The G-Awards should be the highlight of the Glazing Industry’s year, an event all in the industry believe is fairly judged to celebrate outstanding achievement.
All those nominated no matter which category they have been shortlisted for should trust that they will have a fair chance of winning…… But is this the case?
My company ‘Made for Trade’ was shortlisted for the ‘New Product of the Year’ G-Awards category for the Korniche Roof Lantern. We didn’t win and of course were very disappointed, but putting aside this disappointment we were left wondering which criteria were being used by the judging panel to arrive at a winner.
In our category, the criteria should have included ‘new innovation’. Our nominated product; the Korniche Roof Lantern has several innovative features which has totally deskilled a process that up until now has required time served, experienced installers. Also several innovations have vastly reduced the installation time down to mere minutes!
Some of these features include:
• Innovation to allow glazing in seconds due to our unique triple purpose glazing retainer
• Innovation to completely remove the need for silicone sealant within the roof structure
• Innovation to enable the look and feel of a traditional timber lantern through the invention of our patent pending roof boss
• Innovation in the smart design which enables our lantern to withstand live loads of up to 8 tonnes of force on a market leading 6m x 4m roof which incidentally is twice that of our nearest competitor… the list goes on but needless to say this is REAL innovation. What we have created is a product which can hit an entirely new part of the market, a part of the market which wasn’t accessible before we developed the technologies seen in the Korniche.
When we looked at the other nominees in our category, the flush sash products of deceuninck and Epwin’s Optima stand out and are very good and very similar but nothing really new. One could ask the question that being so similar how are they differentiated…….. so again what is the judging criteria ?
What disappointed us most was the fact that we were not contacted by the G-Awards judging panel to arrange a visit and talk to us about our product and see for themselves the features that set the Korniche apart and give it the Wow factor ……So how is judging carried out we ask? Does it just rely on the entry form you submit because that’s what it looks like! Write anything you like for your Awards entry because no one will query it!
Most people we spoke to before and after the G-Awards ceremony, even the editors of the industry’s most influential magazines, believed the Korniche would stand a good chance of winning and were gobsmacked no one from the judging panel had visited or even asked any questions of us……
So is the judging bias towards the Sponsors, it would seem so as nearly every year they appear to win most of the categories?
Before the event we had heard a lot of people in the industry make comments about the awards ranging from ‘If you are not a sponsor then you have no chance’,… ‘Its fixed in favour of the event sponsors and the main players in the industry’. ‘The larger PR Companies representing some or all of the bigger companies including sponsors hold sway with decisions’. I am sure that the G-Awards promoters, sponsors and judges would be appalled at these comments, but they are very real. Comments like this need to be tackled through transparency so clarity of how judging is carried out in the future is urgently needed, criteria being used to differentiate between products is a must….If these points were clearer and acted upon it would create a fairer and better understood Award system that could be embraced by the whole of industry and make for a more credible, inclusive awards..
We do realize that some categories seem well judged ie ’Fabricator and Installer of the Year’ as well as the’ Derek Bonnard Award’ but we would like to see as one major magazine editor suggests that ‘Product Entries’ are accompanied by Judges comments and published alongside each of the other entrants products to avoid any doubt that assessment has been thorough and fair.
We also think that another suggestion from an editor of another major magazine deserves consideration…ie ‘Best New Product of the Year’ category would benefit from a voting/judging system aimed at users of the products- maybe an online platform allowing fabricators and installers to vote and be a part of the judging process.
Being recognised by winning a G-Awards should be looked upon as the highest Accolade in the industry……Can it happen?
Sour grapes on our part ? NO. Disappointment? YES. However the disappointment is about no one from the ‘G-Awards judging panel visiting or contacting us to see our product! How therefore could it be assessed and judged against a competing product in the ’Best New Product of the Year’ category from just an entry form? We do have new products coming on stream but I don’t think we will be entering next year or reserving a table unless we can believe that transparency and fairness can prevail.
Maybe we are unique in this view point, maybe we should ask others through our social media avenues to see if this is really the case…
Director, Aanco/Made for Trade