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Awards 2024
John Grainger

BECBC 2022 Awards-thoughts from the Head Judge

The BECBC awards return in 2022 after a couple of years when we were unable to hold them for obvious reasons. This time they are wider ranging and more exciting than ever. It gives our Member companies the opportunity to showcase and highlight the many successes over a number of categories where they have achieved significant outcomes despite the challenging business conditions that we have all faced.

With an impressive list of loyal sponsors already signed up it means that the Cluster Awards will be the hot ticket to have this Summer where we can all congregate and celebrate excellence and achievement.

Entry to categories will be finalised shortly and then the difficult judging will begin, firstly with shortlisting where a small panel makes recommendations for the Head Judge to ratify. This in itself is always a testing time when choosing from such a great quality of entry.

The recipients of the awards on the evening and those that have made the final cut represent all that is excellent about our members from a corporate and at an individual level.

Watch out on both our website and social media outlets for information on the various categories and how to enter, arrangements for purchasing tables and individual tickets, and also the remaining sponsor opportunities that can be customised to suit yourselves.

2022 will be the 10th anniversary of my being asked to be the Head Judge of BECBC’s awards. This was not the first time I had been involved with Cluster activity but it cemented a relationship that eventually led me to coming into the fold managing the stakeholder relationship function in 2016. I was asked to be the Chair because of a reptation for integrity and fairness which although displayed through my inward investment and broader economic background was embellished by a former career as an International Tennis Tournament Director and Referee that always brought decision making and fairness to the fore.

Getting involved as Head Judge made me realise how a great number of members have given their time freely to engage in processes where they will be making serious judgments on submissions for the various categories, by their peers or sometimes friends. This is where the Head Judge has a role to play. In an organisation such as the `Cluster there are not too many members who are not either conflicted or potentially compromised by their knowledge of one another. That is why the initial sifting judges do not get involved with the more formal judging later in the process. At the final stage of judging a representative from the Sponsor category sits alongside an independent businessperson, in nearly all cases someone with excellent subject knowledge and myself as Head Judge.

Selecting from the shortlist is a challenge, and this is where I can come in and probe further about the relative merits of a shortlisted company. It fills me with pride when I read the quality of the submissions and the achievements of our member companies across all sizes and sectors. The awards this year will reflect a longer period of achievement during difficult trading conditions, so this will be a challenge and one that I am really looking forward to.

When all is done and dusted it is the big black-tie occasion that showcases all that is good within the Cluster membership. It is a really important business occasion for the whole County, and this is endorsed by the number of blue chip sponsors that once again are sponsoring our event. I am really excited to be involved again, and I can’t wait to get into the process. So if you are entering this year, and if I can just give you all the same tip -remember that the elements that the judges will be looking at assessing are always in the proforma that accompanies the entry form! Good luck.

It goes without saying that we are really grateful for the high calibration of sponsorship that we have already attracted, and everyone on the Board of the Business Cluster looks forward to seeing you on what will be a truly spectacular occasion.


Awards 2022 January updated
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