Blog posted by: Katherine Collins, 22 Nov 2021.
On the evening of Monday 15 November, we were delighted to reopen the doors to the APM Project Management Awards 2021, sponsored by RPC UK at Old Billingsgate, London. We were honoured to recognise and award the very best in the project profession from a broad range of sectors around the world. This year's Awards were particularly special as there were many unforgettable moments that contributed to the success of the ceremony. Here are our top five highlights:
1. The tear-jerking standing ovation from all in attendance
NHS Charities Together were presented with our unique Special Recognition Award for their swift and effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone in the room rose to their feet filling the entire venue with applause when the winner was revealed. It was truly a touching moment to witness, likely the first we've seen at the Awards, where you could feel the appreciation and support for the winners and what they do.
The organisation delivered it's COVID-19 Urgent Appeal, which has since allocated 140 million supporting over 600 projects, including over 400 projects benefitting the mental health of NHS staff. This award is not presented each year as it is only given to organisations, individuals or projects that have gone above and beyond to provide significant benefit to society using the power of project management.
2. Our CEO's first ever APM Award ceremony
The awards are monumental for many of us and for our new CEO, Professor Adam Boddison, as this year was the first APM Awards he attended. Many in attendance also had the exclusive opportunity to meet him in-person. Professor Boddison kicked of the evening with a welcoming opening speech which helped put the ceremony into perspective. He also took to the stage to present awards with our comedic host Lucy Porter who cleverly incorporated project management jokes throughout the night.
3. A successful hybrid event
Due to the pandemic, our awards ceremony was held virtually last year, so returning to Old Billingsgate meant so much to us as the live experience has been sorely missed and is unmatched. However for 2021, we not only celebrated in-person but also streamed the annual event online for hundreds of our virtual audience to enjoy. Our hybrid format gave us the best of both worlds and meant that project professionals from across the globe could join us too. Don't forget, you can watch the ceremony back and relive the evening on demand.
4. Our most prestigious award was out of this world
John McNamee, project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California achieved a pinnacle in his career by making a significant contribution to the project profession which won him the Outstanding Achievement Award.
NASA's Mars 2020 project saw the Perseverance Rover land on the surface of Mars on 18 February 2021 with the scientific goal of searching for signs of ancient life on the planet. McNamee said, I am incredibly humbled and appreciative to accept this award, but I receive it on the backs of the thousands of individuals involved in making the project happen. It has been a privilege to lead such a committed group of people, especially during such unprecedented times, and I will ensure that they are all aware of this honour in recognition of everything they have achieved.
5. An exclusive photo competition
As always with our Project Management Awards, we enjoy seeing all your photos from the evening and no doubt our #APMAwards hashtag was flooded with amazing posts. We were excited to announce a little competition where the best picture posted on Twitter would win a bottle of Magnum for their table. This year, Jo Stanford's tweet made her the winner of the competition. Why not take a look at all the photos on our social wall for the night?
We look forward to welcoming you to our awards again next year. If you're an organisation or individual working on inspiring projects, why not get the recognition you deserve by submitting an entry next year? Entries for our 2022 awards open on Tuesday 12 April 2022 and, you can view the criteria for each category today here.
About the Author
Katherine joined Association for Project Management (APM) two years ago as a senior event coordinator focusing on the event operations of APM flagship events. Her previous experience as an event manager has predominantly been in major sporting events and stadium hospitality, working closely with both Twickenham and Edgbaston stadium.