Last night 5 of us Receptionalites (Dixon Jones, Nick Andrews, Barrie Smith, Syed Shehzad and Sarah Bradley) headed down to London for the 2nd annual UK Search Awards. We were nominated for "Best use of search - retail" and had high hopes of taking the award home for the trophy cabinet.
Having not attended the 2011 Search Awards, it was my first ceremony and I have to say, the organisers (Don't Panic) put on a fantastic night! On arrival at the Emirates we were met on the door by some storm troopers and were then warmly welcomed inside to a champagne reception in a corporate suite overlooking the pitch.
The compere for the night was Andy Crane (who also steered the ceremony in 2011) and he did a great job with awards.
The sound was a little echoey at times making it difficult to hear but Andy certainly held the progressively drunk audience's attention throughout the hour long awards ceremony.
Don't know who Andy Crane is? Well, if you're old enough to remember "in the broomcupboard" you'll surely remember the days of Andy Peters and Ed the Duck on the BBC!
There was also a half hour stand up routine by Andy Kind which seemed to go down reasonably well with the audience despite the predictable bullying of the front row! Well, that said, if you are going to turn up in a kilt and sit in the front row you should probably be expecting it to be fair!
A personal highlight of mine within Andy's routine was his laying into One Direction and their nonsensical lyrics comparing the logic of "you don't know you're beautiful, that's what makes you beautiful" with "you don't know you're a cat, that's what makes you a cat".. I guess you had to be there to get that one!
I was certainly disappointed however that Andy missed a great opportunity for some Justin Bieber bashing with the perfect audience for it in front of him - I don't think "Bieber-bashing" will ever get old within the search industry! Not the best stand up routine I've ever witnessed but entertaining none the less!
Dinner is served!
The dinner put on by the guys at the Emirates was superb. Starting with a tomato and basil soup, followed by a fantastic piece of beef before ending with a chocolate dessert.. all washed down of course with about 10 bottles of wine!
Awards ceremony and winners!
Receptional were nominated for the award of "Best use of Search - Retail" however unfortunately despite our optimism the award slipped us by, being handed out to deserving winners PushON for their campaign with The Little Greene Paint Company. Perhaps it was our over-optimism and poor attempts to wind up the competition which made us lose out!..
It was quite funny however to watch the winners get up one by one and attempt to give a thank you speech - we're clearly a young industry that don't have too many awards ceremonies so some of the acceptance speeches were obviously quite uncomfortable! Perhaps the speeches will improve over time!
The full list of winners from this years search awards were..
Best Integrated Campaign: Bloom & ADT
Using Integrated Methods to Optimise Conversion Rates
Best Local Campaign: MediaCom
National Tyres & Autocare – right time, right place, right message
Best use of Search - Retail: PushON
The Little Greene Paint Company
Best use of Search - Travel: Lakestar Media & Warner Leisure
Drive multi-channel travel growth
Best use of Search - Finance: Stickyeyes
Creative Thinking; Creative Search (Exceeding Client Expectations)
Best use of Search – Leisure: Smart Traffic & Trekwear
Outperforming big name brands with SEO
Best Mobile Campaign: Net Media Planet
The price isn’t always right: defying convention to improve Papa John’s bottom line
Best Blog: Bing Ads Community
A Place to Discuss, Share and Collaborate Innovation Caliber Interactive - Conflict of Pinterest
Best PPC Management Software: Fast Web Media
Best SEO Software: Highly Commended Linkdex
Better Data and More Insight
Best SEO Software: Searchmetrics Suite V6
Best PPC Campaign: LBi & Play.com
Becoming Industry Leaders Through Automated Processes & Testing
Best SEO Campaign: Performics
Baking Mad SEO Best In House Team O2 Digital Capability Team
Best Agency: Stickyeyes
Grand Prix Award: Net Media Planet
The price isn’t always right: defying convention to improve Papa John's Bottom Line
Search Personality of the Year - Dixon Jones!
Despite losing out on the retail search award for the second year running, Receptional didn't walk away from the ceremony empty handed! Unknown to Dixon, both Barrie and clearly others in the room had nominated him as the Search Personality of the Year.
As the award approached and Bas Van Den Beld stepped up to the lecturn we all held our breath and sure enough Dixon had bagged it! For a guy who is so well known, worldwide across the search industry both for his work with Receptional and ongoing commitment to Majestic SEO I couldn't have picked a more deserving winner.
Dixon received a standing ovation from the Receptional team and was clearly quite touched by the sentiment and recognition of the award.. he may have even shed a little tear..
...and then there was the after party (uh-oh..)
What a difference 4 hours makes...!
For a full set of photos and award winners from the night, check out Don't Panic's Search Awards 2012 flickr album over here.
We must have been hanging off the edge of the stadium somewhere by this point of the night but there was one of the best Jagermeister trains done on the bar that I've ever (not) seen too!
Overall, the Search Awards was a great night, and despite losing out on the award all of us at Receptional had a fantastic night out despite today's lingering hangovers! It was certainly great to see all of the usual faces from the industry present at the awards and also many new ones too!
Well, that's it for 2012 now, Receptional will be back in force for UK Search Awards in 2013 so we look forward to seeing you all there!