Simplicity was the main consideration for the CRN Foundation Advisory Panel when it met to discuss the voting for this year's Channel Awards.
Panel members felt that the number of awards should be limited and that there should be a clear distinction between each one.
The panel also wanted to ensure that the most deserving companies were put forward, and there was broad support for a system involving a judging panel and a shortlist.
It is important to strike the right balance between ensuring that the smaller, specialist vendors have every chance of winning an award and that the awards are open to everyone.
If there are too many awards for specialist categories, this would be confusing and dilute their value.
Equally, giving awards for specific product categories would result in a series of one- and two-horse races that would not recognise vendors' best achievements.
The Advisory Panel's views on distributor awards were very similar to its views on the vendor categories.
Members felt the categories must be easy to understand and the number of awards needs to be restricted.
Specialisation should be clearly defined, so that only those companies delivering real value and support for resellers in that area can win.
Most panellists agreed that the reseller awards offer a great deal of value, but many also felt that more needs to be done to encourage greater reseller involvement in the event.
The categories were deemed to be as good as they could be, but it was suggested that the reseller section should mirror the vendor and distributor awards and that a straight vote should pick the Reseller of the Year.
All other awards would be decided by voting from a shortlist selected by a judging panel from a list of nominated companies.
VotingThe panellists also felt that a little more needs to be done to encourage resellers to cast their votes, and that they had previously been given too little guidance before the votes were cast.
The panel members thought the voting results ought to reflect the real views of the channel.
Outline ideas for a new voting model were well received. These have now been refined, and the final conclusion is that there will be an initial entry stage, during which companies that wish to be considered will put forward entries detailing why they believe they might merit such an award.
The entries must be submitted by 4 July.The second phase will involve a panel of judges drawing up a shortlist from those entering.
The shortlist will then be presented to CRN readers who will vote for their preferred candidate.
The justification arguments for each nomination will be published in CRN ahead of the voting phase, which will start on 1 September.
As well as giving readers more information on which to base their votes, this system will give more editorial coverage to the awards and the entrants.
This will also encourage resellers to vote and enhance the value for companies of entering for an award.
THE PANEL MEMBERS
Representatives of the following companies took part in the CRN Foundation Advisory Panel's discussions about the Awards:
Following the meeting, many other companies were invited to add their comments to the proposals before they were fully adopted.
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