It is true that there are many awards around these days, a lot more than there were when the Big Chip Awards began, and a huge percentage of these are for the growing digital industry. But how can a business know which ceremonies are credible, and in particular, what sets the Big Chip Awards apart from some of the others?

Last month we were quoted in an article by Dan Bell entitled ‘Awards – The Good, the Bad & The Ugly’, in which we talked about the difficulty of standing out in a sea of awards which aren’t always viewed in a favourable light. Integrity and credibility are two of the biggest things we pride the Big Chip Awards on, so we were happy to discuss our thoughts.

What makes the Big Chip Awards different?

The Big Chip Awards have been around for 17 years and have built up a great reputation within the digital community. As we pointed out when we spoke to Dan Bell, the Big Chips are non profit and the steering group and judges are all independent and well respected figures within the digital community.

Award ceremonies are often accused of favouring friends or sponsors when it comes to who wins. However, at the Big Chips, headline and category sponsors are excluded from entering and aren’t allowed near the judging table – meaning they have no say in who the awards go to. This helps ensure our awards remain credible, and only recognise people and businesses that really deserve it.

You only need to look at what our past winners and the wider community say about the Big Chip Awards to appreciate how important credibility is to us.

As well as all of this, we won’t shortlist anyone that we don’t think meet the high standards set by our judges. Some award ceremonies are condemned with shortlisting a lot of companies to fill tables and sell tickets. But this isn’t something we have bought into at the Big Chip Awards. This year, for example, there has been no-one shortlisted for some categories, simply because none of the entries had what the judges considered a winning submission. Our high standards won’t be swayed by a need to sell tickets or to please entrants.

The issue of transparency

Most awards share the judges’ comments on the evening of the ceremony, but there is sometimes still a question over transparency of results.

Letting entrants know more about the judges, their backgrounds, and what they’re looking for, is one way of giving them some insight into the behind-the-scenes of an awards programme, and is likely to build trust. And this is exactly what we do at Big Chips through our judges' profiles and biographies.

Unfortunately there will always be those that seek to make money from awards – this is inevitable and something that, at the end of the day, can’t be helped. But there are a number of ceremonies that are credible and deserve the reputation they have built.

The Big Chip Awards has a strong place within the digital community, and word of mouth means we have generated a lot of support over the years and remain one of the most prestigious awards in the North.