The Tauranga Business Awards 2021 is moving to a hybrid digital-physical event format, due to the heighten safety risks of the current COVID-19 climate.
Following Monday’s announcement and because of the ever-changing COVID-19 situation for large-scale events, the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce has made the decision to adapt its annual awards evening, to ensure the safety of its attendees and the wider Bay of Plenty community.
The awards were to be held as a cocktail evening at Farmer Autovillage across three of their showrooms, with an expected attendance of up to 350 people. The new-look format will now host a small gathering of 100 at Farmer Autovillage comprising of sponsors, judges, VIPs, the winner of the Corporate Leadership Award and Chamber staff.
Entrants will be hosting their own parties in their own bubble. On the event day, they will be sent out a Love Local hamper, packaged and arranged by Bay Venues, to ensure they can have the awards night experience at a venue of their choosing.
Using technology supplied by Bay Visual Audio, video and photos will be used to connect the gathering at Farmer Autovillage with the entrants to capture that all-important winning moment. Event sponsors Farmer Autovillage will also be showcasing 13 of their premium vehicles, one from each of their brands, for a surprise on the night.
Event organiser Anne Pankhurst says it was important for the Chamber and everyone involved in the planning, organisation and judging of the Business Awards to continue in some way.
“Watching the COVID-19 situation escalate across the upper North Island, we believe this is the most responsible course of action. It ensures we can continue to champion and celebrate our local businesses, who have put an inordinate amount of work into their entries and their businesses over the past year, while also keeping them safe.”
Anne adds that the calibre of entrants this year has been outstanding and it’s exciting to see so many new, innovative businesses in the Bay.
“We just had our pitch weekend and the atmosphere was electric. It’s always a highlight of the process for our judges as they get to see and hear the passion being poured into some fascinating local businesses. Our judges were simply buzzing about our entrants.”
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce CEO Matt Cowley says he is proud that the Chamber and sponsors are rallying together to ensure the event proceeds, as entrants deserve a platform to celebrate their achievements in what has been an extraordinary year.
“As any event organiser will know, COVID-19 is a real challenge. Events are an integral part of the Bay’s economy and the Chamber is doing its part to help support those impacted. We felt it was important to lead by example, to try to support the events industry and all its associated suppliers by continuing in a way that puts the safety of our community front and centre, without putting a stop to the event.
“We’re very fortunate to be able to have found a solution and credit goes to Anne for her hard work, especially over the last few months, to keep calm and carry on.”
The judging process is now complete and the winners will now be announced via a private live stream event on Friday, November 12 for ticket holders. They will be announced publicly after the event.
Voting is still open through to the end of October for the NZME People’s Choice Award. Visit the Business Awards website for details: www.tauranga.org.nz/businessawards-peopleschoice/