SA Flooring Awards – A Ceremony to remember

by Tania Wannenburg
Awards Intro

The first SA Flooring Awards was an initiative that was held on 17 October 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg. The glamorous black-tie event was well attended, with over 300 guests present, a grand representation of the many flooring companies that contribute significantly to the success of the flooring industry as a whole.

The vision and objective was not only to bestow accolades on the flooring industry and to showcase its remarkable achievements, but also to bring the flooring industry together in honour of the built environment and to celebrate the 30th birthday of its trade magazine, Floors In Africa.

As the evening unfolded, guests were treated to world-class performances by the popular Soweto Opera Quadro group. Liezel van der Merwe together with Roxanne Mancini, editors of the magazine, welcomed the crowd as they began to introduce the much-anticipated winners’ showcase. 

Schalk Burger produced the SA Floor Covering Journal in 1983, which was the first magazine dedicated to the South African flooring industry.  This journal blossomed into the great FLOORS in Africa and grew into the extensive Media in Africa Group of today. His son, Schalk Burger (Jnr), shared his fond memories of when his father started the magazine all those years ago.

As part of the success of the evening, prominent sports hero Gary Bailey gave a well-received keynote presentation to the industry on how to achieve success under pressure.

About the awards

Awards in nine categories were presented on the evening. Categories included: Contribution to Skills Development; Individual Lifetime Achievement; Most Environmentally Friendly Flooring Product; Longest Lifespan Installation; Best Innovation in Flooring by Product; Best Flooring Project; Best Contractor for Continuous Contribution; Longest-Standing Advertisers and 360 Degrees Excellence in Flooring.

The selection process of the judging panel was carefully undertaken and consisted of a specialist unbiased group for each award category comprising trade as well as non-trade experts to make the process fair for all entrants. Each award category had a set of questions to answer and each question was weighted on (1) Of Importance, (2) Very Important and (3) Essential as winning criteria. Thereafter judges individually scored each question on point values being: Not evident – (0) unclear/not evident/unconvincing; Fair – (1) clear/some attempt to justify; Good – (2) clear/convincing but nothing distinctive; Excellent – (3) clear/convincing/identifies/justifies.

Entrants were also required to motivate why their product or project was worthy of an accolade and they needed to supply a detailed technical product specification; comments from the architects and clients; pictures of the installation, project or product; as well as a number of other motivations and explanations.

The entries received from the industry ranged from excellent to poor attempts and, by the nature of the judging criteria, a big part of the judging process had to take into account just how well the questions at hand were answered.

The FLOORS in Africa team wasn’t part of the judging panel, but they were tasked with ensuring that the process was conducted fairly and maintained a high standard. The final results were internally audited and verified.

There were winning awards as well as highly commended awards at the event. It is important to highlight that receiving a highly commended award was a great achievement in its own right with overall winning scores sometimes differing by only a few points.

The prestigious gala event would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship support from the Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA), FloorworX, Belgotex Floorcoverings, Shaw Contract Group/ Pentafloor, Lafarge and Nouwens Carpets.

These first-ever Awards and the hype around which they were celebrated, together with the many endorsements received from prominent faces in flooring, not only made news locally but managed to get the attention of international media as far as the USA.

FLOORS in Africa would like to congratulate all the winners and highly commended awardees and thank each and every company and individual that entered for the awards.

CLICK HERE to download or read the SA Flooring Awards 2013 Winners Showcase online
[Registration on www.freemagazines.co.za is FREE]

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