FRIDAY 10 MAR 2017 11:33 AM

DRIVING THE FUTURE OF BRITISH DIGITAL

As the organisation representing the British digital communications industry, BIMA is charged with setting the standard for quality work, recognising those succeeding and working toward a better digital future for the UK. Its annual BIMA Awards is the highlight of its calendar of events, and this year, it is being reimagined to better serve those objectives.

Not only will the structure of the awards be changing, but the actual ethos behind the BIMA Awards has been redefined.

“With its revamped awards, BIMA is shaping the future of the digital industry by recognising forward-thinking and truly innovative uses of technology and digital. This is the first execution of our 2017 strategy and paves the way for things to come under our new leadership and mission,” says Nadya Powell, founder at Innovation Disorder and chair of the BIMA Awards 2017.

Rather than simply recognising excellent completed or ongoing digital work, the new BIMA Awards will celebrate those organisations, projects and individuals that are shaping the future of Britain’s digital industry.

Until this year, the awards were given in various sectors and disciplines, with a handful of grand prix honours being distributed to the best agencies, teams and people. The changes to the structure of the BIMA Awards will eliminate this in favour of a more holistic approach to awarding excellence. Now, there are five major categories – big data, communications and content, immersive, product and service design, and technology – within which are awards for small budget, innovation, impact, craft and conscience. The shift means that awards will not be judged as a comprehensive piece of work, with a clear strategy, innovative approach and results, but on areas of that work – or entire projects – that best exemplify, innovation, for example, in digital communications. With a history of rigorous judging, this may make it a bit easier on entrants. However, it will also allow judges to highlight those breaking new ground in digital and setting the tone for the future of communications.

From these categories, each of the winners will be put in the pot for a ‘BIMA Advance Jury Prize Award’ that is essentially the best of the best in each of the five sub-categories. Finally, the ‘BIMA Advance Awards’ will be distributed to the best agency, in-house team or individual that is making positive change in diversity, talent, startups and entrepreneurial business.

Sophie Bampton, marketing manager at BIMA, says the changes were decided upon because BIMA wants to address the rapid change in digital communications and honour those that are shaping the future, not just excelling in the present. “It’s quite a brave thing to do,” she says.

The BIMA Awards are accepting entries until 28 April, with an early bird special on offer until 31 March.

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