It’s been a hell of a week! Over the past few days the 2015 National Fenestration Awards winners have been announced during the first ever “Winners Week“. These are the winners, along with my own personal thoughts.
Yes, this week has been Winners Week in the National Fenestration Awards calendar. From Tuesday 1st December to Friday 4th December, we have been announcing winners, in batches, in a change to how we have normally done it in the past. Before I get on to my own thoughts, lets do the important bit and show off the winners:
Social Networker 2015
Hardware Company 2015
MACO Door and Window Hardware (U.K.) Ltd
Young Person 2015
Oliver Bailey – Glazerite Windows
Glass Systems Company 2015
Systems Company 2015
The VEKA UK Group
Composite/Panelled Doors 2015
Timber Company 2015
Aluminium Company 2015
The Window Outlet
PVC Company 2015
Lister Trade Frames
Digital Specialist 2015
Timber Alternative 2015
Polyframe Trade Ltd
IGU Manufacturer 2015
Conservatory Roof Fabricator 2015
Spacer Bar Manufacturer 2015
Machinery Company 2015
Wegoma Machinery Sales
Training Centre 2015
North Lancs Training Group Ltd
I want to say a big well done to all the winners this year. For me, this was the strongest ever field in the NFAs, and the team and myself were talking as we were putting the shortlists together a little while back that this line up of people and companies was the best we have ever had. We felt privileged to be able to facilitate something like this.
I also want to say a massive well done to all the finalists this year. To reach that stage already puts you in a position that most would envy, and is testament to the esteem your colleagues and wider industry friends hold you in. Something to be proud of I’d say.
It’s been exciting for me to see the NFAs grow strongly again this year. In fact this campaign has been the longest we had ever done. In previous years we started things off in February. It allowed us time to plan, tweak, change and ease into it. But not this time round.
This year we launched with a record 18 categories, then added a last minute 19th. It meant that to try and fit all these categories into our traditional staged nominations phase, we had to start early, and so we did. In the end we carried 17 categories through to the final voting phase. Sadly the steel category got little interest, as did the customer service category. I am personally disappointed at the stuttering of the steel award in the NFAs. We awarded a trophy to Crittall last year which was great. But for whatever reason, there just too little interest in the category this time round. We are in discussions as to whether we include it for next year’s competition. Your thoughts on that particular nugget are very welcome in the comments section below.
Going back to the growth of the awards for a moment, it’s been a staggering year for the NFAs. We’ll be doing a bit of a breakdown of the numbers over on the NFA website in the coming days. But to give you some sort of indication of the expansion of the NFAs, registered user growth has shot well passed the 2100 mark. Something we could only dream of at the start of 2015. We had a record number of nominations which was great to see. But I think the stat that stands out for me the most is that the number of votes cast this year was over 3500, an increase of 1000 on the year previous.
We also had 17 categories representing a diverse and varied spectrum of our industry, with 17 different winners. A fantastic mix of people and companies from all part of the UK fenestration sector. That’s quite a result given the fact that some companies had multiple short-listings.
Humble, kind and generous
Throughout Winners Week, I think the thing that has stood out for me the most is the positivity, generosity and kindness the industry has shown in congratulating those who did or did not win.
Throughout the past four days I have witnessed and industry that is often very secluded and defensive in parts come together to pat each other on the back and say “well done” to those who won, those who came second or third, or to those who just made the short lists. I have seen companies interact with each other that I’ve never seen interact before. I’ve seen no bitterness. No spite. No sour grapes from anyone.
The kindness and generosity shown by all those involved during the voting phase and Winners Week has genuinely moved me. Right now I feel proud of our industry and proud to play my part in it.
With Winners Week over, attentions turn to the winners event to celebrate the achievement of this year’s winners. That is going to be held once again at the excellent Oulton Park race track in early 2016. I don’t want to say much more on here about that until we’ve finalised the arrangement. But, it will be a great day and evening!
Attentions also turn to the start of the 2016 campaign. We will look back at this year’s competition and look at what worked and what didn’t. Our ethos within the NFAs is that of openness and honesty, and we’ll be the first to admit that some things worked this year, some didn’t. For example, I like the idea of holding Winners Week again. I think that it’s a format that can be built on, and judging by the reactions on social media, others liked it too.
However, we may have to re-think the steel category. I don’t want to try and keep pushing a category that few are interested in. On the other hand, the steel facet of our sector has such a long and rich history, it seems almost criminal not to represent it. We may need a meeting or two to decide on that one, it won’t be easy.
I want to say a massive thanks to everyone!
To all those who registered this year or were already registered. Your nominations and votes is what makes these awards happen. Without them they would simply not exist. So your support is greatly appreciated by the whole NFA team, and of course the NFA2015 winners!
To the sponsors that have signed up this year, and to those that continue to support the NFAs. It’s not been a walk in the park, and we’ve had to break down a few walls along the way to get the NFAs to where they are today. But I firmly believe that they are now embedded well and truly within the fabric of the industry, and something that more and more people/companies want to be part of. Your support of the awards, of winners events and social media support has been crucial in building the NFAs and getting our positive message out there to everyone!
To all those that have tweeted, retweeted, emailed, phoned, texted or communicated the NFAs to the rest of the world. You don’t have to be registered to help build the positive message of the NFAs. Your interactions are vital in making sure the awards grow to find the very best people and companies in our brilliant industry!
Lastly, a big well done once again to all those who won this year. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a happy and prosperous New Year!