Anatomy of a BIMA Awards Shortlister

20 Jul 2018

Posted by Millie Davies

If there are two ‘boxes’ your BIMA Award entry needs to tick to make the shortlist…

On 11 July, something big happened. I mean apart from that World Cup match. Earlier in the day, before Croatia stopped football coming home by snuffing out the talents of the England team, we were busy celebrating the talents of a very different group of people.

This was BIMA Awards judging day, where we invited the industry’s best to give this year’s entries a rigorous poking, prodding and general grilling to ensure they really were up to BIMA Awards shortlist standard.

This year, the judges weren’t alone. They were joined at Atos’ High Holborn HQ by a shadow jury, watching their every move so they could report back with insights that, come next year’s awards, might give you an extra edge. An edge that, to use a topical analogy, might just help you make the leap from semi-finalist to finalist.

And what Millie Davies, one of our shadow judges discovered is that two factors were crucial in reaching this year’s shortlist:

The scoring criteria are sacrosanct

Throughout a day of discussion and comparison, one factor ruled above all others: how did the entry measure up to the set criteria? It’s fair to say that some worthy entries didn’t make the shortlist because they took a freeform approach that never really signposted the ways in which the entry met the set criteria.

When there are far more entries than could ever be squeezed into a shortlist, you don’t want to give the judges an easy reason to sift yours from the pack.

Resonance counts

Once the objective test of ‘does it meet the criteria’ had been met, the question of how well an entry had met them was far more subjective. Yet even here there were ground rules. As a group, the judges defined common terms, so they were absolutely clear about the definitions of, for example, impact or craft and were assessing each entry against a common standard.

Even then, submissions inevitably had stronger and weaker elements, making direct comparison challenging. So juror discussion was an essential way to probe and clarify and generate healthy debate as to how each piece had fared against the scoring criteria.

What became clear throughout the day was that discussion was key to finding the entries that truly resonated with jurors. Debate was the key to separating the projects that struck a chord from the ones that didn’t.

So if you’re already making mental notes in preparation for next year’s BIMA awards, two key elements for the to do list are: 

i) stick rigidly to the criteria and

 ii) make the judges feel something. That’s what this year’s shortlisted entries have done – and you can view the complete BIMA Awards shortlist here.

If you would like to join us for the ceremony and after party please book your tickets here. Here's what you can expect.

Video production by Amoveo.

Posted by Millie Davies

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