Get ready to go for glory!
That was the rallying call today to the cream of Lancashire’s business people as the county’s leading awards were officially opened.
The Be Inspired Business Awards, organised by the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, will honour winners in 18 categories.
In 2013, the BIBAs attracted nearly 1,000 entries with just 125 going on to the judging stage.
The organisers have unveiled plans for an even more rigorous judging process, and a new-look ceremony at Blackpool Tower in September.
The chamber has meanwhile commissioned research by the Lancaster University Management School to raise the standards of the annual prize-giving.
It has been bench-marked against the world’s leading business awards, and the findings of the research have been fed into the entry requirements for the awards and the initial round of judging which gets underway later this year.
Norman Tenray, vice-president of the chamber, said the research would continue in the coming months.
He said: “The next steps will involve production of more in-depth questions and criteria for the judging process.
“It will also help to develop a series of boot camp training sessions the BIBAs will once again be hosting for its finalists to ensure we have the best chance of winning an award. These awards are known as ‘the one they all want to win’ for a reason and we recognise that our finalists do not rest on their laurels, so we cannot afford to either.”
The research looked at some of the world’s leading business awards including the “Stevies” (American Business Awards and International Business Awards), the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards and, in the UK, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise and Best Business Awards.
It also studied regional examples of best practice from awards such as London Loves Excellence and the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce’s annual prize-giving, along with consulting LUMS academics.
Superfast Lancashire – which is bringing fast, fibre broadband to 675,000 of businesses and homes across the county by the end of 2015 – has signed up as the awards’ headline sponsor.
Tony Morgan of Superfast Lancashire, said it was delighted to be involved.
For more details on the awards and how to enter visit www.thebibas.co.uk.