A look back at the Tech South West Awards 2020

In November 2020 the Tech South West Awards were held completely virtually for the first time.

The Tech South West Awards are all about showcasing and celebrating the best tech brands in the South West, and we were keen to make sure that ‘going virtual’ wouldn’t reduce the excitement, anticipation and celebratory atmosphere of the real thing.

Straight away, our sponsors and partners were fantastic – not a single one of them withdrew their support.

We hosted the judging sessions via Zoom, giving our judges the opportunity to connect and appraise the entries together despite the country being in lockdown at the time.

We decided to use Hopin for the event itself – the perfect platform for the dynamic, interactive and multi-faceted ceremony we wanted to run. The operation would be led from a ‘control room’ at Exeter Science Park, with the team from Tech Leadership Award sponsor and Tech South West’s sister company Astley Media handling the communications, marketing and event management.

Some great South West-based organisations helped us prepare content for the event, including Leapfrog Animation who helped create the dynamic animated video footage, Tom Wadsworth at Bad Wolf Horizon who filmed some hair-raising drone footage for the showreel, and Bitpod who pieced it all together. The team at Filmily even provided some virtual applause, pre-recorded by our own members! 

The choice of presenter can make or break an event. We wanted someone dynamic, in-tune with tech and rooted in the South West. Someone everyone would recognise…

Nick Baker was an obvious choice. From his base in Devon he travels the world filming, recording and broadcasting wildlife, using cutting technology to do so. We managed to track him down all the way to Japan, where he was recording wildlife and making the most of the plumbing facilities.

With Nick on board and the visual content prepared, there was just one more task: sell tickets.

Undaunted by the online ceremony, over 200 guests registered for the event, making it even better attended than the 2019 awards.

From Cornwall to Cheltenham, members of the South West tech community came together to celebrate and showcase the great things happening in the sector. 

You can see the full list of winners here.

Watch the full ceremony here.

“The whole awards became so successful that, 2 months in advance, they upscaled capacity by 30% through finding a new venue. I’ve been involved in a lot of events, and seeing how seamlessly this was carried out has really impressed me.” Toby Parkins, Director of Headforwards and Chairman of Tech South West

“Tech South West 2020 was a brilliantly engaging and entertaining event, to the extent that I almost forget it was virtual. The Neighbourly team were proud to be award winners amongst so many talented tech companies and people from across the south west region. We look forward to getting involved again next year. Thank you!” Alice Whale, Digital Marketing Manager, Neighbourly (2020 Winner)

“The Tech South West Awards go from strength to strength. Despite COVID, this year’s digital TSW award ceremony was awesome! TSW continues to do a fantastic job to promote the South West as the thriving technology ecosystem it is. Singer Instruments are very proud to have won an award this year, and would like to thank the TSW Awards Team for helping promote us – for your daily biotechnology robotics needs – and as a great place to work!” Harry Singer, Managing Director, Singer Instruments (2020 Winner)

“The Tech South West awards have become a highlight of the tech calendar for me. I was incredibly impressed by the execution of a virtual event this year and the energy and engagement it garnered from the community. The standard of all nominations was incredibly high – a great night all round.” Vicky Hunter, Entrepreneur Engagement Manager – South West, Tech Nation (2019 Sponsor)

“The 2020 Tech South West Awards was a brilliant celebration of the best innovators and entrepreneurs from across the region. By embracing new digital platforms it excelled creating an exciting and engaging experience like I have never seen before. The event also brought together a strong sense of community, bringing companies together from across the region to talk and work together. A great event and one I would thoroughly recommend.” Jake Rigby, Research and Development Lead, BMT (2020 Winner)


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