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Enjoy the Highland Business Women awards in your own home


By Calum MacLeod

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STV reporter Nicola McAlley will resume her hosting duties online at this year's awards.
STV reporter Nicola McAlley will resume her hosting duties online at this year's awards.

THINGS may have to happen a bit differently this year, but David Eglinton is honoured to be helping the 2020 Highland Business Women (HBW) Awards go ahead.

Normally David, who runs Inverness-based film and events business HCVF, would be adding a bit of technological glitz to the live awards at the Kingsmills Hotel.

However, with the restrictions imposed by Covid forcing the cancellation of the usual black tie and ball gown gathering, he and his team will be using their expertise to bring the excitement of the event straight into the homes of HBW members and supporters throughout the Highlands and beyond.

“I think it’s been much harder work for the team behind it than it has for us. We’re just doing what we are used to doing,” David said.

“But I think it’s great that the awards are going ahead. HBW is the type of organisation that people look to and it is really nice they are doing something to create a showcase event for the members, especially those who had gone to the trouble of applying to the awards and getting through to the final.

“We are very honoured they have come to us and that we are in a position where we can support them and help them bring their vision to life online.”

With the live events calendar almost wiped out by the coronavirus crisis, David revealed he had already been thinking about ways ofstaging an online awards event, and was looking forward to the opportunity to show how it could be done.

“I’m really pleased we are able to show that the concept is workable,” David continued.

“It’s not going to be a 100 per cent replacement for an awards show when everybody is in the same room, but it is very good that they are doing it.”

However, HCVF and the HBW board have been working hard to replicate as much of that buzz as possible for the new online audience.

All of the nominees have been asked to record a little about themselves, including acceptance speeches for the winners. These will be edited together with links recorded by STV reporter Nicola McAlley and screened live on Facebook on Thursday, August 27, at 7pm.

The event will also feature entertainment in the form of music from Fèis Rois, HBW’s chosen charity for 2020, to create an hour-long programme which will be preceded by a chance for members to socialise via Zoom, with its audience invited to glam up for the occasion.

“It needs to be an experience as well,” David said.

“It’s really nice for everyone who has worked so hard in their businesses that Highland Business Women are making the best of the situation and it’s great how they have embraced technology. They really are leading the way in doing this.”

Hopes are high that the usual physical awards ceremony will returnfor the 2021 event, which will also double as a delayed silver anniversary celebration for the networking organisation.

Yet this does not mean it could not be combined with an an online presence, David suggests.

“There is definitely opportunity to have the event take place both physically and online.

“The technology is definitely there to do that,” he said.

“Anyone who wants to will be able to watch online and feel they are a part of the event.”


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