The countdown started a few weeks ago but it’s now time to really start getting excited. The tux has gone to the dry cleaners, dresses have been tried on and purchased, and matching accessories bought. The Channel Awards 2005 promises to not only be the channel event of the year, but also our most successful yet.
When we met with a group of channel executives in December, just weeks after the 2004 awards night, we discussed the positives and negatives of last year’s event. We listened as channel players said what they liked and disliked about the night, the awards, the categories and the voting system. Then we came back and changed, tweaked and modified, so that this year we could try to please most of the people most of the time.
The categories for the Awards are crucial, and this year we have included more, while attempting to widen the scope of the existing catagories. For example, this year the Networking award for both vendors and distributors encompasses convergence, so it includes vendors that are operating in both the voice and the data networking arenas. We have added Systems and Components awards and also split the Specialist awards into products and services.
Most importantly we have changed and added new awards in the reseller categories and done more than ever to encourage VARs to enter. The result of all of this tailoring is that so far, based on entries and voting, these have been the most successful awards ever, with the number of entries and votes rocketing.
The voting system, which this year was a combination of online voting and judges decisions, has helped to level the playing field and ensure that the firms that truly deserve to win will get an award.
On the night itself – 24 November – there will also be a few surprises in store, with outdoor entertainment strictly for the adventurous, and a stage show that will knock you off your feet. Good luck to everyone who is up for an Award, and hopefully I will see most of you at the bar for a drink at some point in t he evening.
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