Collaboration vendors on awards trail

Last Friday, I was honoured to present the ‘Integration and Collaborative Working’ award – sponsored by BIW [my employer] – at the Constructing Excellence London and South-east England awards dinner, held in central London. The winner, by the way, was the Dartford Team (including the Highways Agency, Costain, Jacobs and Mouchel Parkman) for the A2/A282 junction improvement project – a scheme I pass quite regularly from my home in south-east London.

There are further Constructing Excellence awards to be presented at an event on 11 October (National Awards – the Dartford Team are, I believe, up for a similar award at that event) and on 30 November (the G4C New Generation Awards – targeted at people still in their early career – deadline for entries just extended to 17 October).

In the meantime, we still have the second running of the Construction Computing Awards to look forward to (being awarded on 21 November – you can view a video of last’s winners, with big ‘plugs’ for 4projects and Union Square, among others). I was recently assured by organiser Recep Saffet that lessons have been learned from last year’s running of the Awards, but this year’s awards seem, if anything, to be even slower in coming. For instance, nominations for the awards apparently closed on 10 September, with the shortlisted candidates due to be announced on 17 or 25 September (depending on which website page you look at) – but (in early October) the website still carries no news about who’s in the running (BIW was runner-up in the Software Product of the Year category last year).

Well-run, industry awards are certainly a strong marketing opportunity. Organisers see a good opportunity to raise the profile of their publications or organisations and to reward their industry’s top performers. Hopeful entrants can be approached by the organisers to book tables at the awards dinners, and can take along existing and/or potential customers as guests in the interests of corporate hospitality – all looking forward to a celebration if they get an award. The winners can then trumpet their victories (I notice Aconex has just won a business award in Australia), and even shortlisting can be an achievement of sorts (Asite, for example, is a finalist at the British Computer Society IT industry Awards 2007 in the Best Use of Green Technology category – see press release – for its cBIM product, despite this still being at market testing stage).

Reminder: The deadline for Construction News Quality in Construction is also looming – 12 October.

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