Award Categories

The following categories are open to private, public and charity sector organisations of all sizes.

Please provide a written submission of up to 1000 words explaining why you should win along with any relevant supporting information. You may enter as many categories as you wish.

The emphasis will be on demonstrable success as measured by financial results or customer / employee / community / investor benefits. Please clearly state all success measures and/or benefits in your entry.

We deliberately do not have rigid category descriptions as this would only serve to stifle business excellence. The purpose of each category below is therefore simply to provide a loose framework for your entry. You are free to interpret each category as you wish – your challenge is to wow the judges with a story about why you stand out from the rest.

Entrants compete against organisations based in the same country. Therefore be sure to specify in which country your principal office is based when applying.

Marketing

Tell us how you achieved fantastic marketing results and what sets you apart from your competitors. How has your work benefited your clients? What were the objectives and how did you perform? Open to all organisations across the private and public sector of any size as well as agencies.

Disruptor of the Year for Product/Service

A disruptor is a company that changes the conventional way an industry operates, especially by utilising new, efficient and inventive ways of running that business. Are you a disruptor in your industry? What, for example, are the new and original systems, methods and/or product, that has enabled your company to disrupt the market and benefit from standing out from the crowd? Show us the impact that you have had, and how you intend to maintain this position in the future to ensure you remain at the cutting edge.
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International Business Influencer of the Year

It is one thing to follow and adhere to current policy; it is another to identify reasons for change, then to go further, developing concepts and introducing something that transforms the ways in which a particular sector functions. We want to know of influencers who have achieved a paradigm shift that has had international impact within their sector – those who have brought about seminal change and contributed significantly to how that sector operates globally. Tell us of your aims and ideas, and the ways in which you have had outstanding impact in the business world.
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Outstanding Brand Development

Brand development ensures your business proposition remains fresh, appealing and well placed for future growth. Tell us how the development of your brand has had a direct impact on financial success, business growth and customer satisfaction. What steps have been taken to improve and strengthen your brand message, and how do you futureproof your brand?
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Outstanding Event

To enter this award, all you need to do is tell the story behind your event and how it links with your communications plan and business strategy. The questions you need to answer are: What makes it different? Why was it held? Did it offer good value for money? What impact did it have? Who attended? Did it educate attendees, change their minds about a produce or service, or push sales through the ceiling? What did the feedback from your targeted audience reveal?
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Outstanding Marketing Campaign

This award is for those who have managed both large and small marketing campaigns. The emphasis is not about the size of the campaign spend, but on meeting objectives and achieving results in terms of profit, sales, number of new customers, traffic to websites or an increase in brand awareness. It helps if imaginations and innovation in the design and management of the campaign are part of the mix. The entry must show how value for money was achieved and how the campaign impacted on the business and generated measurable benefits.
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Outstanding Public Relations Campaign

With an array of media to choose from, public relations campaigns are more complicated than ever before. The judges are looking for slick PR campaigns that show clarity of thought, measurable targeted outcomes, innovation in choice of channels and brilliant outcomes linked to the overall business strategy. If you have a PR campaign that has changed hearts and minds or led to a run on sales, the judges would like to hear from you.
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Outstanding Social Media Campaign

Show us what your business has achieved with a specific social media campaign. What were your goals and how were they delivered? How did you stand out from your competitors in engaging your consumers? What changes were necessary and what challenges were overcome to ensure success? How has a specific social media campaign made a significant difference and in what ways has it informed future planning?
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Outstanding Website or App

Outstanding websites and/or apps are vital if a business is to succeed. In what way do you feel that your organisation’s website/app is exceptional in attracting new business and keeping existing clients? What are the key benefits of using your website/app, and how do they deliver a first class user experience. What positive feedback have you received and what procedures are in place to ensure that your website/app is continuously revised and updated?
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Personal

Our judges want to hear your journey, how have you got where you are today and where you are going? How have your skills benefited the organisation and its customers? What makes you stand out? What business challenges have you had to overcome? Open to individuals across the private and public sector.

Employer of the Year

Is your business the one in your sector that everyone wants to work for? Are your staff retention levels high? In what ways do you ensure you are attuned to the needs of your workforce and how does your company provide outstanding support? What exceptional systems do you have in place that nurture and safeguard the wellbeing of your staff? What opportunities do they have to give feedback? Demonstrate the ways in which your company is the best place to work in relation to your size and sector.
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International Young Entrepreneur (under 35 years, operating outside your domestic market)

A successful entrepreneur will always be ahead of the curve, exploring opportunities and guiding businesses to excellent financial success. We want to know of entrepreneurs under the age of 35, who have achieved amazing results and had exceptional impact within the global marketplace. How have you realised such success and what has motivated you to pursue your career internationally? In what way are you visionary? How did you spot a gap in the market? What have been the outstanding consequences of your work globally and how do you intend to take this to the next level?
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Outstanding Employee

Does your company have a star employee who shows great potential and has had a major impact on the business?  It could be a member of staff who has worked on a restructuring programme or new project, or someone who sees things differently and has changed the fortunes of the company.  Tell us their story, what makes them different and what are their achievements and successes?
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Outstanding Entrepreneur

This award is aimed at a dynamic leader who has turned a germ of an idea into a successful business. Entries must demonstrate product/service innovation, and steady growth of the enterprise in terms of staff members, customers and turnover.  The submission should include the entrepreneur’s background, how they spotted an opportunity, how they overcame challenges, how the business developed, the commercial strategy, distribution, financial evidence and future plans.  Feedback on the reaction from customers and the market should be included.
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Outstanding Executive

This is awarded to an exceptionally talented and intuitive executive who has produced great results. Entries must show individuality, a track record of excellence and of taking control and introducing new ways of work including staff management and relationships, and the valuing of staff. The entry could be based on a particular project, bringing in change across the organisation, introducing a new initiative or running a community or charity project. Benefits and outcomes must be clearly stated.
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Outstanding New Employee (employed less than 2 years)

New employees who outshine their peers, show exceptional talent, imagination and a grasp of business issues and problem solving skills are likely to attract the judges’ attention. This award is for a new employee, who in their first two years of working on a project or in a team, has produced outstanding results, innovation, clear thinking and new ways of resolving issues.  The way they worked, their conduct, attitude, tasks undertaken, and results should all be mentioned.
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Outstanding Non-Executive Director

Being able to operate independently, non-executive directors get a different view of a company and can provide great insight and originality. Their work can be invaluable as is their access to useful contacts. Entries should outline business problems facing the non-executive director, their characteristics, knowledge and how they used their skills and talents to change the fortunes of the business perhaps by spotting a niche market or developing a new product.
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Outstanding Personal Achievement

Anyone in any role in an organisation can apply for this award as long as excellence, resilience, perseverance and commitment are demonstrated. The focus should be on the issue, how the person went about executing the tasks, and the outcome and impact on the business and people around them. You need to explain what makes this person different, how they overcame a challenge and their exceptional achievements.
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Outstanding Professional

Open to staff at all levels within the organisation, this is for that special person who has excelled and gone above and beyond the expectations of their role. Has someone in your organisation introduced a new time-saving way of working, turned a division around or increased the customer base in a new innovative way or opened up new markets? To enter, tell their story the way it is and the changes or improvements they have introduced.
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Outstanding Young Executive (under 35 years)

The judges are looking for a game-changer who has set the pace in an existing market or spotted a new market, improved services for customers or made use of technology in a new way not thought possible. This award is for high flyers who already have a track record of outstanding achievement under their belt yet still have more to give.
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Team

Do your teams play a key role in your success? Tell us how they excel and help the organisation to grow and meet its objectives. You can focus on specific projects or the ongoing day-to-day work they deliver at an outstanding level. What makes this group of people special. Open to teams of two or more people across the private and public sector.

Diversity and Inclusion Award

The basic values of diversity and inclusion within an organisation are considered fundamental to its operation. What steps has your company taken to empower people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, and national origin? Tell us of specific processes that are now embedded to ensure all voices are heard, whether as direct/indirect employees of your organisation, or as clients/suppliers of your business? How do you meet individual needs and what procedures are in place for people to provide feedback?
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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Programme

The principles of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are central to every business, and to ensure that they are respected and affirmed they need to be embedded into every aspect of a company’s philosophy. We would like to know of a specific programme that your business has undertaken to highlight the promotion of these values internationally. What steps have been taken to bring them into focus, either in the workplace and/or beyond, and how do you intend to sustain globally this positive and inclusive culture to futureproof your business?
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Outstanding Customer Service Team

This award is for the team that has implemented a new customer service initiative in line with corporate objectives and excelled; or turned their department around with a new programme and created seamless, awe-inspiring customer service. Figures should be included on the before and after showing how customer satisfaction has improved. You should also provide figures that show increased staff engagement and job satisfaction.
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Outstanding Financial Team

This could be about the introduction of a new initiative to streamline financial processes or the implementation of new technology, but it is important that the entry shows cohesive team work, innovation, cost savings, measurable improvements in operations and strong leadership from the top. Benefits to the organisation and outcomes must be substantive.
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Outstanding HR Team

Internal and outsourced HR teams are eligible to enter this award. Has the team introduced a new programme or initiative, made a different to staff services, improved staff morale, streamlined HR operations and made the organisation more effective and efficient? The judges want to know about the situation, the actions taken, what makes the team different and the outcome for the organisation.
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Outstanding IT Team

New technology can give an enterprise a competitive edge helping it to win market share. Has your IT team or outsourced IT team supported the organisation to achieve more, reduce costs and make an impact in the marketplace? Projects of any size and value can apply for this award. The focus should be on how the team achieved technical innovative and the benefits to the company.
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Outstanding Marketing Team

This award is for the team that created something new and exciting in marketing using imagination and multi-media solutions. Submissions should mention how the team supported corporate objectives, came up with brilliant ideas, met objectives, worked together and produced results.
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Outstanding Public Relations Team

Demonstrate how your public relations team has helped your business build positive relationships with all stakeholders and created a strong brand image. Explain the background to the team’s achievements, what the objectives were, the outcomes, how they obtained added valued for the company and why they are the premier PR team.
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Outstanding Staff Training & Development Programme

Good staff development is essential in any industry, and within all businesses both large, medium and small. Show us how your workforce benefits from an outstanding staff training and development programme and in turn how this has a positive impact on your business. What incentives are in place that encourage people to start and/or continue their development, both in their careers and personally? Do you have robust and effective procedures that regularly monitor staff training, and what opportunities are there for staff members to discuss their individual needs?
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People Development Award

What steps do you take to give your staff the credit they deserve and to ensure that each person is given the chance to develop both personally and professionally – as an individual and as a member of your team? What processes are there in place to provide them with optimal choices and how much say do they have in taking these forward? If opportunities for promotion are limited, how are individuals encouraged to progress their career? Tell us how you communicate to your staff their value as part of your workforce?
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The Work-Life Balance Award

A healthy work–life balance is the cornerstone of every reputable business. It is vital that this is embedded in the company culture. How is your company ethos communicated to your staff, and what top-down measures are in place to ensure senior staff lead by example. What initiatives and programmes are in place to benefit your staff, and what positive impact have they brought to your business with regard to work-life balance?
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Organisation Wide

What makes your business, product or service stand out? Tell us what you set out to achieve and how you have performed. What can your competitors learn from you? What are your staff, customers and the media saying about you? Where are you now and where do you want to be? Open to private and public sector organisations of any size.

Climate Action Award

This award will recognise companies that are using innovation to tackle climate change. We want to hear of the ground-breaking measures you have taken to become carbon neutral and the impact that this has had on your business. How have you embedded this ethos into your company culture? Demonstrate the steps you are taking now that will ensure your organisation continues to operate at the cutting edge of the green agenda in the future.
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International Trade Award

Significant penetration into international markets is a huge challenge for many businesses, especially when considering the difficulties facing many companies during the pandemic and post-Brexit. To what extent are you a significant player in the international market relative to your size and sector? What major changes were necessary to gain traction, and how are you continuing to thrive? We want to hear of your success story and the impact it has made on your business sector. How do you plan to build and scale your business in the global marketplace?
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Outstanding Business

Entries must demonstrate that the business is a good all-rounder with ready growth, a unique mission statement, a great product, creative marketing, and strong ethics throughout the organisation and the supply chain. Commitment to professionalism, equality and diversity, protecting the environment, value staff, corporate social responsibility and building good relationships with suppliers must be mentioned.
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Outstanding Business Transformation

How did your business identify the need to change? What steps needed to be taken and why, and how were the strategic goals identified and met? We want to hear how your business has gone through a successful transformative process and what tangible benefits have resulted, either in financial uplift, product improvement or customer benefit?
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Outstanding Community Initiative

Recognising businesses that give back to the community, this award is for companies that encourage staff to get involved in projects or partnerships outside of the workplace. It could be for work undertaken in the local community or at a national level. Answers should mention why the initiative was chosen, management involvement, actions undertaken, resources allocated to the project, impact on the community and company, and future plans.
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Outstanding Customer Service Initiative

Celebrating organisations that deliver outstanding service to their customers, entries must explain the background to the initiative and focus on the connection between excellent customer service, improved profitability and/or value to the bottom line. Feedback from customers must be included proving how service has improved.
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Outstanding Educational Service

Aimed at educational institutions or organisations that have had to change consumer attitudes and behaviour, this award recognises the challenges, innovation, methodology and results. Explain the background, why the educational initiative was required, objectives for the service, the message, who it was aimed at, how it was executed and outcome. Organisational and financial benefits should be included, if relevant.
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Outstanding Employer

Show how staff engagement and retention rates have improved, and how the company has motivated people to excel in their roles. Tell the judges about the new initiatives introduced, how you invest in staff, take on apprentices, have a strong diversity and inclusion policy and have improved staff benefits. Finally, you should demonstrate how you have a created a great team that has contributed to the success of the business over the long term.
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Outstanding Ethical Supply Chain

The ethical responsibilities of a business apply to those employed by an organisation, but also to the key elements that make up the supply chain, for example, raw materials, components and labour. How does your business ensure that you source goods and/or services ethically? What principles do you adopt when conducting your business and how do these impact on the ethical choices you make? What forms of regulation do you have in place to guarantee that you sustain your ethical position?
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Outstanding Fast-Growth Business

Growth can be the result of the introduction of a unique new product, exploitation of a new market or because of improved sales methods. If your business has seen supersonic growth over the past few years in terms of turnover, product sales, distribution, overseas expansion and staff numbers, then this is the award for your business. Entries need to outline the background to the business, the reasons behind the growth, the impact this has had on the business, how growth is being managed and future plans. Figures to back up the claims should be included.
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Outstanding Financial Initiative

Money makes the world go round and if there is an easier, more efficient way to process it, the judges want to hear from you. This award is for a financial department that has brought out a new initiative, most likely using smart technology, that cuts costs and provides new efficiencies. When explaining the background, it is important to mention the need for the project, who conducted the work, impact on staff and changes and benefits for the organisation.
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Outstanding Green Initiative

Going green is more than a trend; it’s become part of everyday business. Tell the judges about all your latest sustainable environment protection schemes involving energy efficiency, waste reduction, recycling and reducing the carbon footprint. Any environmental certificates awarded and environmental impact assessments undertaken for a project are worth mentioning.
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Outstanding HR Initiative

Far-reaching HR initiatives that motivate staff and save time by providing online employee services can transform an organisation. Explain the background to your initiative, the challenges, what it involved, why it was needed and how it has changed the organisation. Measurable results, including feedback from staff surveys, should be emphasised as well as the cost of the initiative and the return on investment.
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Outstanding Innovation

Has your organisation discovered an innovation that is a game-changer for a market, created a new product or service or transformed the organisation and the way it works? If so, the judges are keen to hear about your exciting innovation, why it is needed and how it was developed. Entrants must demonstrate that there is demand for the innovation and should also outline objectives, profitability levels and verify outcomes with evidence of sales figures, market share and customer feedback.
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Outstanding Innovation during Covid-19

This category will accept nominations for new collaborations and out-of-the-box thinking.  We would like to celebrate the innovators who have found new ways to support society and individuals who need help during the coronavirus pandemic.
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Outstanding New Product / Service (less than two years old)

This award is for organisations that have identified new products or services and successfully brought them to market, or adapted an existing product for a new market. Show why there is a need for the new product/service, how it developed, how demand grew, objectives for growth, and benefits to the company including increased turnover and a larger market share.
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Outstanding Product / Service

Aimed at organisations with unique products or services that have been recently launched and well received by the marketplace, this award is for those operating in the consumer or the business-to-business market. Judges are interested in how the product/service fits in with existing products or services, what makes the product/service different, the market potential and the target market. Tell us about what makes the product/service special, likely growth in demand from customers, market reaction, business objectives, estimated turnover and profitability expectations.
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Outstanding Use of Technology

Whether for IT, websites, apps, inhouse systems, customer deliverables, inventions, innovation, sales or advertising, there is the opportunity for exceptional use of technology in businesses of all sizes across all sectors. Creative ideas and innovative solutions are those that stand out from the crowd; we would like to hear how your organisation has used technology to outstanding benefit. What was the need for change, how was this need identified, what strategies were rolled out and what steps were taken – and how has the business flourished as a result?
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