It’s awards season, yeap that time of the year again! “Are you ready for your business to take center stage? Because this award goes to… you!” 🏆
As an accommodation owner or host, attending awards ceremonies can be a fantastic way to gain recognition for your hard work and dedication to providing outstanding guest experiences. Not only can it boost your reputation and attract new business, but it can also be a wonderful opportunity to connect with other professionals in the industry and learn from their experiences.
But beyond the inspiration and recognition, attending and participating awards ceremonies can also provide valuable networking opportunities. You’ll have the chance to connect with other hosts and industry experts, sharing your own insights and learning from their experiences. It’s also a great way to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations in the industry. You’ll be able to learn about new technologies and approaches to guest experiences and bring those insights back to your own business.
In this episode of The Accommodation Show, we are lucky to be joined by the host of The Shortzy awards. Paul shares insights on the impact of awards and why they’re valuable. Learn what is happening in Short Term Rentals before we embark on more stories from hotels and motel awards later in the year.
Topics covered in this episode:
What are the benefits of gaining industry recognition and building partnerships through awards? 👥
Why should you attend industry events like the Shortyz Awards?🎉
What are the Shortyz Awards and how do they work?🏆
Why should you enter awards?💡
What is the entry and judging processes for Shortyz Awards?📝
What is the value of attending industry events, even if you don’t win?🎊
What industry events are worth attending?🌎
How Shortyz Awards differ from other awards events?🔍
How have previous Shortyz Awards winners and shortlisted contestants benefited from the awards process? 🏆
Paul Stevens joined International Hospitality Media (IHM) in 2018 and has since risen to the position of editor of ShortTermRentalz.com, as well as co-host of the much-awaited annual Shortyz Awards. He is an editor at ShortTermRentalz.com, which is a leading B2B website that provides the latest news, opinions, and insights from the global short-term rental industry. The Shortyz Awards are the perfect platform to recognize excellence among industry peers, highlight innovation and best practices, and celebrate the successes of startup technology. As a seasoned expert in the field, Paul is a valuable asset to the Shortyz Awards and the entire short-term rental industry.
So, if you haven’t already, consider attending or entering awards this year. You should enter, as you will be surprised at all that you get out of it, especially if you are looking to create a winning award entry. Watch this previous episode of “Easy Steps To Win Business Awards” with Annette Densham for a clear and concise formula to help secure your business award.
Thinking about entering the Shortyz Awards Awards? There are 20 awards up for grabs at the 2023 Shortyz Awards: Find out about the Awards categories, criteria and timeline on the Awards website https://theshortyz.com/
📽 Watch the episode here
🎙 Listen to the episode here
Hello and welcome back to The Accommodation Show. We help accommodation owners like you get the knowledge and skills, grow your business, and your guest experience, and increase your profitability.
Okay, everybody, welcome back to another episode of The Accommodation Show. This week. I’m joined by the incredible Paul Stevens from shorttermrentals.com. Welcome to the show.
Paul: Thank you very much Bart for having me on The Accommodation Show. Very happy to be here.
Bart: I’m really excited about it. I am very cognizant of the fact that you just woke up and I’m at the end of my day, that’s why my hair is a little bit out of shape. But I really appreciate you taking the time to start off your day by talking to me and for those of you that don’t know, today’s episode is all about the shorties awards. They’re coming up in roughly around about a week’s time to do your entries. And I believe the awards are happening in April in London. Probably got this wrong, but Paul’s gonna fill us in today and what we’re going to be talking about is a couple of things that are really relevant to everybody. We’re going to be talking about what the awards are, and why they were created, but we’re not here to sell you on the awards. What I’m trying to do today is to teach everyone why awards are important, what they can do for your business, and why they’re incredibly valuable in an industry that is nascent like our own. So, Paul, to start us off, can you just give us a little bit of your background and what you do in your day job?
Paul: Yeah, so thank you very much for having me on the podcast. Really happy to be here. I know we’re I think we’re 11 hours behind you where you are in the where you are in Australia compared to us in the UK. So basically I’m an editor of a website called short-termsrental.com. That’s a short-term rental so the Zed for those who don’t know, it’s part of a wider media portfolio belonging to a group called International Hospitality media. And we have these four different media brands’ websites. Short-term rentals, which launched in 2018. We have boutique hotel News Service Department news, and urban living news, which is the newest of our websites. And yes, I’m an editor as you say so for the most part I’m writing new stories from literally anywhere in the world that includes Australia and Europe and America, wherever the news is essential. We’re also doing various types of features as well so ones that we’re writing or q&a country or we’re doing podcasts like you’re doing yourself, video interviews, webinars, the whole shebang. And we also do an award ceremony called the Shorty Awards, which has been running for a couple of years now, and yet we’re selling new now in the industry but really starting to build a name and get a great rapport with everyone in the industry.
Bart: Well, yeah, and that’s it. Your reputation is incredible, and you’ve done so many good things in the industry for short-term rentals, but also I really appreciate the approach that it’s coming from sort of a hospitality angle, and you’re kind of cross-sharing information between different segments of the market. That simply has been very important to me and I’m sure that you are on the short-term rental side. you’re still looking at what everybody else is doing. I think one of the tiles you said was boutique hotels and you’re watching what they’re doing. Oh wow, they’re doing that we can apply this here or we’re doing this in the short-term rental space, we can grab that information and move it over there. Philosophically, do you think you align with my beliefs or am I on my own?
Paul: I absolutely have been loaded away. Now, one thing that we are always discussing and we work together very closely as an editorial team, looking at the convergence between all the sectors and it isn’t also just something that’s one way it’s not just short-term rentals moving closer to the hotel segment, whether that’s in terms of sort of standardizing or professionalizing or design or booking prices, but the hotel groups service department groups are looking at short term rentals is a segment that’s really developed and come to the fore being very popular during the pandemic. And wanting to know more about our industry, they’re launching branded residence brands. There you know, we look at what say merit, merit or Doom homes and villas or ankle with one fine stay. So this is sort of It’s a fascinating industry to be a part of as you and your listeners will know and it’s constantly evolving. So you’ve always got to be on top of those trends and always got to know who those major players are.
Bart: Now what a lot of people don’t know is that this is your first time within this industry within short-term rentals. And what I find great is that this industry in terms of what it is right now, we’re talking about this before it is kind of what we’re creating it to be right now as a collective and as a group. What are your thoughts on sort of the impact of the media that you guys are creating in terms of this? Kind of, it’s like a scrappy startup. It’s not a startup. What are your thoughts about this space as a whole?
Bart: This is a fantastic industry to be part of and my background prior to short-term rentals, is actually my first job out of university as well. I was studying French and Spanish at university until a couple of years ago, then went into doing a shorter course in journalism. I think, you know, we’ve really seen our readership Pro. If I look back to when I started the job in September 2018, which already seems like quite an age ago, if you think I would have to be covering we as an editorial team would have to be covering Brexit pr the B word as we like to call it here. You know, a huge war in Europe COVID pandemic, all of these things and you know, we’re having to cover a lot more maybe even we initially expected and your branch gets into, into news stories which are relevant to everyone.
Sometimes I think it’s a bit hard to gauge just exactly the scope of a website with ours. We can see the numbers of how people are viewing our news stories, and what’s popular, but really, it is hard to understand quite the impact that we can have with our news stories or how like our awards, etc, giving people recognition to get their news out or give them the recognition that they’re not that they weren’t necessarily getting beforehand or covering funding rounds. I think we’ve really come into a segment which, there wasn’t there are publications out there, but there wasn’t like an immediate publication out there that was covering news from all over the world and in quite the same depth that we’ve done. So it may be hard to ask our readers exactly what the impact has been. But we won’t support the whole industry. We want to be seen as advocates for its growth as well and to be sustainable as well. And it’s also a nice milestone for us to be on. Invited to this podcast like this.
Bart: Just to let everyone know this podcast was hastily arranged over the weekend because the awards are coming up and so if anyone wants to get involved, now is the time so let’s get on to the shorties awards. What are they? How do they work? And let’s start off with that and then the following questions. So what are the awards and how do they work?
Paul: Yeah, so the awards, we launched them back in September 2019. So I was only a year into the job back then. And then we held funnily enough the awards for the first time in March 2020. Quite a quiet month, I think. We can say, for the whole world. That yes, we’ve been going for a couple of years now. And essentially these awards we brand as being like the gold standard awards for our industry. We realized that there probably wasn’t anything and maybe someone could say differently. That but there wasn’t someone doing exactly what we were doing in terms of recognizing that the breadth of companies out there from you know property managers to channel managers to rent printers, even we’ve branched in the last couple of years and to glamping and camping platforms or are the mobile accommodation providers, etc. And these companies or individuals can be anywhere in the world. So we have 20 categories. There’s no limit to the number of categories that you can enter as well, is completely free to enter on our awards platform. And we’ve hastily arranged this interview as well because today is the day we’re actually recording this on Monday. The sixth of March. This was our deadline for submitting entries. And we have actually now extended that deadline until Wednesday the 15th of March at 11:59 in the evening, UK time so there’s still plenty of time to get entries in. Funnily enough, we’ve actually had a winner from Australia every single year we’ve done so far as well.
Bart: Of course you have Paul.
Paul: The Aussies are dominating.
Bart: We like to punch above our weight and I think that we specialize in, be it sports or whatever. We’re quite a competitive bunch. So yeah. So look, I’ve always been interested in it, because the companies that have won the awards in the past, I’ve spoken with the founders, and I’ve spoken to the people that have entered and they’ve said, Oh, look, it’s an invaluable thing to do. And I’ve had an attention mine and she actually is someone that helps people enter these awards, and she talks about the value of awards. And there are two sides to it. One is you get the industry recognition, which I think is incredibly important because it gives you strength to build your business, give you strength to keep doing what you’re doing, and also to build relationships and partnerships and that sort of thing.
And then there’s the other side of it which you get the financial sort of boost from it as well as if you’re raising money from investors. If you’ve got guests coming in, they want to see that you’ve been recognized as well. There are just benefits to getting an award, especially if it’s been judged correctly, especially if it’s been recognized by the industry. And I think that’s one of the nice things about the short is kind of, in my view kind of came out of nowhere and it’s really established itself as a very solid. I guess competition that you can enter and with a lot of longtails benefit to it. Tell me a bit about the entry process. And then also the judging process.
Paul: Yeah, so, I mean, firstly, it’s just great to hear that from other people as well, because I think initially we really had to get the word out about the awards and you know, we’ve been able to grow our platform and the number of people who are signing up to like week newsletters or webinars, etc. So I think the awards mean something different to everyone really. I’ve had people even approach me and say maybe who won in the first year and they would say like, the fact that they won an award at the start 2020 actually helped keep their business going through the pandemic because they were able to raise funding off the back of it.
In terms of the entry process, it’s something that we’ve crafted over several years. So we’ve had the entries period, which has been over the last couple of months. And people can go to our entries platform. I think this will probably be available in the notes afterwards.
We have a page of criteria that we have information, personal information that people have got to fill out and this would just be like what the company is, what category they’re entering, etc. It might be a few contacts but nothing too serious. Then there’s a page of criteria as well. And we’ve tried to make this process as efficient as possible so people aren’t having to fill out reams and reams of information. Basically now we’ve said bullet points, key achievements and key things of how they are meeting the criteria that we’ve set out. And the better that people fulfil these criteria and are listed on our website, the more likely they are to progress to a final shortlist.
The categories are all judged, so that will take place. The judging will commence in mid-March after the entries period is placed on the 15th of March. We’ve got around 20 judges from all different parts of the world or different backgrounds and experience in the industry. All of the judges typically will take on about two categories to judge over two-and-a-half, three-week periods. And then almost straight after that, we announced the shortlist and those shortlists are determined specifically by the judges and how well they that they’re scoring of how well the company or individual is meeting the criteria that we’ve set out. And then after that judging process and after we’ve revealed the shortlist we make quite a big fuss about on social media. We then go into a voting period for roughly around a week and the eventual winners. They’re announced on the nights of the award ceremony this year. It’s Wednesday. The 26th of April in London. We’ve got right, yes, you did. Exactly. And all of the winners are decided by a 50/50 split between judge scores and a public vote. So I think that’s the fairest way we found to do this. And it means that we’re not solely relying just on judges or who’s getting the most votes is the eventual winner, we believe are the most deserving people based on everything we’ve taken into account.
Bart: Last year we were shortlisted which was amazing. He worked for us and then I was tossing up whether to get on a plane and come to London. The distances can be quite challenging but for me and there are different events that happen I watch all the chatter happening on social media all these people meeting and having a great time. There’s huge value in terms of networking alone, even if you’re not a winner, even if you just want to go and meet people that are in the industry. It’s about creativity. It’s about doing things differently, about learning, about how you can do things in this way or that way or finding out that people have different struggles with the regulation or standardisation of that business. All those new PMS systems have come out all this new technology and this all this hive of activity that’s happening all the time and it’s only when you go to these events and you get to meet everyone face to face that you’re okay this is what is the latest stuff in the industry says huge value and actually turning up and you can go to all the events that I know that the Shorty Awards is one of them that that is well worthwhile taking a trip for so I think there are other events as well happening around about the same time. That’s right, isn’t it?
Bart: Yeah, so you’re absolutely right. On all of that and all congratulations on your shortlisting last year as well and you know, hopefully, you can keep crushing this year and next year as well. But then the awards every year we’ve done it as always been from quite a unique venue. So the first year we did it on a boat. A river cruise down the Thames in London, the second year in lockdown, so we had to record the whole thing virtually. Last year we were doing it on a rooftop balcony overlooking the Tower of London this year. This year we’re doing it at the obit which is this big sculpture sort of twisty Big Red structure that you might have seen if you were if anyone here attended the London 2012 Olympics. It’s literally right outside the Olympic Stadium there and we’ll be able to talk with some incredible I’ve been up there already incredible views overlooking London.
There’s also a slide which I believe is the longest tunnel slide in Europe. And if that doesn’t attract you, then nothing else will. So that will be taking place in the evening of the 26 And we’ll have I think between 202, and 150 attendees from right across the world and the short-term rental industry and then the day after there is the short stay summit as well which we are immediate partners for. It’s one of the biggest conferences in the world of short-term vacation rentals that are taking place there by a whole link, and it’s got a fantastic, fantastic array of speakers as well. So we really want to reward companies who aren’t necessarily getting that recognition already educate the industry and really celebrate everyone’s achievements and also get everyone together in one place. There are several events happening in Europe in May as well so you don’t necessarily have to make multiple journeys across from Australia or further afield, you can build into one trip.
Bart: I really wanted to stress the audience’s listening and those that have been following the podcast for a while and those that are listening. The reason why I rush this episode to get it out and get it to you is that I appreciate the importance of the incredible importance of learning to get together and watching what’s going on in the industry. And you can go into these awards if you’d like if you’ve got the time then do it. It’s not a huge amount of work, but it’s worth putting, you know half a day or a day’s worth of let’s put some effort and energy into here, at least just to enter the first time around so at least you’ve done it once. It doesn’t cost you anything to enter either, which is great. I’ve seen many awards but you have to pay to get in and it’s all I don’t really enjoy that I think doesn’t suit my ethos. But I wanted everybody to hear about this if they haven’t heard about it, and just get yourself involved. Watch who’s winning. Learn about why they’ve won see what other people are doing in the industry and what you’ll find is the silo that you’ve created for yourself will be broken. And I’m being a little bit brazen here but a lot of the time as business owners, we get our managers out that we get into a silo of this is our reality. And then you go and you learn that there’s another reality of a whole different group of people doing completely different things. So I encourage you to use Paul, his team, and everything, all the work that they’ve done on your behalf to accelerate your own journey within this industry. That’s my kind of summary. As to why we’re doing this episode.
Paul: And if I may just come in on that part as well. Sometimes I think people come in with some reservations, maybe based on other awards that they’ve entered for example, I would say to anyone who’s sort of got concerns have a look at like our previous winners, with the staff our fourth year now and hopefully, that shows that literally, anyone can win that they’re not necessarily all sponsors. There’s no one you know, paying to win as well. Literally, anyone anywhere in the world can enter as well. And it’s not necessarily always the big companies, the ones attracting the most votes.
And, you know, regardless of whether you win the networking opportunities are there, even if you just make one shortlist, you might have entered maybe four or five categories but even if you make one shortlist that’s some incredible exposure for your business as well with the wider community and we’re really here to support whole industry and promote some new names as well because it gives people some much-needed exposure.
Bart: So if you’ve never entered an award before, rewind to my episode with a net Densham and most people believe that they don’t have anything to answer award or they have nothing to say about their business they haven’t done enough for next year. I’ve done enough. Rewind to that episode. Have a look there. If and this is a big tip. If you’re still unsure, type into chat GPT and say how do I win an award? I’ll tell you how to win an award.
Paul: I can neither confirm nor deny.
Bart: There’s a certain amount of strategy but getting involved. What I’m saying is we’re gonna award is great if your ego and everything like that, congratulations, right being recognized as fantastic. But those other opportunities of recognizing the success that you’ve had in business, taking stock of where you’re at. And going through this process can be incredibly valuable. And even if you don’t win it just those networks alone can accelerate things that can make you feel better and feel more connected with like-minded people. on that.
We’re going to be wrapping up, Mr. Paul. We’re gonna put the links below. I think by the time this episode comes out, they’re only a few days to end so make sure you do but if you’re watching this a year out then make sure you keep an eye on it. Put your bookmarks in for the following year so you can jump in and you can participate. If you’re in London, make sure that you book yourself some tickets regardless if you’re not in London and make sure you get yourself some plane tickets. They’re incredibly expensive right now, Paul, I’m aware of that as well.
Paul: I am aware of that, as well.
Bart: Make sure people in the luggage look. Yes. Thank you so much for coming. I appreciate you. Good luck with everything and have an awesome Monday.
Paul: Yes, you got it. Yeah flattered to be asked on the accommodation shake bat and thank you for everything you’re doing for the industry as well. I look forward to seeing hopefully you and many of his boards and future opportunities as well.
Bart: Thank you so much. Really appreciate you take care, a good rest of the day.
Thank you so much for listening to the show. You can find us at theaccommodationshow.com where you can find all the show notes. links to resources we have talked about in transcripts from the show. I really do appreciate you listening. And if you’d like to support the show, please subscribe. Leave a comment, and share it with others.
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