Celebrating its 24th anniversary, the prestigious Spider Awards are the longest-running digital awards programme in Ireland. Robert Farrell is a member of the Spider Awards judging committee and a lecturer with Griffith College Dublin. Here, he shares his insights into entering the Spider Awards, what judges look for and key digital trends impacting business today.
Why did you join the Spiders judging committee?
I have always been aware of the Spiders as a key award for recognising best practice in the industry, and in 2013 I was fortunate enough to join the judging committee. For me, it's a great opportunity to give back to the business community by recognising and celebrating the best work in the industry. It is also a fantastic way to maintain relationships with industry leaders and remain up to date with best practices.
What do judges look for when reviewing entries?
Simply put, we look for digital excellence! That means we look for real innovations, well implemented and delivering a significant impact for the business and/or customers. Each category has own criteria, so it is worth reviewing them. A well-written submission entry matters a lot, but we spend more time reviewing the evidence, which can be an app, website, content etc. Picking the final shortlist and winner is not always an easy task. We review submissions individually first, and then again together as a committee, justifying our assessment to the other judges.
Any tips for completing an entry?
This is your opportunity to show the great work you have done, so plan out your submission carefully, and give it appropriate time - don’t leave it to your junior executive to write up a day before the submission deadline! Fully answer each section and provide the required information. The more specific and detailed you can be, the better. We want to see a cohesive link from strategy and planning to implementation and successful results to prove the impact of your ideas! Make sure to include sufficient information in the results section. It's always a good idea to provide supporting evidence such as links to your website, links to videos, logins to sites or your app, etc.
What are the key trends you are seeing in industry?
My area of interest is Disruptive Technologies and Digital Transformation, which is a new set of categories we added to the Spider Awards this year. With rapid advances in technology, organisations are responding with digital transformation initiatives to improve their internal process, customer interactions and even adapt their entire business models. The key technologies that I see include artificial intelligence, automation, robotics, the internet of things/connected devices, Blockchain and 3D printing. Ireland has been relatively swift to adopt instant messaging and web chat, especially using them as tools to provide real-time responses to prospects and customers. I would also include augmented and virtual reality in my list, but these haven't had quite the profound impact that was anticipated in recent years.
For more information about the Spider awards, visit their website.
Robert Farrell is a senior lecturer delivering a range of modules in the school of business. Robert is responsible for delivering engaging and thought-provoking classes to global students, designing robust assessment methods and supporting the academic advancement of Griffith college. His areas of interest include digital marketing and online consumer behaviour.