The SME Bedfordshire Business Awards are coming to town again for the seventh year running. But this year there are some important changes that will put the Chamber in full control of the content and organisation of the awards and enable us to more closely support local businesses who wish to enter them.
For whilst we’ve sponsored the awards many times in the past, this time we’re now actually the organisers; the event and the awards are now ours!
So, this high-profile celebration of successful businesses in the local area now has a stronger connection to us here at Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce than ever before.
And we’ll be making sure this delivers every possible opportunity for you to benefit from the spotlight that this well-established and respected calendar fixture focuses on the great businesses that shine in our county.
Why do the awards matter?
All over the UK, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) punch way beyond their weight. The well over 5.5 million SMEs in the UK make up an incredible 99.9% of private sector businesses nationally!
Little wonder, then, that SMEs are often also said to be responsible for driving innovation and competition in many economic sectors – and the awards publicly recognise and reward these achievements in the heart of the communities those businesses call home.
Here’s a bit more about the awards categories, our special launch event that you can attend to get all the additional information you need, and a tip on how you can get your entry in early (and at lower cost):
The awards are well known for their extensive category coverage, which is highly inclusive, meaning there’s poten- tially something for everyone (you can enter up to three categories).
From geographic designations (Business of the Year for Bedford, Luton, and Central Bedfordshire) to categories of age and size, to more specific awards (growth, innovation, sustainability, individuals, apprenticeships, not-for-profit, and many more), the emphasis is on enabling your business and its people to tell a knockout story to the world, no matter how general or particular the achievements in question.
To see all the categories available, you can visit the event website via the QR code at the end.
Naturally, the awards (and their winners) generate a hefty amount of local press coverage, which ultimately widens the audience your business can reach – and this is in addition to pre-arranged coverage through our own media partners.
But we’ll also be working to ensure both pre- and post-event publicity is maximised through our other marketing channels, too. This will include social media, website content, email campaigns, editorial in local business publications, and features in the Focus magazine that all our members receive.
And though it’s often said that ‘the winner takes it all,’ the awards feature both Gold and Silver winners – so your chances of winning one way or the other are maximised.
Publicity on a national scale – plus sponsorship
The benefits don’t stop at the county boundary, either. The awards are part of a national range of events, and if you’re a winner in certain categories, you’ll automatically make it through to the SME National Business Awards Final, where you’ll be in the company of some of the best businesses in the UK.
In addition, there are sponsorship opportunities available that give you a great opportunity to raise your business’s profile, whether you win or not.
Of course, no awards are complete without a memorable awards ceremony, a little bit of glitz and glamour, and a chance to let your hair down (whilst doing a bit of relaxed networking at the same time).
On these fronts, too, the awards deliver. ‘Black tie’ and ‘dress to impress’ are the watchwords, but as for date, time and location, we’re just going to have to tease you for a while longer – keep checking the website for updates.
If you’re thinking your business isn’t the kind that could win an award, think again! Winners in the past have come from SMEs and individuals across all sectors. Last year alone, the Gold and Silver winners included a bid-writing company, a social media company, a physiotherapist’s practice, a tailor, a fruit and vegetable seller, a radio station, a window distributor, and many others.
As the saying goes, ‘you’ve got to be in it to win it’ – and no Bedfordshire SME is excluded from entering, or indeed winning, these awards. To find out more about the awards and receive some handy tips to help you write a stronger entry, register for our Awards Launch Event on January 17, 2024 at The Pavilion, Luton, by booking your free ticket online at www.events.chamber-business.com/events
Entry dates and award night dates are still to be confirmed, but pre-launch entries are now open at a discounted rate. You can enter any one of the many categories before January 17 to receive the special discounted entry price, by clicking on the appropriate Enter Here button.