Search on for Scotland’s finest digital businesses

THE search is under way once again to find Scotland’s best digital companies and organisations.

The 10th Scottish Digital Business Awards, organised by The Herald in association with DigitalBoost, opens for entries today.

With support from Engage Recruitment and the SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority), the Scottish Digital Business Awards offer a national showcase for the very best in digital business, spanning social media, app development, e-commerce sites and more.

Hugh Lightbody, chief officer at the Business Gateway National Unit, sponsor of the E-Commerce award, said: “Digital technology is now essential for all businesses, helping them to increase sales and improve their operations. The Herald Scottish Digital Business Awards recognises the best of Scotland’s digital business community, and the effective ways technology is being used to benefit business and the economy, and that is why DigitalBoost is delighted to be headline sponsor again this year.

“The DigitalBoost programme, which is delivered across Scotland by Business Gateway, plays an important part in building digital knowledge and skills with Scotland’s SMEs. Since its launch thousands of businesses have benefited from its integrated series of digital services including online tutorials, digital health checks, one-to-one advice and a comprehensive workshop programme.”

Since its inception in 2008, the prestigious awards scheme has been recognising the success of organisations of all sizes in seizing opportunities offered by digital technology and the internet. And the awards ceremony, held in October, has become a key date in the Scottish business calendar.

Last year’s victors included DYW Glasgow, which lifted the Social Media Award, and Ayrshire College, winner of the Public Sector Award.

This year there are 11 categories to enter, including the Charity and Social Enterprise Award, Business to Business Award and Digital Professional of the Year Award.

The Digital Professional of the Year Award category will recognise the best digital, media or creative individual within the sector. Entrants are asked to demonstrate technical/creative expertise as well as commercial success for their team or business. Judges will be looking for evidence of work per client.

Also up for grabs is the Digital Agency Award, supported by Engage Recruitment. For this award, judges will assess the overall quality of entrants’ work, commercial success, and fulfilment of client briefs.

David Mains, digital director at Engage Recruitment, said: “Engage Recruitment is delighted to be sponsoring the Digital Agency of The Year Award and I’m overjoyed to be able to continue my association with this event. We believe that it is vitally important to recognise the contribution of businesses large and small to this vibrant part of Scotland’s economy.

“The Herald Scottish Digital Business Awards are one of the most eagerly anticipated occasions of the year and an established part of the digital community’s calendar in Scotland – I’m really looking forward to the event in October”

The awards will also highlight Scotland’s commitment to learning through the Education & Training Award, supported by SQA .

It all culminates with a dinner and prize-giving ceremony at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow on Wednesday October 10.

The closing date for entries is Tuesday August 14, 2018. For full details visit or call Kirsty Loughlin on 0141 302 6016.

The 2018 award categories

Business to Business Award

This award will be given to an organisation that can best demonstrate the effective implementation of digital platforms and tools in a business capacity. Judges will look for evidence of how the technique was adopted and has delivered consistent results in unpredictable market conditions.

E-Commerce Award sponsored by Business Gateway

This award is for an organisation that uses e-commerce to benefit the wider business. Judges will be looking for a site which effectively converts visitors into purchasers. Key criteria include design, functionality, checkout process and user experience as well as after sales service. The effective use of search to drive customers to the site will also be considered.

Charity and Social Enterprise Award

This award will be presented to an organisation that is using digital technology to drive social good in Scotland and beyond. We will be looking for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises where innovative digital projects have resulted in real and meaningful engagement with the people they work with, from donors and beneficiaries to the general public. This can include the use of social media, digital campaigns, websites and online platforms, and mobile apps and services. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase how digital technology can be used for social good, and to raise your profile and inspire others at the same time.

Public Sector Award

This category is open to all government agencies, education establishments, health providers and uniformed services. Judges will be looking for evidence of how digital tools, platforms or techniques have been used to meet an objective, simplify a process, galvanise support and encourage engagement.

Best Mobile Application (includes Games)

Judges will be looking for innovative and commercially successful apps, which have been created for the mobile space and simply wouldn’t work on a desktop. This category will reward the most effective mobile application targeting consumers/users across any mobile platform. We understand that developers launch apps for different reasons, therefore the judges will select the winner based on the entrant’s stated objectives, user experience and app success.

Consumer Engagement Award

This category will recognise the most innovative use of digital platforms and tools to engage with consumers about a product, service or event. Websites, e-targeted marketing campaigns, social media applications and mobile technology are all eligible. Entrants should provide examples of how they have successfully communicated with the audience and the business benefits achieved.

Education & Training Award sponsored by SQA

This category will reward the innovative use of digital platforms to enhance education and training to a specific market. Judges will look at how the e-learning brief has been successful in achieving the objectives e.g. by a specific innovation or outstanding user take-up. Entrants should detail the aspirations of the programme and how it has aided the organisation or individual. Access to the e-learning tool is needed to demonstrate its working.

Student Award

To showcase emerging talent in Scotland we have launched the Student Award. This category is open to students enrolled in full-time education at a Scottish college or university. Students can submit a project which covers one or more digital platform which they have completed as part of their course. Entries must demonstrate creativity, new ways of thinking and potential impact rather than specific business results. This is your opportunity to showcase your skills on a national stage and pursue your goal of a career in the digital industry.

Best Use of Social Media Award

This category will reward an organisation that demonstrates the best use of social media to enhance loyalty, promote their services and interact with clients or customer base. Entrants should include examples of how they have successfully utilized social media through the means of social networking sites, blogs and other forms of viral communication.

Digital Professional of the Year Award

This new category will recognise the best Digital, Media or Creative professional. The individual will demonstrate technical / creative expertise as well as commercial success for their team or business. Evidence of work and client/peer testimonials must be provided.

Digital Agency Award sponsored by Engage Recruitment

This award will be presented to the agency which has carried out the most advanced digital innovation in Scotland. This category will celebrate a digital leader with an impressive client list, diversity of work and excellence in creative execution. Judges will review the agency’s overall quality of work, commercial success and fulfilment of client briefs (please supply client testimonials). Overall we are looking for an agency that is using digital to excite, enthuse and inspire.