The inaugural Tees Tech Awards have taken a further twist after organisers Tees Business confirmed the event will be completely virtual – with all elements pre-recorded before being streamed “as live” on YouTube.
The shortlists will now learn if they are award-winners from their category sponsors in a series of Zoom calls hosted by presenter John Foster before the Tech Awards “show” is streamed from 7pm on Thursday, August 20.
The 90-minute YouTube show, which is being put together by Darlington firm Recognition PR in partnership with Tees Business, will also feature a series of two-minute films featuring the finalists.
The awards, which are in association with Middlesbrough Digital and DigitalCity, had originally been planned to take place in Wynyard Hall’s Grand Marquee in April before being switched to Teesside International Airport when it became clear a large event was not feasible amid the ongoing pandemic.
Dave Allan and Martin Walker, directors of Resolution Media and Publishing, owners of Tees Business, remain confident the awards will prove a great success despite the latest enforced changes.
Dave said: “Given the ongoing challenges of the Covid crisis and having held lengthy discussions internally and with our headline sponsors, we’ve decided that the right thing to do is to make the awards event completely virtual.
“This decision was made as a result of the constantly changing Covid climate and resulting government guidance changes, while a number of sponsors and shortlisted candidates had expressed their understandable concerns about attending a public gathering.
“Our decision was made easier when Teesside Airport, which was scheduled to host the awards, then decided that they were no longer able to host mass gatherings until further notice.
“However, we are absolutely confident that we can deliver a fantastic celebration of the Tees region’s digital sector, shine a spotlight on the worthy winners and fantastic finalists, while giving outstanding publicity to all of our sponsors.”
Martin added: “We acknowledge this is not the Tech Awards event any of us originally envisaged but know that our sponsors and finalists will understand that a completely virtual event is the correct decision during the challenging environment we all find ourselves in.
“The main aim of the Tees Tech Awards is to shine a light on and celebrate the digital and tech sector of the Tees region, and we will absolutely do that in what promises to be a unique YouTube show.”
People can watch the Tees Tech Awards on the Tees Business YouTube channel from 7pm on Thursday, August 20. Alternatively, they can watch the show any time afterwards.