Business awards postponed in the Waikato
The Waikato Chamber of Commerce has decided to postpone this year’s business awards until vaccination levels make it safe to run large events. The annual awards, which have attracted record entries this year, were set to be announced at a gala dinner on November 12 in Hamilton.
Chief executive Don Good said the chamber team had spent a great deal of time understanding how they could go ahead with the gala dinner under various Covid alert level settings.
“One scenario was that we could go ahead with a virtual event, but we felt that people are feeling somewhat jaded by all things virtual. An online event simply doesn’t evoke the same camaraderie, anticipation, and excitement as being at a table with your colleagues,” Good said.
“Because the current situation makes it very difficult to plan for an event in the immediate to near future, we’ve decided instead to postpone the gala dinner – where we’ll announce all our category winners, overall winner, and our Business Hall of Fame laureates – to Wednesday, February 9.”
The awards are supported by the Foster Construction Group, and chief executive Leonard Gardner said Fosters was supportive of the decision to delay the awards until the Waikato business community could come together in person to celebrate the finalists and winners.
“Community happens when people come together, and you cannot achieve that online properly,” Gardner said.
“Now more than ever, we can see the importance of ensuring that as many Kiwis are fully vaccinated so that we can safely run large-scale events like this in 2022 and beyond,” Good said.
“We’d love to see the Waikato business community coming together for the gala dinner in February to celebrate not only the exceptional people and businesses achieving great things in our region, but also to hopefully celebrate and acknowledge reaching a level of vaccination in our community that enables businesses to be open and fully operational, to enable our borders to reopen and welcome a much-needed boost to our labour market, and to help get our economy to get back up and running.”
Winners will be announced in the following categories at the gala dinner: micro business, not-for-profit, innovation, business growth and strategy, service excellence, community contribution, international trade, social and environmental sustainability, emerging leader of the year, CEO of the year, and the supreme award, which is chosen from across all categories. Two Business Hall of Fame laureates will also be announced.