There seem to be more and more wedding awards popping up both regionally and nationally of late. In fact the organisers that promote them seem to have established a new industry for themselves (as I’ve been writing this I’ve just seen a new one appear that covers Bristol and Somerset).
Never say never but it’s highly unlikely that Oakleaf will be entering for an award any time soon. The reason? I feel they are more aimed at those seeking PR and networking opportunities plus the kudos of introducing their business as ‘the award-winning….’. But the main reason is that they’re not representative of the whole marquee industry.
If a national and impartial body decided to launch a ‘National Wedding Marquee Awards’ and entered every marquee firm in the country automatically, that would be more credible to my mind. This is the way it’s done in other industries. The trouble is there’s no money in doing this (bear in mind that to enter the awards process in the first place a supplier has to pay a fee and then, if selected for the final stage, buy tickets for the awards dinner too). Nobody does it for the love.
I’ve seen competitors plaster the ‘finalist’ and ‘winner’ logos everywhere and ram them down throats via social media at every opportunity. I’ve even seen one refer to themselves as being the ‘best in the UK’ which is neither fair nor true. They won an award for being the best supplier among the other suppliers that chose to enter based on certain criteria. Therefore, in my opinion the accolades are misleading. At the very least the awarding bodies should publish a list of entrants so the scale and importance of the awards can be assessed. As far as I’ve seen, they do not.
I’d be interested to know what customers think about this. Should we enter awards? If so, would it be purely so we can be seen as entering? Would the logo of an award on our homepage impress you? Based on some of the customers I’ve spoken to recently perhaps not. One such customer made a booking with us and when she informed a competitor they had not been chosen to supply her wedding marquee their retort was ‘but we’ve won awards’!
Why am I writing this post you may ask. Sour grapes? Jealousy? Inferiority complex? No, I guess I’m just irritated that these awards appear to be increasing in number and customers can easily get the wrong idea. Until someone convinces me that we must enter and that it's totally fair and fully representative of the industry and all its facets (service, range, value for money, safety record, financial performance etc) I’ll ensure we keep winning the award that matters most – customer satisfaction and recommendations.
Thanks for reading!