The 2023 routeone Awards have opened for nominations with a call to the industry to put forward its best people and finest operators ahead of the presentation evening – the highlight of the year’s coach and bus social calendar – at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on Wednesday 8 November.
Nomination is the all-important first step on the journey to the winners being named. Submissions are made online and in confidence via a form on the routeone Awards website. They are accepted from supplier members of the industry, and in the people categories, also via third-party recommendation or by individuals directly if they are endorsed by the business’s proprietor, Managing Director or Chief Executive.
Recognition as one of the best in the industry at the routeone Awards comes as a high professional honour. The presentation evening has long been acknowledged as the coach and bus Oscars, as demonstrated by 2022’s winners. This year it sits alongside the Coach & Bus UK trade show, which will be held at the NEC Birmingham on 8-9 November.
To recognise the contribution to the Awards made by those submitting nominations, in 2023 each person doing so will be entered into a prize draw with the chance to win a £500 media spend with routeone, applicable to both print and digital format and including recruitment advertising and membership of routeone Trader.
Some changes have been made to categories for 2023. This year sees the introduction of an award for Coach Tourism Programme of the Year. It is open strictly to coach operators that have delivered their own tourism programme, including holidays and day trips. Meanwhile, the start point for eligibility for the Large Coach Operator of the Year category is amended to over 40 coaches.
Criteria details for all categories can be viewed on the Awards website. The 15 categories that are now open for nominations are:
- Rising Star
- Manager of the Year, small/medium operator (up to 150 vehicles)
- Manager of the Year, large operator (over 150 vehicles)
- Outstanding Customer Experience
- Engineer of the Year, small/medium operator (up to 150 vehicles)
- Engineer of the Year, large operator (over 150 vehicles)
- Coach Tourism Programme of the Year
- Best Use of Technology (up to 150 vehicles)
- Best Use of Technology (over 150 vehicles)
- Environment Award
- Small Coach Operator of the Year (1-15 coaches)
- Medium Coach Operator of the Year (16-40 coaches)
- Small/Medium Bus Operator of the Year (up to 150 buses)
- Large Coach Operator of the Year (over 40 coaches)
- Large Bus Operator of the Year (over 150 buses).
In addition, the judges will again exercise their discretion in deciding upon the winner of the Special Award. It recognises the individual who has made a very special contribution to the industry and counts a Who’s Who of senior sector members as past victors.
As already revealed, this year sees three additions to the judging panel, with senior former industry figures David Cattermole, Nigel Eggleton and Graham Russell joining to work alongside existing members Joan Aitken, Richard Delahoy, Mark Fowles and Norman Thomas.
The closing date for nominations is 6 April. At that point, event organiser Diversified Communications will contact all nominated people and businesses and invite them to enter. Judging will begin once entries are received and conclude in August ahead of the November presentation evening, for which ticket sales are expected to open on 6 April.