What goes on behind the scenes of SimpliFlying Awards?

Back when we launched the SimpliFlying Awards in 2010, they were the first and only awards dedicated to recognising the best social media practices in the airline industry. Committed to raising the standard of airlines on social media, SimpliFlying Awards promote the exchange of knowledge by honouring the best airlines on social media and inviting them to share their successes with the rest of the world.

It has been five years and we are extremely thankful for the love and support from our readers and airline friends. As the awards get bigger every year, we see growing interest and more questions such as:

“How can my airline join and what is required?”

“How do you judge the entries?”

“Is there any fee for joining the awards?”

To fulfill the curiosities of the many, here is a zoom-in on what goes on behind SimpliFlying Awards, including the processes involved.

Finalists Selection

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Every 60 days, we research over 600 airline and airport pages from around the world. Over the last two years, we have analysed over 400 campaigns. It is based on these research that we shortlisted the best five to eight airlines for each SimpliFlying Awards category. A lot of these campaigns get featured in our monthly airline marketing benchmark reports as well, which anyone can subscribe too.

These airlines are then invited to submit a presentation pitch for the awards. In case one of them can’t join due to certain timelines or constrains, we have backups for each airline too.

Scoring and Judges

How was the judging panel formed?

The best awards in the world feature the best judges, and we go the distance in putting together a stellar panel each year. This year, we felt our judging panel was one of the best till date. We invited successful veterans well-respected in the travel and aviation industry, and who are familiar with airline marketing and social media happenings around the world. These include Mary Kirby, Henry Harteveldt and Christian Kamhaug who all have at least 13 years of experience in the travel and airline industry.

At the same time, we also had our event partner EyeForTravel put forth recommendations from among their top speakers list. Thanks for them, we had David Mogensen from Google/YouTube, Hillary Gurber from Google and Brian Carr from Twitter join our judging panel.

sfawards14 judges

And the scoring system?

We make it a point to improve our awards processes and judging criteria every year based on feedback from our awards participants.

This year, we reduced the weightage of public voting from 50% to 30% to negate the bias that bigger airlines have bigger reach and staff base to vote for them. We also ensured that we disabled multiple votes from the same IP address to prevent fraud.

sfawards14 scoring

We increased the weightage of the judges’ scores from 50% to 70%, and made sure we had a wider representation on the judging panel, with industry veterans across different disciplines including travel, aviation and technology.

The Day of SimpliFlying Awards Itself

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Top secret in the boxes – 15 jade crystal plaques for our winning finalists. The SimpliFlying team was not spared of hard manual labour work. From left: Shashank Nigam, Marco Serusi and Li Guen (Sep 12, NYC).

luncheon awards

Bonding over luncheon at the #tdsusa event were our awards finalists and presentors including from Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Southwest, KLM, flynas.

Even before their presentations, the awards finalists continued to share with one another about their industry experiences.

No one seemed too tense before their presentation as they continue to share with one another about their industry experiences.

KLM's presentation invited many eager questions from the audience.  Left: Shashank Nigam as he faciliated the Q&A session. Right: Karlijn Vogel, KLM Social Media Manager.

KLM’s presentation invited many eager questions from the audience. Left: Shashank Nigam as he faciliated the Q&A session. Right: Karlijn Vogel, KLM Social Media Manager.

sfawards collage ceremony

Star-studded awards ceremony with our esteemed judges. Second from top row onwards: Southwest, Turkish Airlines, KLM, Aer Lingus, flynas, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Group picture.

A selfie attempt to squeeze 15 people into one screen

Last but not least, a selfie attempt to squeeze 15 people into one screen

Post- SimpliFlying Awards

Sharing the scores and comments from our judges

While we might have wrapped up SimpliFlying Awards 2014, the journey to social media excellence continues.

We are thankful for the effort that the airline participants have put in for SimpliFlying Awards, and we wanted each of them to take away more from this awards than anything else.

So we collated the judges scores and feedback  to share with all the airlines who submitted for the awards because we believe the journey to social media excellence is an ongoing collaborative process.

The results from the public votes are no secret (original post here).

sfawards share feedback

SimpliFlying Awards 2014 have been a wonderful journey for us and we couldn’t be happier to witness the exchange of knowledge and insights among the different airlines from around the world.

We look forward to coming back with a bigger and grander event next year at the 6th Annual SimpliFlying Awards for Excellence in Social Media 2015! In the mean time, all the best wishes to our airline friends. Keep soaring!

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SimpliFlying is the leading consulting firm that specialises in aviation marketing and innovation. We are one of the largest in the world, having worked with over 80 airlines and airports globally. Headquartered in Singapore, we also have presences in Canada, Spain and the UK. What we offer – consulting, training and reports – is derived from insights derived while working deeply within the industry. We intensively research trends, question assumptions and apply them to the realities of the aviation industry. Our growing list of clients includes American Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Turkish Airlines, LATAM Airlines, Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier and Toronto Pearson Airport. If you're keen to tap our expertise, email us at helpmesoar@simpliflying.com
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