The suggested headline for this blog post is hilarious but totally unprintable, suggested by the very entertaining group technical editor of Building, Thomas Lane.
I’d love to use his brilliant witty headline, as the spirit in which it was delivered was reflected throughout the evening. The Building Awards 2015 was a very glamourous affair; however surpassing the glamour was a more down to earth feeling.
A great sense of fun and playfulness could be felt across a room full of pride and positivity about the UK construction industry.
Anyone who thinks that the construction industry is behind the digital times would have been silenced, as tweets with #buildingawards were displayed on the main screen throughout dinner.
Encouraged by a selfie competition again the humour of the audience shone through from the start. I never thought I would see #bimpout, or find out about how many attendees were users of Tinder!
Alan Cochrane took to the stage to open the awards presentation with a hilarious start, including a ‘children in the car croissant eating’ anecdote, and a scarily accurate description of how men are viewed when taking on childcare responsibilities versus women.
The Building Awards and UBM really pushed the boat out; awards host David Walliams provided great entertainment at the hilarious expense of the presenter of each of the awards.
Amidst the laughter and entertainment there were so many important issues recognised and supported by the awards.
Pride of Britain 2014 winner, and Prince’s Trust ambassador, Georgia Hardie, shared her incredible story about her journey from homelessness to a job she loves at Rydon.
Woman of the Year Kate Corrigan, Turner and Townsend’s youngest ever female director, accepted her award glowing with pride and pregnancy; an incredible role model and inspiration.
Corrigan, in addition to working at the highest level of cost management, has been responsible for promoting diversity and setting up the forum ‘Addressing the Balance’ to attract and support the industry’s women.
I won’t talk about every award or my post will be longer than the awards evening itself, but it was very interesting to see some elements of issues highlighted by the CIMCIG Marketing Round Table – 12th February 2015 addressed by award winners.
The round table highlighted the ‘toughest marketing challenges in 2015’ as:
• Getting more resource
• Focus and prioritising – cutting through the noise.
• Sales force engagement, pointing them in the right direction for the re-emergence of the market.
Core Five’s investment in training whilst growing its staff by 60% was surely a contributor to their win on Construction Consultant /Surveyor of the year (fewer than 100 staff).
PRP took both Architectural Practice of the Year and Housing project of the Year for St Bede’s Independent Living, demonstrating their continued best practice and financial strength.
Specialist cladding contractor FK Group won Specialist contractor of the year, having demonstrated a real problem solving ability. I wonder how much of this is down to their 90% staff retention rate…
Argent were named Construction Client of the Year with Argent partner Tony Giddings personality of the Year. No surprise for all of us that were there. His thank you speech was witty and self-deprecating. Giddings commented that Argent’s success is ‘testament to procurement, supply chain and delivery.’
Congratulations to all that won and were shortlisted. The construction industry is a very exciting sector to be a part of at the moment, and all of us working in the industry (award winners or not) should be very proud of the work we do to support and develop the build environment.
On more of a sponsorship and branding note, it was also nice to see my former employer Sika making the most of branding opportunities with table chocolates; my top recommendation for category sponsorship is to get the early award categories before the wine starts flowing…
The full list of awards winners can be found here.
[Images from social media with kind permission of UBM]