In this week’s hot seat, chairing the Big Chip Awards judging panel for a second year, C3: Connected Cloud Communications’ Alasdair Scott explains why he’s returning in 2016, why he keeps coming back for more, and what he’s looking for from this year’s entrants.

What is it about The Big Chip Awards that has made you return?

It’s a real privilege to be involved with this year’s Big Chip Awards and there are so many reasons why I have returned. Here’s a handful of them:

  1. Big Chip is the UK’s longest running awards event for the digital industry.
  2. It’s all about recognising excellence across all digital work - not just those with significant budgets.
  3. Entry (for the first two pieces of work) is 100% free.  Zero quid.  Not a sausage. Da nada.  Bugger all. And in this day and age, that’s bloody amazing.
  4. We’ve got some familiar faces and some new ones joining the panel of judges this year.
  5. This is my second year as Chair of the judges, so while I’d never pretend to fill Michael Nutley’s shoes, I’m bricking it slightly less than last year!

 

What’s so great about the North’s flourishing digital industry?

There’s nothing more exciting than working in an industry that is having a direct and positive effect on the world - driving forward education, information, and entertainment to the billions of users that access our work every day. To misquote Steve Jobs, us lot in the digital industry stand at the “intersection of Science and The Liberal Arts”.  

We’re working in an industry where the rules are never written in concrete. Creativity is alive in both pixels and code; we are a sector enabling a better work/life balance - something that has not changed this dramatically since the Industrial Revolution. So it’s a fun and challenging time to be working in digital.

 

What were your highlights of last year’s Big Chip Awards?

It’s really hard to pick out any particular highlights from the 2015 Big Chip Awards, likely due to the very generous wine allocation from UK Fast (which was mostly consumed by myself and Special Guest Judge Professor Malcolm Garrett).  

In terms of the winning entries, I was particularly impressed by the work Access did on the BAFTA website.  It was a welcome breath of fresh air to see a website that delivered a fresh user interface/user experience without getting in the way of the content - especially great work given the strength of the BAFTA brand.  

I also got a total “wow” at the projection-mapping installation designed and built by Chris, Richard, and Katrina from MMU - the phrase “surprise and delight” is often overused, but this was exactly the judges’ reaction when we saw this.

 

What are you looking for in this year’s entrants?

This year I really want to have a shed load of great work to look at. I guess the organisers must be mad - because it’s completely free to enter the Big Chip Awards - so I hope this year we’re inundated with fantastic entries!  

But if I could have three wishes, they’d be:

  1. Great design, great business acumen, a passion for digital — all the qualities that make a killer digital project.
  2. ​Lots more entries from students - and lots more in the Content Marketing field.
  3. Entry forms to have actual metrics and stats [if applicable] so we can judge stuff like Return-On-Investment and Consumer Opt-In.  

Alasdair is Partner at C3, a next-generation mobile consultancy which creates and delivers compelling experiences for today's connected consumers. C3 is working with blue-chip global brands in the transport, entertainment and digital-out-of-home sectors. You can read more about Alasdair and the other judges you need to impress here.