Reaping the rewards of the Business Awards

Courier Business Awards 2013

I will be grateful forever to Gyles Brandreth. We are not close friends, or even passing acquaintances, but we shared a night of passion and triumph and did things together that had never been done before. After it was all over, I thanked him for showing me how to grab and keep the limelight and make a night special. It was his quick wittedness, humour and sheer bloody determination that rescued the first ever Courier Business Awards. Not only that, but his staggering shift as host for the evening also ensured a strong start in the world for an event that has grown into something far bigger and more successful than could ever have been imagined after that first event in 2013.

"Whatever was I thinking as the then Editor of The Courier? Did we really need to have an awards scheme? Did it have to be so big? Weren’t there plenty of other people better qualified than us to put on such a show?"

The evening itself teetered on the brink of disaster. After all, what did a bunch of journalists know about putting on an awards event for 350 people? With a little help from events colleagues and a phenomenal performance by Mr Brandreth, we pulled it off. As an event it has matured and blossomed with twice as many people now lucky enough to secure tickets each year and as slick and professional a show as you will see anywhere in Scotland in black tie.

The real success, however, is what has happened in between the awards events. The main motivation for starting them in the first place was to find a mechanic to pull the business community together and give it a reason to celebrate success and a way to talk with a unified voice. The business sector in our part of the world is taken far more seriously now and its voice is heard across Scotland in a way that it never was before. Our challenges and triumphs are known across the country and our leading business figures are now involved with government and on national bodies in a way they would never have been in the dark days up to the end of the first decade of this century.

The Courier Business Awards can’t be credited with achieving all that, but it did one crucial thing which acted as a catalyst. It created a community and gave it a voice. It allowed businesses to come together to swap success stories, exchange ideas and share experiences. With that voice came recognition and respectability. That was then taken forward and exploited successfully by others and we have never looked back since.

Just think what could happen if we created more communities and amplified more of our voices. One of the reasons we started Neville Robertson Communications was to be part of whatever will be the next Courier Business Awards. We want to help create the next community and to help give it a voice, a purpose and a sense of pride. As we all know, there are plenty of communities who need it. We’ve done it before, and we can do it again. While we are on the subject, the Courier Business Awards opened for entries again recently. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by entering and if you want a hand crafting your submission and finding your voice, we might just be able to help.

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