The marketing industry loves an awards bash, judging by the sheer number of them, as they’re a great opportunity to back slap the winners, then bitch about them afterwards. From the acceptance speeches laden with private jokes to the obligatory gurning group photos huddled around the ‘CEO and Founder’ clutching an acrylic logo, it’s all fairly ‘copy and paste’ from one event to another. There’s always plenty of drink to go round though, either to drown sorrows or celebrate a win. Eventually the copious volumes of alcohol consumed liberates people from their sense of decorum judging by the Ricky Gervais moves on the dance floor.

If you’re thinking this sounds a tad cynical or even a little bit bitter and twisted, you’re probably right, but it’s not because we didn’t win anything. Honest. Then again we didn’t enter anything which makes winning tricky – the same principle applies to lottery tickets by the way. I freely admit to some healthy cynicism when it comes to awards. Yes, it’s  a great night out and a nice morale booster – who doesn’t like being told ‘you’re fab you are’ – but getting a gong is surely about recognising excellence. There are now so many awards that I can’t help feeling they’re becoming devalued through dilution. Did we really need another one?

However, whilst I believe the volume and frequency inevitably dilutes their worth, I do accept that winning an award is still good PR. But the real winner in the PR stakes must be  the organiser. In the case of the Northern e-Commerce Awards, this was UKFast. They continue to raise their already significant profile through a spate of industry events such as this, e-commerce Live, and the recent Business Cloud magazine launch. All of which is a great marketing strategy. Needed or not, I guess awards are a logical addition to this. Plus, with tickets at £145 each, sponsor contributions and entry fees, it’s probably not the biggest marketing spend either. Quick ‘note to self’, and just to add another layer of cynicism, for future reference the winning formula might include shortening the odds by sponsoring a category.

I wouldn’t let this admittedly slightly jaundiced opinion stand in the way of a great a night out though, so many thanks again and congratulations to ‘delivery and logistics provider of the year’ and bd2 client, 3PL for their kind invitation.