Introducing the SimCon awards

By Simon Woodhead

Recognition is a good thing, but sadly we think the way awards work currently is fundamentally broken and we’d like to change that.

Let’s face it, anyone who has the bandwidth and resource to nominate themselves for an award isn’t as busy as they could be investing in their staff, customers, and innovation. There’s something that feels very alien to us about nominating oneself for recognition, and it feels even more wrong when the business model comes to light. Notably, those in with a chance of winning an award are invited to purchase table packages at the award ceremony so they can be, entirely coincidentally, in the right place at the right time with a table full of customers when they win. The promoter profits from selling lots of drinks packages, the short-listed self-promoters get to put “award-winning” all over their propaganda and pretend they won it in a fair fight, but that is really where the good ends. The poor soul who’s been slaving away genuinely innovating, or the start-up that is too darn busy on-boarding new customers are worthy of recognition but don’t get it, yet in a truly fair fight devoid of self-promotion they’d win hands down.

We’ve never entered any of the well-known awards but we do often let out an uncomfortable laugh when the winners are announced. We love it when we see those that are deserving break through, even more so when it’s one of our own customers, but we feel it’s more often the case of ‘me too’ people winning innovation awards for someone else’s idea, or resellers getting the ‘best network’ award for the network they don’t have. That would be humorous if it wasn’t then such powerful marketing for these muppets. Different awards have differing standards of course, and the deserving do very occasionally surface, but no awards are where we feel they need to be.

So, at SimCon2, we intend recognising those around the industry and community who deserve it and we’d like your help. We’d like you to send us nominations for people and companies that are not you or yours, and you get to make up the category; there’s no predefined pigeonholes that need filling. They can be humorous if you like although we’ll need to temper the ridicule because we want anyone who positively wins one of these awards to really feel valued and recognised by their peers. The “by their peers” part is the key phrase there. Anyone nominating themselves, directly, or by mutual arrangement, will not be disqualified, but will be recognised in other ways.

Nominations and nominees are open to everyone, not just Simwood customers (although we do tend to attract the brightest and best!) and not just business – we want to recognise people and community projects too. By definition, Simwood cannot win and I will be judging along with three industry peers. Who those peers are will be revealed nearer the time as I do not want to exclude them from the running for recognition by involving them too soon.

It will be light-hearted, no doubt the lawyers will need to clear some of the nominations, but we can’t stress enough how we want this to seriously be about recognising those who without it would never receive the praise they so much deserve.

Please send a simple email with your case and suggested award to awards at simwood.com and we’ll do the rest! Of course, you’ll need to be at SimCon to see who’s won, although they might not be there because we won’t have sold them a drinks package!