The Glasgow Business Awards 2013

Last night saw the Business Oscars of Glasgow organised by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce play out in the Thistle Hotel with well over 600 business people in attendance at the glittering black tie event.

In their sixteenth consecutive year the prestigious annual Glasgow Business Awards celebrates the city’s business success in a diverse range of categories, and a 10% increase in entries since 2012 clearly demonstrates the depth of talent on offer in the city.

With sixteen categories to present MC Fred MacAulay provided topical humour and kept the pace of the awards delivery swift and efficient.

The main sponsor for the twelfth consecutive year was Bank of Scotland who selected the overall winner for the Most Outstanding Business to be Barr + Wray.

Glasgow has a large number of micro businesses so the competition for the category of Best Performing Business for companies with 1-10 employees sponsored by Glasgow City Council in partnership with Jobs & Business Glasgow was tough, and was won by design and branding agency MadeBrave.

Glasgow City Council also sponsored the category for Best Performing Business with 11-50 employees and cordless phone specialists liGo were voted the winners of this award.

Best Performing Business with 51+ employees was sponsored by Glasgow School for Business and Society at Glasgow Caledonian University and was won by MB Aerospace.

Scottish Water sponsored the category for Sustainable Development and Alan Thomson presented the award to worthy winners City Legacy.

Scotrail sponsored the category for Creative Marketing and awarded it to expert in employment law Law at Work.

The training arm of Arnold Clark, GTG Training were the category sponsors for Excellence in Skills and Learning and CEO David Scott presented this award to Barrhead Travel.

The Thistle Hotel sponsored the Excellence in Customer Service category with the award going to Clyde Travel Management.

JF Hilliebrand sponsored the International Trade category.  The level of entries was so high the judges decided on joint winners with Barr + Wray and William Grant & Sons Ltd ­collecting an award each.

President Varry McMenemy’s company Bellcom Worldwide sponsored the Young Business Person of the Year category.  Amongst stiff competition Dr Vicki Fiddes of Vicki Fiddes Podiatry emerged as the winner.

Specialist publishing and communications company Connect were the category sponsors for Excellence in Communications and GHA, part of the Wheatley Group, were presented with this award.

Radio Clyde presented M Squared Lasers Ltd with the award for their Innovation in Business category.

Category sponsors Scottish Power presented the Green Champion award to biodiversity champions Plan Bee Ltd.

YoYo Events and Promotions presented the Family Business of the Year to A.C. Whyte & Co. Ltd.

Amongst tough competition the readers of the Evening Times voted Glasgow Credit Union as Glasgow’s Favourite Business.

Varry McMenemy, president of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, presented the Lifetime Achievement to Vera Weisfeld OBE who, alongside her husband Gerald, founded the high street chain the ‘What Everyone Wants’.

Vera received a standing ovation when she took to the stage to accept her award.  She told the audience that she would not have achieved such success without her husband Gerald and bravely told the packed hotel that he was suffering from Alzheimers. Vera’s honest and humble words brought the audience to their feet again and it was obvious that the Weisfelds are much loved in the Glasgow business community.

The event clearly celebrated the success of many businesses within Glasgow and as Councillor Gordon Matheson said in his introduction it was very evident that Glasgow is indeed flourishing.

Social Media: It’s Not an Option Anymore!

Lunch and Learn event

Lunch and Learn event

At Dunning-Creating Sparks we have been converts of Social Media for quite some time. Whilst we don’t consider ourselves to be experts, in reality few practitioners can lay claim to Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” guru status of 10,000 hours practice = good, however we do like to think we know what we’re talking about.

So, today we were happy to stand up and share an overview of our knowledge to not one but two business audiences where we boldly stated Social Media: It’s Not an Option Anymore!


Not ones to shirk a challenge, Julian picked up the mic and by 2 o’clock had spoken to over 120 businesses on the merits and the pitfalls of social media. First up was a breakfast seminar starting at 7.30am in GTG Training’s state of the art facility in Whiteinch.  We then moved on to the Corinthian Club in Glasgow City Centre where we presented to Glasgow Chamber of Commerce members at the first of their Lunch & Learn series of sponsored events.  Both venues were fully booked, in fact the lunch was the first ever sold out event for the Chamber who had to start late because an extra table was needed to accommodate all the eager, lunch learners.

Lunch and Learn event

Lunch and Learn event

Julian talked about the variety of social media tools available and emphasised the need for a social media:

  • Policy
  • Strategy
  • Measurement criteria
  • ROI demonstration

He offered the following Top Ten Policy Tips:

  1. Introduce the purpose of social media
  2. Be responsible for what you write
  3. Be authentic
  4. Consider your audience
  5. Exercise good judgment
  6. Understand the concept of community
  7. Respect copyrights and fair use
  8. Protect confidential and proprietary info
  9. Bring value
  10. Productivity matters

In conclusion Julian advised everyone to ensure they held tight to the traditional principles of any marketing strategy:

  • Plan
  • Create
  • Publish
  • Govern

And reminded us all that it’s not rocket science and always:

  • Be interesting
  • Be useful
  • Be yourself

If any of this sparks your interest, whether you’re already utilising social media or just want to dip your toe in the water, feel free to get in touch as our first hour of consultancy is free and training can attract up to 80% funding from Glasgow City Council.

Here’s some of the tweets following the events:

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Hoss Gifford at The Second Communications Breakfast

Hoss Gifford

The Second Communications Breakfast takes place on Thursday 5th May at The Corinthian Club 7.45am-9.00am.  For this breakfast, we’re delighted to have secured Hoss Gifford as our keynote speaker.

Hoss is an award-winning digital guru who’s published several books and presented at a lot of international creative and technology conferences. He’s judged awards, including D&AD and The One Show, and spent time as visiting lecturer at Glasgow School of Art. His trophy cabinet features accolades from Epica, Creative Review, Design Week, the Scottish Design Awards, and Computer Arts magazine recently featured Hoss as a Design Icon.

With a degree in architecture, he has served time as a graphic designer, worked in advertising, and has been influential in the new media industry since its inception. He also worked as a lifeguard in Pennsylvania in the eighties, a cocktail barman in Edinburgh in the nineties, and owned a BMX shop in the naughties.

Hoss is going to share his experience at the sharp end of innovation, candidly discussing both successes and failures. There will be a focus on using technology in your business, but the talk itself will not be technical. Come along and Hoss will tell you:

  • How to find out if you’re spending too much on your website
  • The question digital agencies don’t want to answer when pitching for your work
  • Three simple and cheap things you can do today to get measurable return on your investment in technology

The last event was a fully booked, standing-room-only affair. It’s a free event, you get a delicious breakfast and you get to hear a really in-demand speaker. Be quick!

If you’d like to book, click here