Big plans for 2017 Bendigo Business Excellence Awards.

Bendigo Business Council has high hopes for the next business excellence awards after the success of this year’s event.

Chief executive Leah Sertori said about 600 people attended the black tie event at Ulumbarra Theatre, a record audience.

“We were thrilled with the atmosphere the guests created on the night,” Ms Sertori said.

“People really embraced the black tie theme and had gone to a huge amount of trouble to dress up for the occasion.”

It was the first year the dress code had been imposed.

Ms Sertori felt it added to the occasion and said the 2017 Bendigo Business Excellence Awards would also be a black tie event.

She praised house band The John Grossman Project and emcee Dave Thornton for the evening’s entertainment.

Ms Sertori said there was a single “blip” in the evening’s event – the winners of the business to consumer award was prematurely announced, creating some confusion.

“That aside, the rest of the evening was fantastic,” she said.

For the full list of the award categories and winners, click here.

Bendigo Business Council will be evaluating the Bendigo Business Excellence Awards program in the next few months, with particular attention to the categories and the judging process.

In the past, Ms Sertori said the awards had been judged by local business people.

“This year we recruited two-thirds of our judges from the Geelong Chamber of Commerce and Commerce Ballarat to increase independence in the judging process and it worked really well,” she said.

She believed fostering connections between Bendigo businesses and leaders in Geelong and Ballarat would be beneficial for all involved.

“The only change I think we would make next year is to give our judges more time to consider the written applications and visit the shortlisted businesses,” Ms Sertori said.

Judges this year completed 45 site visits.

“That is a huge investment of their time and they are all volunteers,” Ms Sertori said.

She said there would be new categories added to the program in 2017, and nominations would be open from November.

Ms Sertori thanked the community for supporting the awards, which are entirely funded by sponsorships.

“It is marvellous our businesses really get behind the program as a vehicle to recognize business excellence,” she said.


This article is courtesy of the Bendigo Advertiser