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Behind the curtain at the FLTA Awards 2018

11 September 2017

As nominations close across the product and individual categories for the Fork Lift Truck Association’s 24th Annual Awards for Excellence, CEO Peter Harvey MBE reveals what’s in store for Awards 2018.

Handling & Storage Solutions catches up with Peter Harvey MBE to touch base on what is happening with the FLTA Awards, the industry's longest running awards.

Handling & Storage Solutions​: 24 years… Congratulations! Last year, by all accounts, was a really great night. Do you feel you can match it this year?  

Peter Harvey: Absolutely. And then some! 

This is our industry’s biggest night of the year, so it’s crucial that we give our honourees a night befitting their accomplishments and our guests an evening they’ll remember.  

I can’t give away too much at this point, but I can promise that, as ever, it will be an evening packed with spectacular entertainment: exactly what you would expect from such a high-calibre celebration. 

Once again, we will return to the International Centre in Telford. It’s a great setting for an event of this magnitude and is conveniently located in the heart of the Midlands, with three hotels nearby. 

HSS: Who do you expect to attend?

PH: Whilst we insist on high-end service and entertainment, one of our primary aims to ensure that our Awards is inclusive and accessible to all: whether you direct operations at an international manufacturer or own a small dealership.

We are always looking for ways to delivering our guests the best value for the money. And year-on-year we achieve this, by working smartly. 

We plan every detail and negotiate hard with our suppliers. As a result, we’ve succeeded in keeping our ticket prices, hotel and wine prices as low as possible for our more than 400 guests. 

HSS: So it’s not just the big companies attending?  

PH: Definitely not! 

Parties of all sizes are welcome and it’s been great to see more and more independent dealerships coming along, either as small groups, singles or couples. 

At last year’s event, we had a number of smaller companies attend and I know they had a great time… coming together with our help to share a table. 

It’s important to us that they attend. After all, many of our Archie winners are small companies… And that’s what the Awards is about. 

Take the Safe Site Award. It’s not judged on a company’s size or reputation. Like every Archie awarded, our winner is decided by its innovative approach and forward thinking and, in this case, a genuine commitment to ensuring that all your staff arrive home safely at the end of the day. 

In short, it’s not about big budgets, it’s about big ideas. 

HSS:The closing date for entries (30th September) has just passed. What do you make of this year’s entries? 

PH: Now that would be telling… But I can confirm we’ve had an exceptionally good turn out across the board 

Alongside some really interesting and exciting product innovations, we’re pleased to see a number of fork lift truck dealerships – of all shapes and sizes – putting themselves forward for our Dealer Member of the Year Award. 

it’s been great to see so many companies putting themselves forward for the Safe Site Award. It’s great to hear – first-hand – of the transformations being achieved by teams across the country. 

HSS: So, what happens now?

PH: Our Awards Technical Committee is currently screening entries to ensure each nomination meets the required standard. From there, this team of four material handling experts will produce a shortlist of the very best entries. 

From there, these Finalists, who will be announced by HSS in November, will be passed to a jury of 12 for peer group evaluation. 

Introduced last year, our jury of 12 has been drawn representatively from across the industry: from those making fork lift trucks to those employing them in day-to-day work.

These 12 individuals, who have been nominated by those in the industry, make the final decision on who wins.

The size and composition of the jury is very important, as it will help neutralise any potential bias from someone associated with a particular brand (any juror with a vested interest in any particular entry will be expected to abstain from the vote). 

To find out more about the Awards, including booking tickets and sponsorship enquiries, go to www.fork-truck.org.uk/flta-awards

Importantly, it’s not too late to put yourself or a colleague forward for the jury. We’re looking for experienced and knowledgeable individuals from within the industry who have up-to-date and relevant sales and technical knowledge.

HSS: Are there any other opportunities for our readers to get involved with the Awards? 

PH: As you can imagine, staging an event of this magnitude is only possible through the support our industry (including your readers).  

Sponsorship puts companies at the very heart of the action… and because the Awards represents the pinnacle of fork lift quality and achievement, it reflects the best kind of brand value.

Moreover, the Awards’ audience is aware enough to appreciate your contribution as an investment in the industry’s broader future: recognising it as a demonstration of your commitment to our industry. And to respond in kind.   

The premier way to participate in the Awards, other than as a winner, is as a Full Award Sponsor. This gives you the opportunity to literally take centre stage, and present an Archie in person. 

Like winning an Archie itself, your contribution won’t just be celebrated on the night, but all year long. Publicity starts as soon as you agree to sponsor, with press coverage from all the key media, announcing your involvement. That is built upon over the weeks and months ahead with media releases, articles, profiles and online, building a strong association between your brand and the Awards’ established core values. 

There are, of course, opportunities to suit every budget. So if you’d like to find out more, let’s talk!