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A noobie’s guide to surviving Ireland’s summits, expos, and awards

The tech Irish awards season opens for another year
Some shamless self promotion
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This winter is expected to be a cold one but doesn’t mean it is going to be boring. If you are in any way a geek or a techie you’re going to be kept entertained with the various awards ceremonies and events taking place over the next six weeks alone.

This year we have the Nokia Digital Media Awards, The Irish Web Awards, The seventh Dublin Web Summit, The Irish Internet Association Awards, and the eircom Spiders (and those are just to ones I can think of at the minute).

The tech Irish awards season opens for another year
Some shamless self promotion

The Irish Internet Association Awards
First up are the Irish Internet Association’s Net Visionary Awards (@IIA | facebook.com/IrishInternetAssociation). The Daddy of Irish media and technology awards the IIAs are now in their 13th year and are still going strong (over 62 entries making the shortlist this year). As we reported at the time of the shortlist announcement Joan Mulvihill, the IIA CEO said, “The sheer number of entrants was overwhelming. It’s a great sign of the positivity, determination and creativity of the sector. Our panel of judges had the tough job of shortlisting and a few admitted to getting lost in some great websites in the process!”

The IIA Award’s shortlist is already online and includes many names you’ll recognise.

This year’s sponsors are,

  • IEDR
  • Matheson Ormsby Prentice
  • Grant Thornton
  • Mason Hayes+Curran
  • Realex Payments
  • TelecityGroup
  • Microsoft
  • Go Ireland
  • RSM Farrell Grant Sparks
  • Elucidate
  • Sunguard
  • Accreate
  • Nokia
  • The Digital Hub Development Agency
  • Blacknight
  • PayPal
  • ReachOut.com

This is the big one, and it’s a simi-formal affair, so look smart but no need to make a stop by Black Tie in the morning.

Nokia Digital Media Awards – October 3 (Nomination open)
Next are the Nokia sponsored Digital Media Awards (@digitalmedia_ie | facebook.com/DigitalMediaAwards), which launched in Dublin’s Trinity College Science Gallery last night. Thanks to their long standing in the industry (now in their eight year) the awards have attracted some heavy hitters, including The Irish Times, RTÉ, O2, and the Irish Film Board.

The organisers say, “The Awards are open to all organizations, businesses, and individuals within the sector – from app/game developers and digital/integrated media marketers, to students, educational/financial companies, SME’s and more! Our categories are tailored to include anyone and everyone who wishes to enter the Awards, and our talented category winners are truly at the pinnacle of the industry.”

There are 23 categories this year, including ten new ones marked in bold.

  1. Best Charity / Non-Profit Use of Digital Media
  2. Best SME Using Digital/Integrated Media
  3. Best Online News Delivery
  4. Best Agency
  5. Best Mobile Website
  6. Best in e-Learning
  7. Best in Social Media
  8. B2B Innovation
  9. Best Digital Design
  10. Online Entertainment/Music Award
  11. The User Experience Award
  12. Best in Financial Services
  13. Best Digital Game
  14. Best Use of Digital for Marketing Overseas
  15. Best Digital Marketing Campaign by an Agency
  16. Best Digital Marketing Campaign by an Irish Business
  17. Best Integrated Media Campaign
  18. Best Use of Animation in a Campaign
  19. Government to Consumer Innovation
  20. Best App for an Event
  21. Best App for a Business/Brand
  22. Most Useful App
  23. The Student Digital Award

Nominations for the awards open on October 3 and close on November 21 but don’t take your monkey suit out just yet; although the nominations are open the awards don’t take place until March 30 2012 and will happen in the Convention Centre.

The Irish Web Awards – October 22
As the Nokia DMA awards open the nominations for The Irish Web Awards (@irishwebawards | facebook.com/webawards) close. Damien Mulley again promotes the Irish media and technology industry with this year’s Irish Web Awards. Always informal and all the better for it the IWA, and their sister awards the Irish Social Media Awards, are always a great night out.

There are seven main categories for the IWAs with 25 sub-categories available

1. News and Media

  • Best Online Publication
  • Best Web Only Publication
  • Best Radio Website
  • Best Independent Podcaster

2. Entertainment and Arts

  • Best Sports Site
  • Best Music Site – sponsored by Poll Daddy
  • Best Entertainment Website – Sponsored by Entertainment.ie
  • Best Arts Website

3. Technology and Social

4. Government, Education and Community

  • Best Discussion forum
  • Best Government and Council Website – Sponsored by Exigent Networks
  • Best Education and Third Level Website
  • An Suíomh Gaeilge is Fearr
  • Best Microsite

5. Commerce and Mobile

6. Technical Awards

  • Best Practice – Sponsored by Surveys.ie
  • Most Beautiful Website in Ireland – Sponsored by Kooba
  • Most Useful Website in Ireland – Sponsored by DoneDeal.ie
  • Web Agency of the Year (Open to sole traders too)

7. Grand Prix

No posh garb is needed for the IWAs, just look presentable and bring a good sense of humour. In true Sociable style we’ll be live tweeting/blogging these, so come back here on October 22.

Dublin Web Summit 7 – October 27 and 28
From Damien Mulley to his fellow industry leader Paddy Cosgrave. Consgrave’s seventh Dublin Web Summit (@dublinwebsummit | facebook.com/DublinWebSummit) will take place a week after the Irish Web Awards. So far (and we have a month to go at this point) The Dublin Web Summit has confirmed some amazing speakers for the two day event, these are;

  • Jawed Karim – YouTube
  • Eric Ly – LinkedIn
  • Michael Birch – Bebo
  • Liam Casey – PCH International
  • Chris Horn – Iona
  • Werner Vogels – Amazon
  • Niall McEntegart – Yahoo!
  • Christian Belady – Microsoft
  • Eachan Fletcher – Expedia Affiliate Network
  • Colm Lyon – Realex
  • Maz Nadjm – Ogilvy Group UK
  • Cindy Gallop – IfWeRanTheWorld
  • Ben Parr – Mashable
  • Ethan Beard – Facebook
  • Mikael Hed – Rovio
  • Chris Poole – Canv.as
  • Tristan Nitot – Mozilla
  • Michael O’Toole – Morgan Stanley
  • David Shing – AOL

And those are not the only big names, DWS7 will be brought to you by;

  • Microsoft
  • KPMG
  • Maples
  • Invest Northern Ireland
  • Realex
  • ESB Electric Ireland
  • Innovation Ireland
  • Bloomberg
  • Wired
  • Tech Crunch
  • Done Deal
  • Dublin Chamber of Commerce
  • Innovation Dublin 2011
  • RTÉ
  • Dog Patch Labs

All of which is pretty nice. The Web Summit is a smart-casual event, but definitely wear something comfortable because you’re either going to be standing around playing with Microsoft’s latest technologies (which we did a lot last time) or sitting listing to some fascinating speakers (which we also did a lot last time).

eircom Spiders – November 10
And finally the eircom Spider Awards (or the Golden Spiders to those of a certain generation) (@eircomspiders | facebook.com/Eircom-Spiders) return this year in the Convention Centre on November 10. If you want in on these awards you better hurry, the closing date is September 23 having already been extended a week.

There are 20 categories this year,

  • Financial Services – Sponsored by CMC Markets
  • Travel, Tourism & Hospitality
  • Charitable & Non-Profit Organisations
  • Retail Excellence
  • E business – Sponsored by Webfactory
  • Campaign – Sponsored by Ad2One
  • News – Sponsored by Adtech
  • Education – Sponsored by IEDR
  • Web Design & Development Agency – Sponsored by IEDR
  • Entertainment – Sponsored by Intel
  • Sports – Sponsored by News Access
  • Listings – Sponsored by Circulator
  • Big Mouth (People’s Choice) – Sponsored by Rabodirect.ie
  • Community (People’s choice)
  • The Graduate
  • Digital Editor
  • Mobile App – Sponsored by eMobile
  • One to Watch – Sponsored by CarTrawler
  • Internet hero – Sponsored by Leo Burnett
  • Grand Prix – Sponsored by eircom

These categories will be judged by some big names in the industry, such as,

  • Stephen Beynon Group MD, Consumer and Small Business, eircom (Chairman of the judging panel)
  • Paddy Cosgrave Tech Entrepreneur and Organiser of Dublin Web Summit
  • John Montayne Lecturer in Digital Media Design at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology.
  • Margaret E Ward Journalist
  • Gary Conroy COO, Realex Payments
  • Barry Rhodes CEO, INEX
  • Antoin O’Lachtain MD, Digital Messenger
  • Cathy Grieve Owner of Red Diamond Media
  • Dylan Collins Jolt Gaming
  • Anthony QuigleyDigital Marketing Institute
  • Paul Lynch MD, Network Recovery
  • NCBI Centre for Inclusive Technology (CFIT) Standards conformance analysis

The Spiders, like the IIA Awards, are a more formal affair but there will be time to let your hair down afterwards (as the photographs of past events show).

And that’s about it, from September 30 to November 10, the next few weeks are going to be busy for Ireland’s technology gurus, and also us. If you see us lurking around these, say hi.

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Piers Dillon Scott
Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).