We have a new guest blog from Oli Christie, CEO of Neon Play Ltd - another of this year's Innovation category winners. Oli takes us through his Queen's Awards journey.
Awards are great and everyone likes winning them. And Neon Play has been very fortunate in our first 3 years to win 15 local, regional and national awards (much to our constant surprise).
You’ve got to be in it to win it
So it was with a bit of a wing and a prayer that we entered the Queen’s Awards, knowing that they were the most prestigious UK awards to be won. But as my mother always told me, “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”. Having entered, to be honest with everything going on at work, I’d forgotten about it, so when we got a letter saying we had won, I was completely dumbstruck and beamed with pride.
Shout from the rooftops
The weeks went by and then the 'strict embargo' was lifted and we could tell the world and anyone who would listen about our great news.
And it’s fair to say that winning the Queen’s Award has opened more doors than anything else. What a Queen’s Award does is give you massive credibility - Neon Play is only just 3 years old, so having this great award really makes people take us seriously.
Local press are always keen to support local success, so we’ve had some lovely stories. Have a look at some of the press and industry blog coverage.
As top of that, Chris Baxter, a long-time fan of Neon Play and presenter on BBC Radio Glos was keen to do a live interview to discuss our Queen’s Award.
On top of that, we had told our local BBC TV station (Points West) about the Queen’s Award and this really helped convince them to do a piece on us, so we had a 1 minute feature on Neon Play.
Live on the BBC
This also led to an invitation the very next day to do 3 live interviews across the BBC network - BBC Daily Politics show, BBC News 24 and BBC Points West - live from a builder’s yard in Swindon - the glamour of it all! See clips from the BBC live interviews.
Read all about it
We even got a half page feature in the Metro newspaper as well, which was fantastic national exposure. Plus someone even sent us a gingerbread man drinking a glass of champagne!
In order to celebrate our Queen’s Award, we had our third birthday party in our studio along with 80 to 90 of the biggest movers and shakers in Gloucestershire. Here’s the invitation we sent out to everyone and have a look at some party pics.
We had the lovely citation read out and then we were presented with our scroll and glass bowl by Dame Janet Trotter, Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire. We’ve had our scroll nicely framed and it hangs proudly.
The award itself is now a highly used sweet bowl in our boardroom. We thought it was better to use it than let it gather dust somewhere.
So all in all, the Queen’s Award win has been amazing for our company profile - it sure was worth entering.