The UnAwards16 was a record-breaker and a little bit special.

Here's a cool short movie which captured the day.

Thanks to all who sailed in her.

And thanks to Nigel Bishop for making the movie.

By the way - Three regional 'Winners Masterclasses' are being organised for launch in March 2016 - we'll shout when we have ticketing news.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and organiser of the UnAwards16





You know that feeling when a big project comes to an end. It’s a good time to reflect on the highlights as well as what you might tweak next time.

So here are seven reflections on the #UnAwards16

1. No one makes up the numbers

I'd said pre-event that win, lose or draw I wanted no one in the packed ceremony to feel like they were making up the numbers.

Hopefully pulled this off? Colleagues I spoke to after the event who hadn't won or hadn’t been shortlisted said they’d still got lots from the day. Some met Twitter followers IRL. Some arranged meetings with new contacts from their sector. Lots exchanged business cards.

We're a community and we should never lose sight of its importance and potential. 

2. It's hard choosing a film for 141 people

I often get it wrong on a Saturday night when it's just Mrs C and I. I laboured hard over this year's choice but it seemed to work? Groundhog Day echoed nicely this year's theme of teamwork and collaboration.

3. Keeping it fresh

I’m keen that the UnAwards evolves to stay fresh each year. But keeping things fresh has to be balanced with what people enjoy. And, actually, sometimes in life it's good to have some traditions to look forward to. Particularly end of year traditions.

I’d had a few ideas on how to do it differently next time. I mentioned a chance to a dozen people and they all said no, keep the format the same.

So in my haste to keep the UnAwards from becoming a bit samey I've maybe got this wrong. If the format works and people enjoy it who am I to spoil it.

4. A lesson in being gracious

I hadn't known the team or their work before the event. Being shortlisted five times in the UnAwards16 and not winning was tough luck. Their grace and enthusiasm afterwards spoke volumes and is a lesson on how to conduct yourself. I expect to see them at UnAwards17.

5. Winning can take many forms

I met Karen Newman, who had been shortlisted for the lifetime achievement UnAward at the event.

There are some people you meet who you instantly like and I could see why so many people had voted for her. Being nominated for a lifetime achievement UnAward is a lovely accolade and something which would only happen to truly great people, who just happen room work in comms.

6. Supporting our young people

26 entries for best young communicator was so good to see. I wish I could have given them all an UnAward. As I said at the event - they're not the future, they're the now.

I floated the idea that we need to do something extra to support and recognise this important group of colleagues.

Then - and this is why I love the UnAwards - the three Lifetime Achieve the winners, who were all present, had a chat and had the idea that they could share some of their substantial learning and wisdom with these young communicators. What a brilliant idea.

One of our sponsors has said they may be keen to support the initiative too. If others want to chip in then great. I am happy to coordinate and facilitate it.

More on this in the new year.

7. Some big numbers…

The UnAwards16 created huge interest and engagement:

332 entries

77 shortlistees

16 judges

141 attendees

21 winners

4.2million impressions in the last 7 days on Twitter

Finally, on a personal level I was proud of and pleased for all of the winners. You can remind yourself of who won what here.

What next?

I am talking to a couple of organisations about the potential to sponsor three regional 'UnAwards Winners Masterclasses' where we’ll get winners to share their experiences and learning. These were hugely popular in 2015 so keep them peeled on the UnAwards website for masterclass launch news in the new year.

And will there be an UnAwards17? Oh yes. I may ask for a couple of extra pairs of hands next time.


And if you would like to talk about potential sponsorship of UnAwards17 please drop me a note here.

Thanks again to everyone who supported the UnAwards16.

Together we made a beautiful thing

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and organiser of the UnAwards16


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The end of any year is a time for some quiet reflection - what went well, what didn’t. Reflection is a good thing. But so is a great big celebration. And the #UnAwards16 is a day to celebrate all that’s brilliant about our industry and your hard work and achievements this year.

by Darren Caveney

Well after a three-month build up the #UnAwards16 is finally here.

If you have managed to bag a ticket, well done. They really have been in huge demand. Should we get a larger venue next time? Maybe, but then if we’re not careful the UnAwards would become the very thing it set out not to be. As my Dad used to say - they don’t make diamonds the size of house bricks.

Win, lose or draw you’re in for a great day

The UnAwards is my favourite work event of the year. It’s quite unlike any other industry event I’ve been to.

Of course if you’re shortlisted but don’t win you’ll be disappointed.

But the day is designed so that win, lose or draw you can genuinely enjoy a fun event and a unique opportunity to network with industry colleagues new and old. That in itself is reason to be there.

Not winning…

I spent a small fortune earlier this year to attend a London hotel awards event. You know the kind of thing - black tie and £300 a ticket. In truth we were never going to win the award and I left feeling a bit miffed. Not because we didn’t win – I’m a Birmingham City fan so I’m no stranger to defeats. I was miffed because I felt like I was a bit like room fodder, and for the amount of cash I shelled out I could have taken the family away for a long weekend.

I don’t want anyone to feel like that when they leave the UnAwards so a lot of thought and love has gone into the event.

Twitter and Snapchat use at the event

If you can’t be at the UnAwards16 follow it on Twitter using the #UnAwards16 hashtag.

We have a Snapchat filter for the event too so if that’s your platform it would be great to see your pics there.

Announcing the winners and snaps of the big day…

We’ll be posting the winners names to the UnAwards16 website directly after the event.

We also have the fab Nigel Bishop taking snaps and filming the event and we’ll get these online as soon as possible.

Timings, film and food

The venue for the UnAwards16 is the rather lovely Everyman Cinema in Birmingham's Mailbox.

If you’re coming along aim to be at the venue between 9.30am and 10am for registration, a cup of coffee and a croissant. We’ll ask you to take your seats at 10.20am.

After the ceremony we’re watching a cool film (for those of you badgering me for the title or a clue, my lips are remaining zipped)

After the film you’ll tuck into hearty bowl of veggie chilli and be done by 3pm.

And the dress code is…

Whatever you fancy. Literally. This is NOT black tie, as you’ll have guessed J But if you want to come in your fancy clobber then go for it.

Saying thanks

Thanks so much for your support – 332 entries and 4.6k public votes is a brilliant response from you.

And I’ll be thanking our UnAwards partner, GovDelivery, and our sponsors the Local Government Association, Alive With Ideas, the NUJPRCC and Social Simulator. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – we couldn’t do this without you.


If for any reason you have a ticket but can no longer come along please let me know as we have a waiting list of eager folks bursting to be there.

I look forward to seeing lots of you on Thursday

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and organiser of the UnAwards16

image via Thomas Leuthard

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Sometimes, in life, you have the opportunity to create something beautiful from nothing.

by Darren Caveney

Being able to make the UnAwards happen each year is the very best part of my job.

I had coffee with a comms colleague last week and he asked me how long I spend on the UnAwards. Truth is I don’t know – I don’t log it – but it would be in weeks not days if I were keeping a count.

You see it doesn’t matter. A key part of the original ethos behind comms2point0 was to fly a flag for comms people everywhere and shine a light on the great work I know you do, each and every day, all across the UK and beyond. That’s why I do it.

The UnAwards are an important way of recognising and celebrating the sung and the unsung no matter what size your team or budget, no matter what sector to do your thing in, and no matter whether you’ve been plying your trade for 20 years or 6 months. Anyone can win an UnAward. Anyone. But this year, more than ever before, you’re going to have to be blooming good…

Some numbers. Big numbers

You’ll probably know that we had 332 entries into the #UnAwards16. Enormous by anyone’s standard. It makes me beam when I look through the mass entries. I’m in such a fortunate position to be able to see the work you’ve carefully crafted and delivered this past year. My many hats are off to you all.

But this volume makes for even tougher decisions

I’m not exaggerating when I say that the competition has been fierce this year. One category exceeded 40 entries. Wow. There is work of a real quality not even making shortlists this year. This is a good thing because it helps us to raise our collective standards.

 Saying thanks

A huge thank you to everyone who has entered this year.

A big thank you to ‘Super Luke’ Williams who has been masterful in his logging and categorising of all 332 entries.  He deserves an award of his own.

And an extra special thank you to the judges this year who have worked minor miracles to get through the volume of entries the UnAwards16 attracted. I owe you all beer. Thank you kindly.

Don’t forget the public vote

If you haven’t already done so – tut tut - please do get voting in this year’s public vote. There are three categories you can choose the winners for: team of the year, post of the year and the prestigious lifetime achievement UnAward.

Voting closes on Wednesday 23 November (midnight) and you can vote here.

And now the bit you’re really interested in – the shortlist

Here’s the UnAwards16 shortlist. If you’re on it you should go out and treat yourself to a slap-up meal because that, I can assure you, is an amazing achievement.

Tickets to the big day…

Now comes the inevitable scramble for tickets. I’ve probably bored you senseless for the last two months by telling you not to delay on buying a ticket to the #UnAwards16. That’s because I know it will sell out again and because we have a strict limit on tickets. 141 to be precise.

I’ve held them at £20 + vat for the third year running to ensure they are totally inclusive. And for that opportunity we owe lots of gratitude to our partner, GovDelivery, and our sponsors Alive With Ideas, the Local Government Association, Social Simulator and the NUJ PRCC. I love you all for your continued support of our fine industry.

There are a few tickets left as I post this update. They are limited to two per organisation now, purely to try and get as many organisations there as is possible.

You can – currently – book your ticket here.

Looking forward to seeing many of you on the big day on 1 December at the fantastic Everyman Cinema in Birmingham.

And no, I’m not telling any of you what the surprise film is going to be. But you’ll love it :-)

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and organiser of the UnAwards16




Here it is, the moment you've been waiting for. The UnAwards16 public vote is OPEN.

by Darren Caveney

In the 2015 UnAwards I was determined that I wanted the comms community to choose some of the winners.

You make these decisions and then sit back and hope things pan out well. Well, fortunately, it did go well - over 2.5k votes were cast. So I am delighted to launch the UnAwards16 public vote today to give you the chance to choose your favourites from three important categories...

Team of the year

You have 17 teams to choose from in this prestigious category and each has done amazing things this year. The entrants highlight the real spread of organisations who have entered the #UnAwards16, including six local councils, three NHS organisations, two fire and rescue teams and one from each of central government, police, housing and travel.

This is tough, tough competition - you've a difficult task to select a winner.

Post of the year

Here you have this year's top 10 most read posts from guest contributors in the running. There are some belters in the line up so have a good read and choose your favourite carefully.

Lifetime achievement award

You have two outstanding professionals to choose from, both with a long and successful track record of delivery and leading teams. Another difficult choice but choose you must.

So make your vote count by choosing your personal winners HERE.

The public vote is open until 23 November (midnight) so you have plenty of time to ponder on your choices. Happy pondering.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0, owner of creative communicators ltd and organiser of the #UnAwards16

image via the Finnish Museum of Photography





Phew, you’ve been busy, busy people. This week’s UnAwards deadline passed and resulted in a record, inbox-busting, 300+ entries.  Wow. We thank you so much for this.

It’s an immense response and represents a very significant body of your work, skills, creativity and learning.

We’re now busily logging and getting your entries to our team of external judges. The shortlists will be announced in mid-November – we’ll share more on this soon.

Together we've created a beautiful thing. But we could not host the UnAwards without the support of our partner, GovDelivery, and our sponsors and supporters, Alive With Ideas, the Local Government Association, Social Simulator and the NUJ PR and Communications Council. We doff our caps to you all.

UnAwards16 tickets…

We’re expecting another sell-out UnAwards ceremony on 1 December. Last year’s event was a sell out and there’s a strict limit on ticket numbers this year.

Tickets are on sale and the only way you can guarantee being at the big day is to grab your ticket now. We’ve held the prices at just £20+ vat – you can bag yours here.

Good luck to everyone who has entered. I can't wait to see many of you on the big day at my favourite industry event of the year.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and organiser of the UnAwards16

image via the National Library of Wales




"Are the UnAwards a proper awards event if it only costs £20 to attend them?"

I was asked this question last year. Well, actually, it was an attendee who said her boss had asked the question.

It's fair to ask. We're all busy and our time needs to be spent on things which add value, help us develop, make us better at our jobs.

Yes, the UnAwards are proper awards because the people who take part, enter, nominate and attend are what make an award. Not the ticket price or the venue.

Now we could run the UnAwards in a large London hotel, make it black tie and exclusive and charge £300 a ticket. But that isn't our style. And I don't believe it's what colleagues across the industry that we meet every week want either.

350 entries and 5k public votes in the 2014 and 2015 UnAwards back up our thinking.

So come along and enjoy what's my favourite industry gathering of the year.

The UnAwards16 will take place at the cool Everyman Cinema in Birmingham's Mailbox. It will feature a winners ceremony, a film - which remains a closely guarded secret until the big day (last year we watched the brilliant Planes Trains and Automobiles) - and then you'll have a rather lovely meal in the Everyman's Diner which we also hire for the event.

But best of all it's the number one meeting and networking opportunity I know. It's a chance to meet a really wide range of people at the cutting edge of our industry and from all across the UK.

And many of you used last year's event as the springboard to your office Christmas celebrations afterwards. Go you.

How much is it to attend?

We have held the ticket price for a third year running because we want as many of you to have the chance to be there as possible. Tickets are just £20 + VAT.

Will the event sell out?

Yes, almost certainly. The UnAwards15 was a complete sell out and we have a strict limit on numbers. So if you want to be at the coolest and most unique event in the industry calendar you should book sharpish.

You can book tickets to the glittering UnAwards16 ceremony taking place on 1 December right here. Don't miss it, it's going to be a cracker.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and the organiser of the UnAwards16

post image via The Library of Congress 





We're committed to the UnAwards because we think they are an important initiative. Really important.

One of the reasons why we created our online learning platform five years ago was to fly a flag for comms people across the sectors.

We know you do an amazing job and often under difficult circumstances.

So the UnAwards is our own unique way of shining a spotlight on our industry and the people within it but with a very clear remit: It must always be accessible to everyone no matter who you are or what your budget is.

We are also committed to keeping the UnAwards fresh and ever-evolving.

So this year we have created three important, all-new categories which we think you should take a look at and enter yourself, your team, or nominate someone you think does a brilliant job.

Three new categories for the UnAwards16...

First off we have the 'Best social media account' category.

It struck me that this was perhaps the most competitive area in comms, marketing and digital right now in 2016. So why not create a new category to highlight the brilliant accounts we see operating across the UK and beyond.
Think of this one as the blue riband 400 metres final at the Olympics - fast and demanding a sustained effort plus a large slab of enthusiasm and creativity.

Does this sound like one of your accounts? Then don't be bashful, get your entry in here.

The next of our new entrants is the 'Best young communicator' category.

One of our followers and workshop attendees asked us, earlier in the year, why we didn't have a best young communicator category?
She was absolutely right, why didn't we? So here you go, we've created one.

Now we had a debate about what 'young' was and we've plumped for 30 or under.

Do you know someone who should be in the running and recognised?
Then get your entries or nominations in here.

The last of our new categories for 2016 is 'Best ethical comms or behaviour'.

If you have been working in comms for a while, or even a relatively short amount of time, you have probably faced challenges in this often not discussed area of our industry. Well that changes now.

Thanks to the good people at NUJ PRCC for sponsoring this important UnAward category.
You can enter here.

The closing date for entries is 31 October. We know you're busy but we really do believe that you owe it to you and your teams to make some time to enter and feel the love for the work you've crafted this year.

Good luck.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and the organiser of the UnAwards16

You can book tickets to the glittering UnAwards16 ceremony taking place on 1 December right here. Don't miss it, it's going to be a cracker.

image via the State Library of New South Wales




We know that a common complaint from comms folk, and others for that matter, is a lack of recognition for their work.

Whether it’s a brilliant campaign, managing communications through a crisis or just turning up every day of the year and being the best you can be, it’s not a lot to ask to get the odd ‘well done’ or ‘thank you’.

But it doesn’t happen often enough for many and that is one of the reasons behind the comms2point UnAwards16 - to shine a light on the professionals proudly flying comms, pr and digital flags across the sectors.

Now there’s only one thing better than being shortlisted for an award - that’s being nominated by someone else for an award. It’s a special thing.  It means you’ve caught someone’s eye, demanded their attention or impressed them with your creativity, doggedness, enthusiasm and skills.

Know someone like that? Then why not nominate them in the UnAwards16.

All you need to do is complete this dead easy entry form here and email it through to

You can nominate an individual or a team in any of this year's categories. Two which really lend themselves to nominations are...

-          Best comms/digital team

-          Lifetime achievement award

When we set up the UnAwards we were absolutely clear that they would be the most accessible industry awards around.  Where the community were actively involved in shaping and deciding.

So, best of all you, the comms community, gets to choose the winners through a public vote in these two categories, as well as our 'Post of the year' category.

We’ll tell you more about the public vote soon.


The closing date is 31 October so get nominating.


Want to soak up the atmosphere of the coolest comms, PR, marketing and digital event of the year in person? UnAwards tickets are priced at just £20 + vat each. See, we told you the UnAwards were really accessible.

Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis and will sell out so don’t hang around.  Book yours now here.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point and organiser of the UnAwards16




You owe it to yourself and your team to enter the UnAwards16, It's free and easy to do and you have plenty of time to do it. So no excuses, right?

By Darren Caveney

Each year the UnAwards has a theme – and this year, our third UnAwards, the theme is team work and collaboration.

Whether you’re a team of one relying upon other colleagues, a medium-sized team who’s taken some financial hits and trying to keep pace, or a large team with big expectation on your heads, it all comes down to great team work and really effective collaboration.

Along with great planning, good use of research, brilliant execution, measured outcomes, and big slabs of creativity, it’s team work and collaboration that is going to make your comms, pr, marketing and digital work fly high.

We know so many of you are doing great things and this is your chance to showcase yours, and your team’s, best work.

Some reasons why you ‘might’ not enter

I’m in the very fortunate position that I get to see first-hand the work which comms professionals across the UK are delivering. I’m constantly impressed by the hard work, professionalism and creativity which keep organisational wheels turning.

But I spotted a couple of people I know who didn’t enter in 2015. I pondered on why this may have beenthen I- but thought “stuff the pondering, why not just ask them?”.

The reason they gave wasn’t the reason I expected…

I expected them to say they hadn’t had time. But what some of them said was that they didn’t think their work last year was award-entry standard. This made me feel a bit sad to be honest, but I thought about this and suspected that their work HAD been good enough. The issue was one of confidence.

It’s really important to feel confident in your work. But if you’re in a team which has taken quite an internal beating it’s completely understandable that confidence gets knocked. The UnAwards are an opportunity to redress the balance – remind yourself that you do good things, work which makes a difference.

It’s a truism that will never go away and it’s that no one else is likely to shout about you and your work. You need to do it yourself. Nobody likes a show-off but putting your work forward to compete with the rest is a really good way to tackle this issue. I've seen it work, first-hand and many times.

There has literally never been a more important time to shout about your work than right now, especially for those facing another round of annual cuts to budgets and teams and morale in some teams in need of a small boost.

Yes, I know you’re busy. Everyone is. But the people who get on - and get noticed - manage their time so that they give themselves an hour to nail a really strong award entry, You owe it to yourself and your teams.

The world won’t end if you take a little bit of time to submit an entry. If you don’t crow about your best work for sure no-one else will.

So enter the UnAwards16 and let our judges decide whose work stands out.

OK, I’m in – how do I enter

Simple. You simply complete a short word document and you email it to us. That's it.

Take a look here for everything you need.

There are 18 categories to choose from so absolutely something for everyone.

And this year we have three all-new categories - best social media account, best young communicator and best ethical comms or behaviour.

Make the next thing you do, right now, putting an hour in your diary asap to get the ball rolling with a brilliant entry or two.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and organiser of the UnAwards

Come along to the big day on 1 December - it's the coolest comms event of the year and you'll have the chance to meet and connect with some new colleagues from around the UK.

You can book your tickets here.

If you’ve forgotten how epic the UnAwards15 were, or you’ve not been involved in them before, here’s a neat, short video...




The UnAwards are back – and here’s everything you need to know to enter, showcase your best work and attend the coolest communications event of the year bar none…

By Darren Caveney

Following their huge success and popularity in 2014 and 2015, the comms2point0 UnAwards return on 1 December 2016. Bigger and better than ever, but remaining true to their original ethos.

So step forward and enter your best work now and show why you and your team deserve to be recognised in 2016.

What are the UnAwards?

The ‘UnAwards’ are different to any other comms, pr marketing and digital industry awards and, we believe, all the better for it.

They mean a lot to us because we know they make a real difference to the people working on the front line of comms across the sectors. We believe that you deserve proper recognition and real celebration.

The UnAwards are laid back, take place in a cool, quirky venue, and they recognise genuine creativity, innovation and results.

And with awards determined through a mix of independent judging panel and community voting, they’re also fair.

They are free to enter and intentionally cheap to attend. This is about connecting and celebrating you and our industry, not stripping you of your precious budgets.

The UnAwards in numbers…

The communications industry really bought into the UnAwards concept when we launched them in 2014.

Over 350 entries and 5k public votes have made them the ‘peoples’ awards’.

Shedding a tear…

Leading figures from the comms and digital industry got involved, entered and attended the ceremony. Some of the winners shed a tear. And many more of you took the opportunity to share a cool space with colleagues from around the UK for some important networking.

This year’s theme

We theme the UnAwards each year. This year themes are team work and collaboration, the thinking being that you can't achieve much without them however small or large your team.

Now, more than ever before, collaborating with good partners and suppliers is vitally important to the success of organisations and their communications achievements.

Strong team work and collaboration will resonate as a theme across our industry, and we suspect it will resonate with you too.

New and fresh for the UnAwards16

True to form, we’re keeping the UnAwards fresh and exciting. So this year we’re introducing some new categories, including ‘best social media account’ – now that’s going to be a battle royal...

The #UnAwards16 FAQs

OK, I’m in – how do I enter?

It couldn’t be simpler – you complete this short word document and you email it to us at  That’s it.

Here's our entry page for more info.

You could nail it is 30 minutes. And that may just be the best 30 working minutes you spend this year. Get yourself to a coffee shop one lunch time, order yourself a nice flat white and get cracking armed with good intel on what your work delivered.

How much is it to enter?

These are the UnAwards - there is no entry fee. Free, zilch, nowt, nothing. We want to see your best work so we strip away all of the barriers to make it as easy as possible for you to enter.

How long have I got to get my entry in?

The closing date for entries is 31 October 2016 (midnight)

So there really is no excuse to enter this year. We know that we comms folks can be coy about shouting about our own work. But if you don’t no one else will.

Who can enter?

The UnAwards are open to all sectors – public, private, third, charitable and education - and if you’re based outside the UK you’re also very welcome to enter.

How do I attend the UnAwards16?

You will definitely want to attend the UnAwards16.

Keep them peeled for an announcement on event tickets very soon – the UnAwards15 sold out so don’t hang around bagging your ticket to the coolest comms event of the year.

The UnAwards16 will be held at the rather lovely Everyman Cinema in Birmingham’s iconic Mailbox on 1 December, running from 10am - 3pm.  Make sure you’re there to enjoy the UnAwards ceremony, a fab film, and a rather nice meal.

Be a part of #UnAwards16

Darren Caveney is co-creator of comms2point0 and organiser of the UnAwards

If you’ve forgotten how epic the UnAwards15 were, or you’ve not been involved in them before, here’s a neat little short video which should hopefully whet your appetite...