunity to network at the awards dinners.”

“It’s great to be recognised as a leading business in the Glasgow community and have the SwarmOnline brand associated with some great Glasgow brands as well.”

Jim Duffy, CEO of Entrepreneurial Spark, also sees the value in awards, “We are thrilled to have been nominated for the Innovation in Business award at The Glasgow Business Awards last week. At Entrepreneurial Spark, we seek to enable high impact entrepreneurs throughout the UK and the Glasgow Business Awards are a great opportunity for the local ecosystem to support growing businesses and entrepreneurs. We’re delighted to be involved.”

And don’t worry if you don’t win, the awards ceremony gives you the opportunity to network, in a room full of people within your industry, which is invaluable for fostering working relationships and generating new leads. Most judging panels will also provide feedback, which can be built upon to come back stronger the following year.