More than 100 entrepreneurs, SMEs and organisations – identified as potential winners by the panel – are expected to join the judges, category sponsors and invited guests at the Swindon offices of headline sponsors Thrings on Thursday (23 February).
And with decisions about which companies to visit and which to shortlist for one of the eight awards still to be made, businesses will have the opportunity to bring their submissions well and truly to life as well as share updates about any exciting developments since their entries were submitted.
The categories are: Apprenticeship, Training and Professional Development Employer of the Year; Business Person of the Year; Customer & Staff Care; Medium Sized Enterprise of the Year; Services to the Community; Small Business of the Year; Start-up Business of the Year; and Creative Marketing Awareness Award.
Each winner will gain automatic entry into the prestigious Outstanding Excellence (Wiltshire Business of the Year) award category, which is once again being sponsored by Thrings, a long-time partner of the event.
Thrings partner Ramona Derbyshire, a member of the judging panel, explains: “This year the judges have been struck by the high standard and sheer diversity of entries. We’ve had the pleasure of reading submissions from businesses at varying stages of the development, from sole traders and SMEs who are starting out on their commercial journeys to larger, more established organisations. But regardless of their size, reputation and trading history, each has a story to tell.
“Entrants have clearly dedicated huge amounts of time and effort to collating their submissions. In the vast majority of cases, organisations have given honest evaluations of their performance, highlighted their achievements, and shown where they have made improvements. But more than that – they have clearly stated their goals and ambitions for the future, which reminds us of the confidence that is currently pervading the Wiltshire business community.
“The ‘Meet the Judges’ event is a highlight in the Wiltshire business calendar, and plays a huge part in determining which companies advance to the next stage of the competition. We urge those who have their hearts set on winning an award to come along, tell us why they should win and above all, enjoy the company of their friends and professional colleagues from across the county.”