THIS year’s Crow Awards are set to be the event’s biggest edition yet, with the number of categories on offer set to nearly double.
In a bid to align with the statewide NSW Business Chamber awards and create more opportunities for entrants, the awards will expand to cover 11 categories, up from six last year.
All but one of the category winners – that of best new business – will move on from this year’s awards to contest the NSW Business Chamber’s region awards.
The awards aren’t just about recognising the top performers in Wagga’s business sector though, with this year’s setup designed to provide plenty of opportunities for exposure to entrants.
“(The awards) give them good exposure and PR and excellent goodwill across those categories,” Wagga Business Chamber business manager Michelle Bray said.
“It just gives those businesses so much more exposure.”
Interest in sponsoring this year’s awards has been overwhelming, according to Ms Bray, with the chamber fielding enquiries on a daily basis. However, plenty of opportunities still remain.
For last year’s Crow Award winner, International Hotel owner Joel Berrigan, the awards have been a launching pad for wider recognition.
“Winning the Crow Award, we’ve gone on to be recognised by AAA Tourism,” he said.
“The Crow Award has paid tribute to us getting that recognition.”
The International Hotel team secured last year’s Crow Award in the business’ first year of existence, a feat Mr Berrigan labelled as an “overachievement”.
Mr Berrigan is now hoping to go back-to-back in May.
This year’s Crow Awards gala ceremony features a packed entertainment program, with gold medal-winning Winter Olympian Steven Bradbury set to deliver an “inspirational” presentation. Tunes on the night will be provided by the Australian Army Band Kapooka Jazz Band and, later on, The Night Shift.
But before the main event, finalists, sponsors and judges will gather at a cocktail party in April, an initiative designed to boost networking and exposure opportunities for entrants.
This year’s theme for the awards is titled “We Love This City”, a concept Ms Bray said was about getting people passionate about Wagga again.
“It’s a great place to run a business and have a family,” she said.
Entries are still open for the 2015 Crow Awards and close on March 6.
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