The West Oxfordshire Business Awards (or WOBA 2015) are nearly upon us again this year. The annual awards celebrate Business and Entrepreneurship in West Oxfordshire and highlight achievement across categories such as the Small Business Award, Business Person of the Year, and the Social Media Award. The full list of awards can be found on the WOBA 2015 site.
This year Urban Element have entered the Small Business Award 2015 & the Business Person of the Year Award.Competition will undoubtedly be strong again, but we learnt a lot from the process last year, and we're hoping to build on that experience to go further in the 2015 awards. Of course, we wish all those entering the best of luck, there are some fantastic businesses gracing West Oxfordshire and we're looking forward to learning about all of your successes too.
The Small Business Award was open for companies of between 5 and 25 staff and looks at business performance, recent growth, future growth potential and agility in changing market conditions. The Business Person of the Year Award was open to entrants (typically business owners or directors) who have delivered benefits, financial or non-financial, to their business. This award will be judged on evidence of strategic business planning, successful implementation of plans that have led to growth and profitability, exceeding customer expectation, and raised organisation profile.
Last year Urban Element entered the West Oxfordshire Business Awards (WOBA). The company entered the Strategic Mentors Best Small Business Award and our then newly appointed Director, Natasha Wood, was put forward for West Oxfordshire’s Business Person of the Year Award.
Unfortunately we didn’t make it through to this year’s finals.
Despite the disappointment of not going through to this year’s finals, Urban Element gained some valuable insights into how the company is working and where we can go to improve even more.
Entering WOBA made us proactive with due diligence. We reviewed where we’ve come from and where we plan to go.
Over the past five years we have developed as a company.
Re-Branding Urban Element as a web design and online marketing company allowed us to weather the credit crunch and take the steps we needed to grow.
Since then we have expanded and a young, dynamic, and dedicated team was put into place. By keeping up to date with changes in technology we were able to stay in the forefront of web design. Combining this with our strong process and aim for return on investment, our portfolio is testament to the progress we have made.
Jon Ellard, Managing Director, said: “The WOBA experience made us sense check our plans for expanding. We were able to review ourselves within a fresh context. What we discovered is that we have all the foundations in place, have ticked all the right boxes, and have sense checked the plans to open a new office in July.”
WOBA allowed us to look back on all this change and confirm that we are ready for the next step.
WOBA has been a really positive experience for the team. We have enjoyed taking part and have taken a lot from the process.
One thing that sets us apart from our competitors is our mantra of providing return on investment. Of course we keep an eye on our completed projects and actively measure our Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) performance. One of the tasks we undertook for WOBA was to contact clients and ask them what their return was.
We had some wonderful feedback including from John Warren of AirTanker LTD who said: “Ever since our first meeting, the AirTanker LTD Services and Urban Element teams enjoyed a high level of rapport. Relationships were open and honest from day one and we fully believe that that supported successful delivery. That we continue to work with Urban Element and will continue to do so going forward, is testimony in itself.”
We pride ourselves in everything we do, and having our work commended from outside goes a long way to justifying our approach and rewarding the team’s efforts.
WOBA offered a wonderful opportunity for the team to get together and remind ourselves what it is that makes Urban Element the company it is today. By exploring our past work and reminding ourselves of our goals, we are able to refresh our vision for the future.
Despite not making the finals, there was some great news that came out of the WOBA finalist selections.
One of our biggest ever tenders, AirTanker LTD, was nominated for the CETA Insurance Large Business Award. Using HTML 5 and CSS 3 we built AirTanker LTD a cutting edge mobile responsive website with an SEO friendly layout. As a completed project it very much feels like the culmination of 5 years of growth.
We have worked with Feathered Nest since 2009. They have a website that is indexed highly in search rankings and generating real return on investment.
SpecialEffect have been our chosen charity for the past 3 years. We built their site and have continued to help with their web support and online marketing. Most recently we have been heavily involved in their efforts with marketing and are taking part in the Twin Town Challenge.
Mick Donegan, Founder and Director of the charity said: “It’s an honour. For a small charity to be a finalist in such a prestigious event is fantastic. Social Media is at the heart of what we do. It’s the perfect medium for us to reach gamers and really speak their language.”
Mick went on to say “Urban Element have been the difference in our perception, changing the whole brand image and turning us into a professional looking outfit. They’re real game changers”
We wish all our clients the very best and we will of course be attending the final to cheer them on.
After the publication of this post, the winners of WOBA 2014 were announced. It was brilliant news for two of our clients, SpecialEffect and AirTanker LTD who both won awards.
AirTanker LTD won the prestigious CETA Large Business award. As world leaders in their industry they beat Huffkins and Data Plastics to the honor, proving themselves to be among the best that Oxfordshire has to offer.
SpecialEffect won the mark-making Social Media award, and with Twitter and Facebook followers growing quickly and a YouTube channel that has gone from 26,000 views to nearly 130,000 we think they are very deserving of the award.
Unfortunately, Feathered Nest Inn were up for the same award and were just pipped to the prize. Despite this they had a brilliant time at the awards and can continue 2014 knowing that they are up there with the best.
Urban Element would like to congratulate everyone who was nominated for this years WOBA’s and wish everyone the best for the future.
It goes without saying we would have liked to write a blog about how excited we were to be selected for this year’s finals, but WOBA 2014 was still a very positive experience for everyone at Urban Element.
Through due diligence, client feedback and company morale we can see that 2013 was a year of positive change and development at Urban Element. WOBA 2014 was a positive experience for Urban Element and we have learned a lot from taking part – not just about who we are, but where we want to go.
As Digital Marketing Executive, Camille specialises in content marketing and is responsible for the generation of blog posts for our wide portfolio of clients. As part of the digital marketing team, Camille uses SEO to ensure that her content is optimised in order to increase the client’s online rankings.