Case study: Leamington Business Awards

Case study: Leamington Business Awards 2017 and 2018

CMC’s PR and event management delivers “truly exceptional evening” at the Leamington Business Awards

Client profile

The Leamington Business Awards were established five years ago to celebrate local business success in Leamington Spa. In 2016, accountancy firm, Harrison Beale & Owen (HB&O) agreed to take on organising the awards at the request of the founder. HB&O is community-minded and committed to supporting local businesses, so organising the not-for-profit event was a good fit.

The challenge

HB&O approached CMC to provide event management and PR support for the Leamington Business Awards in 2017. The firm needed a reliable and experienced consultancy to ensure the awards went smoothly, covering everything from securing sponsorship, reviewing and promoting the application process, through to the ceremony itself. HB&O wanted to feel confident that the event would be a success for Leamington’s business community.

We were already working with HB&O as the company’s marketing and PR advisers, and had assisted with HB&O’s award submission for the Professional Services Firm of the Year at the Leamington Business Awards 2015, which the company went on to win. We were therefore already familiar with both HB&O and the awards scheme.

Our approach

From the outset, our aim was to keep things as simple as possible for HB&O and to reduce the burden of running such an important event for the town’s business community. We also wanted to use it as an opportunity to help HB&O build even stronger links with their clients and the wider business community.

Our approach was to start with a review of the awards scheme to date. To further enhance the objective to bring the town’s business community together, we implemented the following changes:

  • Revamped the award categories so that there was something for all businesses, whatever their size and industry;
  • Improved the sponsorship packages by including items that were more attractive to the sponsoring organisations, while keeping the price point the same;
  • Launched interactive networking events so that sponsors and supporters could get to know one another ahead of the awards event itself;
  • Changed the judging process to differentiate against other awards in the region and to make it robust, fair and transparent for all parties;
  • Budgeted in a way that would more easily enable fundraising for local small charities;
  • Provided clear and uncomplicated briefs to all of the suppliers involved, to bring all parties together and empower them to play their part in creating the great event that HB&O had envisioned.

Dream team

Crucial to the success of the event was the team involved and the positive way we all worked together. CMC worked in close partnership with HB&O’s Marketing Coordinator, Katherine Williams (pictured centre), and Managing Director, Mark Ashfield (pictured left), to develop and deliver the event, supported by the wider events team, many of whom donated extra time and went above and beyond to create an event we could all feel proud of.

The outcomes

The 2017 awards were a great success with over 170 people in attendance at the ceremony. A main event sponsor was secured, together with category sponsors for every category which helped us raise more than £5,000 for local charity Helping Hands – a significant increase on previous years.

“The atmosphere was spot on and everything went exactly to plan and that was only achieved because of your meticulous preparation and attention to detail. Having you in the driving seat made my role so much easier and more enjoyable.”

Dave Sharpe, MC, Leamington Business Awards

HB&O asked CMC to manage the awards again in 2018. Testament to the success of the previous year, 80% of sponsors stayed with us for 2018, with a 2017 winner also stepping forward to sponsor a category. A new venue brought both challenges and opportunities, but drawing on the blueprint we’d established in 2017, we were delighted to secure a record number of entries in 2018, with tickets to the event selling out over a month before the big night.

This time we were delighted to see the event raise more than £10,000 for local charities Springfield Mind and The Ups of Downs, thanks to the generous support of Leamington businesses. The ceremony was attended by 200 people and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Thank you once more for delivering a truly exceptional evening at the recent Leamington Business Awards. Your hard work and commitment to ensuring the success of the event went beyond our expectations.”

Mark Ashfield, Managing Director, Harrison Beale & Owen

In 2019, HB&O handed over the organisation of the Leamington Business Awards to former awards judge, Jonathan Smith. We also took the opportunity to step away from the event and we're excited to see what the new organisers bring this year.

To find out more about the awards, visit

Photo by Sally Evans

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