It’s not the winning…

Last night saw the cream of the print industry gather once again in The Great Room, Park Lane for the annual PrintWeek Awards. Both ProCo and Concept Communications have been regular finalists over the years, ProCo twice scooping the main and highly prestigious Company of the Year Award along with wins in many of the other categories.

ProCo and Concept didn’t quite reach those dizzy heights last night, but we still feel very honoured to be a finalist. And nevertheless I love the buzz of this event – black ties everywhere, banter and back-slapping abound, suppliers hammering credit cards and making sure their best customers feel loved.

Then of course there’s either laughter at, or heckling of, the poor Compere who has the unenviable task of guiding the alcohol-quaffing guests through 24 categories of awards and trying to ensure at least some decorum is maintained. Last night saw Gyles Brandreth given this task and he was truly superb, the best I’ve seen.

Brandreth had done his homework. He was able to very competently comment on the industry and the finalists with facts and jokes neatly interlaced. I’ve never ever seen a host get a standing ovation at the conclusion, but he had been pushing all the right buttons during his two hour stint and his climactic waving of the proverbial ‘print is not dead’ banner brought the guests to their feet and quite right too.

And that’s sort of the point really. For a while the industry had been knocked and derided, becoming viewed as a sorry shadow of the lithographic glory days of the 80’s and 90’s. But thanks to innovation, collaboration and a real desire to become open and celebrate together, events like the PrintWeek Awards mean the ‘take-out’ is really uplifting. The awards are of course the main event and those that don’t win undoubtedly feel disappointed (been there several times!), but the overriding spirit of the occasion means that the feeling of positivity about print and communication in its current, exciting guises, lingers on way after the bars have closed and the band has finished playing.

I love what we do, I love being able to be at the leading edge of innovation and problem solving for our customers and above all, I LOVE sharing it with fellow colleagues and staff all of whom have the same strong sense of wanting to be the best.

So for me it’s not the winning, but the taking part. (Although of course there’s always next year…)


Giles Bowes MD Concept Communications – 20th October 2015