July 21, 2024

Onboard Hospitality Awards: A fair process

Awards bring a chance to celebrate success. Sue Williams, Publisher of Onboard Hospitality, explains why a fair process matters...

When we first launched the Onboard Hospitality Awards in 2014, I knew their success was reliant on transparency and integrity.

The only way to ensure that was to invite our readership to vote on who should win and have the voting endorsed by a panel of highly respected and independent international judges. And our judges would be able to put forward any outstanding products that they felt had not been selected. 

Fair process

We felt the only way to achieve a fair process was to create a comprehensive range of categories and to give our readership — the buyers and suppliers of onboard hospitality — a role in the decisions.  Our judges have always been drawn from the industry, which ensures that both the the value and practicality of products and services are assessed.

Confidence in the Onboard Hospitality Awards’ fairness has built over time and there are benefits to all who take part.

In the first year, we attracted 60 entries. The quality and number of entries quickly grew stronger and stronger. It was up 50% in just a year and was one shy of doubling by 2016. Prior to the pandemic, we were attracting around 200 entries each year.

In 2020 Craig McQuinn launched our successful Cabin Concept of the Year Award for airlines. That helped take the Onboard Hospitality Awards a step further.

Our annual awards ceremony in Hamburg has always been well attended and has become one of the major social functions at the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE).

The year ahead

As the industry gets back to business, the 2023 awards have opened for entries and look to champion those building products and services that support the recovery. I am confident entries will continue to reflect the very high standards we have come to expect. 

The dedication and hard work of our judges, the Chair of the Judging Panel Jo Austin and former Editor Julie Baxter has made these the most highly respected awards in our industry – I cannot thank the team enough. 

Sincere thanks to everyone over the years who has put their trust and belief in these awards either by entering or voting.

May we all be winners!