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It’s the taking part that counts….

In this uber competitive world, we are programmed to WIN – whether that be a new contract, the parents’ race at sports day, the national lottery or, in this case, a business award.

Having organised several awards events over the years, I recently found myself on the other side of the fence. Thanks to the determined encouragement of @vicky_ryce we submitted @Collection Pot into our local New Forest Business Partnership Brilliance in Business Awards, our chosen category being The ExxonMobil Award for Innovation. To our delight, we were shortlisted and I can’t tell you what a great feeling that brought, as well as providing a sense of validation for everyone who had been involved with getting Collection Pot to this point. I also got the opportunity to experience what our nominees feel when we announce the shortlist for the annual Incentive Awards – predominantly immense pride and a big smile!

Along with over 150 other enthusiastic and ready to celebrate local business owners, employees and dignitaries, we attended the awards evening, which took place at the amazing Beaulieu Motor Museum.

After opening speeches from Lord Montagu and @matthewlawson, President and Chairman of the NFBP respectively, the awards ceremony began, with ten categories designed to celebrate the achievements of businesses based in the New Forest.

Our category winner was announced and…it was not us. Putting on my best Oscar face, I applauded the winners as they made their way to the stage. The award was won by @GiftPro – very worthy winners with an innovative gift card platform and an impressive multimillion pound turnover. I hadn’t appreciate that this incredible business is based just around the corner from us in Lymington.

Sometimes we work in isolation, busy ticking off the to do list, but not making the time to appreciate the value of networking, and having face to face conversations with businesses that operate on our doorstep, many of which ultimately can be very beneficial to us and our businesses.

As a result of being a Finalist, we have not only heightened the profile of @Collection Pot with countless local businesses, but have also expanded our local network of contacts – some of which we hope to work with in the future.

So, in our case, the taking part has been extremely beneficial and I would encourage you to consider submitting a nomination or two into your local awards. We will certainly be submitting a nomination again next year, and who knows maybe, just maybe….