By Roopi Woodall, Marketing Manager, QEII Centre
I have to admit to being hugely flattered when London Venue Awards asked me to join their judging panel this year. From the moment I was asked to take part I have taken this responsibility extremely seriously.
Having come into my role in the QEII marketing department in 2014 at such a pivotal point for the business, a point of significant investment into a refurbishment and re-branding programme, I have first-hand experience of just how valuable recognition in industry awards can be.
The QEII had been through a long period of being almost locked in stasis as far as the event industry was concerned. As part of the re-launch, we identified that entering (and hopefully winning!) awards would form part of our marketing and communications strategy.
I’m happy to say that the strategy has paid off, with the centre winning four industry awards in 2015 as well as being shortlisted for many of the upcoming ceremonies this year. These awards have helped re-launch the centre as a leading events venue that invests in its facilities and staff and they have done wonders for in-house team pride as well as putting us back on the map.
So, as I say, I get it. I get the level of work that goes into carefully crafting each entry within stringent word limits. I get just how much event managers and account managers need to be chased in order to build strong case studies, and I get the pleading with clients to use their event images and testimonials. It is because of the respect that I have for the entry building process and the recognition of the value of an award nomination or win that I have read each entry at least twice, made copious notes and then gone through all of the supporting material.
The process so far has been a real eye opener for me. I am judging three very different categories and genuinely didn’t expect it to be so difficult to score the entries – some have honestly just blown me away and I’ve had to find the tiniest point of difference to try and rank them fairly. The venues I ended up scoring highest weren’t the ones that I would have necessarily guessed at first glance either.
Overall, I’ve been impressed and inspired by the creativity of London venues and the dedication that each of them has clearly put into the client experience. It has made me feel proud to be part of this community.