In light of the emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic the decision has been taken to cancel the British Sign Awards 2020 Gala presentation event which was to have taken place at the Athena in Leicester on Thursday, November 12th. Instead the awards will take place online.
“We believe cancelling the event is the right thing to do under the current, unprecedented circumstances,” said Ray Hirst, director of the established independent awards scheme.
“According to a briefing by Public Health England the crisis could last until Spring 2021 and the latest news is that the social distancing will have to remain in place, in one form or another, for up to six months.
“We hope the health crisis will have passed its peak by November, but even if that proves to be the case the crisis will not be over and it would be highly irresponsible to organise an event that would bring together several hundred people in what would be an ideal environment for transmission of the virus.
“ We feel it would be nothing short of reckless to risk the health and safety of participants.
“We also recognise that the crisis has created a range of practical and economic challenges for many sign makers and the businesses that supply them. The last thing they would want to do at this time is to attend an event which could put themselves, their staff and their clients at risk.”
The British Sign Awards will, however, still happen!
“The primary purpose of the Awards is to recognise and celebrate the skills and creativity of British sign makers,” said Hirst. “We have everything in place to continue to do this and sign makers will still have the opportunity to win recognition for their outstanding work.”
For this year, the Awards will be run entirely online. Entry to the 13 awards categories can be accomplished using the simple form on the awards website at www.britishsignawards.org.
“Our panel of independent judges will make their decisions in October and all the winners and runners-up will receive notification of their success by the end of that month. Trophies, which will again be created by Trade Etching Direct, and certificates will be delivered direct to the winners’ business addresses.
“To celebrate their success, the winners and runners-up will feature on a dedicated British Sign Awards website which will be published in November and in a series of e-newsletters which will be distributed to a 4000-strong industry wide mailing list in November and December.
“All the winners will also receive a digital badge that they can use in their own marketing materials.”
“By running the scheme online we can maintain the continuity of the awards, which we have organised since 2002,” said Hirst.
“Hopefully, the worst of the coronavirus will have passed by November but the industry will need time to recover from the massive disruption caused by the pandemic and we will all need to take care until an effective cure for the virus is available.
“The primary purpose of the awards is to recognise the outstanding work and achievements of sign makers and we will continue to do this without putting anybody at risk.”