InAVation Awards offers lots of reasons to celebrate

With the 2019 InAVation Awards categories opening on September 18, Anna Mitchell takes a look at what this global industry awards scheme has to offer entrants, finalists, winners and attendees.

All InAVation Awards categories will open on September 18, 2018 ahead of the 2019 event that will see the glittering awards ceremony and dinner return to its home in Amsterdam’s Gashouder venue. With a bewildering and ever growing number of awards schemes taking off in the AV industry, it’s important for us to outline what this programme has offered the industry every year since its launch in 2007. 

The categories
InAVation Awards categories are analysed and rethought every year to make sure they stay relevant to the industry. Each year sees a few categories dropped and others taken up. There was a huge overhaul of technology categories in 2017 in response to our judges’ concerns that broad groupings such as ‘Best Audio Product’ attracted such a diverse range of products it was impossible to compare them. The new focus puts the onus on the entrant to say what benefit a particular technology offers to a specific application, task or environment. Part of the skill in the entry now is to convey the benefits to system designers, installers and specifiers rather than focusing on product specifications.

This year’s biggest change is the introduction of a dedicated end user award for technology managers and their teams. End users have always been involved in the InAVation Awards: they are eligible for the Project Manager of the Year Award and very often intricately involved in the Project awards. However, their growing presence as part of the InAVation Awards audience each year, as well as their increasing importance in the industry, means we believe the time is right for a more targeted award. 

The categories are limited and the very high standard of entries means that every year some tough decisions have to be made. There are products, projects, companies and people very deserving of an award that just don’t quite make it to the top. Simply giving away more awards each year would destroy the reputation these awards have of being a true badge of excellence in a particular field. We know that our previous award winners use their prizes to demonstrate the quality of their work. Too many awards, that are too easy to win,  diminish their value.

Truly global
The InAVation Awards has always been held during the ISE exhibition week in Amsterdam and, when the show moves to Barcelona in 2021, the InAVation Awards will follow. The close association between exhibition and awards organisers offers a range of benefits and has allowed us to make this a truly global awards scheme. We are able to attract a genuinely global audience because our guests are already staying in Amsterdam for the biggest AV and systems integration show in the world. 

What started life as an EMEA wide event in 2007, started to expand, roughly inline with the growth of the ISE show as an event with increasing global importance. Our growing geographic coverage was also fuelled by the launch of our sister publication InAVate APAC. 

Initially InAVation Project Awards were only open to projects carried out in EMEA. In 2014 we launched the International Award for projects outside EMEA. Last year we made the final step, abolishing the International Award and opening all categories to projects carried out anywhere in the world. In 2018, our finalists covered the globe; from Afghanistan to Australia, Iceland to India. 
A night to remember
The InAVation Awards ceremony has taken various forms and venues across Amsterdam. In the last few years, we’ve really set the benchmark however; first in the industrial Amsterdam Convention Factory before heading to the Gashouder, a unique venue inside a converted gas tower.

Experience is a huge part of this night now with every care taken to make sure entertainment, catering and presentation is all of the highest quality. A ticket to the event covers everything so there are no hidden costs. 

Our finalists and winners can all be proud of fantastic achievements and we should be celebrating that in a way that rewards and honours those successes. Winners walk away with not just an award but a night of celebration to remember. 

This approach has seen the night grow in popularity and it is now considered “the key networking event taking place during ISE”.  But don’t take my word for it, check out last year’s event in the video at the top of the page.

2019 Project Categories
Control Room
Corporate Facility
Education Facility
Government or Public Sector Facility
Hospitality – new!
House of Worship
Leisure & Entertainment Facility
Live Event
Visitor Attraction
Download entry requirements here 

2019 Technology Categories
AV Accessory
AV Software - new!
Technology for Collaboration and Conferencing
Technology for Control and Management
Technology for Control Rooms
Technology for Digital Signage
Technology for Entertainment/Live Events
Technology for Large Venue Presentation
Technology for Museums and Attractions - new!
Technology for Safety and Security
Technology for Signal Distribution
Technology for Video Capture and Broadcast
More info here

2019 Special Categories
The AVIXA Standards Award
Distributor of the Year
Consultant/Project Manager of the Year
Technology Manager of the Year - new!
More info here 

Dates for the diary
September 18, 2018: All categories open
October 21, 2018: Technology entry shuts
November 4, 2018: Project entry shuts
November 6, 2018: Technology finalists announced, voting open
December 4, 2018: Project finalists announced
January 18, 2019: Voting closes
February 5, 2019: Winners announced at the awards event

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