Anita Howard, founder of the ICE awards, brings ITCM up-to-date‘The people who organise events for their own companies, the personnel in the in-house MICE departments, are constantly engaged with large numbers of festive and motivational events. I have, for example, come across an instance where three people have been responsible for as many as 200 events of different kinds and sizes in the year.
‘However, I came to realise that their jobs can be lonely and their achievements can go unrecognised by the rest of the company.’
So Anita, a Director of Red-Box Communications, investigated this and found just how right she was. ‘The in-house event organisers’, she concluded, ‘are unsung heroes of our industry’.
She therefore set up the ICE Awards. The first were awarded at a fun occasion in the British Museum in 2015 and were a big success. ‘There were 26 companies who entered a total of about 50 events to be judged under different categories. Notable enterprises joined in, including giants from the internet, telecommunications, the media and pharmaceuticals. Amongst the winners were BNP Paribas, Colgate-Palmolive, Euromoney and Twitter’.
The second year’s ICE Awards are to be presented at an even bigger occasion on July 14 2016 at the Victoria & Albert Museum – and the event is already guaranteed to be even more spectacular.
Anita is happy to report that ‘as many as 63 companies have already asked for over 100 events to be considered for awards in different categories. The first year we had four categories, but these have now been increased. Nine Best Event Awards will be made under the headings of CSR, Motivational, Sponsorship, Leadership, International, Effective Use of Budget, Collaboration with an Agency, Logistical Challenge and Use of Technology.’
One entrant is from Amsterdam, the first from outside the UK. ‘Not a problem’, says Anita. ‘We are happy to spread the coverage and we invite companies from outside the UK to compete for the awards, too.’
She explains that ‘A major benefit, according to the entrants last year, was the opportunity to network across different sectors of industry. Organisers from the financial sector talked about ideas with those from pharma companies and from automotive and media. It will be great for them to network, too, with their counterparts from abroad.
‘We structured the Awards Day especially to facilitate networking. There was a celebration meal, but it was served in stages in different rooms of the venue, so that everyone had to mingle and move around together and so could start up conversations with the other participants. It worked a treat’.
Full application details for 2016 are still available at www.ice-awards.com/