It takes a great deal of effort to organise and host a major awards event like the RailStaff Awards. It is a logistical juggling act with little room for error.
Taking place on 29 November, the RailStaff Awards will be held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham. With less than six months to go until the night, the deadline is looming to submit nominations for this year’s awards evening.
Twenty awards will be handed out to deserving winners, with categories rewarding the best Station Staff, Customer Service, Engineer and Train Driver, and we’re pleased to announce that a familiar face has returned hoping to build on the evening’s success as it enters its 12th year.
Events manager Gemma King, who was part of the original team that helped established the RailStaff Awards as the leading dedicated staff awards event for the rail industry, said she was always proud to be a part of the event.
“What I really used to enjoy was catching up with winners a few weeks after the evening to see how they were getting on,” said Gemma. “It was always touching to hear how much it meant to them to be recognised by their peers. Sometimes it would be for a particular achievement or project but, often, it was just for something they did every day without thinking about it. The amount of tears we’d have from our winners always surprised me. They were so happy to have won.”
Gemma has plenty of experience of overcoming the numerous challenges that major events like this can encounter. From a celebrity presenter forgetting their suit to unruly table decorations, Gemma knows that anything that can go wrong will always threaten to. This was particularly true during the first two years of the awards event when postal strikes meant there was a real risk that many guests wouldn’t receive their tickets on time. Thankfully, PDF versions were created and emailed out in time, averting a potential panic on the door.
“It can be stressful on the night but having such a great team of helpers made it so much fun to do and we had a lot of laughs,” said Gemma.
For all the challenges that we face as organisers, the success of the evening often rides on the support of our colleagues in the industry and the inspiring nominees that are put forward.
Fortunately, the RailStaff Awards has always been championed by staff across the network. Every year, hundreds of nominations arrive through the website for individuals and teams from every type of company you could imagine, covering the length and breadth of Great Britain.
Jolene Price, Rail Media events director, said: “It’s great to have Gemma back and helping to drive the awards to become better and better. She has a wealth of experience and an enthusiasm for the industry that reflects the values that underpin the RailStaff Awards.
“One thing we’ve always tried to do with the RailStaff Awards is to dispel the perception of rail that is created through the mainstream media. The industry has faced challenges recently in introducing new services on some routes but it would be unfair to extend the criticism to the industry as a whole when other parts of the network are consistently performing well thanks to their hardworking, dedicated staff.
“The rail industry is a community of enthusiastic people who are passionate about what they do. Gemma and the rest of the team understand this and I know they will work hard to ensure that the rail community is shouting about its successes.”
Submit your nomination for the 2018 RailStaff Awards:
Read more: BTP awards ‘top police officer’ accolade