Smarta got its glad rags on last night and with squirt of perfume and a slick of lipstick (though not for our editor Matt) headed off to the Association of Online Publishers Awards. And we were feeling pretty smug too, since we were shortlisted for the Best New Launch category alongside the likes of the Wall Street Journal, the Times Spelling Bee and the Guardian’s Chalkboards site.
And, as awards ceremonies go, it was pretty great too – champagne by the Thames, an amazing tap-dancing spectacle half-way through dinner and a very funny Hugh Dennis reminding us all digital publishing is one of those funny industries that isn’t actually making any money yet.
But enough showing off – the real value of the night lay in the networking potential. Being a small business rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest names in the industry (all the national newspapers and big publishers were there) provided sackloads of opportunities to pick up some hotly desired business cards. And to get to know the names and faces behind our competitors – and it is really nice to be on good terms with competitors. Not just from a personal point of view, but also from a business perspective. After all, you never know when a competitor might become a collaborator.
To find out more about the value of putting yourself up for an award like this and how to stand the best chance of winning, take a look at this feature on how to win awards as a small business. Then get applying! It’s well worth it, even if you don’t win.