Thursday, 31 October 2013

Interactive Media Awards: what do they tell us

The range and type of awards offered in the industry reflect the activities and trends of work. It’s a snap-shot of what’s going on and what is considered ‘good’. With this in mind, we’ve taken a quick look at some of the major players for the UK.

What’s readily apparent is the massive increase in categories that you can enter. This demonstrates the growth of interactive media use across traditional sectors. Imagine, The Interactive Media Awards now has 100 categories (and growing) that they divide into 25 per quarter of the year. If you can’t find a category to enter there for your projects, we’d be amazed. The award categories are mostly arranged around traditional content sectors of business, such as Bridal/Weddings, Government, Financial Services and Animals/Wildlife although some of the categories like e-commerce and web design/development seem more about the medium. Other awarding bodies choose to define the categories in other ways.

BIMA (British Interactive Media Association) has recently had its 2013 awards event and you can see that they divide their categories into Sector, Discipline and Premium with 24 subcategories. These cover:, Battle of the Brands, Business to business, Corporate, Education and Outreach, Entertainment, Leisure and Culture, and Public Life, as Sectors. Then Community Building, Content Marketing, Engagement, Games, Integrated Campaign, Mashups and Data Visualisation, Mobile, Multi-platform, Self Promotion, Social Media, Student, Tablet, User Experience, make up the Discipline categories. Finally Innovation, Minor Miracle, Agency of the Year and Grand Prix cover the Premium categories.

FWA (Favourite Website Awards) is based in Cambridge and runs daily, monthly and annual awards for web sites based on the judging criteria of creativity, originality, design, content and personality. The daily and monthly judging leads to a public vote for the Winner of the year. Their site is updated daily and they have lots of followers worldwide.

Only you will know what angle your company favours; whether creativity or transparent interface, well-structured content or in-your-face bombardment. So much depends on your clients, their needs, the proposed audience etc. That’s why defining categories for awards is no easy feat. Just think about what you’d put as criteria and categories. How would you set criteria that judges would agree on? It’s easy to write off these awards as irrelevant to you, but they pin down standards as a result of what they do – and you shouldn’t ignore that.

Look at some of the winners in the categories that suit your type of work. Do they inspire or frustrate? A good way to change perceptions if you don’t agree with the results is to back your own work and enter. Good luck.

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