JUST as winter seems like it will never end, a glimmer of light appears on the industry horizon as it moves into awards season.
From the TUANZ Innovation awards through to the NZTE Export awards, there is a discernible whiff of glitz and trophyism in the air.
But are these awards relevant and necessary or just an excuse for a round of black tie shoulder patting?
Sarah Trotman, organiser of the Vero Excellence in Business Support awards, believes organisations offering quality business products or services should be recognised.
“These awards set a benchmark and recognise excellence in the vital area of supporting and facilitating business growth — vital if the economy is to prosper,” she says.
Orcon managing director Seeby Woodhouse is no stranger to the awards circuit.
For the second year running his company is a finalist in the TUANZ Innovation awards and last year won awards in the Westpac New Zealand Hi Tech and North Shore Enterprise, not to mention appearing on the Unlimited/Deloitte Fast50 list.
Woodhouse says the recognition winning an award brings helps to raise a company’s profile and says it’s a useful exercise as a frame of reference.
“It shows you’re up to par which, as a business owner, you often have no other way of knowing. I’m sure part of our growth has been down to the publicity from these events,” he says.
This year Allied Telesyn has taken over sponsorship of the Hi Tech awards and company spokesperson Allan Miller says they are an excellent recognition of the value and contribution of the high-tech industry to New Zealand.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to give something back to the industry and, being a high-tech company, Allied Telesyn is very enthusiastic about supporting it,” he says.
Miller is impressed with some of the other awards linked to Hi Tech.
“Bright Sparks rewards young New Zealanders in the technology field who will likely one day be the leaders in the industry.”
Cheryl Horo, WIT general manager, has sat on many a judging panel and believes awards play an important role.
“Excellence should be acknowledged. I don’t think it’s ever a waste of time for a company to go through the process and have its efforts recognised,” she says.
Hi Tech entries close soon
TECHNOLOGY innovators have until next Friday, August 12, to enter the 2005 Hi Tech awards.
Previous winners include Zeacom, Orcon Internet, Aftermail and Payglobal.
Up for grabs this year are trophies in categories such as Software Company of the Year, Emerging Company of the Year, Most Innovative Product of the Year and the overall prize of Hi Tech Company of the Year.
Entry forms can be downloaded from the official Hi Tech awards website (www.hitech.org.nz). This year Christchurch-based Allied Telesyn has taken over as main sponsor from Westpac.
Category finalists will be announced from August 29 with the winners being announced on October 1 at the Christchurch Convention Centre. Event organisers say the main objective of the awards is to promote, encourage and celebrate the wealth of innovative, quality high-tech organisations in New Zealand.