Judging awards is REALLY difficult… Many of you will already know how hard we’ve worked over the last few years to ensure that we conduct the judging for the BIMA awards in the most open and transparent way possible and so we were very, very pleased to see that the results of our recent membership survey show that you support our work and overwhelmingly agree that the BIMAs are fair and impartial.
As Chair of the 2012 Awards, it’s important to me that we don’t rest on these laurels and that the process of improvement continues.
One thing I’m often asked about the awards is how someone becomes a judge. Whilst there has always been sound logic behind the make-up of the judging panels we felt that one improvement we could make this year is to be more open about this logic and setup a clear process for selection so that everyone understands what we’re doing and why. That strategy is outlined below and will be of particular interest to our members.
Reserved Seats for BIMA Members
Being chosen as an awards judge is a defining moment in many careers, and it certainly was in mine. Overnight your profile is raised and your credibility enhanced by a tangible sign of the industry’s respect. With this in mind, we want to make sure our members get a fair crack at the whip and have reserved two seats per judging pool (14 places in total) to do just that. We hope the opportunity will not only add to the benefits of belonging to BIMA but also ensure that up-and-coming faces have a better chance of getting onto the panel.
As much as seats on the judging panel benefit our members, having your work judged by potential clients is of equal importance to those entering. Even if you’re not among the eventual winners, the exposure that comes from having your project thoughtfully considered by people holding the purse strings at major brands is invaluable. Alongside this, of course, the perspective of client-side judges helps ensure impartiality and brings a dose of realism to proceedings. This year, each judging pool will be chaired by a leading brand representative and we’ve set ourselves the target of having not-less than two client-side judges per pool.
The Judging Process
Once the panel is in place they’ll have their work cut out for them. Judging of the BIMAs happens in two distinct phases – individual online assessments, followed by an all-panel Judging Day. The initial online assessments benchmark the scoring and allow judges to come to their own opinions on each piece of work. These scores are aggregated and the lowest-ranking projects drop out of consideration before the Judging Day, at which the BIMA Award winners are determined. Each specialist judging pool considers a range of categories suited to their particular expertise and the judging is overseen by independent chairs.
Put Yourself Forward?
If you think you have what it takes to join the BIMA Awards 2012 judging panel, we’d love to hear from you. You can apply online and we’ll respond to applications and issue invitations to join the panel by the end of June.