Yesterday saw the first ever second round of judging for the CRN Awards in November.
The day went extremely well and I think all the judges enjoyed being part of something new and different.
I would just like to say thank you to the whole panel for giving up so much time in the name of the CRN Channel Awards - it was no mean feat - and the effort everyone put in has to be commended.
When we decided to scrap the vote this year - it was with the blessing of the vast majority of the channel after extensive consultation on my part - and it was a big gamble to take - bringing in a second level of judges from the industry itself.
But the difference they have made to the outcome of the awards is marked and it has been a great learning curve for all of us involved. I would also say it has breathed new life into the awards judging process and given me in particular plenty to think about for next year and how to improve the entry and judging process even further.
Thanks also to all the senior execs from vendors, resellers and distributors who made the effort to come in and present for the 'big three' awards - everyone sent their most senior representatives and they were certainly put through their paces by the judges. After speaking with the judges I know they didn't find their decisions easy and were impressed with the level of commitment put into every presentation.
However I won't pretend the outcome will always prove popular. There are going to be some shocks on the night this year. But it truly is reflective of the new-look CRN awards.
The level of effort put into each entry came under scrutiny yesterday, and as a result the winners have been picked on merit, rather than on how many votes they can muster. Every judge on our three panels deliberated and picked apart each entry on the shortlist, and ran over the time allotted to ensure the right winner was selected. There were no done deals, no dead certs. It was a tough day with a lot of heated discussion.
I just hope that when the winners are announced, those that unfortunately didn't get their hands on the silverware this time will go away more determined than before to win the award next year. I hope the winners will be cheered and congratulated. They certainly deserve their gongs.
I have a lot to work on for the Awards 2011, but I am confident that we have made the right decision to change the judging process and I am looking forward to the event itself.
Of course I will be looking to recruit a second judging panel again next year - so anyone that would like to join and find out for themselves how it works - please do let me know. Places are limited, but I am looking to add a few more names to my judges list.
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