Conference News: Martin Fullard.

James Morgan

The team behind the new Digital Event Awards (DEAs) has announced its first group of judges. Industry experts from across the events sector have committed their time and knowledge to ensuring the panel is of the highest quality.

The judging panel will be chaired by Dr James Morgan (pictured), principal lecturer in Event Design at the University of Westminster. Morgan commented that was “an honour” to be involved in judging the awards. “I am looking forward to celebratinge the amazing work that I’ve seen the industry produce over the in the last 10 months,” he said. “Our industry has tirelessly strived – through established and new technologies – to service clients and provide businesses and consumers with distinctive experiences throughout the year.”

Judges confirmed include Kim Barnes of Clarion Events, Matt Benyon of Easyfairs, Luke Bilton of Informa Markets, Ruth Carter of Red Fox Consulting, Paul Cook of Planet Planit, Matt Coyne of Waves Connects, Mike Fletcher of Slippy Media, Simon Hambley of Strata, Brian Nash of ICC Sydney, Mike Seaman of Raccoon Events, Laura Shapiro of CloserStill Media, Yacco Vijn of We Are Family London, Ben Collings of Showcase and Damion Angus, of Montgomery Group.

Morgan continued: “Judging a digital events competition has many similarities to the live context. Creativity and innovation in design and production, how experiences unfold for attendees and the importance of deep engagement with content, other attendees, event sponsors and exhibitors; and as well as the return on investment are all aspects that need to be considered. But, with digital events extra elements come in to play.

“We will be looking for ease of engaging with digital event platforms, the design of the event in terms of a multifunctional offer to attendees, whilst bringing something new to the genre that is not necessarily trying to copy a live experience. I look forward to seeing new approaches to providing exceptional engagement. I have witnessed some incredible work on product launches, exhibitions, conferences and more this year, and I am looking forward to seeing the work detailed in the awards entries.”

The nomination process for the awards will run until 29 January 2021, with the shortlist announced in February. The event, which will be free to attend, will take place online on 18 March 2021, using The Awards Room from Evessio.

Meanwhile, event production experts Showcase have been confirmed as a headline sponsor of the awards.

Full information on the awards including categories and how to enter, can be found at www.digitaleventawards.com