Judgment Day(s) and the die is (mostly) cast

With 3 judging sessions now having been staged for IJGlobal Awards 2021 – APAC and LatAm yet to undergo Judgment Day – the time has arrived to reflect on the process... which included a bullet proof vest and a peleton (we suspect).

To date, we have published (open access) shortlists for Europe and Africa; North America and the Middle East and North Africa. APAC and LatAm will be tackled next week.

And what a delight it has been to pull together esteemed panels of judges to trawl through submissions – recused as appropriate – and review the company section (MLA, law firm, etc.).

This is a distinction we like to draw people’s attention to (though everyone forgets on the night) that the company awards are judged purely on their submissions and the deals are chosen by the IJ editorial team, again based on submissions.

Now this can result in a slight discrepancy… which has been known to cause a certain degree of consternation on the night. As one industry luminary once said: “We were up on the stage all night for the deals we closed, but we didn’t win in the category for what we do. How does that work?”

The thing is, the editorial team chooses the winners in the “deals section” – the most compelling transactions to reach financial close in the previous calendar year – and if the judges didn’t choose you for the company award… well, it’s likely because your submission stank to high heaven.

And – boy – have we seen some stinkers over the years.

An annual delight

Make no mistake, we love staging Judgment Days and hosting awards night – they are such good fun and everyone has a cracking night out, so long as coronavirus doesn’t muck things up again – in which case we will do it virtually (like this one from last year).

But now, as we reflect on the judging sessions that have so far been staged, we did log a first for IJ… one of the judges excused himself early to don a bullet proof vest for a meeting on a project. Now that’s what I call dedication.

However, that was not the only curious event as Ila reports that on the North American panel she suspects one of the judges was expounding opinions while slogging away on a Peloton. Behold the beauty of Teams.

At IJ we are proud of the way we run our awards. We genuinely believe that our judging process – bringing in independent industry specialists – makes our awards the most transparent and peer review for the infrastructure community.

There are some awards out there that make you positively blush when you see the winners, but never has the integrity of our awards been called into question.

However, we have to admit that the judging process varies from year-to-year, and region-by-region as the market leads people’s reactions and local perspectives impact the process.

Last year, one judge all but cat-called anything that could not be labelled ESG-compliant and marked down any organisation deemed (by that judge) to be on the “dark side”.

We resolved that last year by launching the IJGlobal ESG Awards to celebrate the goodest of the infrastructure community.

Planning ahead

We have some rather interesting plans for the coming months – once we have hosted these next awards nights – we are launching a spring clean for IJGlobal Awards.

The time has come (it’s actually long overdue) for us to refresh our awards, all the better to reflect the market we operate in.

To this end, we will be inviting the judging panel from this year (as well as some other chums) to meet and re-draft our criteria for awards, re-define categories and ensure that we have not only the most fair awards in the sector, but also the most reflective of how you all operate.

I’m looking forward to next year’s awards… if we all survive until then.