It's fair to say I don't get out much in an evening. Certainly not when it involves finding a posh dress to wear and heading to a swanky venue in London. Most definitely not when it involves an award ceremony presented by a household named comedian and a private gig from two number one artists. Amazingly Thursday night was just that though when I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Product of the Year Awards 2014, held at the stunningly beautiful 8 Northumberland (which bizarrely used to house my old office when I was a civil servant!)
Some of you may not have heard of Product of the Year (POY), but I'm pretty sure that their logo will be familiar to you as lucky winners have been using it on products and media campaigns for the ten years that the awards have been running. POY is the largest consumer-voted for award for innovation in the world and it has a simple purpose: Guide consumers to the best products in their market and reward manufacturers for quality and innovation. Nearly 12,000 members of the public voted to choose the winners in each category and then these winners are allowed to use the POY seal for the following year. I know I've certainly picked up products with it on before and research has shown that winning a POY award does have a significant positive influence on sales.
So, come last Thursday night I was surrounded by some very happy brands, who all knew they had products worth shouting about and they were worthy winners.
Well – at least three of us bloggers chose our blog names so they appear high up on the seating chart!
I was fortunate enough to find myself sat with fellow blogger Mirka from All Baby Advice right at the front of the venue with the stage just in-front of our table. So, when Alexander Armstrong took to the stage to present the awards we really were rewarded with a super view. Also sat with us were two of the lovely PR team from Good Relations and also the winning teams from Ideal Heating and JML.
Our host for the evening – Alexander Armstrong
When I heard that there were 40 categories to award I really did wonder if we were going to be there all night, but full marks to the POY team for having the slickest award ceremony that I've ever been to. For each award we were very efficiently told who had been in the category before the winner was announced and someone from the winning brand took to the stage to receive the award. Each winner's walk to the stage was accompanied by what can only be described by an inspired choice of music. If I remember correctly "Take my breath away" was played when a mouthwash won, yet I did feel a bit sorry for the woman who went to collect the award in the dog food category to the sound of "Who let the dogs out"!
As POY was this year celebrating it's 10th year they'd added a few surprised to the proceedings. As well as a rather amusing game of Pointless half way through the awards, we were also rather surprised when Alexander Armstrong introduced Matt Cardle who came to the stage to perform his new track. The surprises didn't end there though as Matt himself then introduced Melanie C who he proceeded to duet with! I certainly wasn't expecting to see a Spice Girl that night.
Matt Cardle and Melanie C
It really was a fantastic night and I found it an excellent opportunity to find out more about Product of the Year and just how important the award is to brands. It was also very interesting to chat to a few brands who had not worked with bloggers before about what we could do for them and what makes a successful blogger campaign – from both sides of the equation.
The biggest goody bag ever!
Claire from Being a Mummy and I travelled home on the train with the biggest goody bags that I've ever seen, containing many of the winning brands, and it's been interesting since then trying out some of the award winning products for myself. I'm also very pleased to announce that I'm going to have three of these Product of the Year goody bags to give away next week – each worth in excess of £180! Watch this space…
Product of the Year Award Winners 2014
Finally I'd like to say a huge thank you to Product of the Year for inviting me along (and giving me an excuse to buy a new dress for the occasion!) and congratulations to all the POY 2014 winners:
And very finally – the obligatory selfie with a celeb that has to be done after a few glasses of vino!
Disclaimer: I was an invited guest at the Product of the Year Awards 2014 and received the above mentioned goody bag and my travel expenses from them.