BIBAs judges go ‘on tour’ as the final stage of the competition gets underway

BIBAs judges go ‘on tour’ as the final stage of the competition gets underway

Unique to the Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, the final round of interviews sees the judges go on tour as they visit applicants in their workplaces to quiz them one last time to decide the winners

This week marks the start of the highly anticipated final judging round in which the BIBAs go on tour around the county.

In this exciting phase of the prestigious awards program, the judging panels in all 20 categories embark on a journey to visit the applicants in their own places of work, beginning with the Start Up Business of the Year category. This innovative approach aims to capture the essence of the finalists’ businesses and allow the judges to gain first-hand insight into the unique culture, innovation, and dedication that drives these remarkable businesses.

The BIBAs have always been synonymous with excellence and recognition of outstanding businesses from across the county. By taking the judging process on the road, the BIBAs go beyond the surface level of applications and sit-down interviews, and are the only awards competition in Lancashire to go this extra mile.

During the visits, the judges will have the opportunity to observe the day-to-day operations, interact with the workforce, and engage with the leaders behind the finalists.

“We are incredibly excited to kick off the ‘BIBAs on tour’ judging round,” said Babs Murphy, chief executive at the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce that organises and hosts the BIBAs. “By immersing the judges in the finalists’ workplaces, we aim to help them gain a deeper understanding of what makes these businesses exceptional, while scrutinising their claimed achievements and soaking up their culture.”

Norman Tenray, CEO of Longridge-based OBAS UK that’s sponsoring the Business of the Year award, has been a BIBAs judge for several years and says that visiting the finalists makes a real difference: “As a judge, I always look forward to the BIBAs on tour judging round. You get a chance to really peer behind the curtain, and see what it is that makes these businesses tick. You can’t do that from the application alone, or even the first round interviews.”

Dawn Cheetham MBE, director of Blackpool’s CKS Catering Supplies that’s sponsoring the Small Business of the Year award, agrees and added: “Reading about a business and its achievements is one thing, hearing about it in a formal interview is another, but seeing is believing and that’s the big advantage of going out and visiting the finalists. You get to see them in action, talk to colleagues, and get a proper sense of what they’re all about and whether they truly deserve to win.”

Dawn Coker of Catax, that’s sponsoring the Medium Business of the Year award, is judging for the first time this year and said: “Having now met the finalists and had the opportunity to quiz them at the first round interviews at Blackpool Football Club in May, I can’t wait to go and see them on their own turf. I imagine that they’ll all be a lot more relaxed, and am looking forward to seeing their accomplishments and ways of working with my own eyes.”

Finalists in the following categories will get a visit from the judges this week:

Start Up Business of the Year
Micro Business of the Year
Small Business of the Year
Medium Business of the Year
Business of the Year

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BIBAs judges go ‘on tour’ as the final stage of the competition gets underway
Are you ready for the BIBAs On Tour?