Here we talk to Alex Epstein, chief marketing officer at BigChange Apps, winner of last year’s Best B2B E-Business Project at the Big Chip Awards

2017 marks the final year of the Big Chip Awards’ teenagehood - 19 years celebrating Northern digital and tech excellence makes it the UK’s longest-running industry awards.

And, while the euphoria of winning a Big Chips gong is a feeling like no other on the big night, there is more to winning than just the receipt of a pretty plaque and a chance to gloat. Winning a Big Chip Award can both create opportunity and bolster growth for your business.

Alex Epstein, chief marketing officer at BigChange Apps, knows all too well the power a Big Chip Award win can yield: “we love entering Big Chips not just because they are a great recognition of the time, money, dedication and hard work of an amazing team, but they’re also great for a business commercially. Winning the Best B2B E-Business Project title last June acted as a vehicle for us to spark new conversations with existing business prospects and helped us to build upon our existing momentum. It bolstered our credibility within the industry and has been a great accolade to share with our peers. What’s more, it’s created a real boost internally - our head count has grown by a further 10 people since the win and staff morale has never been higher – winning a Big Chip Award has enthused our company and created a real buzz. It’s a positive reinforcement to go on now and win our next award”.

But there’s more to Big Chips than the obvious benefits to business and improving employee morale. Epstein explains; “the Big Chips are by and for the industry and bring together talent and innovators in the region – it’s a Northern digital and tech network forum. On the awards night, you’re introduced to new people and their businesses – it’s a network catalyst that encourages the serendipitous meeting of a range of people within the industry, helping to foster new and exciting relationships”.

The first two entries to the Big Chip Awards are free and Epstein believes it’s a worthwhile exercise for any business to enter: “What’s there to lose? It’s great to be recognised for the quality of your work and even if you don’t win, it’s still a massive compliment to even be shortlisted as the standard of entries is always so high. If you don’t walk away with a win on the night, you can still walk away with new business prospects as the awards night is essentially a big networking event for the North’s digital tech industries – except everyone can properly relax and enjoy themselves! It’s an evening we always look forward to because you’re guaranteed a good night out”.

The Awards receive a lot of entries, making it pretty competitive - so what makes a winning entry? Well, for BigChange Apps, it’s all about creating a compelling but concise entry: “the word limit forces you to be focused anyway but the key is to remember to use your imagination – you’re telling a story after all.” Epstein continues, “Focus on the ‘who, what, when, where, why’ and ensure you’re telling a rich narrative that will take your judges on a journey of the project or product you’ve created”.

Celebrating excellence within the North’s digital and tech industries, the Big Chips shine a light on the impressive quality of work the region produces. It’s clear the sector up North is booming: “you only have to look at the cranes in the sky,” says Epstein, “Manchester is going through an unbelievable transformation with huge investment. The standards are now so high that it’s eroding the once almost-palpable North-South divide. Five-ten years ago, if you were a top tier business, you’d automatically head down South for creative digital and tech services – that’s no longer the case. The North has the talent and big businesses are finally realising the worth and value in working with agencies in the region. Things here are getting more competitive with even more exciting things in the pipeline – Manchester’s St. John’s development is an example of this. This development is creating a neighbourhood of new creative and collaborative spaces and facilitating even more networking – I truly believe it will enact a cross-fertilisation of a range of sectors and power the furnace of Northern creativity”.

To see more of what BigChange Apps do, you can visit the website here: https://www.bigchangeapps.com/

If you like the sound of all that, and are based in the North (anywhere north of Derby and south of Scotland), you can enter Big Chips here.