Posted on Monday 16 January 2017 by ub digital

Viscount awards take off in london

Editor of Ulster Business David Elliott and Aer Lingus Business Development Manager Andrew Hunter launch the Aer Lingus Viscount Awards in London

The ninth annual Aer Lingus Viscount Awards are officially open for entry across nine diverse categories.

Held in association with Ulster Business, the Viscount Awards aim to celebrate exceptional businesses and individuals that promote best practice and who have generated significant business success over the last year in areas including innovation, export, employee focus and overall growth.

Aer Lingus will once again fly the shortlisted companies to London to attend a gala awards luncheon on 24th May 2017 at the Institute of Directors’ palatial headquarters on Pall Mall, where the winners will be announced.

Andrea Hunter, Business Development Manager at Aer Lingus said: “We’ve widened the scope of the categories this year to encourage a really diverse range of companies to enter.

“Companies of all sizes should consider taking part, the only thing they must have in common is that they are best in class.

“We are interested in the calibre of the achievement and not just the scale of the project, and we’re proud to recognise businesses of all sizes for their successes.

“These awards have become a highly respected barometer of excellence and one of the premier events in the annual business calendar, giving both finalists and winners alike a superb platform to showcase their achievements.

“At Aer Lingus we understand that winning awards are a great way to acknowledge and market the companies that are forging ahead and inspiring change in their sectors.

“Indeed, in the past year we have celebrated a number of our own awards, including ‘Best Airline out of Belfast City’ at the Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism Awards, ‘Best Short Haul Airline Europe’ and ‘Best Long Haul Airline Flying West’ at the Travel Media Awards and our prestigious 4-star rating from Skytrax, joining a select group of just 40 airlines worldwide that also boast a 4-Star guest experience.

“This winter we celebrated nine years of operations in Belfast and we are delighted to be standing the test of time in the Northern Ireland market, and we will continue to strive to deliver the best possible experience for NI travelers,” she added.

The awards will be judged by a high profile and independent judging panel of media and industry experts including: Andrea Hunter, Aer Lingus; David Elliott, Ulster Business; Wendy Austin, BBC, Jeremy Fitch, Invest NI; Colin Walsh, Crescent Capital; Margaret Canning, Belfast Telegraph; Gary McDonald, Irish News; Richard Sherriff, News Letter, Alan Taylor, Arthur Cox and Roseann Kelly, Women in Business.

David Elliott said the awards are a league apart.

“Each year the Aer Lingus Viscount Awards attract an ever-more impressive list of some of the most innovative, forward-thinking and down-right brilliant companies from across Northern Ireland.” he said. “As judges, we can’t wait to see what the class of ’17 have to offer.”

So if your business has experienced a stellar year and you want to shout about your success and receive recognition for your business acumen, have a look for the category – or categories – that best suit you.

Entry forms and criteria can be found at and all entries must be submitted no later than 5pm on Friday 24th March.

Good luck!

2017 categories:

 Best Business Start-Up

This award will recognise a young company that has displayed a strategic approach to business, who can demonstrate the successful implementation of that strategy and that has strong prospects for the future.

 Best SME

This category recognises the SME that is deemed to have excelled in all functions of their business during in the last year.  The winner of this award will be able to show significant commitment to producing and marketing a successful product or service.

 Business Person of the Year

This award acknowledges the person who has achieved significant business success in the past 12 months, showing strong leadership skills and business acumen.

 Employee Champion

This will be awarded to the company that can best demonstrate how it supports its employees, making it a better place to work.




Exporter of the Year

This will be given to the company that best demonstrates how it has increased export sales, with a clear commitment to expanding their business outside of Northern Ireland.


Fast Growth Business

This award is for a company that is profitable and growing fast. The winner will have achieved exceptional growth in areas such as sales, turnover and employee headcount in the last three years.


Innovation of the Year

This award honours the company that can demonstrate the successful development of an innovative product, process or service, or a new way of working. 


Lifetime Achievement

The Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to an individual who, in the opinion of the judges, has demonstrated an unrivalled record of achievement in Northern Ireland for many years, contributing significantly to the local economy, showing outstanding performance within


Overall Excellence

This award will honour the company that the judges feel have achieved outstanding success throughout all parts of their business in the last 12 months.



As another separate box


Tips for an award-winning entry:


  • Consider your strengths and achivements carefully before choosing a category
  • Putting together a strong entry takes time, don’t leave it until the 11th hour!
  • Make sure to include proof/evidence of your achievements (facts/statistics/testimonials) where possible
  • Keep it simple – layman’s terms, no jargon or unexplained acronyms
  • Stick to the criteria and ensure that what you’re writing is tailored to each criteria point


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