Business across Lancashire have been literally bending over as they battle to win a coveted trophy.
Judges in the Be Inspired Business Awards (BIBAs) have toured the length and breadth of Lancashire over the past four weeks as they choose the winners of the awards’ 18 key categories.
And this year, businesses have really caught The BIBAs bug, with a new pose – ‘The BIBAs Bend’ – going viral on social networking site Twitter.
The annual awards, dubbed ‘the one they all want to win’, are organised by the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, and the rigorous judging process sees shortlisted applicants quizzed by the judges at the Chamber’s Blackpool office to whittle each award category down to just eight finalists, who are then scrutinised during ‘The BIBAs on Tour’.
And it was during the interviews process that Chamber president Norman Tenray, a judge in the Business of the Year category, first came up with ‘The BIBAs Bend’, a pose that mimics the famous BIBAs statue.
During the month-long tour, which came to an end last week, the bend became a Twitter phenomenon, with ‘hashtag’ #bibasbend getting hundreds of mentions and photographs of companies across Lancashire mimicking The BIBAs trophy, a bronze sculpture designed and produced by renowned sculptor Charles Hadcock.
Mr Tenray said: “It all started as a bit of fun and I got my fellow judges in the Business of the Year category, Abbey Telecom’s Tony Raynor and Adam Armstrong from Saatchi & Saatchi, to join me in the pose.
“But it really shows how much The BIBAs means to businesses across Lancashire that The BIBAs Bend took off so well.
“I was a judge in three categories this year and you could really see the engagement with these awards from all the businesses shortlisted, all of whom went the extra mile to impress us and many took to Twitter to show just how much they want to win.”
NWLCC chief executive Babs Murphy said: “It has been great fun watching all The BIBAs Bend photographs coming through on Twitter and pleasing that businesses have joined us in celebrating these awards.
“Now the hard work really begins as organising The BIBAs ceremony at Blackpool Tower on 11thSeptember gets into full swing.”
To see just how popular The BIBAs Bend was, search #bibasbend on Twitter.