As one of the sponsors of this year's Big Chip held at The Palace Hotel in Manchester, Orchard took along a few of the team from the Manchester office, along with several invited guests to celebrate all that is great about the digital industry in the North West of England.
With Terry Christian hosting the event for the 2nd year, and continuing to present in the shadow of the late Tony Wilson, the evening was kicked off in style by local Manchester poet Mike Garry delivering his 'Poem for Anthony H Wilson'.
That stopped the general chitter-chatter within the packed venue and the host was able to keep the audience's attention with his irrevent and self depreciating Manc wit throughout the presentation of the awards.
As always with these awards nights, the planned timings went out the window fairly early on, by the time the food (which was unexpectedly excellent) had been and gone we were way behind schedule, but no-one seemed to mind. As the awards began and the gracious and grateful winners were one by one, and team by team in some cases, welcomed on stage by a sponsor, each took their moment in the spotlight. A mix of one word thanks, amusing short comments, through to full on, oscar-esque acceptance speeches were delivered by each winner after the obligatory photo, lapped up by a gradually rowdier and louder audience.
The formal part of the evening was wrapped up by an impromptu, and very funny, short performance by the comedian Bill Bailey who popped over from his sell-out show at the Palace Theatre across the road. His appearance was in the name of charity, with SOS (Sumatran Orangutan Society), of which Bill is Patron, being the beneficiary as the Big Chip attendees dug deep to show their appreciation.
With the formalities over it was up to the Tempus Bar upstairs, where the winners celebrated, and everyone else helped them, into the early hours of Friday morning.
Needless to say, it was a fairly quiet Friday in the Orchard office!
Congratulations to all the winners, and to all those involved in organising a great night - looking forward to Big Chip 12 already!
The winners on the night were:
Best E-Business Project: TBWA\Manchester
Best Public Sector Project: Lightbox Education
Best Not For Profit Project: Mando Group
Best Digital Marketing Campaign: LOVE
Best E-Learning Project: Lightbox Education
Best Use of Visual Design: LOVE
Best Application of Technology: New Concept Gaming Limited
Best Use of Animation: ahd imaging / Ian Hogg
Best Use of Search: PushON
Big Green Chip Award: Melbourne
Best Established Freelancer/ Micro Enterprise: Flashtemple
Best On-line Brand Development: Code Computerlove
Best Newcomer (enterprise): AdInsight Limited
Big Chip New Media Agency Award: LOVE
Game of the North: Evolution Studios
Big Chip International Award for Innovation: New Concept Gaming Limited
Tasty Website Award: Code Computerlove
Grand Prix: New Concept Gaming Limited
Anthony Wilson Original Modern Award: AHD MI