The first ever CRN Sales and Marketing Awards took place at the Royal Gardens Hotel in Kensington, London, on a rather windswept and rainy evening. But you wouldn’t have known that from the smiles of those who braved the weather to honour their peers on the night of 21 June.
Guests, press and nominees alike to the black tie event enjoyed a champagne reception before taking their seats for a delicious three-course meal - including roasted sirloin of Aberdeen Angus in a red wine jus for the carnivores and mushroom cannelloni for the vegetarians - rounded off with coffee and petits fours.
The ceremony itself was compered by Radio 4 comedian and one-time Perrier Award winner Milton Jones, who did a fine job of keeping the crowd laughing throughout the prizegiving with a quick-draw routine of puns and punchlines.
Oxfordshire-based customer and channel engagement specialist Cyance was nominated for the best marketing agency - won in the end by Bath-based TBT, which delivered the Steljes campaign that also took home a gong in its category.
Cyance's managing director, Jon Clarke, said: “It has been a really, really great evening, especially considering it is the first one,” Clarke told CRN. “Both well put together and well organised.”
Myra O’Connell, corporate communications manager at Steljes, said she was thrilled that the distributor won a prize. “It is an honour to win such an award, it is absolutely wonderful,” she added. “Everybody has thoroughly enjoyed it. I think CRN can be very proud - roll on 2013!”
Andy Dow, marketing director of Computer 2000, was in high spirits and also said he enjoyed the evening. “It has been a really great event, and I look forward to the next one. Although we are really going to try harder to win a award next time!” he joked.
Daniel Langton, annuities manager at Microsoft, said he had a good time as well - although he could not help but be disappointed that Microsoft had not managed to take home any of the prizes.
“We have had a great night, it has been fun, but next year we too will be back to win!” Langton said.
Rod Reed, sales director of London and Surrey IT support services provider and reseller TheSupportForce, said that his party was part of sponsor CompTIA’s table.
“I have enjoyed the networking enormously, and the fine wine. It is nice to have something like this for the industry,” he added.
Peter Cooper, channels director at Kaspersky Lab, was at the event as a guest of security distributor Wick Hill. “Milton Jones was fantastic,” he said. “It has been a great night.”
Colin Logan, head of sales at CRN, declared it had been a fantastic evening. “And it has been a fabulous way to show the strength of the individuals and teams that make the channel the success that it is today, and the successful business model that it is,” Logan said.
The night concluded with the traditional channel networking session, with everyone catching up and making the rounds of the tables, and a lively few hours on the dancefloor while cover band iPop belted out disco, R&B and pop hits.
Sara Yirrell, editor of CRN, wishes once again to congratulate everyone who won and hopes all the attendees enjoyed the night despite the wet and windy weather.
“Competition for the awards was truly fierce and the judges had a real challenge picking the winners in many categories,” Yirrell said. “Those who earned a Judges Commended award should feel very proud of themselves as well, as these accolades were not handed out lightly either.”
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