Now the shortlist is out and the dust has settled, those who made the shortlist for our five 'presented' categories, are wondering what they need to do
The CRN Channel Awards have always strived to be different from other awards events, which is why five of the shortlisted categories require the companies to come in and present in front of the judging panel.
These are: Vendor of the Year, Reseller of the Year sub £50m, Reseller of the Year £51m-plus, Distributor of the year sub £250m and Distributor of the year £251m-plus.
By now all the companies will have been contacted by CRN with their presentation slots and timings.
Each company gets 10 minutes to persuade the judges why they are a worthy winner, with a five-minute window for any questions the judges many have.
A few companies have contacted us with questions about what is expected of them when they arrive at the judging day on 10 October. The answer is actually simpler than most people think: humanity, humility and honesty.
Humanity - show the human side of your company, get the personality of the business in there, tell the judges why people like working there and why it contributes to your success - don't be afraid to show the judge you have fun and take CSR seriously. After all, happy staff make happy customers, which makes happy judges.
Humility - Don't be afraid to admit mistakes have been made in the past, instead use them to explain how you have made your company even more resilient and successful as a result. Arrogance is not the way to impress our judges.
Honesty - Don't exaggerate any figures or facts - the judges are not always looking for the biggest numbers, but a clear demonstration of growth and how you are achieving your goals. Use customer/partner testimonials to back up your claims and let the results speak for themselves.
All the shortlisted companies have already submitted a strong entry that has helped them stand out from the competition; the presentation stage is all about taking it to the next level.
But one word of advice - don't just repeat the same information in your original entry - by all means use key information and stats, but try and make the presentation different.
Over the years we have had bingo games, chilli plants, grow your own herb gardens, cardboard cutouts and even a full-size double decker bus. Bells and whistles are great fun, and the judges really enjoy them, but don't neglect the basics as well.
There is no winning formula with presentations, and unfortunately only one company can win, but many have said over the years that preparing their presentation has helped them take a look at their business with fresh eyes, and has actually helped them in the planning stages for their next phase of development.
Best of luck to all those shortlisted. It might be easier said than done, but relax, have fun in the presentation and enjoy talking about your success to the judges.
NOTE: There is still time to vote for your favourite Channel Chief of the Year - we have a three-way competition between HP's Neil Sawyer, Dell's Rob Tomlin and Pure Storage's Gary Matson. Simply send your nomination to Doug Woodburn or Sara Yirrell before 10 October.