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By Elizabeth Akass, Editor, Engage Business Media

The annual International Engage Awards celebrates the successes of our community of industry-leaders across a variety of sectors. The 2019 event marks the fourth year of the awards, and will host a record number of 20 categories, covering all aspects of customer and employee engagement, including the new coveted Lifetime Achievement Award. This event presents entrants with the chance to gain esteemed recognition for their achievements, and end the night as award-winning companies.

This will be the first year the event will be called the International Engage Awards, acknowledging the increasingly global spread of organisations submitting entries to the November event: the only customer and employee engagement awards programme.

This follows the 2018 Engage Awards which was a huge success, breaking records across the board, including in the number of submitted entries, the number of companies entering, the number of attendees, and more. There were 19 total winners in 2018, including Elon Woodman-Worrell from The Times and Sunday Times winning Employee Engagement Professional of the Year, Federica Silvi from Reward Gateway winning Customer Engagement Professional of the Year, Marks & Spencer International winning Best use of Voice of the Customer, Argos winning Best use of Social Media, Direct Line winning Best use of Voice of the Employee, Northumbrian Water Group winning Best use of Innovation in Employee Engagement and Best use of Technology in Employee Engagement, and many more. The utilities sector also proved particularly successful across several categories.

Federica Silvi told us: ‘I’m feeling proud, and very excited’; Northumbrian Water Group said the experience was: ‘Amazing. We’re ecstatic, this is just absolutely fantastic recognition for all of the hard work from everyone at our company’. Direct Line said: ‘It’s fantastic. We’re a company of 11,000 people with brilliant ideas, and this is absolutely proof of the worth of that’, and Marks & Spencer stated: ‘It’s a great honour to win an award for the amount of work that we’ve put in over the past four years’.

Categories relating to innovation and technology proved the most popular to enter in 2018, aligning with the overarching themes of all our events. For 2019, there will be nine new categories, which consist of: Best Employee Centric Strategy, Best Internal Communications Strategy, Best Digital Engagement Strategy, Best Engagement Team, Best use of Automation, Best Customer and Employee Engagement Programme, Best Omnichannel Customer Experience, Best use of Customer Insight, and the Lifetime Contribution Award. We are delighted to reward outstanding industry achievements in these areas for the first time.

These will join the already established categories from previous years. This includes: Best use of Training, Best Business Transformation Strategy, Best Engagement in Utilities and Telcos, Best use of Innovation in Customer Engagement, Best use of Innovation in Employee Engagement, Best use of Voice of the Customer, Best use of Voice of the Employee, Best use of Technology in Employee Engagement, Best use of Technology in Customer Engagement, Best Outsourcing Partnership, and Best Engagement in Customer Retail.

We are thrilled to announce our calibre of judges for 2019, many of whom have judged for us in previous years; the new judges joining us for the first time this year have also been identified as leaders and experts in their fields. There are a huge range of companies represented by the judges, from Stuart Eames at Waitrose, to Anna Wilcox at Bupa, Stephen Robertson at The Big Issue Foundation, Ramkumar Chandrasekaran from Tata Consultancy Services, Heather Mustafa from Nationwide Building Society, and more, with 21 judges overall. Their input and expertise during the judging process will be invaluable, and thereafter we will be honoured to award this year’s winners in November.

There are numerous benefits to entering the International Engage Awards. There is the chance to become an award-winning company which will boost your brand’s status and marketability, associating your business and brand with industry-leading business excellence, aligning yourself with industry-wide recognition and association to these prestigious awards, and building and developing long-term relationships and networking with leading industry figures. In addition, supporting, celebrating, and recognising your workforce, being a part of the industry benchmarking and recognition programme, extensive exposure to the Engage CX Marketing, Engage Customer and Engage Employee communities, and long-term branding and association with fellow award winners. Finally, internally at your organisation, entering could build a team culture among staff, and enhance employee engagement, motivation, and boost morale.

The International Engagement Awards take place on 11th November 2019. Entries close on 15th July.

To find out more, visit www.EngageAwards.co.uk.